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June 27, 2016

Instagram for Writers - 20 Instagram Ideas



The one social media site not many authors consider having a presence on is Instagram. One reason for this is because we deal with words, not images. Another is that people think only YA authors will benefit from it, but a huge portion of people on Instagram like to read and many writers are there. Even Stephen King was once active on Instagram.

*Instagram is a smartphone app. There is a computer version (click the colorful Instagram icon in my left sidebar, beneath the Twitter icon) but you can't upload to it, only view.

If you already are on Instagram or are considering it, here are some ideas you can try.



Twenty Instagram Ideas for Authors:

1. Book covers (obviously)

2. Cover teasers (Reveal distorted images or small pieces at a time.)

A teaser I did for Seismic Crimes' cover.

3. Book quotes as images.

4. Writing quotes as images.

5. Pictures of what you’re writing or editing.

A picture from my Instagram page for my edits.

6. Pictures of books you’re reading.

7. Share “The End’ pictures whenever you finish a book or short story.

8. Proof/galley pictures

9. Pictures of your desk/office/bookshelf

10. Selfies of you with your books.

11. Your book in different places. (Book Tour)

12. Fan art

13. Pictures of your blog (screenshots).

14. Book signing pictures.

15. Pictures from conferences, festivals, book fairs, and other events.

16. Book release party pictures.

17. Sale announcement pictures.

18. Screenshots of good reviews.

19. Pictures of your kids reading.

20. Selfies/pictures of yourself (obviously).


Of course you can share anything else that's not writing related, such as pictures from your travels, nature, art, animals (your pets), food, whatever you like! I do a lot of everything on my Instagram page.


TIP: Add hashtags to your captions. 

Here's a list of book/writing hashtags I use:

Book Hashtags: 
#Booknerdigans
#Bookstagram
#BooksofInstagream
#BookNerd
#BookLove #BookLover
#Bibliophile
#Bookaholic
#BookAddict
#Bookporn
#Books #Books
#ebook #ebooks
#Kindle #Amazon
#BookCommunity
#BookWorm
#Bookish
#ilovebooks
#BookstagramFeature
#bookwithme
#lovebooks

Author Hashtags:
#AuthorsofInstagram
#WritersofInstragram
#WritersCommunity
#AmWriting
#WritingLife
#WritersLife
#AmEditing
#AmRevising
#Author #Authors
#Writer #Writers
#Editing
#Publishing


QUESTIONS: Are you on Instagram? Would you consider joining Instagram now?


62 comments:

M.J. Fifield said...

I am on Instagram, and I have done many of the things you've suggested here. (I've only recently started to use any hashtags, though.) But mostly my Instagram feed ends up being pictures of my pets. Maybe if I had more books...

Oh, and thanks again, Chrys!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think it would be one social site too many for me. I do have a ton of images of Mini-Alex hanging out with my book though.

Chrys Fey said...

And Instagram would be a great place to share those Mini-Alex pics. And the great thing about Instagram is it doesn't feel like social media. You share pictures when you can and/or want to.

Chrys Fey said...

Promote what you have. You don't need a ton of books to post on for Instagram.

You're welcome, MJ! :D

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

These sounds like good tips, Chrys. I'm not on Instagram, but I do like the idea of it more than any other social networking site, at this point in time anyway. We'll see.... :)

betty said...

Congrats to the winner! I'm not on Instagram; I actually set up an account or whatever I needed to do to post pictures, but haven't done much with it since then :)

betty

Chrys Fey said...

It's my favorite social media site because it's fun and I love photography. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It's pretty easy to share pictures whenever you want to when you get to it. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I haven't joined but I've thought about it. Thanks for sharing. You're making me think about it again.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great tips Chrys. will keep all this post in mind.
Yvonne.

Pat Hatt said...

Never got on instagram as I'm already everywhere else. Could use the cat in creative ways though haha

Bish Denham said...

I'm not on instagram and not sure I want to be. Don't I need a "modern" phone for it? Or can I do it from my computer?

Chrys Fey said...

Instagram is so much fun! My favorite social media site. :)

sage said...

I set up an Instagram account but haven't really used it. Thanks for the suggestions.

Chrys Fey said...

Great! :)

Chrys Fey said...

I'd love to see your cat pictures and those neat illustrations for your books on Instagram. I think that would be a good marketing strategy for you. :)

Chrys Fey said...

You do need a modern phone for it. Stinks I know. There is a website you can go to on the computer, but it's only for viewing, You can't upload pictures. I don't like that either.

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome!

Murees Dupè said...

Thank you for this post, Chrys. I joined Instagram a few months ago but didn't really know, until this post, what I was suppose to post on there. I see what other people post and worried that I didn't have anything interesting to share. Thank you, again.

Chrys Fey said...

You can share just about any picture you want to. :) And you're very welcome!

Tamara Narayan said...

I think this is a fantastic idea and luckily, I have an in-house expert. My daughter has been on Instagram for months now. I am also depending on her to help me with my book trailer.

Chrys Fey said...

