It’s true a picture can speak louder than words, which is why Instagram is one of the biggest social networks right now. But for authors, where words are the most important commodity, how can Instagram be a useful tool?
After playing around with Instagram for the last couple of years, I’ve come to realise that there are plenty of authors and writers using Instagram with great results. Here’s what I’ve learned:
The benefits of Instagram for writers
Pictures tell a thousand words.
When you are writing, every word counts. Sometimes it’s nice to let an image speak for you, saving your precious words for that work in progress
A window to the outside world
Writing is a solitary pursuit. Instagram is a great way to connect with the outside world without having to leave your writing desk. It allows you to connect with other writers, authors, readers, and friends. Hearting, commenting and interacting with others on Instagram is great fun and makes you realise the world really is a beautiful place, full of beautiful (on the inside) people. And it’s a great procrastination tool!
Sparks interest in what you’re doing
Not only is it a great platform for already established authors to connect with their loyal fans, but Instagram is full of aspiring and emerging authors sharing their writing journey. By sharing where you are at in your writing/publishing career, you can build a supportive network of not only other writers, but also potential readers.
Who to connect with
Connect with other writers
It’s great to connect with other writers and like-minded professionals battling the same writing frustrations as you. The writing community on Instagram is wonderfully supportive. They love hearing success stories, seeing new authors published for the first time, and cheering from the sidelines as fellow writers complete another round of edits. And they are always there to pick you up when those words just aren’t working.
The other advantage of following particularly established authors, is seeing how they are making Instagram work for them.
Connect with readers
Instagram has a great community of avid readers. By sharing your the progress of your writing, you will find that the more you share about your work in progress (without giving too much away of course), the more you will engage your followers building a rapport and trust, particularly if you are writing within a genre they love. It’s also a great place to share what you are reading, and find another book to put on your ‘to-read’ list.
What to share
There’s so much that goes into writing a book, so share it!
- Where you’re drawing inspiration from – quotes, photos, time in history, settings
- Where you are in your writing process; writing, editing, researching, querying, publishing
- What you are researching
- Exciting announcements – finished your draft, finished edits, found an agent, got a publishing deal, cover reveals, publication days, events, talks, travels, blog tours
- What makes you, you – without getting too personal. (see bonus tip)
- What you are reading
- Motivational quotes
- Writing prompts
- Excerpts of your writing
- Word counts
- Popular posts are often: animal companions, desk shots, computer/laptop styled shots, real writing shots, writing selfies, shelfies (photos of books on shelves in shops).
- Post regularly
- Post interesting, relevant content
- Connect, interact and respond
- Use hashtags (see below)
- Use it as a sales platform. As with any social media platform, it’s about subliminally getting your name and/or book noticed, not ramming it down everyone’s throat, every minute of every day!
- Post too much random stuff that really isn’t that interesting.
- Post anything inappropriate.
- Be yourself and share who you are. You don’t need to post endless photos of your family or what you ate for breakfast, but sharing a little bit of who you are is important to build authenticity and rapport with potential readers of your book. As with any social media platform it’s about building trust. By building friendships, your followers will generally want to support you in one way or another when you do have a book or publishing news to share.
Hashtags are your friend
Hashtags allow you to highlight your posts to be found by others, and allow you to find others to follow.
Here are some handy hashtags for writers:
Are you loving instragram?
Put your Instagram handle below so I can follow you. I’m @jfgibsonwriter.