Books, Baths & Boobs – Recreating Bookstagram Images: Part 5

It´s Bookish Art time! 

 

This is what I love about Bookstagram –  The creativity. How someone can use something simple as a book and turn it into a piece of art.

The Bookstagrammers who specialize in this niche are true artists. From optical illusions to simple shape creations… You can literally feel the love oozing out of each feature.

My “Let´s recreate Bookstagram images” experiment has gotten exciting because this time I´ll not be using props. The only objects required are books.

The image I chose to recreate is from Bookstagrammer  @booksbyfran

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This is cool. It might not be everyone´s favorite shape but you have to admit that this looks pretty neat. Even her toenails match with the books. I could definitely pull that off, too. Well, the toenail color but not the book colors. This is why I decided to recreate this image but add a little twist to the mix. My weapons of choice?

Socks. ( because I was too lazy to paint my toenails after having removed the previous polish ) and black books.

And this is what came out. Am I satisfied? You bet!

 

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So, I didn´t use blue books. Possibly because I don´t have 29 blue books. I have 29 black books, though. Works just as great.

As for how I managed to set up my books in a heart shape… Was it hard / easy? Let´s get into the details.

 

How I Recreated @booksbyfran´s Bookstagram Feature


#1  Find 29 books. Which wasn´t hard. I have enough physical books scattered all around the house. The only problem was finding 29 same / similar in color books. Most of my books have black covers.

 

#2   Have patience. If you don´t then find a way to become patient because this book set up comes close to a game of tumbling dominoes.

 

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It was no surprise that my books didn´t stand straight like actual domino stones. They´re paperbacks – Bendable. I had to be patient and creative about this whole process.

 

#3   Work fast. As soon as the books stood in place I included my feet and took some shots. I didn´t care if they came out good or not. I didn´t have enough time to dwell on angles and lights. The books kept threatening to fall. If it hadn´t been for my feet they would have fallen over. This recreation didn´t take longer than 20 minutes.

 

#4   No filters needed. The only thing I needed to do was crop and shift the image in place.

 

My Conclusion

 

This was the first Bookstagram recreation that was actually fun. A little nerve-wracking but still enjoyable.  I think I wasn´t able to get frustrated because I knew the end result would be so satisfying.

“Omg! A heart shape made with books! I DID THAT! “

It´s the little things in life that bring us joy.

Would I recommend trying this type of Bookstagram feature out? Definitely. Unless you flip out easily- Then you might look for something less challenging.


 

What are your thoughts? Was this copy a success or a failure? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

XO´s,

Banner name

Books, Baths & Boobs – Recreating Bookstagram Images: Part 4

Bookstagram

A place filled with comfortable white bedsheets and knowledge.

 

Now that we´ve already talked about Books & CoffeeBooks & Bubble Baths and Books & Outdoors it´s time to discuss my next Bookstagram image recreation:  Books & Beds.

The Books & Bed theme is probably the most envied type of Bookstagram feature there is ( according to all the comments under those images ). Why? Well, because they´re just SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL. It´s basically bookish art. Fine, clean, stark white bookish art.

Bookish art that serves two purposes: 1) to look good. 2) To promote a book.

A feature like this is supposed to stop someone from scrolling further. It´s more or less an invitation to read the caption where a book is promoted / a book blog promotes themselves. This is a normal book blogging strategy, not rocket science. But I find it the hardest way to blog, if I´m honest.

After having given this theme much thought I finally found it in me to approach this type of image recreation. All I needed was a ton of shit I don´t have.

From all the beautiful Books & Bed Bookstagram images I chose one from Bookstagrammer  @acourtofwordsandpages

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There´s no denying how beautiful this looks. And if I´m honest- I was a little terrified of copying this image. Why? Because it looks like hard work to me. It looks perfect. It´s so… white-ish. So, I gave it my best. 150%.

Here´s my 150%.

 

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For me, I failed miserably. I´ll tell you why.

 

Here´s What Happened

 

#1  I had to make a few calls. The only things I had on hand were my books and the piece of cardboard. The candles and the white coffee cup & saucer were from my mother in – law. The wooden clothespins, the single pages, and the lavender & vase were from my mom and the white bedsheet…. the hardest item to borrow ( because no one has white bedding around here ), was from my neighbor.

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The experiment hadn´t even started and I was already having problems.

If you´re asking yourselves why I don´t own most of the objects in the picture…

I´m not the decorating type. And, I have kids. I don´t own matching dishes or silverware, let alone saucers for tea/coffee cups. Candles… I´m just not into candles. Let´s not even discuss the white sheet.

Once I had everything together the placements began.

 

#2  You need to be careful. Once that mug has something in it and you place it on your bed then you begin to sweat. The books you open don´t necessarily stay in place so you have to be careful and quick. I held my breath every time I had to readjust the setup.  I didn´t want chocolate milk on the white sheet and I certainly didn´t want to clean it off my mattress or have it spill over my books.

 

#3   Another 2 hours of my life I won´t get back. Add the time I spent collecting everything and the time I spend returning the items to their rightful owners and you can say I spent roughly around 3 hours.

 

My Conclusion

 

For me, this wasn´t worth it. Not worth my time, not worth the sweat I involuntarily invested. I was frustrated from start to finish. I realized that my creativity lies elsewhere. My role is to admire Books & Bed Bookstagram images, not to copy them. I´m just not interested in going the extra mile for a simple image that means so little to me.

I have a newfound respect for those who do this daily/weekly or even once.

Although I´m not too keen on creating this type of content again I´d still recommend giving this a go if anyone were interested in trying this whole thing out. 


 

What do you think? Do you like to see this type of Bookstagram content? Have you tried the Books & Bed theme before? I´d love to hear your thoughts on this. ❤

 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I fully appreciate it.

 

XO´s

Banner name

 

 

 

 

 

Books, Baths & Boobs – Recreating Bookstagram Images: Part 1

Bookstagram

A community of clever minds who specialize in visual book creativity.

Welcome to Books, Baths & Boobs- The place where I´ll be recreating Bookstagram images from Bookstagrammers I follow. Or, in other words:

“Hey, look what I´ve always wanted to recreate. I finally found some time so here I am. Yippie!”

Today´s the start of my new bookish experiment and I thought it would be best to start with something that´s been done a million times over by countless Bookstagrammers- Books & Coffee features.

And because this popular Bookstagram theme has been copied so often I thought I´d also give it a try. I mean- It doesn´t look too difficult. What can go wrong? It´s just a coffee and a book. Well, all this sounds simple but for me, it won´t be easy.

  1. I´ve never done a coffee & book pic before
  2. I live in a coffee-free household.

I would have to pick an image that´s not too difficult to begin with. Something simple. Something I won´t spend all day fussing over.

I´ve chosen a Bookstagram image from Instagram user:  openasabookworm

 

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( NOTE: If you ever get the chance then please pop over and give that woman some love because she has AMAZING book features. I envy this bookstagram talent )

Looks fairly simple, right? Five same sized mugs and books. As I said- A walk in the park.

Now, for the great recreation reveal.

Tadaaaaa!

 

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What do ya think? Is this a recreation well done, or is this a piss poor copy of the original?

But what about the whole process? Was this as simple as I thought it would be? It would be best to give you a rundown on how this image came to be. Because I assure you, there´s more to it than meets the eye.

 

How It Was Done

 

#1 – Preparation is key. I needed 5 books. The featured paperbacks are from P.C. Cast´s `Goddess Summoning`series. The 5 mugs all needed to be the same size as they are in the original image. Since I wasn´t about to go out and buy coffee I decided to go the fake coffee route. Coke, balsamico, water, milk… Whatever liquid´s dark enough.

 

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#2 – Become the mad-fake-coffee-doctor. I admit, this was the fun part of this whole experiment. I got to mix balsamic dressing with water and milk. 

 

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Which was a bit nasty, to be honest. The smell of balsamic dressing with milk wasn´t pleasant. And the end result wasn´t too great, either. I don´t recommend doing this.