Having an in-house expert is great, indeed!

Carrie-Anne said...

I haven't joined Instagram, having thought of it as mostly a young person's thing or a place for posting pictures of food. I suppose it's not much different from the Photobucket account I haven't been able to update in years.

Chrys Fey said...

There are so many authors and writers on Instagram. And it's not just for food pictures. :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I am not on Instagram. I'm still trying to figure out Goodreads. I'm a fossil. Funny, but true.

Anonymous said...

I recently joined Instagram, but not for my books or writing. It was because I was putting together a jigsaw puzzle and thought "I bet people post images of their puzzles on instagram." And they do. I'm not sticking to just puzzles though. I've been doing pictures of nature and books as well. It's really fun.

cleemckenzie said...

Yes. I'm on Instagram. I was shocked when in one day I had so many followers and I hadn't followed anyone. Thanks for some good ideas about what to post.

Chrys Fey said...

Goodreads is fun. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I love Instagram because people post pictures for all hobbies. Everyone can find their niche there.

Chrys Fey said...

That's great! I had to follow people and really post to get followers. You're doing it right!

Kelly Steel said...

I'm not yet on Instagram. But sounds like great place to be!

Chrys Fey said...

It is a great place to be. :)

Birgit said...

I feel so archaic because I didn't even know this existed as its own site. I know Twitter, Facebook, etc... But I thought Instagram was just something some would do on Facebook or when writing an e-mail. I guess my blond hair is showing more

Liz A. said...

The funny thing is, my online shop is perfect for Instagram, but I rarely post anything. Bad habit.

Tammy Theriault said...

I'm on Instagram and love all the ideas. I should do the finished the book one. I don't ever do that...

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I'm not on Instagram because I don't have a cell. I thought you needed one in order to use it, but maybe I'm wrong...

Yanting Gueh said...

Good tips, Chrys. I'll share this around. I'm not on Instagram cos I thought I'd just focus on Pinterest and Twitter. Might sign up for a Linkedin account, too, cos that's been popping up on my radar quite a bit lately. I'm taking that as a sign.

emaginette said...

I hear if you write YA, it's the best way to reach out to your readers. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Chrys Fey said...

It's more an an app for smartphones, but there is a website for computers. Except you can't upload photos to it on the computer version.

Chrys Fey said...

Using Instagram for your shop would be a great strategy.

Chrys Fey said...

I love seeing the pics you share of your family. :)

Chrys Fey said...

You do. There is a computer version but you can't upload to it.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm not on Pinterest because I know I'd spend hours on it. haha I've been thinking about Linkedin as well.

Chrys Fey said...

It is a great way to connect with YA readers. But all readers as well. :)

Lisa Thomson said...

Thank you Chrys! These ideas are fantastic. I hadn't realized how many hashtags were out there. My Stepson told me to put pics of my book up which I did, a while back. I should revisit. I've been a bit lazy on instagram. Thanks for the inspiration!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I bet those would work well for Pinterest, too. (I admit, I'm a junkie. It's my nightly wind-down.)

sherry fundin said...

Congrats MJ. I am not on Instagram, but think of it. I am so busy with the media I have going now...especially this time of year...that I have a hard time getting to what I have going now. LOL Maybe in the future, seeing I love photography it would make sense.
sherry @ fundinmental

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Lisa! I slowly compiled this list of hashtags from posting my own pics and seeing the hashtags others posted with their pics.

Chrys Fey said...

I haven't joined Pinterest because I know I'd be stuck on it for HOURS! lol

Chrys Fey said...

The good thing about Instagram is that you can pop in to see what pics your friends have shared and then quickly share one of your own. It doesn't suck up my time like with my other social media profiles.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

How interesting. I know nothing about Instagram, but think I might try it. Thanks for the advice.

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Beverly! :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

This was quite helpful. I won't be joining any time soon, but I could see doing so once I'm working on putting novels out. At the same time, I'm a month behind on blog visits, so one thing at a time.

Chrys Fey said...

One thing at a time is best. :)

Jeffrey Scott said...

I'm on instagram. Mostly to share pictures with friends and family. Perhaps I can make a second account for my writing. I have shared blog screen shots before, but not very often. I like the idea of shots of what you are working on.

Chemist Ken said...

I can scarcely get myself to post on Facebook and Twitter. I'm sure I'd be even worse on Instagram.

Chrys Fey said...

You could always give it a try. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Instagram doesn't have much obligation behind it as Twitter and Facebook do. Those you really have to keep up with.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Such excellent tips! I have an Instagram account- but it is the one that gets the least attention out of my social media. I plan to try these tips though and I wish I could do Instagram from my computer and not just a phone. :)

Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

I wish we could use Instagram on the computer, too.

Mandy said...

Great tips for writers that use instagram. After a while I could see that you were trending toward anything book related. Which totally fits. Because everything you read, write, and experience goes into your book. And I love the idea of using cover teasers. :) Great post!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! Yes, posting any that's book or writing related is great. I even post pictures of my cats on my desk. ;)