Monday, March 14, 2016

Ten Tips, Tricks, and Things You Should Know When You Join The Bookstagram Community

A couple weeks ago I asked people on my Instagram what they wanted to see on my blog. The majority of you wanted to see tips on bookstagram, how to run a bookstagram, and all kinds of other things related to bookstagram. There are lots of things I could tell you about being a bookstagrammer, but I thought I'd start out with ten things you should know when you join our growing community.

  • You Do Not Need a Big Camera 

Most of my pictures are inside, and I don't feel the need to use a "big" camera. I usually snap pictures throughout the day with my iPhone 5C. Once in awhile I get out my Canon and I usually use it for outdoor shots. So don't worry about having the proper camera for it. Just take pictures.

  • The Bookstagram Community is VERY Friendly
Most of the time we're all a bunch of fangirls/fanboys who are just taking pictures of books because we feel like it. Some of us take better pictures than others but you can probably find us all in a bookstore screaming over a book we've waited a year (OR longer) for. So go ahead and comment and freak out on pictures. We're all just a bunch of crazy people obsessed with fictional characters. 

  • Lighting is Important 
Yes your photos might be indoor and yes I said you don't need a large camera but lighting is important. I take most of my pictures from the time the sun goes up to four o'clock(ish). If you're taking a picture let the light in. Trust me it makes everything better. 

  • You Are Not Going to Get 10k Followers At The Drop of a Hat
It took me almost a year to get 10k. You aren't going to join Instagram, and a month later have tons of likes, comments, and followers. Don't go around asking for F4F, SfS, L4L and all that cause you're just going to get on everyone's nerves. On top of that, you only have that person following you because you are following them -- it won't feel as great when you reach your goal. Or at least it's that way for me. Shoutout Sundays are okay but don't do it every week and don't do fifty of them -- cause you'll gain some but you'll also lose some. Just be patient and post good photos. People will find you.

  • There Will Be Haters
This is more like life advice. Sometimes people can come off and be really rude and nasty and start this big fight in your comments. Ignore it. Also you might receive nasty DMs. Ignore those too. Bookstagram is generally a close community, so not many people bother being nasty. If you want to respond don't be nasty back do as Selena Gomez says and "Kill them with kindness."

  • You Don't Need a Theme 
Sometimes a really organized feed is great (if you like it that way, then keep it) but most of my favorite accounts are the ones where they take pictures all over. I don't mean you need a different setting for every photo. Have a few different places to take pictures in your house and feel free to explore new angles. Take pictures in different places, and of different things. Not every picture has to be a book I'm sure you have other interests. Use different filters and try not to delete pictures because they don't "fit". Don't take pictures a certain way because you get more likes when you do it that way. Be creative and have fun with your shots. 

  • People Are Going To "Copy" You
I've seen some people accuse others of being a copy cat but just how different is every feed? We are all taking pictures of books people. There are times when you can see someone blatantly copying you (that moment where you flip from that account to yours and think wow we have similar ideas and then realize they took the picture days after yours went up and they've been doing it for months), but most times they probably aren't paying any attention to you or they think you're awesome enough to copy. Just don't worry about it. Stealing pictures is a different matter. If someone has stolen your picture feel free to yell at them.

  • Your Need For Books Will Increase 
When I started my bookstagram a little over a year ago, I had a barely filled half shelf. I now have an overflowing full shelf and two huge stacks of books sitting by it. You'll also start wanting more book merch, mugs, funko pops, candles, and maybe even a cat. So you know that quote about books being the cheapest vacation? Well it's a lie my friend.

  • You Will Have Friends All Over the World
I can't tell you how often I hear "Don't trust people on the internet" or "don't talk to people on the internet".... I have made friends on the internet and they live all over. Literally. I may never meet them -- but I talk to them on a daily basis, and they're always ready to listen to me. It's one of the benefits of being in the bookstagram community. 

  • Bookstagram Will Open A Lot of Doors In the Book World For You
At the beginning, my parents complained about how often I was on my phone -- but it's opened so many doors for me that they encourage it now. Being a book editor is my dream job, and bookstgram has helped me get my foot in the door. A lot of publishing companies look for successful bookstagramers to share the books they're publishing because they know we have influence in the book world. By publishing companies I mean Disney Hyperion, Harper Collins, Putnam Books, Penguin Random House, and others. Not to mention all the smaller authors out there who are willing to partner with you for pictures and book reviews. So when someone complains about how you spend too much time reading and being on Instagram -- ignore them. It's almost like having a small business.

A little bit of my wisdom for you. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this, and if you're reading this thinking you should start a bookstagram please do! I'm so happy I decided to join the community :)

Also, if there is anything in this post that you'd like to know more about feel free to comment and ask. Feel free to tell me what you'd like to see/know in my future posts too!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

ARC Book Review: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Genre: Adult Fiction
Published: 2016

When Putnam books offered to send me an advanced readers copy of Jane Steele I was ecstatic. The Bronte sisters are some of my favorite Gothic authors and a twist on  Jane Eyre was something I definitely wanted to get my hands on. To read this book you don't have to have read Jane Eyre but in my opinion I think reading it would make you appreciate Jane Steele even more so then you would without having read the classic.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?

Jane Steele has become one of my favorite female characters. Shes a strong female lead but still breaks down and appears vulnerable throughout the story. A lot of times I find authors making a female lead who doesn't need anybody, never cries and manages to take on the world and all its problems by herself. This isn't how real life is and even though it is a book and its fictional I feel like that makes girls insecure. Everybody needs somebody and its okay to cry. "Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive."-Jane Eyre. 

This book is a twist on Jane Eyre but trust me its not at all predictable. The book sucked me in completely and left me feeling indescribably happy, sad, confused, annoyed, and blissful. The ending was absolutely amazing and was a perfect conclusion to one of the best YA books I've read in a long time. 

Most retellings are based on the book they're retelling right? Well in this one the book we are retelling is the Protagonists  favorite book. All throughout the story Jane Steele is quoting and referencing Jane Eyre. At some point in the book she says something about how similar her situation is to Jane Eyres and honestly it made me a little giddy. I just adored how Lyndsay Faye made a modern retelling of a classic that is so loved and made me question which was better. 

I loved how Mr. Thornfield came from India. The whole other culture feel to the book made it even more appealing. Jane Steele was not your everyday governess and Mr. Thornfield is not your typical Englishman. They're friendship that grows slowly into love is well developed and doesn't over power the rest of the story. Jane Steele remains the same bold hero throughout the whole story and thats something I was extremely proud of her for. But at the same time I completely fangirled over Mr. Thornfield and Jane's romance. Seriously their adorable *squeals*.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. I mean it has everything. It has suspense, murder, mystery, love, a medieval Gothic vibe but still modern feel to it, an amazing main character, and side characters that are almost as good. The way the book develops, the plot, and the conclusion is smashing. The whole book is just to die for. I applaud you Lyndsay Faye for taking on this retelling of Jane Eyre. You have taken my heart smashed it to pieces and put it all back together and left me with my favorite book of 2016 (so far. Trust me I'll read plenty more throughout the year:).

"Of all my many murders, committed for love and for better reasons, the first was the most important..." - Lyndsay Faye, Jane Steele