St. Petersburg bookstore ROCKS in promoting books

Staff at a historic St. Petersburg bookstore came up with a brilliant way to get people interested in books - they cosplay the book covers, and it looks fantastic!

Every day this St. Petersburg bookstore’s Instagram page posts its very own cosplay for book covers, delighting about 200,000 followers. What are those books and who are these creative people?

Local bookworms and tourists have a favorite place in St. Petersburg. No, it’s not the Hermitage or any literary museum, nor is it a palace. Instead, it’s a bookstore. Podpisnye izdaniya (Подписные издания), which translates as Subscription Publications and is one of the city’s oldest book shops. Opened in 1926, for the past 60 years this shop occupies a chic Art Nouveau building on Liteyny Prospect 57.

At Podpisnye izdaniya avid readers will find far more than a bookstore; they’ll find a gift shop, a cafe, and just a pleasant place to be among creative people. It has a unique atmosphere and looks fabulous with its retro design.

The bookshop has a wide range of intellectual literature, both classic and contemporary fiction, philosophical and historical books, theater, cinema and non-fiction, as well as sociology and psychology publications.

“We focus on an interesting book choice, supporting small independent publishing houses, with rare and unique items”, the bookstore concept says.

Just as cool as the store itself is its Instagram page. Supporting rare books and trying to promote non-standard reading for customers, the staff does book promotions in a very creative way.

In 2013, they started posting pictures on Instagram as a joke… they didn’t have many followers at that time, but since then the joke has grown rapidly and became a part of their style.

“The only thing that hasn't changed is that we are creating photos on our own,” says Arina Gromyko, the store’s PR director. "We don't have any guest photographers or models. Our instagram is our face. When customers come to our store, it’s the same people as in our posts, and they give advice for the books".

Lina Libo, one of the shop's employees, is the style and concept author. "She takes photos for our Instagram, and she has led an aesthetic revolution on our page,” Arina says. Lina and four guys are the only people working on the visual concept, and they find the right locations. At the same time, all of them work in the shop, and don’t just run the social media page.

Sometimes an Instagram post requires only 30 minutes and the photo can be taken inside the book store or in a nearby courtyard.

When plans are grandiose, these guys don't spare time or money. Once, they even had to rent a swimming pool to take a photo.

Another time they bought an old bath so that they could swim in it by the Gulf of Finland.

They take pictures in a variety of locations around the city, including the Hermitage.

Beautiful St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

Vitebsky Railway Station.

Banks of the Neva River.

A famous tourist attraction - St. Petersburg roofs guarantee romantic views.

As well as inside old living houses.