Instagram for Self-Publishing Writers – Marketing Ideas

Learn how to self publish your book and do marketing on social media and instagram.

As of today, Instagram is one of the top places to begin book promotion activities and build a strong readership for self-publishing authors. The social media platform generates 13.5X and 27 X higher engagement rates than Facebook and Twitter, respectively. It has also been rated as the number one social media engagement tool. 

Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms serve as a great opportunity for promoting books and keeping the excitement alive among readers. 

When strategizing your marketing plan, you must remember that each platform requires a different strategy based on its audience and behavioural trend. 

Our advice? If you have the time, build an individual book marketing strategy for each platform to engage readers in trending ways. However, if time is a constraint, focus only on one, preferably Instagram.

Why is Instagram Perfect for Authors?

Instagram is a visually attractive platform, and nothing is more impactful than visuals. It also allows you to customize and control your profile the way you want.

With Instagram’s growing popularity, various professionals can build a community around their occupation regardless of their age and industry. Likewise, having a loyal and growing readership is a boon for authors. Instagram allows your readers to know you personally, delve deeper into your work, and get a sneak peek of your book before it is published. 

Instagram also provides you different ways to interact with your readers visually in real-time – a fantastic way to get inspired for your next book. 

That said, nothing comes easy. You will have to invest a lot of time and explore your creativity to deliver good content on Instagram regularly to boost readership. We have mentioned few tried-and-tested Instagram marketing strategies below for self-publishing authors.

We encourage you to refer to these ideas before building your Instagram community.

Identify Your Readers on Instagram

Sounds difficult, but the following points will make your search easy.

  • Identify your genre. Go through the profiles of successful authors, publishing houses, and other media outlets that promote your genre and check the type of content they post, their audiences, audience responses, and the hashtags they use. 
  • Follow the hashtags and keep a tab on what’s trending there. 
  • If you already have an active social media profile or author website, generate the Google Analytics report to view the demographics and activities of users who have shown interest in your posts. 
  • You will also have to identify your key differentiator – what sets you apart from other authors. Probably, all your stories are based on medieval Scotland and England. Now think who would be interested in historical romance? That becomes your reader base. 
  • The hashtags, analytics insights, and audience persona together will help you develop suitable promotional content.

Develop Your Content Strategy 

Success on Instagram will depend on how well you have strategized your content. If you are a first-time author and just starting on this platform, your strategy should be well-formed and cover an entire month. Additionally, all your content must be visually engaging.

For general marketing tips, we really like how Nicole makes Instagramming quite happening –

  • Posts, videos, stories, reels, and question & answers – you must use all formats to promote your book.
  • Share your book’s first chapter as snapshots for reading. Ensure you share them on stories, too, and save them in Highlights. 
  • Take the help of your followers to choose the title and cover design of your book. You can either run a contest or share multiple options and encourage them to vote. 
  • Share behind the scenes of your book. 
  • Do videos to talk about the inspiration behind your books, such as places you visited.
  • Create Instagram stories for your book launch event, share dates and locations so followers can attend.
  • Encourage followers to click with you and tag you from the launch event.
  • Read your favorite quotes from your book-writing days.
  • Describe your characters interestingly. 
  • Connect with influencers and other writers for cross-promotion. 

Remember that each genre is unique, and so is their reader community. Therefore, you may need a customized plan for your book marketing that caters to the interests of the particular reader community. You can also get the help of Writat’s assisted self-publishing experts on digital marketing and self-publishing.

Quick Instagram Marketing Tips for Book Publishing Authors at Writat 

  • Your posts should be a mix of fun and entertainment (40%), your book writing process (30%), and posts shared from relevant influencers, like other authors (30%).
  • Add a Call to Action in most of your posts, in the forms of Q&A, ‘This or That’ vote, Yes or No, and more interactive CTAs.
  • Share your Sales link on your Instagram Bio.
  • Add relevant hashtags in your Insta Bio. It increases the scope of reach.
  • Post consistently; don’t go ‘ghost’ on your followers. Post every day, possibly. 
  • Use your face. People love to interact with the content creator. Smile when talking to the camera.
  • Try incorporating your everyday life in your stories. Anything from watering the plants to taking a walk at the park or fighting with your sibling. 
  • Use captivating captions. 
  • Make your posts honest, friendly, and interactive.
  • Only use high-quality images. Click pictures between 10 am and 4 pm for the perfect light.
  • When uploading reels, try using the music from the app rather than adding your music.
  • Use relevant hashtags.
  • Make a strategy for your posts so that your followers recognize a pattern and a routine. 
  • Set a milestone for your Instagram progress. Example: 200+ followers by the end of 2 months. 
  • Engage with your followers. If they comment, reply. If they DM, answer. 
  • Run Giveaway contests and go creative with your prizes. You could also tie-up with popular brands or local services for contests. 
  • Click pictures of your book in beautiful backgrounds and relevant props.
  • Use stunning visuals to create teasers for your book.
  • Show how you are self-publishing your book. Talk about the process and probably, provide a sneak peek. 
  • Show readers reading your book – you could ask your fans to click a picture with your book and tag you.
  • Ask your fans to use your custom hashtag, e.g., #WritatAuthor, on any book-related post to get featured. Give due credits.
  • Don’t spam your readers with too many posts, CTAs, and hashtags. Post hashtags in comments instead of captions. 
  • Request your friends and family to reshare your posts on their walls. Also, request them to comment, like, and save your posts.

Is there anything particular you want to know about self-publishing? Contact our publishing experts for more details. 

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