 

 

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This, I can totally recommend. Using Coca-Cola was a much better idea. A little messier but hey… This is fake coffee science. It´s not supposed to be clean. After I added milk I was sort of satisfied with the coffee illusion result.

 

#3 – Getting the right angle is also key. Look, I´m short. I have to use chairs and stools to reach stuff. I also had to use chairs to get the right angle for this recreation shot.

 

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My Conclusion

 

Fuck the walk in the park. All this was too much work for a simple book feature. I spent nearly 2 hours mixing the fake coffee, carefully dragging 5 full mugs to my living room and rearranging the mugs, lining them up with the books. I had a near-death experience while standing on my chairs. And all while sweating my ass off in this unholy 34-degree heat. At this point I don´t even care if I succeeded or not. I just don´t want to ever do this again. THAT is how fed up I am.

Book & Coffee Bookstagram images are pretty to look at and I´m in awe of anyone who goes to these lengths to create these pictures. I sure hope these Bookstagrammers continue to create these amazing Book & Coffee features because I sure as hell won´t. I can´t and am not willing to invest that much time for one image.

 

Oh! I almost forgot!

Before I leave I think it would be best to mention that, despite this being a wasteful experiment, not all had gone to waste. Some of the Coke survived and was put to good use. The balsamic dressing and milk didn´t.

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What are your thoughts? Have you done a Books & Coffee Bookstagram image before? If so, how did you do it? Did you use real coffee or fake coffee? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


 

Thank you for visiting my apocalyptic blog post series on how to recreate Bookstagram images: Part 1. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Sending lots of bookish love,

Banner name

 

 

 

Book Covers- What Happened?

Book Covers

Book covers / cover images are the first thing we see when we look for books. Whether it´s while we´re scrolling through an online shop or simply combing the bookshelves in a bookstore- It´s always the cover that grabs our attention before anything else does. 

Let´s get one thing out of the way before I begin:

Book covers / images are a matter of taste. Everyone has a different idea on what is great or what´s eye catching.

Personally, I like book covers that hardly give away anything from the story. I believe a cover image should grab someones attention, not give the story away. A book cover has to make me stop dead in my tracks. I mean- it’s the first thing a reader sees, right? And if a reader doesn’t like the cover, how fat are chances the reader will buy the book unless they´ve been forced by a friend/family member to read the book? ( The power of recommendations. “It has a hideous cover but awesome story!” )

All this means- I judge a book by it´s cover. I know I shouldn´t. No one should, yet we all do it.

I love to see covers with lots of color / color clashes, unique symbols or anything that stands out ( eye catching, remember? ) Contrasts are also brilliant.

 I’m Amazon’s Costumer Of The Year. Alot of my hard earned money goes for books. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this devastating condition. But if you asked me about book covers then I’d have to say that maybe half of the books I own have decent covers and half from that half have AWESOME images.In other words- I find alot of book covers / images boring and sometimes questionable. 

While reading books from the Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Erotica and even Horror genre, I’ve come to learn that each genre has their preferred book covers or colors.

Young Adult usually has some teenagers holding hands in a meadow ( colors are usually light ), New Adult covers are a bit more mature ( colors are more bold ), mostly showing some skin or a headless figure… you get the picture, right? We don´t really need to mention Horror covers because many of those covers are just down right brilliant. Creepy but cool.

Also, one has to see the difference between traditional published and self-published book covers. It most cases, self-published book covers / images aren´t done well. But then again- alot of traditional published books have horrible, tacky covers. I can’t really speak for trad-published authors because most of them don’t have a say in the matter. The publisher calls the shots and authors have no power over what cover will be used for their story. That all depends on the publisher and how tight the contract is. Some published authors are lucky and get to chose a cover image themselves. Very few have covers that are able to knock me out of my socks.

There are 2 types of book covers that do not grab my attention at all.  

  1. shaded, oiled torsos with tribal tattoos
  2. covers that look like every other cover

I can’t begin to tell you how many books I have that have black covers with some tiny animal, a key, a keyhole, pearls, diamonds or has some shadowed body parts on it. It’s a nightmare that will not end. 

