Welcome to my BOOKSTAGRAMMER SPOTLIGHT, where I show some love to our fellow Bloggers, Bookstagrammers and common Romance Readers. I started this because while there might be a lot of us out there, each of us is different and unique in not just reading, photography, books…everything! A fun way to show some love & learn a little more about the romance community members!! Today’s feature is a very beautiful young woman who I met through Instagram and am glad to have gotten to know as well! ENJOY!
About You: I am 22 years old; I am from the UK, but currently live in Milan, Italy with my family. My favorite colors are green and red, and I am studying towards being a teacher, and currently work as a TA in a school.
Logo/IG name? Fifty Shades of D and J
How/Why did you come up with it? It was initially a Fifty Shades fan account where I would post updates about the cast or the movie, however, I would always post something book related on my page as well.
When did you start Bookstagramming? What was the first thing you did? I had family members and friends that liked to read books, but couldn’t understand why I liked to read romance so much, or to say ‘Smut’. My love for reading romance came from reading Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and I just read more and more books in this genre. I expressed my love for FS with IG and Twitter, and then moved on to FB with a few posts in between about books. Throughout time, my passion for books grew more and more, and with the final movie released, it gave me the opportunity to allow my passion to flourish.
Why did you start what you started? Influence? I am still very new to Bookstagramming, and am still trying to learn the ropes of the industry. I started my Blog/Bookstagram July last year, and would always try to look at other bookstagram accounts for inspiration.
Did you have any help at the beginning or winged it? I started this account because I just wanted to express my love for books. With one of old accounts being deleted, years of dedication just washed away, I felt rejected and it had put me off from creating another account. Around 4 months later, I finally pushed myself and opened a new account. It wasn’t initially a Bookstagram, but it came to be around a year later. Through my fan account I would post simple pictures of books that I was reading at the time and decided that I wanted to pursue it further, so then I transitioned slowly to Bookstagram.
What is your favorite part about BOOKSATGRAMMING and why? My favourite part of Bookstagramming is seeing beautiful images on my feed and seeing people have the same passion as me for reading. I love seeing their creativity flow through their pages. I also loved communicating with others about books and how much these books meant to them. I am a very shy person, so yet again, I´m still learning the ropes to this, but I just love seeing the love for books on every page I see.
What platforms do you use (this is meant for APP’s mainly, things like Canva and so forth.) I mainly use Canva, Snapseed and PicsArt. I would sometimes use the IG app for filters etc..
What social media’s are you on? And do you have a favorite? I am on Facebook and Instagram. I have also created a new Twitter account that will both be Fifty Shades and Book related.
Do you have any tips and tricks about blogging? I have one tip for blogging: Be yourself. Show your creativity the way you want to show it and run your account the way you want you. Show your passion through your eyes and express it in however way you want to. Be honest to yourself, to authors and to your readers/followers.
Have you had any bad/negative experiences on Bookstagram? Personally, I have never had a bad experience on Bookstagram, I have heard of such, but I have never had one.
What have you learned from blogging on a public platform like? My creativity has flourished so much from blogging. If not from making sure my posts are colourful and different, I try to make sure my reviews each have their own flair without sounding repetitive or boring.
Do you have any goals that you haven’t yet been able to get to, concerning your account? I feel that I haven’t reached my full ability with my account. Due to work, I have been falling behind and have been struggling with the upkeep on my account. I also find that sometimes I compare my account with others, and I feel that it is not as strong as it could be, and that can translate onto my page. One of my goals is to update my account as much as possible, and maybe post more original photos and make them my own. Another one of my goals is to start an online blog; however I feel that I must focus on improving my Bookstagram beforehand.
What are some highlights or special moments that have happened, concerning your book blogging career? I will always have special moments when authors contact me about reading their book. I feel so honoured when they trust their precious babies in my hands, or when they want me to promote their books. It makes me feel happy that they can trust me with this task. Highlights would be when authors follow me on social media and share my post. I guess a highlight for me was when BB Easton included a small part of my review in her newsletter. I was giddy with excitement. I just felt so privileged to be included. Every time I’m asked to review a book, or to post something or when an author thanks me for my review, it´s a special moment that makes it all worth it.
Do you think Bookstagram is an effective platform to express your opinion on books? Defintiely! I feel that Bookstagram is the perfect way beside online blogging to promote a book. It can help publishers decide which account is more suitable for them to ask to promote. It helps followers communicate and express their love for book, and it also brings the community together and other bookstagrammers can share their love for books and make friendships that are so strong and will last a lifetime.
What do you use camera vise when taking book photography? I actually use my phone, I would like to use a camera, but seen as this is just the beginning of everything for me, I want to test the waters first by using a phone, and when I feel more confident in my pictures, I will look into buying a camera for my pictures. Also, right now it is also very convenient for me when editing and posting.
Do you use your own props? Is there a fun or MAGICAL way you set it all up? (loc, props…) I try to find props from around the house when doing my bookstagram. There are always flowers and candles in my house so I usually use those in my pictures. I try to be different and use as little props as possible. There is very little natural light in my house, so I am always trying to find way to make sure that the pictures look as clear as possible, which isn’t always easy, so the places I would usually find light are in the most unusual of places.
Do you have advice for new bookstagrammers on how to start, be, and do? I think it would be the same as the tip above, just be yourself, and be creative and expressive in a way only you can do. Just let your passion for books flow and the rest will follow. Oh, and that being honest is essential in this world. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you’re stuck or to look online for inspiration. This is a great community that will help you if you ask.
