I’ve been experimenting with IG and TikTok and I think the sites offer a lot of room for creativity as far as presenting and discussing books is concerned. I have a lot to learn but here are examples of content I enjoy trying to make to give more love to the books and engage in some creative tasks in the process.
- The basic book picture plus review in caption – IG. You can try different arrangements or pick a style and use it consistently. I also like book outdoors pictures, particularly in autumn or in some scenic settings.
- Bullet review on TikTok that you write by hand and record while doing so
- Explain why a book is your favourite in five header words.
- Show / illustrate your favourite opening lines
- TikTok: write a quote from memory without looking it up.
- A quote : picture+ sliding text/ animation effects
- Quotes on solid backgrounds can help you break up your IG feed and make it more fun
- Focus on an author you like and present their books or maybe even facts or trivia about their lives. Some really led extraordinary lives and showing them as humans can help connect more.
- Source material, rare books
- Words with pretty pictures
- You can try enacting or illustrating a quote with a short video.
- Show backstage process, like how many tries it can take to take a book pic
- A series of pics/ videos that anslyse a given aspect of a story in more depth. Perhaps you can illustrate a point with a video or series of images.
- Make a reel/ carousel with books on a given theme e.g houses or journey
- Favourite short stories. Your carousel can be your personal anthology.
- A reel / carousel books with favourite books from around the world. I think 10 is a limit for carousels so ten books from around the world that you think are must reads.
- Books that are set in interesting locations
- If you liked this, read that bullet points
- Bookstacks for a cause – I love this idea. Sometimes a bookstagrammer picks a cause and donate asset amount of money depending on how many people join bookstack challenge – you make a stack of books that responds to a prompt (it can be a colour prompt- make s blue stack or a themed stack)
- Read a fragment of a book or a short story out loud and make a reel with pics or video.
- Make a wrap-up of your favourite reads / reads from last month / favourite covers or photos
- Poems can be great too but I haven’t explored this area much yet. I’d probably try making a short vid in pretty settings and add a poem to it. Or read it out loud.
I think it’s great to share books this way too. Ray Bradbury’s characters went as far as memorising book fragments but to me what we do with books on social media and through all the extra content is kind of in similar vein. And by creating our own selections and keeping them and then sharing with others we make those books reach further, I’d like to think. In any case, I think it’s fun to do stuff with books online, especially beyond a basic review. You can really get creative.
These are just some ideas. There are many others, like showing your shelves but I like these ideas best because beyond a simple review, they focus on appreciating various aspects of a book and can enhance, add something to a basic review. Plus it’s fun to flex your imagination a bit. I love doing these extra things on social media because they focus my attention on what else I love about something. And they keep me stimulated and engaged. I always look for new ideas and I hope I’ll improve my aesthetics some day but I think what matters most is: be authentic, focus on things you like (vs what’s popular) and enjoy the process, have fun. I think a good question to ask is why you want to do it. For me it’s because, as I said, I like the fun of it. It helps me strengthen my voice, find and consider what I truly like and why, what moves me, why I pick something over something else. And as long as it’s fun for me, it’s fine. When it becomes a chore or something that feels like it “must be done”, then that’s a problem, in my opinion.
Be you. Do you.
Ps. Also Nick Cave’s The Red Hand Files, theredhandfiles.com are great. He’s got some inspiring thoughts on creating things, being an artist and creator.