It´s a trend, I get it. Still… It´s annoying. And when I see certain covers I immediately say to myself ” Uugh. Not again.”.

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( Those are only a few taken from my private bookshelf from only God knows how many )

Many would argue with me on the fact that black book covers aren´t an issue. They´re practical because they look good on a bookshelf, etc.  It truly isn´t an issue. It´s just nothing spectacular.

Then there are those covers with half naked, totally muscular, tribal tattooed, well oiled and well tanned, headless guys. In short- eye candy in it’s tackiest form. I stopped counting those covers because they’re endless. I know I know…sex sells and all that stuff…..but can’t someone stop this nonsense? Tribal tattoos went out of style a while back. Plus, I like guys who have a head. Hands can be sexy, too. Also-  I’m also not a huge fan of character covers, which is when the cover has a face on it. That ruins alot for me and I will ignore the book, risking the chance to read a fantabulous story. Why? Because a character image ruins my own personal image I like to create myself of a character. 

Another thing that brings my blood to boil is when there’s too much going on on a book cover. 

I once saw a cover that was in full color and had an oiled naked, tattooed bod, except- the lucky headless guy had arms and hands ( yay!) and those hands were holding a suit which hung from a coathanger ( I have never in my life seen a suit hanging from a hanger on a book cover before…NEVER) in the background stood the Eiffel Tower. The title- Caged. Can you imagine how confused I was? After taking all the images in I knew what the story was about. But the real question was- Was I interested in the story although I knew there was some godly guy in it, who was probably going to wear a suit at some point, paying the Eiffel Tower a visit? No, I wasn´t. Not even the coathanger was able to convice me.

My point- There´s no need to overload a book cover with dozens of images. That´s only confusing. 

Copying. It´s not a secret that many self-published authors like to copy. Which is fine. I´m the last person to point a finger at anyone in particular. Whatever works best for an author, right? Right. No wait- that´s wrong. Copying is wrong and often doesn´t work out well for an author who wants to make money. What worked for author A doesn´t necessarily have to work for author B. Many writers seem to forget that. 

What happened to self-published authors wanting to be original, standing out and making their book cover better than others? Any, if not all, want to make a living ( eventually ) off of writing, right?

I understand that cover designers are costy. And, yes. I´m aware of how prices are sky high. But they´re worth it. If an author finds a good, professional designer, and both communicate then nothing can go wrong. No one in the history of writing said it would be easy, or cheap. Unless writers don´t value quality and focus their attention more on their story. Then I´d say ” Whatever floats their boat.”.

Still, many don´t or are financially unable to take that path and invest in a cover designer. And if an author doesn´t have a clue what they´re doing when creating their own cover I´m 100% positive it will affect sales. Because, let´s face it- If I notice bad quality / a copied image then other readers will too.  There could be a chance people will ignore a not so great cover and read the story OR they´ll skip the book because of the cover. Who knows. I´m not an expert. But I´ve been watching this business for the last 10 years and can say that covers mean alot. 

I´m not out to ruin self-published authors. I´m not even out to diss traditional publishing houses for their often lack of taste in cover images. Just remember this before the next book hits the market:

1. Sex doesn´t always sell. ( Keep them well oiled studs in the late 90´s where they belong.)

2. Less is ALWAYS more. ( Be tasteful. Be creative. Be original. )

It may not be up to me to decide what cover image is acceptable for a book cover or not. After all- Cover images are a matter of taste.  But since I spend the majority of my money on books I can skip a cover that´s not original or won´t grab my attention.

My wish for the future? For writers to be more creative when deciding on a cover image. Or, invest in a designer. Although, I have seen a small inprovement in the past year ( see Colleen Hoover´s cover image for `Too Late`, for example. What a color explosion! ) so my hopes haven´t died completely.

( NOTE: A cover image alone won´t influence sales. Titles and excerpts play an important role as well. The cover is just what we see first.)