Do you have any favorite Instagram accounts that you follow for books, inspiration, ideas…? The Ginger Bookworm. The owner of the account is so sweet and honest and her account is so incredible. It is colourful and creative and she is always so responsive to her followers. I definitely recommend giving her account a follow. Plus many more such as @devoted_pages and tweezyreads, etc. whose account just kicks butt!
What was the first book you officialy bookstagrammer, how about the first book you reviewed and posted on Instagram? The first book I bookstagrammed before I set up my blog was Scandalous by LJ Shen. It was a simple picture of the book on my bed. I was just so excited that I was reading the book and just had to share that to others. As expected it was a REALLY good book, and from there on I would just update my followers on what I was reading with a simple picture of the book I was reading at the time. I don’t usually post reviews on my IG pages. I may express what I though a little about the book, but I usually post my reviews on sites such as Goodreads, Amazon, Bookbub but it is something that I am considering doing in the future.
LET’S TALK ABOUT BOOKS
Tell us, do you know the exact amount of paperback you own? How about ebooks? (I suggest not to count because I did & I regretted it) Before I moved to Italy two years ago, I had so many I struggled to find room for them, but since moving, I had to leave my books behind, which was very sad to me. However, I am slowly rebuilding my collection and have 49 physical books in my possession. In the format of eBooks I have 907.
Do you prefer paper or kindle? I most definitely prefer paper to eBook. I just love the feeling of a book in my hands, but with paperbacks being heavy and expensive I usually read with kindle. It is cheaper and more convenient as I can carry all my books with me on one device, but if I get the chance to really spoil myself, I will most definitely do that with a paper copy.
Do you know your first paperback/ebook? My first book in paper and digital form was the Fifty Shades series by E.L. James. I was just obsessed with the series and wanted to get it in every shape and form. However, my first ebook purchase on my Kindle was King of New York by Diamond R. James.
Do you remember your very first read? I can’t actually. It’s sad actually because I would like to know what pushed me and my love for reading.
What is it that draws you to a book? (picture, blurb, author..or all?) I like a pretty cover. Who doesn’t? But if the blurb doesn’t match the cover, or doesn’t pique my interest I won’t read it. I give anything a try, but if it really seems like something that I wouldn’t read, then I won’t.
Do you have a favorite genre you read? And which one? I have two! My first favorite will always be romance. I love the stories that sweep me off my feet and make me swoon, however a dark romance can never go amiss. My second, which I got from my mother and grandmother, is Crime Thrillers and sometimes the darker the better. I love a thriller that makes me gasp from my seat, uncomfortable (to a point) and speechless from such a good ending. I always get recommended something by my mother, and if I see something that maybe she would like, I’d always recommend it to her. It truly is a family thing for me.
What is your ideal bookboyfriend like? (looks, actions…) My ideal book boyfriend would be muscular, but not overly done so, with short brown hair, and mesmerising eyes, no matter the colour. He would have to have a sense of humour, be generous and kind, but take no prisoners if wronged. He would have to be loyal and allow himself to be vulnerable with the right people, and loveable and strong enough to carry my food shopping for me. Wealth doesn’t matter to me, as long as he has a kind heart and is determined, I am good.
Do you have a real life bookboyfriend? If he is a celeb, book model and so forth, care to share a photo of who? Jamie Dornan. A sweet Irishman who is a great father, husband and actor. What more do I need to say?
What is your favorite part about a story? (the beginning get to know each other, the sexy scenes, the middle right before the peak…) My favourite part of the story is the build-up in the relationship where the characters are allowing themselves to be vulnerable and open up to one another. I just love the emotional aspect of the romance so much; it’s what keeps me reading. The other parts; the angst, the steam are just very, VERY good perks.
What book are you currently reading? I’m not reading anything at the moment, but I will be starting my ARC of Forever and Never by Ella Fields, and I can’t wait!
Do You have a favorite book quotes from any recent or previously read books you’d like to share? ‘You’re my lifeline’. The words from Christian Grey that never fail to make me swoon. (Darker)
How long does it take you to read an average book? It depends on the size of the book. If it’s a big book (500 pages +) it can take me between two to three days. If it’s smaller than that, maybe one to two days. If the book has completely taken over my life, a day for sure.
How many reads per week do you think you read on an average? I used to be able to read around 5-7 books a week, but now that I have a job, I can only usually manage around three books a week.
Have you ever considered writing a book? If so, why, how, when and who?! Hehe I have considered writing a book. I always have something in my head that floats around and drives me wild with need to write it down, but down to fear and cost I haven’t had the guts to do it.
Who is your favorite author and why? (you’re welcome for this one *smirk*) I can’t say I have a favorite author. Every story that I read touches me in a different way. There are so many I can’t decide. It’s so hard!
Now, the real important question -> What is your favorite book & why! To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It was a book that I studied ages ago that just touched me. The story was so fascinating and eye-opening. I remember reading this book, and thinking, WOW! Books don’t always show the dark side of society and being exposed to that made me start thinking about life and precious it truly is and formed certain opinions of the world. It was a book that truly inspired me to be a decent human being to all, and that everybody is equal no matter the colour of their skin. Whenever I see the movie on the television, I never hesitate to watch it.
Do you have any magical words for everyone out there?! You are all strong wonderful human beings that deserve the good in your life. If it’s hard right now, be strong, and when you can’t be strong let others be strong for you. It’s a tough world out there, and there is room for you, just fight for it. Take your time and breathe. Be happy and live happily. Oh, and keep reading! You may never know what you will find in between the pages.
That concludes another beautiful SPOTLIGHT of one of our fellow bookstagrammers, SHOW HER SOME LOVE & many more to come!