The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 116 – Bookstagram & Book Marketing
Play • 46 min

You've probably heard of Instagram Influencers, but did you know there are book influencers there too?

We discuss what Bookstagrammers are and the age bracket of readers on Instagram. Because the best Bookstagrammers are passionate readers! Plus, we look into how to network with Bookstagrammers, some of the things they can (and can't) do for your book, and how to find the right Bookstagrammer for you.

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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).

Narrator (2s):
You're listening to The Am writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from Writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now on to the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.

Jesper (30s):
Hello, I am Jesper

Autumn (31s):
And I, I am Autumn.

Jesper (33s):
This is episode 116 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. And today we will have a conversation around waiting out to Book influences or Bookstagrammers I, if that's something we could call those people, they get your books. Yes. That will be interesting. It, it will be like Instagram.

Autumn (55s):
Well, I usually like Instagram, but we'll get it into that later. I had a cup last week and nothing. I did nothing I touched or broke, but I did notice a neutral ground at the end now we'll get there. And so how are things for you?

Jesper (1m 14s):
It's a good, I was actually out with my youngest son for, to soccer practice for the first time in a very, very long time today to, to, you know, the Corona lockdown. Yeah. And that was pretty cool at the time. It got pretty cold, pretty fast. I must say that's too funny. I suppose what's the word it's still spring, but it can't be that bad over there. No. Well, the temperature just drop really fast to all of a sudden, you know, We was M I think when we went, there was probably like 10 degrees Celsius and then one and a half hour later, when is the training finished?

Jesper (1m 57s):
It was a two degrees and I was, and I was standing still. Of course you were just standing there watching it, right. So it's standing still for one and a half hours or while the temperature just drops it. Well, it becomes pretty cold after a while. It's probably a better to be the referee and be like running around and keeping warm much better. Yeah. Much better. Yes. And shouting at people and stuff like that. A little, keep your adrenaline going. Oh, geez. Yeah. Well, you know, you've got to get your exercise, your, a cheer for your son, even though it was just practiced. So it was in a game, but still you can be out there shouting. No, no, no, no.

Jesper (2m 37s):
I don't think that's good. I mean, it's some, some parents just don't know how to control themselves, honestly. And there's just let, let them have fun. Let them play why'd you have to stand up and shout at them. So that's not just the U S trait that's that's over in the European union too.

Autumn (2m 52s):
That's good to know that it was just as crazy as Americans.

Jesper (2m 56s):
Yeah. It's not good. Yeah. Oh, and by the way, It should also mention a name because the PODCAST people can see this, But something new. We've actually, we started recording videos as well, while we are recording this podcast episodes. So, so if anyone wants to, wants to see us then a head on over to the Am, Writing Fantasy, YouTube channel, Autumn. I, No it's Yes. Our, how we do record, these has changed in their offering video. And last week we, we could have done last week, but I was still under an old modem that had a three megabyte upload speed.

Jesper (3m 38s):
I am in a really rural area, rural cellphone internet, but we just got five G modem. And it actually is just the fastest internet we've ever had. So I'm feeling pretty good. And, and it's a working. I didn't send it up to my husband. Did I didn't touch it? He won't let me. So this was the big rollout, which is pretty good timing.

Autumn (4m 5s):
We only missed one potential episode that we could've recorded with a video. So it's not too bad.

Jesper (4m 13s):
Yeah. So the Am Writing Fantasy, YouTube channel will show the video feed as well. If anybody interests. I don't know. I can't see why anybody would be, But, but if they are then that's it.

Autumn (4m 28s):
Yeah, absolutely. I'm in my husband actually. He's been complaining. I was like, I don't think I like YouTube videos that, or just static images and, well, I'm not saying anything like that. That's ours, but now it isn't. So that's a good thing.

Jesper (4m 42s):
Yeah. Yeah. So anything else going on on your side?

Autumn (4m 48s):
Well, everything, everything. I mean, I, I, I feel like, you know how it is when you, things just aren't going well. And I feel like I was stuck and I'm just sitting there spinning my wheels and grinding the gears and whatever was holding me back. I was just trying to move an inch, but whatever it was holding me back, let me go. And instead of just moving an edge, I got Slingshot it to like the next state. And suddenly my life goes from like, just trying to get one thing done to suddenly like 20 things coming at me. And it's good. It's good. But it's just suddenly I can't keep up with suddenly everything that's coming towards me. A little things I'd said in motion ages ago when I was just trying to move that a little bit of an edge.

