Podcast: How Instagram is changing the literary landscape

[How Instagram is changing the literary landscape]

Podcast transcript

Abby: Hi. Today I’m going to be chatting to Sarah who has a Bookstagram account, reading.rah, about how Instagram is changing the way we talk about books.

So, why did you start a Bookstagram account?

Sarah: So I had a friend that I knew that also had a Bookstagram account and I really liked her account and I wanted to, I kinda wanted replicate what she was doing because I enjoyed it, it was just very fun and I like books. So I was like lets start this, lets start talking in Bookish communities.

Abby: Do you, um, think it puts more pressure on the followers thinking or knowing that Bookstagrammers are reading so much, or it’s perceived that they’re reading a lot?

Sarah: Oh yeah. Seeing, that’s another thing, people will definitely share their Goodreads reading challenge and how many books a year they’ve read. Oh God, that’s obscene. Some people like obviously will not be able to read more than like three or four books in a year. And that’s absolutely fine. And there’s definitely a little bit of a hierarchy. Um, like, I know for myself I put my Goodreads reading challenge down this year. So previously it’s been at about 40 books, and I’m like, mmm, that’s a lot of book. Like, last year I read 54 books, and I don’t know if I had, I don’t know if it was from outside of pressure, or whether it was based on just me reading. But I dropped my number down to 20, so I’ve already exceeded that. But yeah, I dunno, sometimes you see that people have read a hundred books and it’ only May, it’s only June, and I’m like you can’t have read that many books. Like what are you doing with your life as well. Bookstagram, for a lot of people is just a hobby. It’s not a full-time gig. And the ones where it is a full-time gig, like, they’ve probably also got like YouTube accounts, so BookTube. They’re probably invested on the business in some kind of other way as well.

Abby: So, do you think that, um, online platforms to discuss books is changing the way we discuss books and the way we interact with books and other readers?

Sarah: It’s, it’s changing a lot of things. Um, for instance, one of the things that’s come out of online platforms are book tours. Book tours, giveaways and interviews. So, a book tour works in a way where, um, a selection of readers are brought together to post photos or reviews or videos about particular books. And basically they’ll be a head platform that showcases all of these accounts and you get more engagement because there’s consecutive posts one after the other. Um, you get a lot of that and you get a lot of giveaways as well from publishing companies. That might be, like, respond to this and tell us what you’d tell your high school self to win a free book. So, I did that for, what is it, What I Like About Me, which is a recent release, by um, Jenna Guillaume, definitely not how you pronounce her last name. But, yeah, they said, tell us what you would tell your high school self. So, I responded and they picked my response. So, I was one of five people that won an uncorrected proof, which is really nice. And I think that’s definitely picking up as a way of getting readers interested in books and just showcasing that they’re out there.

Abby: Cool, thank you so much.

Sarah: that’s okay, thank you.

Song credit: Happy Ukulele. Used with permission. Source: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Holmes/Happy_Music/Happy_Ukulele_1026

Sarah is a Bookstagrammer who has around 1,000 followers.

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