Saturday, 23 April 2016

The Juicy Details Behind My May Bookstagram Challenge

Instagram is my new favourite social media home, evident only by all the Instagram posts I've shared on the blog lately, and by getting a good grip on my optimal social media posting times, I've learnt how to get the most out of using it to share my love of books every day, and I love it. I love it so much, last month I unveiled my first Instagram book challenge, complete with graphic, prompts and how to get involved, and to my surprise it went down really well.

After much encouragement I decided to give it another shot and came up with a new #bookstagram photo challenge for the month of May, and I'm super excited to be sharing it with you today. Unlike the last challenge, I'll be hosting this one myself, however, there are a few things to cover first..

Like, what's the heck is a monthly book challenge?

You've probably all heard of #photoaday, you share a photo of something, every single day. A monthly book challenge is just that, except it's specifically about and for books, rather than just every day experiences and adventures. Every month, there's a collection of book challenges released by numerous other bloggers, photographers and creatives alike, and people take in them, following the prompts, getting clever with their photos and sharing them with other likeminded book creatives through specific hashtags

Okay, so what made you want to create your own challenge?

There's actually a few reasons I bit the bullet and wanted to start working with book challenges, however, there are two main reasons, each with their own reasons, and these are the ones that made the most impact.
  1. I wanted to create a community. You hear it all the time around the blogging space - 'you need to create a community' - and usually, that takes place in your email list. HOWEVER, I tend to find to more you pressure yourself into doing something you don't enjoy (like trying to grow your email list, hard!) rather than focusing your efforts on something you love (like Instagram), you're more likely to fail.

    It was important for me to hone my focus and efforts into something I love, and Instagram made sense. It's definitely the fastest growing social media, and it's without a doubt one of the most creative, which suits my current place and time right now. The kind of community I want to create and be a part of is creative, positive and exciting, full of people who like and appreciate pretty things, and love to experiment, develop their skills, and be proud what they do, and Instagram is the place to do that.

  2. I wanted to teach the old dogs some new tricks. I love teaching others how they can develop their skills, progress ahead of others and use their creativity, their style, their knowledge to achieve great things. I tend to find that a lot of book challenge reuse the same prompts, and their not the most exciting of prompts either. I wanted to create a challenge that pushed people to try something new, rather than more of the same.

    I also wanted to bring back some of the more forgotten about book tags. When I first joined bookstagram, there were a lot of classy, clever and creative tags floating around, and it's extremely rare that people used them, let alone bring them back into the spotlight, so I really wanted to shine a light on some of these old favorites and give them the attention the rightly deserve.

So what is the challenge like? What are the prompts? How do I take part?

Aha, the juicy part of the post now, I like it. The challenge covers the whole of May, all 31 days, like so:

