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Instagram is a great tool. Or, is it great at all – even near to being good? People keep checking the photos by others; at times, they also try to look good themselves by clicking their selfies in various positions and applying various filters. It’s fun, isn’t it? However, is Instagram a good tool for the authors to promote their books? People have been arguing it and some ‘influencers’ claim to help the authors in giving their book an ‘exposure’ with the help of their Instagram followers’ count. They will make the world aware of the arrival of a particular book – releasing the book covers and sharing the images of the book. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Though, the question is, does it actually even work? After all, like they said, everything that glitters is not gold!
There are many reasons that I don’t approve of Instagram book marketing. It’s just not made for this. Book giveaways, book competitions for signed copies and many other things are often running over there. Many succeed in gaining some ‘readers’ and some entries as well. My question is, how many times a serious reader of fiction checks Instagram in a day? How many hours does a serious book blogger dedicate to editing his or her photos for Instagram uploads? What kind of users are mostly on Instagram? Does the number of likes propose the number of readers interested in your book? The answer that will shatter your delusion into pieces is NO! I will share some of my personal monitoring of Instagram platform and its behaviour in the terms of posts related to books and you will find things quite interesting!
Likes are not interests or upvotes: On Instagram, people like your posts in the hope or greed that you will like their posts back. Am I wrong? They follow you because they hope, at times, you will follow them back. Monitor a so-called ‘book influencer’ or ‘book blogger’ profile on Instagram and you will find the ‘giveaway or competition posts which say that in order to participate, the users MUST follow the person who is organising the competition and like the post and share it as well. It implies the likes, the followers and the shares are ‘conditional’. Who will not want a free copy even if the book is trash? Organise a Goodreads giveaway and you will be surprised at the number of the readers ‘wanting to read’ your book! So, the number of likes on the book covers or ‘reviews’ are purely fictitious or even proxies. Don’t judge on that!
Lack of Links: On a usual Facebook or Twitter post, you can easily add the links so that the interested users can click it and get to the destination easily. On Instagram, there is nothing like that. You cannot add HTTP links to the posts and the users, even if one or two of them want, cannot reach the destination without copying the address and then pasting it to their address bar – which, sadly, no one does! The long process kills the interest right away!
The usual attitude: On Instagram, the usual attitude of a normal user is just scrolling down the page and liking the posts and keep doing it. Seldom and rarely, three or four of the users, dare to read the caption if they have a little freedom from zooming the images of girls and female celebrities or saving them using various tactics. So, without bothering of which book the cover is, they will like it and move ahead. You will be happy. That’s it; this is what you get.
So, does it work? Yes, you will be getting likes. If ‘like’ is all that you have been looking for, you are most welcome! Invest your time and money on Instagram as you please! However, if you are looking for the comprehensive book promotion strategy that will help you sell books and gain real recognition, the following link will help you a lot!
Always invest wisely! Books are like the business where you need to be smart to build a brand and then use your brand smartly to fetch ROI.