Raise your hand if you love an aesthetically pleasing bookstagram post. Bookstagram is the corner of the internet where lit lovers can rejoice over color coordinated spines, coffee and paperbacks, and shelfies. While the influence of bookstagram is undeniable, it is nearly impossible to track how many sales are generated from bookstagram.
Yet despite a lack of hard numbers, many publishers actively engage with bookstagramers for the publicity opportunity. As an author, engaging with the bookstagram community is a crucial aspect of growing your audience. Having your book featured on a bookstagram account can help you reach new readers. And in turn those readers will pick up your book, not because it has been marketed to them, but because someone they like and choose to follow highlighted it.
But how do you get your books featured on bookstagram accounts? We’ve highlighted a few tips and tricks on how you can leverage bookstagram to build your readership.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Bookstagram is a great way to reach new readers. However, chances are your book isn’t going to be for all readers. In order to ensure that your book is being positioned in front of the right audience, it is important to research bookstagrammers that post books similar to yours. If you’re a fantasy author, you need to reach fantasy readers. Reaching out to a bookstagrammer with 50k followers isn’t going to work in your favor if they predominantly post mysteries. While it may be a time investment upfront, it will ultimately save you time by not sending queries out to influencers that aren’t the right fit for your book.
On the same note, take a look at the type of books that they post, meaning paperbacks, hardcovers, or e-books. While there are some bookstagramers that have zero issues posting a pic with a gorgeous cover on their iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader, some choose not to for aesthetic reasons. If your book is only coming out digitally, then ensure the bookstagramers you are reaching out to won’t find it a threat to their carefully crafted feed to post an e-reader.
INVEST IN YOUR BOOK COVER
While the old adage may be to never judge a book by its cover, bookstagram solely judges books by their covers. Because Instagram is a visual platform, you have mere seconds to catch readers’ attention. If you want to have the best possible impact on bookstagram, you need to invest in your book cover. If the words graphic design send a shudder through your system, have no fear, you can hire a freelance designer to do the dirty work for you on sites such as Upwork or Fiverr.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
An influencer’s job is to get likes and grow their following in order to gain more strategic partnerships. It is in an Influencer’s best interest to work with authors that are recognizable or authors that at least have a strong platform. If you want to work with bookstagram influencers, you have to show what you’re bringing to the table–aside from your book. Having an established platform is going to make you more attractive to bookstagrammers. You can find our tips on how to kickstart your social media here. Building a strong Instagram profile will not only help you with bookstagram, but readers, agents, and other power players in the industry as well.
ENGAGE WITH THE COMMUNITY
Social media is a two-way street. You can’t expect to get anything useful out of it if you don’t make an investment on your end. The bookstagram community is notoriously welcoming. What can I say, book people love to interact with other book lovers. By following bookstagrammers and engaging that community, you can make genuine connections with people who share your interests and who will want to help you succeed. In any industry, connections are incredibly important. In the case of bookstagram, you are able to build your network of potential readers, potential marketers, and potential fans with a few double taps, follows, and supportive comments. But, like any industry, you want to take the time to build up those connections right. Don’t just hit the follow and immediately DM them with a request. Take time to get to know their feed, get your name in their notifications repeatedly, and then engage with them after you’ve done the work to forge the relationship. They’ll be far more interested in helping you if they know you’ve been helping them.
Bookstagram is a carefully cultivated world beloved by readers who want to carve out a perfect little world of their own on the internet. So, if you are ready to start finding ways to market your books to readers, get going on the endless scroll! Make sure you keep track of the bookstagramers you like, who are posting content you think your readers would like, and who are getting really positive engagement. We promise that this research is going to be anything but boring.
Enjoy the endless scroll!