How to promote your books on Instagram

Following on from my last two posts in this
new series – how to promote your books on Twitter, and how to promote them on
Facebook…

This post isn’t going to be about how to
use Instagram. (I mean, if you’d like a post on that, then maybe message me and
let me know?
) But I’m going to assume that you guys know a bit more about how
it works – how to make a post, how to comment, etc.

This post isn’t going to be about how to
use Instagram. It’s going to be about how to use it to promote your books and
promote yourself as a writer. 

Remember that one of the most important
things to do with your Instagram profile is make sure you set it up with a good
description, a profile picture, and a link. (You can read more about that in
this post.
)

Instagram is one of the social networks
where I feel you can share more of your life.

A photo with friends, a photo of something
you just baked, etc. Just bear in mind that while it’s a good idea to
personable, you’re using it to promote yourself as a writer, so keep it
reasonably professional. (That mostly means no selfies of you passed out drunk
on a bathroom floor, you know?) 

It’s a great idea to link your Instagram to
your other social media profiles.

You can do this really easily via the app
itself, so that every time you upload something on Instagram it’ll post on
Twitter and Facebook too. It just gives you something to share on those
profiles.

Hashtags are so important on Instagram – as
you probably know. And the more hashtags the better, right?

But then your caption looks cluttered. So
how do you win this battle?

(This is where I share a neat little trick
with you.)

Put your hashtags in the comment section.

I’d say use up to three within the post
caption (when I was in Cape Town for the filming of The Kissing Booth movie, I
used #TKBmovie in every caption of photos I posted from the trip). But then
post the rest in the comment section, and don’t be afraid to use as many as you
can.

A few good ones are:

  • #authorlife 
  • #amwriting 
  • #amediting 
  • #books 
  • #ukya 
  • #readya 

Each genre/type of post will have ‘common’
hashtags. Take a look around the Instagrams of popular authors in your genre
and see what kind of hashtags they use. Taking a look around other Instagram
accounts will probably give you a few ideas on what to post.

Which brings me to my next point: what kind
of things do you post on your Instagram? Here are a few ideas.

  • Pictures of your book (in
    stores, on your shelf, etc.)
  • Fan art of your book
  • Sneak peeks and extracts from
    your novel
  • Your word count
  • Nice comments/reviews about
    your book
  • Quotes about writing/from a
    book you like
  • Your writing environment (you
    at your laptop, in a coffee shop, whatever!)
  • What you’re reading
  • Promo images*

*You can create some promo images for your
book on free tools like Canva – maybe a little excerpt from your writing, or a
book release date?

Don’t forget that you can share other
people’s posts too, using the Regram app that goes alongside Instagram. 

If
someone shares something about your book, regram it (and credit them). If
someone shares something about a book you want to read, you could regram it
with a comment like ‘Bought this book last week, can’t wait to read!’

Just two more important points to make
about promoting your book on Instagram, and then I’ll wrap things up…

You have to follow other writers. Authors,
Wattpad authors, book bloggers, etc. 

Those are the people in your environment,
industry, whatever you want to call it. These are the people you want to
connect with. You don’t have to follow back everyone who follows you, but if
they’re another writer or a blogger, it’s worth doing.

And connect with people.

This means replying to comments (and
Instagram have that new little ‘like’ function on comments now. This means
liking photos from other people and commenting on them. And it means asking
questions. For instance, if you share a book you’re currently reading, ask in
the caption what other people are reading at the moment. You get the idea.

(Bonus tip: if you want someone you follow
to notice you, like a few of their photos, drop a few comments, but don’t just
pester them to follow you back or like every single one of their photos. Just
enough to make you stand out in their notifications feed.)

Next up: Should you start a blog?

PS. Remember to follow me on Instagram!


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