Autumn (5m 31s):
So I, I think of it, it it's like playing a game of catch up, but your opponent or your cooperator as invisible in there throwing hot rocks in and just grasping in air and hoping to stay afloat. But yeah, so it was a total change and I haven't broken anything and suddenly things are working well, and that's a good thing, but I'm not caught up yet.

Jesper (6m 0s):
Yeah. Well, sooner or later, right?

Autumn (6m 4s):
Yeah. As I said, my tombstone will say to be continued.

Narrator (6m 7s):
A week on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast.

Jesper (6m 12s):
Sorry. I started the sound of it too early there, but I have in mind. So just a last reminder here, if you didn't pick it up from last week's episode, we are currently running as a special off on Patrion. Yes. Which is fantastic. We hope you will come in and join us over there. At least come and check us out for just a dollar a month. You can join us and help support this podcast, which we definitely appreciate. Nothing's free. I mean, the software we use for uploading and recording and hosting it all costs a little bit. So every bit helps us afford that. So if you like us Patriana is one way of not only helping to support us, but getting something back, especially right now during these special sign up offers.

Jesper (7m 3s):
Yeah. So for a limited time, everyone who joins us on Patrion will get some extra prices on top of the ones that we already offer. Each one of the different T levels. So every one, and that includes the existing patron supporters will get an e-book of our, a guide that is called a plot development, which is an end to end on a walk through step by step on how to develop a platform novel and also develop the characters and the character arcs. And we will also make a draw. Yes. One lucky winner will get to have a mentoring session by session with both of us on something.

Autumn (7m 48s):
I assume it'll be on the books. I hope they get their writing publishing. I don't know if we did we limit from what you're mentoring session could be a line. I can do a small house building, but hopefully, hopefully it'll be on the close and learning how to swim a mile. Oh, you have to be a referee as a soccer coach. Oh yeah. Yeah. Okay. So we can do it a few things. Yes. We have to travel the world, but how to behave yourself would be better. It won't be good at it that way. So that it'll be fun. I mean, if it gets one on one coaching, so that it'll be fantastic.

Jesper (8m 31s):
Yeah. So in a shorter has never been a better time to sign up to SUPPORT THE AM WRITING FANTASY PODCAST and right now, but you will need to be quick about it. 'cause this special offer ends on the 22nd of March. So as always, you will find the links to patron in the show notes.

Narrator (8m 53s):
Yeah. And on to today's topic.

Jesper (8m 57s):
Okay. So what are we talking about here?

Autumn (9m 2s):
We are talking about Instagram, which Okay. True confession for you. How often are you on Instagram?

Jesper (9m 9s):
I don't even have an account.

Autumn (9m 12s):
What is the wait? Was I supposed to prepare something for today? A Yes. Do we need to cut it now? So you thank you. And that was it. Oh, you know, I'm good at my hope. You're not alone. This is, I know. So I don't even have an account, but you've seen Instagram. Right. You know, you, you can look at it and you can see it from computers, other places, even if you don't have an account. So I'm hoping you might be seen an Instagram post before.

Jesper (9m 48s):
No. Or yes,

Autumn (9m 51s):
but mostly you can't see much to be honest because of your, if you click on it an Instagram post and you don't have an account, you can see the image, but then it will just ask you to log in. So you can really do anything. You, you could just see the image. So that's more or less of a, I think before Facebook bot, you could actually see the posts and everything. It was more like Twitter where you could actually follow it and see it. I remember seeing websites that would have all of their Instagram images. So yeah. I could see Facebook. Maybe we missed it up a little bit, but we won't go there.

Jesper (10m 24s):
But No.

Autumn (10m 25s):
So Instagram, I have five minutes. So maybe it's been one of my favorite social media platforms of probably in the last couple of years. I used to be a big on Twitter. Twitter. I've never liked Facebook, but Instagram. I like, so I don't mind talking about this one.

