I’m so grateful and happy to have build my Instagram Profile to a point were bookworms come to me for recommendations, I get to talk with other people freely about my bookish thoughts and latest obsessions and just being able to feel safe to share whatever I want.
That being said, I have taken time out of life and instead of spending time with my family and friends, I am now spending countless of ours on Bookstagram. I love interacting with everyone and to be able to actually have rep deals with some really great shops out there.
I also own a small Etsy Bookmark shop and I know how scary it is to trust someone freely with your products. It is never easy and let’s face it you are taking a gamble. With only one exception I have been lucky in my rep selection so far and I want to believe that my past and current reps also feel like the bond we have created is one to last.
In the same manner, and having also been in the place of the shop owner, I’ve always tried to value and uphold all rep deals until they are done by fulfilling all my obligations as a rep.
Let me say, It’s always a fun time for me when I’m submitting my rep entry to the the sweet moment when I’m picked and then the dun process of getting to know all the other reps and influencers. I value this time because I actually get to meet other bookworms who are fandom enthusiasts like me and we get to fan-girl over bookish products that we are actually going to get in the mail, use and photograph. For me it doesn’t get better than that.
This is the case when you work with an ethical and professional business. No matter if the shop is a big or small, with a lot or not followers, the ethical and professional moral of the owner always powers through. I have been lucky enough to work with amazing bookish businesses not only once but even twice in some cases and I’m always grateful for being picked as a rep. It’s always nice to now that your work is being validated and someone actually wants to send you their products to promote because you take great photos. Especially for me -because I get to combine my passion for photography and my hobby of reading- this is just a dream come true.
However, there were cases in these three years that I have been in the bookstagram community were shop owners have not always been the best. I’m not going to point fingers or even name the shops – let alone the shop owners- but I really want to put these experiences I’ve had out there in order for bookstagrammers to know what to expect once in a rep term agreement.
One shop owner had the “audacity” to request from the rep team to push products more aggressively in stories because they needed to renovate a part of the house and every little sale would count. Not only did the owner said that in the private chat but also had it in a photo caption! Again as an owner of a shop, of course it’s important to cover your expenses and make a profit. But pushing products like that just seemed bad and borderline unethical to me. You should be able to build a trusted relationship with your followers/buyers and not have them buy something – that wasn’t of the best quality- in order to renovate your house. I mean…what?!
The second bad I experience I have is a recent one. One Sunday afternoon I am a rep for a company that had me complete a Google form saying I can’t rep for another company selling the same products and the next Sunday I’m ditched as rep because I am not active enough in TWO rep chat rooms discussing everything from store launches to…well…lunches. I actually had to take down another rep search entry I was waiting to hear back from- and was super excited about- in order to rep for this company and all of a sudden I was removed from both chat rooms and was privately messaged in order to “laid off” as a rep. I found it extreme unprofessional that I don’t get notice for this and the only excuse was that I wasn’t active enough in the chats.
Anyway, if you have reached this point in the article then THANK YOU.
To all my fellow bookstagrammers out there, please be careful of the companies you are signing agreements with. And don’t let anyone mistreat you just because they were supposed to sent you a free product. Also, as a final note. Please trust your judgement and don’t just repost whatever the company is asking you to without paying attention to what you are actually putting out in the world for everyone to see.
Thank you for reading my lengthy rant and for being here!