Do you love to talk with other writers about what you’re working on or hear about what they’re working on? Do you like to swap writing prompt ideas? Do you have questions about how to publish a book? If you said yes to any of these questions, join the WritePubChat community on Slack! WritePubChat is a community just for people like you (and me!) who want to discuss the things we love (writing, publishing, book marketing) with other writers.
What is Slack?
Slack is a real-time messaging app that has recently become all the rage. It is typically used by businesses for instant messaging and is replacing email communication for many, but Slack is also being used for community building for people with common interests. Visit SlackList for an extensive list of Slack communities.
WritePubChat is a new Slack community for people who are interested in networking and discussing all things related to writing, publishing and book marketing. If any/all of these things interest you, we’d love to have you join us!
Join the WritePubChat Slack community by simply filling out your information in this Typeform. Let’s chat!
Some books/genres make take more creativity than others. If you have published a book about gardening, for example, the possibilities for photos and hashtags are nearly endless. If your book is fiction, though, you may have a harder time coming up with ideas, but think about all of the visual pieces from your story that you can put together for your readers.
I like lists, especially numbered lists. If I can put things into a list and number it, I will. So, I was going to write “3 ways to promote your book on Instagram,” but I decided to make it a little more challenging. Here are 25 ways to promote your book on Instagram:
- Add the URL for your Website to your profile so anyone visiting your Instagram account will see it.
- Along the same lines, use the bio field in your profile to tell visitors a little about you and your book.
- If your book isn’t published yet, have someone take a photo of you opening the box when your first copies arrive. That is a special moment to share with your potential readers.
- Better yet, have them take a video of you opening that box. You can share video clips on Instagram from 3 to 15 seconds long.
- Post a picture of the front cover.
- Post a picture of you holding your book so your followers can see the front cover just below your beautiful face.
- The last few ideas are designed to help your followers connect with you and get excited (with you) about your book, but don’t use your Instagram account to just post photo after photo of your book or your followers will get bored and stop following you. Knowing your target audience, what are the things that they want to see? For example, authors of romantic fiction may post photos of romantic scenes (imagine a table set for two with red rose petals strewn about) or images of other books in the same category that will attract the attention of romantic fiction readers.
- If your book is fiction, think about where it takes place. Is it a romantic fiction in small town Iowa or a murder mystery in Denver? Either way, take photos of scenes similar to what you describe in the book and share them over time.
- Connect with book reviewers/bloggers who are active on Instagram. Kate Tilton has a website where she posts resources for authors and readers. Her master list of Book Bloggers on Instagram is a great place to start.
- Speaking of Kate Tilton’s resources, she also posted a master list of Authors on Instagram, which contains about 150 authors in alphabetical order. Browse through it and see if you’re familiar with any of the names. Start following some of the authors you know and peruse their accounts on Instagram to come up with some more ideas.
- Share pictures of your writing environment to help your followers connect with you as a person. For example, is there something special about your writing space that your readers might find interesting? Do you have an amazing view from your desk or do you write with a cat perched on your lap or do you hide under a tent made of blankets after your kids go to bed?
- What about your quirky writing habits? Do you eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night when you sit down to write? Post your flavor of the night. Or do you write first thing in the morning at your local coffee shop? Share a photo of your beautiful, inspiring latte art.
- When your book receives any press like a newspaper article or a review online, take a screenshot and share it.
- Your readers will be interested in photos from any of the events you attend for your book — a book signing, an award ceremony, a reading at your local coffee shop. Don’t forget to take pictures at each event and share the moment with your Instagram followers.
- If/when your book wins any awards, post a picture of the medal or certificate.
- If you published a cookbook, your Instagram feed should be flooded with images of the amazing food your book teaches people to make.
- If your book is a non-fiction “how to” book, post photos of the process your book explains and/or the end result.
- If you wrote a children’s book, share a video of you reading it to a group of children and be sure the clip shows a few of the interior illustrations as you’re showing them to your captive audience.
- Host a giveaway contest with the prize being your book. Ask your followers to post a photo with a theme of something that relates to your book. For example, if your book is about gardening, you could ask your followers to share a photo of themselves in their garden. It’s important that you specify the hashtag they should use in order to enter their photo in your contest. That way you can search by the designated hashtag to see all of the entries.
- Share inspirational images/quotes related to the theme of your book and/or writing in general.
- Start a movement. If your book is in the self-help category or contains a message that you want to spread, create a unique hashtag and challenge your followers to post an image and use the designated hashtag.
- Timing is everything. Research a little on the best days/times to post on Instagram to be sure your posts get the most exposure possible. There is no “one size fits all” formula for this. Start with http://www.iconosquare.com for personalized statistics based on your particular followers.
- Connect your Instagram account with your accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Fourquare, Tumblr and Flickr. When appropriate, share your photos from Instagram to any of these accounts so your followers on other networks can also engage in them.
- Post regularly. You don’t have to become a full-time photographer and post 10 images a day, but you want to post regularly enough that you keep your followers (and yourself) engaged. Set a goal that is reasonable for you. Can you post once a day? Once a week?
- Use hashtags! I discussed this in more detail a couple weeks ago. You can read that post here.
There you have it – 25 ways to promote your book on Instagram!
Can you think of something I missed? If so, please share it in the comments below.
In that past I have not been very good about keeping up (or responding) when people have contacted me through my blog. I didn’t mean to ignore any of those messages, I just wasn’t paying attention like I should have. I received an interesting message today that I thought I would share here and see if my followers have any good advice for this writer.
Here’s the message I received:
I have completed my first novel about my Grandfather working for Al Capone in Chicago in the 1920’s. The book is a work of historical fiction and some family facts. The Book is titled Capone’s Wolff, Grandfather Wolff Schneider…
I have had over 60 contacts (read family and business associates) pay to read the new book and overwhelming response is very positive.
Now I need to learn how to engage a larger audience I would be interested in how I connect to an agent who has a love to market historical fictions?
Here is my response to Keith. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments below.
I will say that I work in the self-publishing industry, so my experience is not in traditional publishing (which sounds like the route you want to take). I have posted your question here to see if any followers can chime in with some guidance for you. I also recommend you join the #WritePubChat community on Slack where you can connect with other writers and ask questions like this at any time.
Best of luck to you in your publishing project! Please come back and share with us about your journey.
Here are four posts related to promoting your book on Twitter. The list below includes summaries and quick links to each of the posts:
- Tweeting for Book Promotion — a few ideas of what you might want to tweet as an author to help promote your book.
- Decoding the Twitter Language — a few of the common acronyms and symbols to know as you get started on Twitter.
- 10 Tweep Authors Should Follow for Book Marketing Tips and Opportunities — If you’re an author on Twitter, you may want to follow these people on Twitter who will provide you with tips on writing, publishing and book marketing.
- The Dos and Don’s of Twitter — a few etiquette (or “twittiquette”) tips to keep in mind as you build your community on Twitter.
If you have other thoughts on how to promote a book on Twitter, please share them in the comment box below!