A Love Letter to the Bookstagram Community by Lynn Painter

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[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Lynn Painter guest posting on the site today. She has a love letter to the Bookstagram community. Take it away, Lynn!]

Dear Bookstagram,

I’ll admit it – six months ago, I didn’t know you existed. If I’d heard the term “bookstagrammer,” I probably would’ve assumed it referred to an Instagram influencer who looked like Kylie Jenner and wore ensembles made up of fashion glasses, red lipstick, pencil skirts and – of course – the requisite stack of aesthetically-pleasing books. 

I mean – could I have been more wrong (said in Chandler Bing-eze)?

You see, I’ve always been comfortable on my other platform, twittering around where camera skills are not a requirement. Over there, I’m able to skulk about, listening to everyone else’s conversations without really putting myself out there; it’s a great place for an introvert like me.

But it’s been brought to my attention as of late that Instagram is the best platform for book promotion, so as a debut author, I forced myself to make the jump. I have begrudgingly stumbled over to this visually-stunning place where until now, I’ve barely spent a hot minute. 

But – things are different here than I’d imagined. I’ve been shocked by the content I’ve discovered, Bookstagram content that is nothing at all like what my preconceived notions had envisioned. 

You folks aren’t out here taking hot selfies with puckered lips and cute books. No, you folks are professional creators – you are a FORCE. Books are your passion, and that passion shines through in every little bit of your work.

Not only do you consume a mind-boggling number of books every month (I have no idea where you find the time), but you give thoughtful, insightful reviews and recommendations. In my short time here, I’ve already been turned on to SO many authors new to me – just by reading your thorough wrap-ups.

And I would’ve expected you to take cute pictures of books, but “cute” isn’t what you do. You create photographic art out of books and the world that exists around them. You design and execute shots that are billboard-quality – every single day. 

The more of you I follow, the more I realize that the most surprising thing of all is the way you’re a community.

You send out welcome posts to new accounts, inviting your followers to follow them, as well. You engage with each other in creative and fun ways. You boost each other’s work in such a genuinely supportive fashion that – honestly – I wish I had the skills to join your supercool club. (Spoiler – I SO do not.)

While we’re using the “w” word – work – can I just say that you people have a workload that I cannot even fathom? You perform scheduled, planned and coordinated work that I would never be organized enough to keep on top of, and you do it in a way where the finished product looks downright effortless. I mean, scrolling through Bookstagram is like a warm, cozy getaway (that makes me want to spend oodles of money). 

You are visual artists and books are your medium.

But the nicest surprise of all has been your kindness. As a newbie author, I’ve reached out to you for advice, assistance with giveaways, and pathetic please read my book begging. And instead of mocking me for knowing such an unbelievably microscopic amount, you have given me wide-open access to your opinions and ideas. 

I don’t know how – as a book lover – I hadn’t found you sooner, but as an author, I’m so incredibly grateful for everything you do for my community.

P.S. How do you do that thing you do with the light? Magicians, the lot of you.

About the Author:

Lynn Painter lives with her husband and pack of wild children in Nebraska, where she is a weekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald and an avid fan of napping. When working on a new book, she can often be found sound asleep on her office floor. Some might say she should grow up and stop randomly dozing off like she’s a toddler, but Lynn considers it part of her writing “process.”

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter, out May 4!

In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.

The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.

But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.

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