In order to sell your books, you must find your ideal audience. But where in the world do you find them?
Does a bookworm-filled platform that focuses on the love and celebration of books, the written word, and writers seem too good to be true? It’s not! It exists and it’s called #Bookstragram!
While there are many different ways to go about building an author platform, a great addition to any author’s marketing strategy is to use Instagram—specifically #Bookstagram.
#Bookstagram is a small subset of Instagram that’s filled with books, books, and more books!
Here are 9 reasons you have to jump on the #Bookstagram wagon to skyrocket your writing career!
1. To find genuine community
Writing is a very strange craft—parts of it are as solitary as can be, while parts of it require connection and exposure.
#Bookstagram is an extremely genuine corner of the internet. If you’re wary of social media—especially Instagram—you’ll be pleasantly surprised by #Bookstagram.
If you approach your #Bookstagram account with a sincere attempt to make friends, you will!
Some ways to engage with other #Bookstagrammers are:
- Leave heartfelt comments on others’ posts (actually read their caption and then write something that shows you’re paying attention to their words)
- Strike up direct message convos and replying to others’ stories (Trying striking up a convo about a book they’ve posted. Bookworms can talk about their favorite books for hours!)
- Repost others’ stories and posts on your feed
- Engage in buddy reads (reading the same book at the same time as other #Bookstagrammers)
- Join a virtual book club
2. To stay on the cutting edge of the book market
A ton of #Bookstagrammers receive ARCs (advanced reader copies) from major and independent publishers in exchange for book reviews and promotion of those books.
To be a successful author, you have to know what readers want. #Bookstagram is the best place to see what books are trending and to see the honest feedback of actual readers.
#Bookstagram will also help you home in on your ideal reader and your audience based on your own works and the genre(s) you write.
3. To get free books through giveaways and eventually ARCs
It’s not hoarding if it’s books, right? #Bookstagram is an awesome place to score free copies of amazing books—everything from classics to non-yet-published reads!
#Bookstagrammers are always doing giveaways in order to say thank you to their followers as well as market themselves. There are tons of giveaways all day long on #Bookstagram! The rules to enter are always pretty simple, like follow the account and tag a few friends.
In addition to giveaways, once you get established on #Bookstagram you can start to reach out to publishers to receive ARCs. That means you’ll be receiving the newest, most anticipated reads of the year way before the general public has access AND for free. Does it get better than that? Answer—it does not.
4. To practice showing up and to build commitment and consistency
#Bookstagram is a really fun platform—but just like anything, it takes a lot of work! You have to post good, heartfelt content consistently if you want to grow your following and your exposure.
In fact, it’s very similar to writing—in order to be effective you have to show up every day. This means you not only have to post consistently (5-7 times a week), but you also have to engage with people regularly.
You can’t post and ghost and you also can’t just lurk. Be active and contribute your words, ideas, and support for ultimate return in your time and energy investments.
5. To break out of your comfort zone
While this isn’t true for all writers, a lot of us are introverts. #Bookstagram is nice in the sense that all the socializing is done from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re not the social type, it can be intimidating to reach out to people and build relationships and it can be especially harrowing to promote your own work. However, practice makes perfect. #Bookstagram is a great way to build your marketing and networking skills without feeling as overwhelmed as you might by meeting people face-to-face.
6. To find your voice
Like I mentioned, you have to post perpetually inspiring and heartfelt content in order to build a genuine following on #Bookstagram. That means your caption is just as important as the photo itself. Unfortunately, you can’t just put a few emojis in the post and call it a day.
Aim to write captions that inspire, teach, and encourage your followers. Whether you keep your captions short and sweet or make them a little more meaty—they need to be chocked full of personality! Think of each caption as a bite-sized way to woo your ideal audience with your writing prowess!
7. To find early readers and reviewers
Whether you’re taking the Amazon Short Reads route or working on a full-length novel, you’ll need early readers to give you feedback on your work and to leave reviews.
And #Bookstagrammers are those people! They love to read plus they’re super supportive. Offer your book for free in exchange for honest reviews and you’ll be blown away by the support of your #Bookstagram community.
8. To stay perpetually inspired
To be a great writer, you first and foremost have to be a great reader. But sometimes it’s easy to let your reading priorities fall to the wayside when things get busy.
#Bookstagram is a great way to stay inspired as a reader because people are constantly sharing their love of books and their favorite reads. It’s absolutely contagious.
9. To have fun while still being productive
Even though #Bookstagram requires a lot of work and commitment, it’s really fun! You get to connect with people, share your own content, and engage in a more subdued creative outlet than just plain writing.
Each time you get on Instagram, you can advance a little in your writing journey as well as have some fun!
Have you joined the #Bookstragram community yet? If so, what are some of your best tips?