How do you get to be an Instagram star? If you’re Chelsea Hope, you couple an adorable Jack Russell Terrier named Ginny (that’s ginny_jrt on Instagram), with a sharp photographic eye for the canine personality. But an eye for cuteness isn’t the only key to success, Chelsea really engages her community, faithfully responding to the comments and questions left by fans. And with hundreds of comments per photo, that’s no mean feat.
Ginny (and Chelsea) have 88,000 followers on Instagram. And now she can add a new honor: her book, The Best of Ginny, is a bestseller in the Blurb bookstore. Chelsea used Blurb’s instant book creation tool to put her Instagram photos with Blurb. And she’s donating all her proceeds to the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and Help for Heroes. As well as selling the book on Blurb, she’s offering special “pawtographed” versions directly to fans via her Instagram feed.
With so much focus understandably on Ginny, we thought we’d give Chelsea a chance to shine. The young, self-effacing Instagram addict and animal lover is about to start a veterinary nursing job next month, and hopes sometoday to “start and run my own animal shelter to help and re-home neglected animals.”
Blurb: How did you meet Ginny?
Chelsea: I was volunteering at a local dog shelter back in 2008. A friend who worked there came in one day saying she’d just seen an abandoned, skinny little dog tied up to a gate next to a busy road, and the lady who owned the shelter drove out to bring the dog in. I took the dog home with me that day, called her Ginny and the rest is history.
Blurb: Your photos, besides being really adorable, are all very consistent in terms of their tone and personality. Did you do any photography prior to the Ginny series?
Chelsea: I’ve always had a big interest in photography. I love how you can use a picture to tell a story, and I try to tell a story with every Ginny picture. But prior to Ginny’s series on Instagram I had never done anything serious with photography.
Blurb: Could you tell us how you made your book?
Chelsea: I used Blurb Bookify to make Ginny’s book. I love the simplicity and how I can just select photos straight from Instagram to be in the book. However I have just downloaded Blurb Booksmart (it’s safe to say I’m addicted to Blurb now) and I plan on making another book using that tool. Every option to make a book is so incredibly easy to get to grips with.
Blurb: How did you and Ginny become Instagram stars?
Chelsea: To be honest, I have no idea! I’m still baffled by how many people follow her adventures. I guess her cuteness and how she’ll pose in front of a camera help a lot.
Blurb: Can you tell us about Help for Heroes?
Chelsea: Help for Heroes is a charity to support wounded, injured and sick soldiers. My brother is a Royal Marine so the charity is very close to my heart, I’m happy to be able to donate the profits from my book to them and the RSPCA.
Blurb: Is there anything you think Ginny would want to add to this interview?
Chelsea: I just asked her, she would like to add always adopt your next pet if you can and give them lots of hugs and bacon treats. Bacon treats are very important.
You can create your own pet photo book with your Instagram photos with Blurb. And of course, you should really pick up a copy of The Best of Ginny – because in the absence of a real Ginny, there’s nothing better than holding a real book of Ginny photos in your hands.