Swept Away by Books

02/04/2017

Alyssa is from Vancouver, Canada. She works in sales and marketing for real estate developments, but this is just a stepping stone to a future in Publishing. Her degree is in English and Publishing. Most likely, she will be moving to Glasgow in the fall, and she is currently hunting for jobs there. 

Link to her Instagram and website

How did you get to creating your Instagram profile with books?

I created my Instagram because I was a book reviewer on my blog for quite a few years, and felt I wasn't able to keep it up as much as I'd have liked. So I went into Instagram full time as my primary platform so that I could talk about books in a more immediate setting.

What does it look like "behind the cover"?

Most of the time, it is me sitting in a coffee shop with my arm stuck up in the air attempting to get the right angle. In no way did any of my photography skills come to me right away. I spent a lot of time figuring out what works for me and my followers and what does not. I still see many places where I can improve and I am constantly trying to better my photos and captions. Sometimes I have help, in the form of my boyfriend taking photos as well. I try to avoid editing my photos too drastically, so I aim for as much natural lighting as possible. I use VSCO for the editing that I do however. As for getting a photo on the first try, it happens but not every time.

Can you predict which photo will get more likes than another? Or is it rather random?

I have gotten pretty good at predicting it, as I mentioned above that I have learned what works well and what does not. I try to keep my feed evolving though, so I always will try something new in a style that I know works.

I try to avoid editing my photos too drastically, so I aim for as much natural lighting as possible.

Is there some secret for getting likes?

No secret really, just hard work and attention to detail. Using the right hashtags and researching what people in your community use. Creativity and originality are always key in my opinion. You may create a page or photo in the style of another person and do well, but it will always be known that it was not your own thought process that got you there.

Do you own all the books posted on your Instagram? Or do you borrow some of them from the library?

I do not actually ever take books out of the library, despite having worked at one for several years. I prefer to own my books, and have a very impressive library that I have no idea what I will do with if I end up moving to Scotland.

You may create a page or photo in the style of another person and do well, but it will always be known that it was not your own thought process that got you there.

What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is without a doubt The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. The reason still eludes me fully to this day but the writing speaks to me in a way no other novel does. The storyline is powerful and heart wrenching and moves me every time I read it. Honorary titles go to A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Shantaram by Gregory David Robertson, Daughter of The Forest by Juliet Marillier and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

How many books do you read per month/year?

That really varies depending on what is going on in my life! Some months it's 12+ per month, some it's 5. Usually I finish the year off with no less than 100. When I was in school my reading was obviously much slower, but working full time will also slow it down. I go through slumps where I will not read for a few days to reading at every spare second I have.

When I was in school my reading was obviously much slower, but working full time will also slow it down.

What is on your reading list? Any good tips for the upcoming spring?

Currently I am working my way through the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier, and my current Book of The Month titles (Marlena by Julie Buntin). Taylor Jenkins Reid's newest book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo comes out this June and should be on all lists, as well as K.A Tucker's Until It Fades and Karma Brown's In This Moment. I will be picking up some backlist titles from Megan Abbott as well as some historical fiction titles like The Posession by A.S Bayatt and The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is high on my list to finally pick up as well.