Jesper (10m 43s):
No. And I think we will see how we get to it, but I would like to have some thoughts, at least around the effectiveness of it all as you see it. Yeah. No, no, but maybe we will get to that. I don't know.

Autumn (10m 59s):
But, but yes, definitely. Well, I think we should start with, for anyone else, not familiar with it. If you're looking at maybe trying out Instagram, so Bookstagram is a hashtag on Instagram and it just one of many hashtags that are out there. I mean, some of the others Bookstagrammer, which you did come up with that is correct. There. Everyone who does a Bookstagram is a Bookstagrammer there's books, books, books, and reading, live Book, life books of Instagram, readers of Instagram. There's all of these hashtags and Instagram is different because you can follow hashtags just like people. So you can follow your Bookstagrammer.

Autumn (11m 39s):
As you can follow Fantasy Readers, you can follow FANTASY readers. That's a good one to follow. And then you can interact, you know, find a new post to people you don't even follow well by following the hashtag. And so that's what a Bookstagram is that it gives you an idea. So it's a very active, you might be surprised. There's a lot of readers. There's a lot of active Book audience on Instagram, and there are geared towards a younger, you know, it's mostly thirties and younger. So if you are a Y a or if your target audience is a younger crowd, this is a good place to hang out and get to know people because they tend to be friendly.

Autumn (12m 21s):
And, but yeah, it's fun, but there's definitely some Instagram rules and ways of approaching. If you want to use it as an advertising platform, there's definitely some, some ways of doing it in some ways of not doing it. Of course.

Jesper (12m 40s):
Okay. We definitely need to get into some of those, but, but it basically, so it's basic, it's basically like Book tubers, but just on Instagram is, is it's a sort of the same thing, right? Yeah.

Autumn (12m 53s):
Yes. Not that I, I don't do videos, so I don't know anything about Book tuber as we do that PODCAST. It is all on. Okay.

Jesper (13m 5s):
Yeah. But, but a Book, tube be is this, usually those people on YouTube who will review books and then talk about what they felt about the book and, and so on and so on. But I don't know how much they do have that on, on instinct.

Autumn (13m 17s):
Yeah. It depends. And that's, what's really the key. So I think most people hear about Instagram influencers. I mean, they've been targeted by, you know, some Instagram influencers have millions of followers and they make lots of money by reviewing products or promoting products, right. On their channel. For some reason, Instagram, it's sort of Okay to be a promoter, like a lifestyle promoter. Instagram is more selling a lifestyle than a specific thing. So if you are a Bookstagrammer, you're selling a lifestyle of reading Fantasy and being a huge Fantasy fan.

Autumn (13m 58s):
And that's one of the key things to remember. I mean, they can have thousands of followers. They can have lots of comments and it's great to interact with them. So they are Influencers. But I think what are the biggest take-aways is that these are people who are serious and professional about building a brand, just like we, as authors are serious and professional about building our brands. So you're coming, and this was not a book reviewer. It was a blog that you were just like, Hey, give you a free Book. Well, you look at my book. This is someone who has spent sometimes hundreds of dollars to buy little props for their images. They have a whole look, they have a color scheme, they have a genre, they have something about them that is really that there they're trying to sell and promote as well as gain new followers.

Autumn (14m 44s):
And you're kind of tapping into someone, especially the upper tier ones that these are the people that are professional about this. You have to treat them as an equal and not as like, yeah, just give me a free book to me as I mentioned. Okay. So there, you should be a little more serious and especially Instagram, it is all about the image. They, there are some people who do videos and so you will get stories. There's Instagram stories that they only last for 24 hours and you will get them. There can be only 15 seconds. And so maybe you'll get them holding up your Book and they'll see a little blurb about it and then it'll be gone or they can do a post about it. And for that, they usually do the pictures and the little, I mean, it's, there are some of the top tier Bookstagrammers, Oh my goodness.

Autumn (15m 26s):
I want to, I don't know how many props and things they have that you have worn, especially the ones that are in a fantasy genre. Dragon's and one's and Crystal's and sparkly lights. And it's just crazy what they have on it. It makes me want to have a bigger cabin every time we see them.

