How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Book

Book synopsis
I posted the synopsis of my book onto Instagram, tagged the sucker and got 25 likes – 25 new peeps who are interested in the premise!

First step: Google “how to use Instagram to promote your book.”

Okay, not really.  I do have a few pieces of advice to offer about Instagram seeing that I’m relaunching my personal brand and trying to do this “published author” thing right.  Plus, who doesn’t love pictures of me?  Nobody.  That’s who.

What I love about Instagram’s particular social media space is that it’s a wonderfully visual punch in the face and gives authors a new way to express themselves, particularly in a way that captures the attention of that notorious “I don’t read books” sect.

“Now why, as an author, would I want to network with non-readers?”

Because at this point in the game, you’re trying to spread the message about the wonderful words you’ve given birth to, and non-readers are just as apt at spreading messages online as thier bilbiophilic counterparts.  Plus, you may be able to sway them to pick up your book if you do this Instagram thing right. #TrickeryISAwesome

Tips and Tricks for Promoting Your Book Through Instagram

  • Style: I’ve had an Instagram since before most people even knew what Instagram was.  That’s not bragging as much as it’s a declaration of how much I love selfies.  Really though, I walked into the whole Instagram scene saying shit like “I love pictures of my face!!” without actually thinking through ways I could use the platform to further my career.  Now that I’m taking a new approach, I’ve decided to style my Instagram in a uniform way by choosing one filter for all of my photos.  I use the Lo-Fi filter, and I’ve found that it gives my account a uniform look and makes my ordinary photos look pretty snazzy.
  • Consistency:  Like every other social media platform, it’s good to stay consistent.  Consistency keeps your name (and your book) fresh in your followers minds and they know what to look forward to and expect.  If you post once every year, you’ll probably get a few unfollows and that’s no good for business.
  • Profile:  Completely fill out your profile so potential followers know exactly who you are.  And why not link your book in your profile info while you’re at it?
  • Tags: Did you know there are certain tags you should be using to gain more followers?  Sites like #TagsForLikes give you the lowdown on the best tags to use for your pics.  Not only that, but under the “Entertainment Tags” link, they list the perfect tags for books.
  • Apps:  #TagsForLikes has an app you can use so you can appropriately tag your pics straight from your phone.  Plus there are other apps like PicStitch (allows you to make and publish picture collages to Instagram) and Repost (useful for reposting photos published by other Instagrammers).  Some of the most useful apps (in my humble opinion) are ones that deal with text.  Apps like Textcutie allow you to add text to your photos while others like PicsArt and Textgram lets you design an actual text image – useful tools when wanting to send out a message via Instagram about your book.  As for helpful online applications, Statigram allows you to access and manage your account right from your computer!
  • Followers: Networking through Instagram can be as simple as following your favorite bookstore and commenting on their pics.  You never know where striking up a conversation may lead – perhaps your book on their shelves or a hosted giveaway for your novel.
  • Contests:  I haven’t hosted an Instagram contest yet, but I’ll definitely be brainstorming one when my novel comes out early next year.  Instagram contests not only spread the word about your book, but can help boost your following.  And the text apps play perfectly into these because you can add a few contest deets to your pics or even a specified hashtag potential entrants must post in order to enter.  Here’s a little contest inspiration to get your gears turning!

So I’ve practically written a novel about Instagram, and I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg.  Let us know how you are using Instagram to promote your literary awesomeness in a comment below!

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Deanna Herrmann says:

    Word Swag is a good one too. It’s one of my favorites. Great post!

    Like

  2. colormusing says:

    Perfect timing, Ericka–I’m working on a non-fiction book proposal and am at the point where I really want some feedback on the concept, i.e. is there an actual need/desire/market for it? I will be putting your Instagram novelette, er, tips to good use! Great ideas!

    Like

  3. The Hook says:

    I’ve never used Instagram or Word Swag. I’m so old…

    Like

  4. Peter says:

    Nice post. Think I will give it a shot

    Like

  5. Jessica Sita says:

    Posting a snip of a poem I wrote got a good response. I think I will continue to post snips of Outcry poems to promote it. 🙂

    Like

    1. Ericka Clay says:

      That is a fantastic idea, Jess!

      Like

  6. That’s a great idea, posting a snippet of your book to get interest. People tend to think primarily of Facebook and Twitter, but there are so many other social media sites to take advantage of!

    Like

  7. We are not promoting books but garden and fishing carts……we post images of our carts that include a tip about gardening or fishing. Like a meme. Works well for us and could work when promoting a book? See examples here – http://instagram.com/mightymaxcarts

    I actually will be trying this myself on my first book that I just published last week!

    Like

  8. Thanks for finally writing about >How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Book
    | Ericka Clay <Liked it!

    Like

  9. jenanita01 says:

    I have tried to join Instagram, but run into problems because I don’t have a mobile phone or something. There is a download for PC’s but my security system said not to touch it with a barge pole. Has anyone any ideas, or am I doing it the wrong way?

    Like

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  11. Lee Free says:

    Be nice and make cool content. That’s all you need to do. The rest will be done by apps like zen-promo.com in getting new followers. It’s faster than to do everything your own. But it’s my point of view

    Like

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