Trying to build a community online and promote your latest book at the same time? Not every social media platform is right for every author, book or need. LinkedIn is probably not the best place to promote a book like Fifty Shades of Grey, but it is perfect for an author promoting a book on how to make a career change or build a network.
One social media platform commonly overlooked by writers is Instagram. Instagram is an online photo sharing social network, and before you judge promoting a book here, know that the site gets over 300 million visitors a month. With that many visitors, you’re bound to reach a larger audience if you take time to learn how to utilize this promotional tool.
How Does Instagram Slideshow Work?
Download and open the app on your smartphone or tablet. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a square icon where you can create a new “gallery.” On the next screen, you’ll see pictures appear that are currently on your device. Select which photos you’d like to share and Instagram will create an eye-catching slideshow. Additionally, there is an option to share your slideshow on other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to achieve even greater reach.
How do you make this new technique work for you? Here are 5 creative ways you can use an Instagram slideshow to showcase you and your work.
Give a Sneak Peek
Readers want to get to know the person behind the words. Post pictures that you are comfortable sharing like photos from events and places you go. Here are some ideas on how to give viewers a “peek” into your life and your written word.
- Make regular runs to the bookstore? Share what you are purchasing and reading.
- Take pictures when you receive your arc copies in the mail.
- Snap some screenshots of the editing process.
- Share your workspace.
- Have someone take pics of you during the next book signing or public event.
- Fan mail, old rejection letters, or other correspondence.
Readers will connect with you when they see that you share similar interests. Everyone likes to get a peek into the private lives of their influencers and this is a great way to share more but in a less intrusive way than live video.
All the rage on social media is creating and sharing memes. Find graphics that are beautiful (and copyright free) and quotes that not only are relatable but also evoke an emotional response. This will create a stronger network and boost your organic social reach. These images are more likely to be shared on other pages, platforms and networks so make sure they are branded and lead viewers back to you.
Showcase the Work
The first thing that attracts a reader at a bookstore is a stunning or interesting cover. The same goes for Instagram. If this is your first book, and you have an awesome cover, readers in your genre will flock to see what your book is about. Put together a slideshare of images of the front cover, back cover, dedication page or index, and the first page of the first chapter.
Organize a Contest
As a marketing tactic, have fans send in their photos and give the winner a free copy of your book, a signed bookplate, or some other swag. It may seem counterintuitive to give away your book for free, but an elaborate contest will spread news across the web about your next best selling book and build your following and presence online.
Follow Other Authors and Bloggers
Instagram is a social media platform, so don’t forget to network with your fellow authors and other people in your industry. Especially if you are a new author, this is your chance to connect with experienced authors and build influence and credibility. Plus, following others who are already utilizing Instagram could help inspire you when creating your own content.