Jesper (15m 49s):
Yeah. But I also think that its, it made us a lot too as well as you know, I think you've probably alluded to it, their right. But I would think that they met us a lot to get the right type of influencer in a, it it's not like a one size fits all thing. You need to find somebody who, who loves your showing. Right. And caters to that type of audience, I guess. Right?

Autumn (16m 12s):
Yeah. Absolutely. And that's one of the things, I mean, if you just ha you know, look at the hashtag Bookstagrammer or follow it, the top nine posts on any hashtag you look at are the top nine trending, you know, like when you go into Twitter and it tells you like the trending posts on the side, it's sort of the same thing on Instagram, you get a block of nine and those are the top ones at that moment in that hashtag. And you can look through them in Bookstagrammer is great, but that is specific to the books, but it's not specific to your genre. So you do need to do some research. Like I noticed right now, a Sarah J mass just released I'm a core to silver flames, which is the next Birt book in her crown of thorns and roses series.

Autumn (16m 55s):
And so I have seen a lot of people who was posting pictures with that book, I'm doing a little review saying where they are in their reading it, what they are thinking of. It there's tons of posts. But if you read through them, you'll see a few people say I never read Fantasy, But I read this one. 'cause it is a popular Book. And people are trying to build their brand and build their number of followers. By saying, I'm reviewing this really popular book. Well, that's not a reason to go and ask them if they'll review your book. If they typically do not read Fantasy, you want to burrow down. You want to read through some other posts. In fact, when the best things you can do is spend some time, you know, follow the Bookstagrammer comment on some of their other post. So they know who you are before you do as spam, you know, a private message saying, Hey, will you do read my book too.

Autumn (17m 41s):
You want to get to know them a little bit, see what they're going to offer you. You know, some people you see on Instagram is really interesting. You can't post live link in a post. And so that's one of the fun things. So you can't really sell anything unless you're doing advertising, unless you put it in your bio link. So you need to see how do they promote these books, you know, just because they do a review, what does that going to be by you? Is that going to have their audience really excited? Or will they be able to post a link for something for you or at least have a tag You so that they will go and follow you and you'll get a whole bunch of new followers. That's not a bad outcome because then you can offer them all your new followers.

Autumn (18m 22s):
Hey, look at my link. Here's a freebie, go follow it. So there's, you've got to be strategic. You can't just say, Hey, I'm going to go get a Bookstagrammer to review my book and it's going to do X. You got to figure out what your X is before you go in and find your own Bookstagrammer.

Jesper (18m 40s):
Yeah. And nobody likes to be asked to fave out of the blue, by somebody who, who, who, who they have no idea who it is. Right? I mean, nobody likes that. So the starting, starting of building a relationship in, in advanced is very important, I think. But I'm also thinking that going off to the top tier ones might not be very useful,

Autumn (19m 3s):
But I think if you want it to go for a top tier one, I would say start maybe your first one to start lower, start with someone who has a moderate amount of followers who is willing to work for you or work with you. But definitely if you're going to come from the top tier one is you kind have to have your, you got to have a platform. You've got to have a really gorgeous book, cover. Remember pictures are everything on Instagram, the posts or nice. But it's the picture that really is the most popular thing that people are scrolling through Instagram four. So if you don't have a pretty cover know, and the fact is most of these, Bookstagrammers the big ones. They have these bookshelves and the size of rooms.

Autumn (19m 43s):
Or again, I am so jealous. They have the organized by color or some of them have them all white. Its just crazy. The amount of time is spent organizing they're books. But think of it, there are real books. They like Real books. So you needed to be offering it. Maybe you can offer a, someone of free ebook, but there are probably going to want to pay per pack. And they're going to respond a lot better if your offering a free paperback. So you're probably, unless you got some money, which if you do it, I don't know why you are trying to hunt down. Bookstagrammers there's other ways of, you know, advertising than, than this. You probably don't want to be sending out like 30 or 40 or 50 paperbacks. You going to have to choose just a couple of grab five paperbacks, choose five.

Autumn (20m 25s):
Bookstagrammers call that a success because they're going to want paper is going to sound a much better off. Or if you can send them a paper bag because they are going to want that for their photo.

Jesper (20m 38s):
Yeah. No. And that, that definitely makes sense. But, but then again, I, well it is because I'm not into this world. Right. But my thinking is just, well they want a photo. So a ebook cover is that's a photo, right? What's what's the problem. But I guess it's because they, they are taking photos for themselves and styling and all that kind of thing, I suppose right now.

