I’ve teamed up with Becca Johnson to bring you this on post on marketing for authors. My favourite social media platform is Instagram, and Becca gives us great tips on how to get your Instagram account working for your books! Enjoy…
Marketing is so important for writers, but it can be difficult to know where to start. There are tons of people out there giving what feels like never-ending lists of things to do to market your book. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. My advice is to start with one or two things and really focus on those. You’ll be much more effective if you’re able to pour your energy into a couple of things that you’re really good at instead of fifteen things that you’re only okay at. And this way, you can spend your valuable time on activities that will be rewarding.
Why Social Media?
I know I might seem biased, but I truly do think social media is an excellent place to start. Instagram alone has over 1 billion active users! That’s a lot of potential readers, and the odds of finding people interested in your books are high. You don’t even have to pay for ads to be successful on platforms like Instagram. If you’re using the right strategies, you’ll reach people with regular posts–people who might not have otherwise known your books exist.
Social media is an organic way to market where you’re more likely to create real connections with your readers. It’s a place where readers can stumble across a post about your book and decide they have to buy it or add it to their Goodreads. By showing your audience the process and letting them watch the journey of your book, you can make your readers feel deeply invested in it before they’ve ever even read it.
How to Market with Social Media
So, how do you use social media to market your books? The most important ingredients for a successful Instagram (or other social media account) are consistency, clarity, and authenticity. Consistency is important because not only does the algorithm reward it and your momentum builds, but your potential readers are frequently seeing your content and being reminded of your work. You want to make sure your bio and posts show clarity so anyone seeing them for the first time knows who you are and what you do. And authenticity is key if you want an audience that feels a connection to you and your stories.
To achieve those three main goals, you first need cohesive graphics that capture a person’s eye and that fit your overall brand. Try sharing pictures of your writing space, things that inspire you, quotes from your books, or your smiling face (I know that last one can be uncomfortable at first, but it will go a long way toward connecting with your audience).
Next, put your author powers to work and write sparkling captions to go along with your posts. Don’t leave that part blank or post a solitary sentence saying something generic. This is your place to shine and to communicate with your readers. Don’t waste that opportunity. Also, at the end of your caption, make sure to put what’s known as a call-to-action. Ask your readers a question or direct them to the link in your bio where they can buy your book.
And finally, put hashtags to work for you. You can include them in your caption after a line break or put them in the comments, but make sure you take advantage of all 30 that Instagram allows you. Hashtags are the little search terms people use to find new content, and you want to be as findable as possible! Think like your dream reader and include the hashtags you think they’d be looking for. If you’re not sure, look up a bookstagrammer who features your book’s genre and see what hashtags they’re using.
Remember that social media is ultimately all about relationships. Interact with your audience, like their posts, and have conversations in the comments. The more they have a genuine connection with you, the more loyal to your writing and excited for your books they’ll be.
Don’t let social media stress you. Let it be a wonderful place where you make connections and help readers find the book they’ve been searching for–yours! And remember, it can take time to build a strong social media presence, but it will be so worth it in the end. Your stories will reach more people than they otherwise would, and you’ll have touched more lives with your art. And that’s what it’s all ultimately about, right? So, go tell your stories and share them with the world!
About the author
Becca Johnson lives in Northern California with her fluffy cat and her ever-growing library of books. When she isn’t reading, she can be found on Instagram working with writers to make their social media content shine. The best places to get to know her better are: