From Bookstagram to Bestseller: Social Media Marketing for Authors

by | Nov 21, 2023 | Social Media for Authors

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Social media is a great way to reach a broader audience, but let’s face it, some social media marketing can be flat-out confusing and a time drain.

In the ever-evolving realm of book promotion, authors must not only craft compelling stories but also skillfully navigate the intricate landscape of social media which, as we know, is often changing. But social media platforms do offer authors a unique opportunity to connect with readers and transform their literary creations into bestselling sensations. The key is to know where to be, and how to manage your social platform.

So let’s look at how you can ace social media marketing and elevate your book to bestseller status:

Deciding Where to Be Online

I often tell authors that it’s not being everywhere, but everywhere that matters. For your market and reader target, that might be Instagram, or LinkedIn or even Pinterest. You’re better off picking just one social media site, instead of pushing your message out to all of them, focus on one, before you navigate to other platforms. Get to know one platform at a time and succeed there first. Why? Because a lot of authors are a fan of throwing a lot of stuff against the wall and hoping that some of it sticks, not only is that not productive, but it’s not going to engage your reader.

Curate an Engaging Online Presence that Fosters a Reader Connection

Readers love a personalized connection with their favorite author so share a bit of yourself online, but you’ll also want to develop a visually appealing profile that showcases your your book cover, snippets of your writing process, and personal insights to give readers a glimpse into the person behind the pen.

Successful social media marketing includes actively engaging with your audience by responding to comments, participating in book-related discussions, and fostering a sense of community around your work to build genuine connections with potential readers.

Use Hashtags Strategically

Hashtags are imperative for social media marketing and are a great way to bring in a wider audience, yes you can certainly jump on popular ones (I’ll list a few below) but you can also tailor your hashtags to mirror the genre, themes, and mood of your book, enhancing discoverability among your target audience and allowing readers genuinely interested in your narrative to find your work.

Employ a mix of both popular and niche hashtags to broaden your book’s reach and attract a diverse readership while staying attuned to current trends and adjusting your hashtag strategy accordingly.

See the bonus content below for some great ideas!

Collaborate for Amplified Reach

Networking online is a big key to success in social media marketing – with networking you can forge partnerships with influencers, book bloggers, and fellow authors within your genre to broaden your book’s visibility beyond your immediate circle. Share their contact and ask them if they’d be willing to share yours, as well.

You can also seek reviews, features, or collaborations with influencers, leveraging their established audiences to provide social proof and introduce your work to new and engaged readers.

Plan, Plan, Plan! Crafting a Content Calendar

Plan and schedule regular posts that offer diverse insights into your writing life, showcasing different facets such as behind-the-scenes glimpses, reader testimonials, and personal milestones to keep your audience engaged and invested. Be willing to share your good news – it’s ok to brag! The idea here is to utilize a variety of content types, including images, videos, and stories, to maintain a dynamic and visually appealing social media presence that reflects the multifaceted nature of your authorial journey.

Find Your Five Tracks

A lot of times authors find it difficult to know what to post, for that reason, I love it when authors strategically plan out their content but also stick to their core brand message. So, for example, if you’ve written a romance novel you probably aren’t going to share recipes on your social media profiles unless it ties to your book (or is something you’re maybe already doing, like pairing books with food or drinks!).

When authors tell me they never know what to post, I always encourage them to figure out what their five tracks are, so one of them is your book (and book announcements like great reviews, media, etc.) the other one might be a personal glimpse into your life (this is where cooking or recipes come into play if that’s a big part of who you are), a third could be the author journey – you get the idea. If you can figure out what your five tracks are, you’ll always know what to post, which makes creating a social media marketing plan much easier!

Bonus Content: Popular Author Hashtags

I promised you some hashtag ideas, so here goes!

  • #BookLovers
    • This is a widely used hashtag that connects with a broad audience of book enthusiasts.
  • #AmReading
    • Readers often use this hashtag to share their current reads, making it a great way for authors to engage with potential readers.
  • #MustRead
    • A powerful tag that conveys the significance of your book, encouraging people to consider it as a must-read.
  • #BookRecommendation
    • Use this hashtag to share your book as a recommendation, increasing its visibility among readers actively seeking new titles.
  • #AuthorLife
    • Showcase the behind-the-scenes of your life as an author, providing a personal connection with your audience.
  • #NewRelease
    • Use this tag to announce and promote the launch of your latest book.
  • #WritingCommunity
    • Connect with fellow authors, share insights, and participate in conversations within the writing community.
  • #IndieAuthor
    • If you’re an independent author, this hashtag can help you connect with others in the indie publishing space.
  • #BookMarketing
    • Share your strategies, tips, and experiences related to marketing books, positioning yourself as an expert in the field.
  • #GenreSpecificTag
    • Use a genre-specific hashtag relevant to your book (e.g., #MysteryReads, #SciFiBooks, #RomanceReads) to target readers interested in that particular genre.

Remember to customize these hashtags based on your specific genre, target audience, and the themes of your books. Additionally, it’s crucial to research and stay updated on trending and relevant hashtags in the book and writing communities to maximize your reach.

The journey from social media to bestseller status demands a strategic, focused, and multifaceted approach. By curating an engaging online presence, strategically utilizing hashtags, collaborating with influencers, and maintaining a dynamic content calendar, authors can effectively navigate the digital landscape. Social media serves as a powerful tool for authors to connect with readers globally and turn their literary dreams into bestselling realities.

Resources and Free Downloads

Download our free monthly book marketing planner.

Helpful list of book awards and contests.

Our podcast episode on book awards and contests.

Proven strategies to increase sales potential on Amazon.

How to host a virtual book launch event.

Why your Amazon reviews are getting pulled and what to do about it.

Check out all the episodes of our book promotion podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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1 Comment

  1. Albert Jabara

    I am looking for a marketing and promotion hand. Where Martyrs Rise Snowflakes Don’t Fall is just being launched on Amazon, Google Books, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram Spark.


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