Most of the prompts are actually common sense, but for the sake of ease and simplicity, here's a quick look:
  1. Anticipated Reads: A slight twist on the common 'May TBR' which involves sharing your planned months reads. You could share a normal TBR, or focus on a specific book for the month.
  2. Currently Reading: Does exactly what it says on the tin, what are you currently reading?
  3. Mismatched Covers: You could feature a series with a cover change, or different formats.
  4. Sea of Books: There are so many creative options for Sea of Books, like this postthis post and this post, so don't be afraid to go outside the box and mix up a variety of ideas.
  5. Pastel Books: Time to show off your pastel books in anyway you like.
  6. Book and Flowers: You're looking to be sharing some flowers and/or florals and some books.
  7. Book Spine Beauty: As easy as it sounds, share a/some book spine(s) that you love.
  8. Where You Read: Show us where you get your reading done or your favourite spot. What else is usually there? Where does the magic happen?
  9. Book Rainbow: No challenge is complete without a rainbow, am I right?
  10. Identical Imprints: Share some of your favourite imprints, or books that share the same. Choose a variety or a series, it's entirely up to you. Bit like this post.
  11. Better Than It Looks: One of the more exciting prompts is all about sharing the books that really don't look the part but are absolutely awesome. The reason you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, so share your favourites.
  12. Book and Bookshelves/Shelfie: It's only right that we should share out shelves, right?
  13. Favourite Completed Trilogy: The most common of series types out there, so choose your favourite.
  14. Books and Nature: As we're coming into Spring and the season of sun (for the Northern Hemisphere at least!) it's certainly worth befriending nature a little more.
  15. Ombre Book Tag: One of my old favourite tags. You're looking for some sort of ombre style in your choice of books, either book spines, book covers, go crazy, get creative.
  16. Bookish Spiral: I'm a HUGE fan of this prompt, possibly because I love the look and style it brings. You can check out this postthis post, and this post for a variety of styles.
  17. Anticipated Sequel: Once again, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
  18. Cover Buy Books: You're looking to show off a/some book(s) you bought merely because of the cover, which is a really common thing for bookworms to do and totally okay.
  19. Auto-buy Author: Once again, does exactly what it says, an author you would always buy books by.
  20. X Marks The: One of my favourite book tags. It's all about creating an X with your books, just like this post. Get creative and share some beautiful covers.
  21. Open Book Tag: You could get creative with something like this post, or more simple like this post, or just share the book you're reading right now, just open up a book and get snapping.
  22. Line of Books: Nice a simple, just line up your books and snap away, like this post or this post.
  23. One Word Titles: Pick one book or a few that have one word titles and share.
  24. Ditch That Jacket: One of the more popular prompts and tags, just strip off your hardcovers until theyre completely and utterly naked and have some fun. *wink wink*
  25. Twirling Pages: Flick through pages or create some book crowns, however you twirl your pages, get creative and snap away your photos.
  26. Book and Mug: Another nice simple one that says what it means.
  27. Tower/Stack of Books: Oh yeah, stack them high and reach the sky.
  28. Unpopular Opinion: I don't know about you, but I love getting opposing opinions on books, and what's better than an unpopular opinion. Disliked a book that EVERYONE else loved?
  29. Books Falling: One way or another, make those books fall and snap away. Something like this post, or this post.
  30. Book and Mug: Another nice simple one that says what it means.
  31. Latest Book Purchase: A common prompt flipped, instead of a book haul post, although you can do that too or instead of, you're looking to show off your most recent buy.
  32. Fave Read of May: Much like a wrap-up, you can either show off one book, numerous, or all the books you read, it's totally up to you.

Just like other Intsagram book and photo challenges, all you need to do to take part is to snap your photos and use the tag #NellieBooksMay16, (not case sensitive, don't worry!) it's as easy as that. Sure, you can, and I would love it if you could promote your participation on Instagram, either within a caption, or by sharing the photo yourselves, and of course, if there's any prompt you're still not 100% sure on, you can always message me or comment asking for more detail or information.

I'm super super excited to get to work on this challenge, in fact, I've already prepared half of my prompts with, so that's even better. Follow me over in Instagram to not miss a post, and if you have plans to get involved, let me know either in the comments, on Twitter, or Instagram and I'll look out for your snaps!

Are you taking part in any challenges? If so, which ones?


  1. I have a confession: I'm so, so, SO bad with Instagram. I adore photography and I do it a lot... I just always seem to forget to post them. >.< (I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that i have to transfer my photos from my camera TO my iPod, and I'm lazy, haha.) I really, really like these challenge prompts, though, so I might end up joining in. :)

  2. I'll probably drop in on a couple days cause I unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to post every day with finals coming up.

  3. I've neeeeever done a challenge. I KIND OF WANT TO. But I also have tons of tags to do and stuff and I'm never sure if I want to commit hehe. BUT! I think I'd like to try at least some of yours because they're such good prompts!! And I do want to know how a challenge would go. ;D

  4. I've been dying to do an instagram book challenge for a while now, but I always seem to miss the start date! Finally I have found on before we're half way through a month! They seem like such good ways of inspiring people and helping them post more regularly, which I definitely need! The tags you've come up with are so original as well, I can't wait to start snapping away for this, and hopefully it will give me some inspiration for my book photography as well!

  5. Oh great challenge!
    It's been a while since I've done a monthly challenge (it's kind of hard when most of books are in different places, haha), but maybe I'll have to give May a try!

  6. I think I'm going to participate in your bookstagram challenge - it looks great! :D I have exams in May but because some awesome blogger I know wrote a post on Latergramme, I can schedule my posts! ;)

  7. I'm so excited for this! Though I haven't been able to participate in the April instagram challenge everyday, the days I have been able to participate have really pushed me to be more creative and gotten me really excited about taking more bookish pictures and increasing my instagram presence :)

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

  8. I'm so bad at challenges. I never get all the way through them. And I'm terrible at keeping up with tags as well!! But I loooooove Instagram. So much. Definitely my new fave social media :)