Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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Using Instagram as an Author
Instagram has a huge reader and writer community, so it's vital to target the correct people. If not, no one may see your posts.
If you're not on Instagram, you may wonder how a writer can use this visual medium. Also, as an author, you probably prefer words than images of snapping photos!
As an Instagram author, you can upload all kinds of photographs with 2200 characters per caption. Share book images, mockups (or hire a designer to help), moodboards, and selfies to interest your audience.
Here are some of the most common mistakes I've seen authors make on Instagram so you avoid them
Not knowing your Ideal Reader
Know your audience. For your book and marketing activities.
Knowing your audience means you can develop material they want, as I explain in this 2020 post. The same goes for social media and websites.
Also Instagram. #funnyromancenovel isn't appropriate for a fantasy book. Your post will likely confuse readers who are scrolling that hashtag. While this mistake won't hurt sales, it also won't help you sell more either.
Not Using Hashtags
Hashtags are searchable keywords for your posts. Hashtags help you increase your visibility and followers.
How about hashtags? Your book and readers come first. For a fantasy novel, use #fantasynovel or #YAfantasy.
Search Instagram using your hashtags. Instagram will propose comparable hashtags based on popularity. You can have up to 30, so combine popular hashtags with lesser posts.
You can use
Also keep in mind that the most popular hashtags are harder to rank for if your account is small or new.
Writing for Writers
What does this look like?
Here are some examples:
1) Focusing on writing "how-to-write" content. When you do this youra uthor account becomes writing tips account.
2) Yes, you need hashtags to get your posts noticed but pick relevant ones. Using "#writer #author #writingtips" will attract more writers. Readers want genre-specific hashtags, not "writers".
Not that you can't ever share writing tips. But if you focus on writing tips and don't really talk about your own writing, you risk losing readers.
Instagram is two-way street. People will comment on your posts and/or send you DMs. If you want to maximize your reach always reply.
Even if someone says, "I love your book," be sure to reply with thank them. People like to be seen and heard.
If you enjoy a comment but don't know how to respond, 'liking' it is better than ignoring it. Show your audience you appreciate them.
As your account grows, you won't have time to respond to every comment or DM. OK. Remember: I t's a social media platform, so you have to be "social" and interact with people.
Only Talking About Your Book
Not every post should promote your book. Instead, make stuff that showcases your personality and books. A picture of your pet can make your readers smile. And glimpses into your daily life can help humanize you and make you feel more relatable to your audience.
Other things that you can share are you hobbies, your childhood, facts about family, your favorite foods, etcetera. A good ratio is for every 6 to 7 posts about your work or literature, post one person item.
Instagram is popular. You can connect with your ideal audience quickly due to the large reader and writer community.
To expand your author Instagram, communicate with others and be real. A few minutes a day is a low-cost approach to expand your following and promote your books.
So now that you know what not to do, tomorrow I've got a special post to show what you should be doing to find more readers and sell more of your books!