In 2021 a goal of mine is to bring bookish posts that helps other book bloggers and creators by sharing lists of various resources to alleviate the stress when your unsure of how to create your next graphic, organize your reading, making posts, etc. Book Bloggers put in numerous hours into crafting content and I’d love for this series to help either new or long-term creators utilize these tools to elevate your amazing work.
When I first began my blog in 2015, I never knew about these resources for creating graphics and when you think about it, visuals are such an important part of how we interact with content.
Over the years I’ve gotten a better hang of making banners for my posts and want to share what I’ve learned with all of you! I’ve created a broad resource for book bloggers looking to make graphics for their posts, blog and social media. I’ll be splitting it up by graphic design platforms, places where you can find images, and chat about places where you can keep your reading organized (aside from Goodreads).
📚☕ GRAPHICS 📚☕
➙ Canva: This FREE graphic design platform is filled with numerous templates and layouts making it incredibly easy to create banners and featured images for your blog posts /content. There’s even specific templates for platforms such as Instagram and Twitter providing you with the perfect sized image.
There’s various tools that provide free backgrounds or images, text, and design elements so you can customize your graphic in any way you’d like. I use this a lot for my own blog and highly recommend using it if you haven’t already!
➙ FhotoJet: Another website perfect for creating graphics, there’s a lot of premade templates, images, and text available to use. I tried this one out without needing to create an account, so if you want to make something super quick, this is a nice website! Recently discovered it and I think it’s worth checking out.
📚☕ Free Stock Images 📚☕
➙ Unsplash: This website is full of thousands of free stock photos and the layout of the website makes it very simple to scroll, search, even find photos based on locations or tags. I’ve honestly spent hours scrolling on this site and am always left pleasantly surprised by the range of photos available. I’m pretty sure sites like ‘Book Riot‘ use it for their posts, so I recommend checking out their Twitter to see how some of the photos look.
➙ Museums and access to images in the public domain: This is a unique resource I’ve only learned more about over the past couple years and I don’t utilize it much, but it’s a fantastic way to incorporate artwork into your graphics if you’re interested. According to Creative Law Center, this post contains various galleries of museum artwork you can access for free (just as long as you select “public domain” or similar wording under the filters when browsing). They are free to download and offer a large variety of work to view.
(Or whenever you want to use artwork/photographs provided by museums, just make sure it has the Creative Commons License)
📚☕ Organizing Your Reading 📚☕
With many readers actively searching for Goodreads alternatives that offer more features and customization, here’s a few places you should check out!
➙ Storygraph: You’ve probably heard of this platform over the past year and what makes this website great, aside from its user-friendly and eye-catching layout, this is the place to “[help] you track your reading and choose your next book based on your mood and your favorite topics and themes.” Its a great website to discover new reads from the ‘Browse Books’ section and learn more about a book through different literary devices or elements like tone and pacing. There’s also more customizable ratings letting you be more specific and I think it also lists content warnings for books.
I haven’t spent too much time on my account, but I’d love to check back and see all the new features the Storygraph has added now that it’s out of Beta mode.
➙ Booksloth (App): One of my favorite bookish apps by far now is Booksloth, I think its such an inviting space and truly makes reading feel more like a community activity through it’s discussion section, customizable shelves, and by making it incredibly easy to customize your profile making reading feel more personal and fun!
According to their website Booksloth is all about offering “personalized book recommendations” and making it easy to join their “bookish community.”
I’ve been meaning to get back to using this app because another one of my favorite features is how it lets you rate different story elements of a book and just discover new reads (or even recommend some) in the discussion section.
➙ Readng: This reading tracker launched I think within the past couple years (2019-2020) and I’ve only just discovered it in the past month, but overall I love what I’m seeing. I like the layout of the site and how clean the design is. Its so easy to create collections for specific books, track current/finished/tbr reads (all determined with specific icons on the navigation bar), and there’s upcoming additions like statistics, reviews, and reading goals!
I like how it’s easy to see a live feed of other users activity for the books their reading and import directly from Goodreads.
➙ Digital Spreadsheets: As I’m sure you’ve probably seen around the book community from different bookish creators are reading trackers through spreadsheets. Creators often make blog posts or videos and link their templates which provide an easy way to track your reading in a more detailed fashion.
When seeing all the different kinds of templates out there it can be a bit overwhelming, but over the past year I’ve found its a great way to not only track reading, but other specific book-related stuff too. In a future blog post I’d love delve more into my 2021 spreadsheet and offer unique ways to create your own.
Overall what makes spreadsheets such a great resource for book bloggers (or any book content creator) is how easy it is to customize it in whatever way you want and there’s lots of different digital tools you can use to get started! There’s places like Google docs or sheets, using templates, maybe even Notion, or other note-taking websites!
Hope my blog post offered some value for book bloggers or other bookish creators and I’ve love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
✨ What sites do you use to create graphics? ✨ ✨How do you track your reading?✨ ✨Will you use any of the resources I mentioned above?✨