Why Every Author Should Use Instagram For Book Marketing

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.


Instagram Scrabble

Instagram Scrabble

Instagram is perhaps the most underutilised social media platform for authors. In this post I would like to explore this notion and perhaps give you food for thought about possibly incorporating Instagram as part of your social media marketing.

Instagram is blogging with pictures instead of words. You are telling a story through photos and short videos via a mobile platform.


  • It is FREE
  • It is a different way of communicating to readers and allows you to connect with a very different market
  • You can share your photos on Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and Twitter, further expanding your social media repertoire
  • It is visually stimulating
  • It capitalises on our very short attention span. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words
  • It is fun to use and taps in on a different creative side
  • It is easy to use and the least technical of all social media platforms


  • Just like all social media platforms, you need to select a user name that is easy to find and one that your readers can identify with
  • Create an effective profile with an engaging profile picture and 150 characters to tell the world who you are. You may also enter your website address here
  • Hashtags play an important role in this platform. Unlike Twitter, over usage of hashtags tend to raise fewer eyebrows
  • Important to understand how one can do searches on Instagram so you can utilise it to its full potential and gear our images and captions in the right direction. You can search by top searches, people, tags and places. The search field also auto-fills which allow you to see what is trending so you can use those tags for your photos
  • There are numerous filters you can select from, all with editing capabilities. There have even been studies done on which are the most popular filters and what emotions they extract from viewers. They help set the mood of the image and aids in your storytelling process
  • There is a News tab which allows you to see the activities of the people you are following. Sometimes they give us great insight to other users who may be of use to you
  • They also have a @username function so that you can communicate with your followers and your followers can share your image
  • It allows you to post 15 second videos which are just long enough to convey your message but short enough for followers to not mind watching what you have to share. Great marketing tool!

It is easy to see why Instagram took the world by storm with approximately 300 million users and why Facebook bought it for $1 billion. Don’t underestimate what this social platform can do for you. I will be exploring how self-published authors can use Instagram for book marketing. Stay tuned for future instalments of Online Book Marketing Tips.

6 thoughts on “Why Every Author Should Use Instagram For Book Marketing

  1. Thanks so much Gillian. At the end of the day, that’s exactly the problem isn’t it? ANOTHER social media platform! But you write about travel so Instagram might be more appealing to your market. You already post some lovely pics so it’s already a good start. You never know, you could ditch one platform for this if it suits you better. Good luck and keep us posted!


  2. This broke down the Instagram basics perfectly for me! Thanks! I am so intimidated by social media, but know I need to use it more. The idea of adding one more option to my mix overwhelms me, but then again… taking a picture, that’s not so hard, right? Hmmm…


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