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Life & Work with Tiffany Cruz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Cruz.

Hi Tiffany, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
During the pandemic, I started to read again with all the time that had opened up. I was looking for a place to discuss books and meet a community of people who shared the same interest in literature. I started my bookstagram account over two years ago.

I really liked the idea of creating book content where I could share all my thoughts on different books and the creativity behind taking aesthetic photos that went along with my reviews. Over time, I created a community of over nine hundred people who looked forward to my reviews and recommendations.

This inspiration led me to continue my studies and I started graduate school in 2021, where I study English literature. My beginnings felt like an organic process of just sharing the things that brought me joy and others gravitated towards that.

I learned to think critically about literature and grow my writing skills through creating this content. My bookstagram also feels like a time capsule where I can look back at all the books I read over the years.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Creating content on social media does bring challenges especially since there are many other people who are also sharing content and the constant pressure to make better content.

I remind myself of the reason I started my account and the excitement I had so I don’t lose that energy. Of course, I go through periods of self-doubt and comparison especially with looking at the number of followers and likes.

That can be difficult at times with the added pressure of constantly posting to stay in the Instagram algorithm but I think it is about striking a balance.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a content creator on Instagram and a graduate student. In my professional career, I specialize in 19th-century British literature through the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. I believe in amplifying the voices of those in the past and bringing them to life in the present.

Through this work, I have spoken at multiple conferences, created an ebook on Black women in 19th-century England, and written digital publications (all can be viewed on my website). Alongside this, my bookstagram has over nine hundred followers. With my account, I focus on sharing my critical thoughts on books, along with general recommendations. I share both my academic and personal reading.

My bookstagram account has evolved with me over the past two years. I am incredibly proud of the curated photos I have created with a colorful aesthetic and the connections I have made through my account with other bookstagrammers. Followers can come to my account and receive honest reviews with a critical perspective.

I share a variety of different genres and diverse books so anyone can find something interesting. I also love to engage with my audience and get their input on what things they want to see through polls and Q&A’s.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My friends and family have been incredibly supportive of my content!

They have engaged and been there from the very beginning. I’ve also made friends who create book content and it has been great to get their perspective as someone else in the field.

My professional mentors have also been incredibly supportive of my bookstagram promoting it and engaging with the content.

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