HomeGuidesAuthor Social Media MarketingBookstagram: How To Use Instagram for Authors Part 1

Bookstagram: How To Use Instagram for Authors Part 1

For authors, one of the best platforms to maintain an active profile on, is Instagram.

Ask any author, and they’ll same the same thing. Writing your book is the easy part. Marketing and selling your book is one of the hardest aspects of being an Author.


The reasons vary. But it mainly comes down to “know-how”. Many Authors don’t know the first think about Marketing and what it takes to do market research, market positioning and sales..


But, if you want to recoup your self publishing book costs investment and actually make money, you have to market and sell your book.

Let me show you how Instagram can help you reach your ideal readers and sell more books.

Social Media

Let’s take a look at Social Media.

You have “Social” (communal, community, collective, group, general, popular, civil, public, organization) and “Media” (means of mass communication).

Simply put, social media sites, are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in online social activities… including marketing.

That’s right! One of the many advantages of using social media platforms is easier – and more importantly, FREE – access to your potential readers.

There are many social media platforms available today. It’s hard to choose which site to focus on and which site to nurture most when marketing your book. If you can tend to them all, that’s great. However, if you have limited time (and perhaps resources), focusing on at least one social media marketing community and making sure that your audience (or followers) continuously grow, will help you reach your readers and better advertise your book.

For authors, one of the best platforms to maintain an active profile on, is Instagram.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo sharing social media platform that allows users to edit and upload photos and short videos through a mobile app.

As authors, we don’t have time to write lengthy and wordy advertisements regarding our book. Well, because we’re using our words, to write our books 🙂

Trust me, we’re usually writing multiple books at the same time.

Ironic as it may sound, marketing our own books is feels like nails on a blackboard. Yes I know, I can find and put together 70,000+ words for a novel, but I freeze when it comes to writing sales copy for my book.

Instagram for authors

But on  Instagram, “a picture is worth a THOUSAND words”. We can connect and communicate with our readers and spread how great and wonderful our book is, and how much fun reading it will be, with photos and videos.

(I am not suggesting you have a gif on your instagram for people to “buy your book” flashing.)

On Instagram, I can share:

  • images from my books
  • images of my books,
  • even images of people reading my books.

On Instagram, I can write a long or short post about the photo/video, or I can let the photo speak for itself.

The key to using instagram are hashtags.

All About #Hashtags

Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. It allows you to retrieve (or group) ALL posts that use the same hashtag and collate them.

Think of hashtags like a categories.

Meaning, if you have an upcoming event (i.e: book release or book signing) you can and should create an official hashtag for the said event.

Ex. #booksigning #bookrelease #newbookrelease #titleofmybook #awesomeauthor

This makes it easier for your followers to get updates about the event – simply by clicking or typing in the hashtag.

Now that’s marketing strategy done right.

What are Instagram Followers and How To Get Them

Hashtags can only help so much. Technically, the success of your book marketing would still depend greatly on the number of followers you have.

Instagram Followers are people that follow your instagram profile, so they can keep updated with what you are posting on instagram. Your followers will see your photos, videos, stories and live videos when they browse Instagram.

It’s a one way follow. Meaning, you don’t have to be friends. You don’t have to accept a friend request for your “followers” to see your photos.

The more followers you have, the more eyes can view your posts and the more readers can share your posts – and so on, until you achieve a raving fanbase who stalks you for your next book release.

So how do you get the ball rolling with instagram?

Start attracting followers.

Get More Instagram Followers

Create a Consistent Identity

Your future followers want to know exactly what to expect when they follow you, so be consistent and take the time to plan out the look of your Instagram feed before you post.

Introduce Your Author Brand through Instagram Stories & Highlights

The new Instagram Stories Highlights feature is perfect for introducing your potential followers to what you’re all about! Think of each highlight as a movie trailer for your books.

An Eye-Catching Instagram Bio

Instead of making your bio all about you, try to focus on your target customer and how your Instagram profile will help or inspire them.

Make sure that you have a clear call-to-action in your bio, whether it’s telling them to, subscribe to your email list, come to your book signing or to buy your book.

Invest time in Instagram Stories

How to grow your email subscriber lists using Instagram

  1. Make an “Opt-In” your readers cannot resist!

Once you have an idea about who your target readers are, think about possible “goodies” that you can offer them,r in exchange for their email address. Also known as a “Lead Magnet”, this offer should be something that is valuable to your readers, and it should, of course, be FREE.

2. Landing Page is everything.

More often than not, your followers are likely to be using their phones when browsing the internet. So, your landing page has to be mobile ready.

Make sure when your potential readers click on the link from  Instagram, your readers will be redirected to your opt in page with an easy sign up option.

This is called a “Landing Page”. From the name itself, it implies a good area for your followers to “land” after they are transported from Instagram to your own site, without the risk of losing them.

The goal of your opt-in landing page, is to collect the email address of your potential readers. That’s it. .

3. Add “Call-to-Action” in your Instagram Bio.

When people view your Instagram account, the first thing they will see is your Bio. You are given only 150 characters here, so be sure to use it wisely.

Adding a “Call to Action” in this part of your Instagram account will really make a good impression on your followers and it will likely result in more engagements and interactions.

Authors love words. We write for a living. But it’s rewarding to use a different medium, pictures and video to tell our story while at the same time attract our ideal readers.

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