Social media is one of the easiest ways to grow your platform as an author. With all the different outlets, you can directly reach your readers with your writing content. But where to begin?
In the summer of 2018, I attended Realm Makers, my first writing conference. I was blown away by the kindness of the speakers and attendants. But what I enjoyed the most was learning about the power of a social media platform. At the time, I was an aspiring author of Young Adult fiction and decided to take a class on outreach to YA readers taught by Mary Weber and Nadine Brandes.
Those two women opened my eyes to the benefits of keeping up with your social media, mainly Instagram. Up until that summer, I had used my Instagram account for personal use and posted every once in a while. But I quickly learned that if I wanted to reach potential readers and reviewers, I needed to step up my game. I was soon introduced to bookstagram.
What is bookstagram? In short, it’s a hashtag used on Instagram to indicate pictures and posts of books. If you search for it you will find simple pictures of just one book on a table to some of the more elaborate and beautiful book displays you’ve ever seen. Either way, they are all considered bookstagram.
Since attending Realm Makers, I revamped my Instagram account into a bookstagram account and have seen my followers increase dramatically. I once had only a few hundred and now have over a thousand! To help you grow your platform, here are a few tips and tricks I learned along the way:
1.Be authentic- Followers and readers both want to know who you are as the author. Post books you’ve read or want to read but be honest in how you felt about them. If one wasn’t your favorite, explain why. You’d be amazed in how many people feel the same way!
2. Post what’s in your comfort zone- I know many authors that have full families and additional jobs so they can’t post as often as others. But that’s okay! Post on your Instagram or other social media accounts when you can. I used to post every day before, but now I only post M-F. I decided I wanted to keep the weekends for my family and not have to worry about Instagram. This decision hasn’t hurt my numbers at all.
3. Find like minded Instagrammers- There are a plethora of people on Instagram who LOVE bookish accounts. One of the best ways to find them are by participating in follow loops. A follow loop is where you comment on a “follow loop photo” and you follow everyone else that comments. (You are not required to follow people you feel uncomfortable with following). There are follow loops for every genre of writing. I’ve met a lot of different authors from follow loops and it’s been great seeing their different content and books.
|The theme for this day was "Map Monday."|
4. Get involved- You may be thinking, “But how will I know what book to post about or what my description should say?” This thought crossed my mind A LOT until I discovered book photo challenges. A book photo challenge is when an author (or group of authors) comes up with a theme for each day of the month featuring a different type of book. For example: A Friday can be themed “Fantasy Friday”. You can pick any fantasy book you’d like and snap a picture of it for the photo challenge. I’ve found this is a great way to keep my photos interesting, but not have to think too much about what I want to post.
5. Have fun- Overall, your account should reflect who you are. If you love romantic comedies, talk about those. If you adore comic books, tell your readers your favorite one. Enjoy getting to know your followers and don’t be afraid to let them learn a little more about you, too!
If you'd like some ideas, head over to my Instagram page: vromasburton
*I’m not an Instagram influencer or sponsored in anyway.*