As we enter into the digital age, the key to success seems to be developing a strong online presence. By connecting with your audiences online, you have the potential to reach hundreds, even thousands, of potential readers with the click of a finger.
Picture this: you’ve just started your author Instagram profile! You’ve set up your Creator profile, you’re sharing fun and engaging content about your book, and you’re using a variety of hashtags to reach as many people as possible (#bookstagram and #indieauthor being some favourite of ours!). Suddenly, your direct messages are flooded with reviewers; all of them telling you how much they would love to read your book and how they can help you gain followers and awareness through their promoting – all for just one simple fee. But, who is a reviewer, and who is a “reviewer”? Who will actually deliver, and who is really just looking for an easy scam?
Don’t fret – we’re here to help!
Marketing your book requires branding. Putting aside that nearly 70% of brands are using Instagram as a marketing tool and that it boasts an impressive worldwide user count of 700 million, humans are 90% visual beings able to process images 60,000 times faster than text.
But we’re in the business of books and you’ve recently published a book that may be more than a little too word-heavy to be considered a “picture book”. So, how can an image-based app like Instagram be useful to you as an author?
Social media gurus would say, if you’re not active on social media, you don’t exist. Active social media doesn’t just mean hosting a website or having a Facebook account. Today, being active online means posting content often and engaging with other users on all major platforms – the big three being Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Let’s focus on how authors can best utilize a picture-driven platform like Instagram.
Instagram is fun! It offers the opportunity for you as an author to give readers and fellow writers an insight into who you are as an individual, your process, your life beyond the cover of a book and a brief description of yourself. While Instagram certainly can be an enjoyable app with many cool features, like the rules of writing, you’ve got to know them in order to break them.
After losing her beloved father at a young age, Angela Campagnoni set out to write a book that helps children going through similar devastating losses. In March, she published I Want to See My Papa, a touching, illustrated book to help children understand loss, bereavement and healing through love and acceptance.
Writing was a self-healing process for Campagnoni, but the real journey had just begun. “It’s a lot of work, once you hit marketing,” she admitted.
Campagnoni was fortunate to already have a strong social media following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, from her work in the fashion industry. Even with her pre-established networks, she still considers the online marketing to be a fulltime job.
“If you don’t have a social media presence already, start it early, early, early,” she said. “Even with my amount of social media, I still felt like I was late. It’s hard when it’s your first time because you don’t know what you should share, and what you can share.”
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