On my love affair with #bookstagram

Reader's Favorite Award Seal
Three 5 star seals for Gabriel
August 29, 2016
dark fantasy rose
Beverley Lee: The New First Lady Of Dark Fantasy
October 14, 2016
Bookstagram photo of book with key and small box

For those of you who don’t know, #bookstagram is a community found on Instagram, where readers and writers are brought together by their love of words and the draw of posting beautiful book photos. I fell upon this community quite by accident last year when I was in the throes of editing, and getting anxious about the phrase ‘find your audience before you finish your book!’ which seemed to greet me every time I clicked on the term ‘marketing’. It was all very bewildering. (Just a sidenote – you don’t have to have an expensive camera to take part. I use my phone or tablet.)

But I loved the aesthetics of the photographs people were posting and their ingenuity with ‘props’ (items that enhance the book). I joined in monthly challenges with themes, and slowly met a core group of people who I clicked with. Some were writers. Some were readers. Some were both. By November of last year I hosted my own monthly challenge with a couple of friends, and watched my followers slowly creep up. As a writer it’s very easy to get locked away in a space where the only voices you hear are those of your characters. I found #bookstagram a welcome respite from the demands of said characters, because who doesn’t like looking at beautiful photos of books and finding new recommendations to read?

As the time grew near for my own book launch I promoted with my cover reveal, some snippets from the story, and discovered that a readership was out there already. The people who promised to buy, did so. They took photos of my book, reviewed it on Amazon and Goodreads, and became my support crew. For a debut author this is worth more than gold.

Social media gets a very bad rap for being cold and calculating. There are a lot of sharks in the water. But I’ve found that #bookstagram is social media with a heart. If anyone wants to know more, just leave me a comment. I’d be happy to answer any questions or help you. Here is the link to my Instagram if you want to have a little look around my feed.

This would be one of my main points if I was asked ‘what worked for you on marketing?’ And as a writer, I know that question doesn’t often come with an answer.

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