I have started reading in the fourth grade in the summer holiday. Not because I was bored or anything else, because my dad made me do it. My soul was slowly crushing because I wasn’t able to go outside to play with the other kids. Instead, I had to sit for an hour every day to read Little Lord Fauntleroy by F.H Burnett. (boo)
Can you imagine Superman not being able to save the world because he had kryptonite in his house? The agreement with my dad was that I will finish the book, I will make a brief conclusion and then everyone can continue to enjoy the summer holiday.
I was wrong..
My mind was blown because.. I started enjoying reading that much that I went with my mum to the city library and I was in love for the first time. I have discovered new worlds, magic and heroes.
When social media boomed in followers and reach, a new niche for book worms like me developed: bookstagram.This is a concept which started as a hashtag to indicate book-related photos but evolved to book art.
This is how I found Elizabeth Sagan.
The first post I saw was on 9GAG, where it was a thread about creative ways to post reviews about books. My inner book worm was amazed because I didn’t know that the love for books could be portraited in such a creative way. So why not have an interview?
Blogulcăutat: Hi Elizabeth, thank you for agreeing to this interview, I am really excited to have you on my blog.
Elizabeth Sagan: Thank you for your invitation, I am looking forward for your questions. 🙂
Blogulcăutat: I have seen that the last articles about your activity were in 2018-2019 but since then, a lot has changed. Your community increased from 90k to 200k on Instagram and your content is really complex. What is Elizabeth Sagan doing?
Elizabeth Sagan: I’m doing well; I’m trying to migrate to the video content because of the recent changes in the Instagram algorithm and the fact that the photos don’t have the same reach as they used to. I’m currently working on expanding my TikTok audience, where there is a growing interest in books.
Blogulcăutat: How did you discovered the passion for books?
Elizabeth Sagan: (she smiles) There’s a series of circumstances that led to it. When I was little, my dad would make me read aloud while he was working. That made me like reading, but I can’t say I loved it.
Later, I discovered books like Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings. I also remember being intrigued by a classmate who was reading during recess—I couldn’t understand how she could focus on the story in her book and I wanted to prove myself I can do it to.
But the book that really sparked the fire was Magyk by Angie Sage, whose cover won me over (total cover buy, even though it ended up far from one of my favourites). When my dad saw that my appetite for reading was expanding, he started bringing home stacks of books: Eragon by Christopher Paolini and Bartimaeus by Jonathan Stroud and many more.
Some years down the line, during high-school and a sort of life crisis, I decided to stop reading fiction and focus on more “serious” books. It ended up being a big mistake, as it made me unhappy and for a long time I thought that I lost my spark. I came back to the fantasy world in the second year of college, when I discovered Percy Jackson and never looked back.
Blogulcăutat: Where do you get your ideas for your posts?
Elizabeth Sagan: From everywhere! Pop culture is a really good place to start. I take my inspiration from the books I’m reading, from the entertaining industry, movies, tv-shows, symbols people relate to or resonate with. The pictures can take up to a few hours, from creation to editing.
I started my account because I wanted to combine my love for books with my passion for art, and my social media account was the bridge between them.
A difficulty I face is the fact that in this world, you have to stay on top of the game and be adaptable, while maintaining the baseline of who you are and what you want to share with the world. I don’t want my pictures or videos to be just ‘pretty’, I want to be able to tell a story, send a message, and share my love for books in a way that inspires others to read them too.
Blogulcăutat: What type of equipment do you use for your photos?
Elizabeth Sagan: At the moment all my photos are created with my phone.
Blogulcăutat: I saw that you attended Ted Talk in December 2019, can you describe the experience?
Elizabeth Sagan: IT WAS AMAZING! I don’t think I have enough words you can add in your article, on how much I’ve liked it. I had worked on my speech for days, I was really excited to attend the event and it had a positive outcome. This is an experience everyone should either attend or participate, this is a platform where humans talk, humans listen and make you more humane.
Blogulcăutat: I know this will be a tricky question, but I have to ask. Which are your top four favourite books?
Elizabeth Sagan: I’m a big fan of lists—favourite movies, favourite songs, favourite books. In this exact order, my favourite series of books are:
1. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
2. The Passage by Justin Cronin
3. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
4. The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson
Blogulcăutat: How hard is to be a bookstagrammer?
Elizabeth Sagan: My philosophy is that if you have a passion, you must lean into it. Simply said, it wouldn’t be in your heart if not for a reason. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should monetize all your hobbies and interests, it just means that you have to listen to your heart when it tugs you into a direction.
But if you do want to turn your passion into a career, you must let it drive you even when you can see little results coming out of it—when you just started, when you’re three years into it and you’re not where you planned to be, or when the people around you doubt you (while also being aware of what works, what doesn’t work, and how you can become better at what you’re doing).
What I’m doing is not necessarily about Instagram. Instagram comes and goes. What I do gravitates around books in any way, shape, or form.
When it comes to content creating, it’s definitely not as easy as it looks—or else everyone would do it. There are a lot of things beneath the surface you have to pay attention to. In my case at least, it’s the kind of activity that never stops. There is a lot of background work which is not presented on social media.
Blogulcăutat: In a few words, can you please describe Elizabeth Sagan?
Elizabeth Sagan: A woman who walk in the light of her truth.
Blogulcăutat: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Elizabeth Sagan: A published author. I’m working on my second book with James Trevino and hope to start the querying process this year.
Blogulcăutat: Any words for our readers?
Elizabeth Sagan: Read well!
Blogulcăutat: One last question, which social media platforms do you use?
Along with James Trevino, we created an Instagram page called mybookfeatures where you can be featured if you have relevant content and tag our page. This is our way of giving back to the community. 🙂