Should an Author Use Instagram?

My author/clients usually groan when I say social media.

“Ughhhh…do I have to do it?” they will complain.

My answer?

“Only if you want to sell the book that you have poured yourself into and paid good money to publish.”

Today, let’s chat about Instagram.

Here is what it is in a nutshell (and shamelessly copied from their website, instagram.com):

instagramCapture and Share the World’s Moments
Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family. Take a picture or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram — it’s that easy. You can even share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more. It’s a new way to see the world. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free?

So sure, you should be on Instagram, especially if you are a YA author and especially if your ideal reader is 25 or younger.

What should you post?

If you are published you want people to think of reading your book so…Post creative pics of your book:

  •  at the beach
  •  at the park
  •  on a lunch break
  •  on a picnic
  •  camping
  •  on the deck
  •  on the bus/metro/public transit
  •  encourage your fans to post pics of them reading your book in random places
  •  on a boat, in a moat, in a box, with a fox….
  •  etc.

If you are published or not, your readers want to feel like they know you…Post creative pictures that show who you are:

  •  in your favorite chair at your favorite coffee shop or book store
  •  grocery shopping
  •  hanging with your family
  •  procrastinating in your office
  •  the things that excite you about writing (mine would be a new journal!)
  •  the things that give you ideas for books, stories, characters, scenes, plots
  •  the trips you take
  •  the events you attend
  •  the places you speak
  •  teaser images from your book
  •  edits, scribbles, doodles,
  •  etc., etc., etc.

This is a good place to start. As you use it more you will come up with more ideas.

No, you don’t have to be on Instagram. But if you are, you will reach more readers and gain more exposure for your writing. And who doesn’t want that?! Besides—you don’t even have to write anything to use it. You just need to post photos (which you take anyway). How easy is that?!

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Your turn: Are you on Instagram? Why or why not? Please share below.