Social media is a huge part of our world, and a huge part of book promotion and talking about books today. There are now so many apps, websites, and other means to talk about books through social media, and sometimes, it can be hard to find one that fits you, what promotes your ideas the best, or what you are good at. I’ve done some experimenting on a variety of social media platforms since I began talking about books publicly over five years ago, and today, I want to talk about my experiences with the ones I’ve tried.
I am so, so bad at Twitter. I honestly just don’t understand how to write engaging Tweets or Tweet to other people or anything about Twitter. I don’t really get the point of it? And I like writing long things. Plus, even though I have 600+ followers, whenever I tweet something original, I never get responses, so I simply don’t see the point of it. Some people are really good at Twitter, like Cait from Paper Fury and author Justina Ireland, but I don’t think I personally have enough skill or online charisma to do Twitter right.
Also, Twitter is honestly such a garbage fire most of the time in terms of drama that I can’t deal with. I don’t think I’d do that well with trolls because of my anxiety, and I’m not not-shy enough to really challenge people directly on Twitter when I disagree with them or want to call out something problematic, even though doing that is important to me.
In general, Twitter feels too direct for me and since I’m already kind of shy online, it’s not for me.
I love looking at other bookstagramer’s posts and Insta has become one of my favorite social media things to browse. I recently started experimenting with my own bookstagram account (@awordandawhisper), because I’ve been wanting to try out a new creative hobby. However, I’ve been realizing that I need some more tools to make my account look more professional and achieve an “aesthetic.” I don’t quite understand the whole business of choosing and finding an “aesthetic,” because my creativity is so mood-based, but I’d certainly like to try.
It’s also tough because I had to leave so many of my physical books at home when I moved because I just couldn’t take all of them with me, so now I have fewer physical books to work with. I already feel like I’ve been using too many of the same titles and worry about running out of books to use. However, I have been getting more current ARCs since becoming a librarian, so that is a plus in terms of bookstagram content.
Another thing I struggle with on Instagram is captioning the photos. I want to be cute and clever like other bookstagramers I follow, but I feel so constrained by the tiny amount of words that show up, and I know I personally don’t read captions on Instagram, so I have a hard time truly caring enough to work on that aspect of booksta.
Obviously, this is my true bookish promotion passion. I just prefer having a lot of space to write and being able to write in a variety of formats. I don’t like being stuck with only one thing. I think I’ve grown a lot as a blogger over the past 5-6 years, and I like where I’m going using blogging as a platform. Sometimes I wonder about the relevance of blogging when compared to the other platforms on this list, but I like it and enjoy it, so I’m trying not to let that get to me too much. The other social media platforms are ones I’ve mostly used to promote blogging versus using them as my only book-talking medium. I’d like to get better at the other ones, but it’s hard to get really good at them when I’m doing so many at one time. In the long run, I think it’s best for me to stick with 1-2 that I love doing and that I’m good at.
I think booktubers are really the people who have the type of followings that book bloggers used to have now. Personally though, I don’t like watching videos because I like reading blog posts at my own pace, and if they talk about a book I’m not interested in hearing about, I can skip over it in a blog post versus a video. Plus, I feel like there are SO MANY booktubers who just annoy the heck out of me. If I don’t like your voice or if you’re overly enthusiastic and excited, it turns me off and I’m not going to want to listen to you all the time.
I tried booktube a couple times, but I have ZERO video recording or editing skills, and I hate how I look on camera. I also LOVE writing, and am just not as interested in video recording, so there’s really no point to me attempting booktube again.
Which other social media platforms have you tried using to talk about books? What do you think about book blogging’s place in book social media? Do you have any Instagram resources or tips that could help me?