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.