For many writers, the social media website Instagram and its focus on photos and videos may seem to be outside their wheelhouse. And it can be hard to imagine how this visual, image-oriented social network would appeal to readers, bibliophiles, and die-hard grammar geeks—which are the very audiences writers want to attract. But if you have a smartphone and know how to download an app and take a picture, you can easily use Instagram to build your fan base!

Here’s Why Instagram Is A Powerful Marketing Tool For Creative Writers

Instagram is where your new fans are. With over 500 million users, Instagram is undeniably one of the hottest social media platforms currently in use. By having a presence on Instagram, you’ll be right where your potential new audience is hanging out.

Instagram is loved by book lovers. Lest you think this social network is just for tweens following pop stars, you should know that Instagram commands a huge audience of readers. In fact, a search of “#books” on Instagram shows that almost 16 million people are posting book-related content. And 5 million or so are posting about writing! When you use Instagram, you’ll reach new readers you might not have found on Twitter or Facebook.

Instagram is easy and goes anywhere. One of the nice things about Instagram is that it doesn’t require a huge time investment. Once you get good at spotting photo opportunities, you’ll be snapping pictures and posting them with ease. Plus, you can double up on your fan-building efforts by cross-posting photos from Instagram to Facebook, and vice versa.

Instagram isn’t only photos. Even if you don’t fancy yourself a photographer, you can record short videos to share your thoughts about your current project or what you’re reading. You can also share quotes and images that you love.

Instagram is one more piece of the author-platform puzzle. Even if you’re not published yet, it’s important to build up your author platform. Lit agents and editors don’t look for the quantity of your followers so much as the quality of your interactions with the followers that you do have (learn more about the truth about follower numbers really mean). And by participating in a hot social network, you show that you’re a good candidate to cultivate a following (and a long, successful writing career).

The Proof Is In The Posting

The final and maybe the most compelling reason to use Instagram is that other authors have been successful using Instagram to build their fan base and market their books. For example, B.J. Novak (One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories) uses Instagram to tell jokes, share books he’s currently interested (or uninterested) in, and engage with fans in the comments section.


QUESTION: Share your Instagram experience with other writers by posting about it in our comments section. How do you use Instagram?








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