Autumn (20m 60s):
Yeah, it is. And it's harder. The most covers you see of like eBooks or iPads with a book cover photo or not actually on the image because of the screen reflection and everything else. Usually those are all digitally altered images and yet to get their prompts and everything else there are, they usually want the paperback. There are pretty old-school, especially the Fantasy ones I have noticed. They really liked it. A real books. They want to hold it up a real book. They want to hold up an iPad or a phone. They want something really pretty.

Jesper (21m 33s):
Yeah, no, I know. I see the same thing goes for the Book tubers as well. They also want the physical, but in that case I really understand it because they are talking to camera. So they want to be able to show it to the camera that it is this book. Right. So I understand that. But yeah, the Instagram stuff is still weird to me because you could just download the app, the book cover image, right. And then you could do for them and manipulation and do whatever. What never mind I was just me. I know it. It's just me. So just ignore my comments. Yeah.

Autumn (22m 5s):
Yeah. Well, it was funny because I don't have a big staging area when I do my images on Instagram, I often are. I am often photo manipulating things and putting them in places that I don't actually have. So I get that, but that's not the brand that most of the Bookstagrammers are, they are doing for authentic. This was their Real house. This was their Real reading room and they are really readers' and they're really serious readers. So they want the real deal. That's just the way it goes. Authenticity is the key and they want to show it off.

Jesper (22m 36s):
No, that's fair enough. But how do you, how do you see the time investment and this stuff? Because what if we are saying, number one, you said you have to build the relationship with these people in advance. So of course that takes a bit of time. So I I'm automatically, they are already thinking that you should probably do this if you like the Bookstagrammer stuff any way. So if it's like, Oh, I love this anyway. I'm it would not be something like if, if I was the one, I probably would not give myself the advice to say start billing relationship with these people. 'cause I don't really like, it's not that I dislike it, but I don't find any pleasure in going on to Instagram and finding pictures and following these people and why I don't enjoy it.

Jesper (23m 23s):
So wouldn't it be better just to say it didn't don't do it. I am always thinking like, isn't the advice to say? You should only do it if you like it already or what, what, what do you think

Autumn (23m 35s):
If you like it already? Or if it's your audience, if your audience is younger, if your audience is going to like Bookstagram or Bookstagrammers even if you hate, then it might be a good thing to give a try because I mean, maybe you have to do a follow a books, a couple of Bookstagrammers you have to narrow it down, talked to them for a week or two and three or maybe a month. But again, you'll have to do what every single day you stop in once or twice a week to talk to them and see what they're posting comment on their posts for a month and then private message him and saying, Hey, I really like what you do. I love your look. I love the books are review. I write something similar. I will give you a free paperback. If you are willing to, you know, look at mine and review it.

Autumn (24m 18s):
And by the way, here is a link to the actual, you know, the e-book so that you can see what you are getting into or even a blurb, or I'll give you the book, if you want to read it first so that, you know, you, you, you know, you will like it or at least a sample. So you want to, at least you don't build up some kind of a relationship with the stuff you gotta be like months in. And you're talking to him for every day for hours on end. You know, it does not take long to go on to Instagram and do a post, especially if you're following a few specific people.

Jesper (24m 47s):
Yeah. Okay, fine. So that the answer, but then I have, and then I have another, another critical question. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I have to be the critical voice today. So let's say let's okay. Let's try and say, you don't have to overdo the engagement and, and all that. So it's not too much work, but then what is the actual likelihood of them are actually saying yes, because Mr. Nobody comes in and say, Hey, can you please, would you mind the reviewing my book or whatever, or, or whatever, you know? I mean, I understand when you say is Sarah J math and stuff like that?

Autumn (25m 30s):
No, no, of course. Yeah, of course. She's going to get Bookstagrammers to, to, But, or a Stephen King or a brand and Sanders in whatever write, but what about the rest of us and models? Is it, is it even possible, do you think? Oh yeah, I definitely think it's possible. I having been there and around me as a reader or some of these readers, I mean, they are professional readers. I, they can read a book on a day and so they need a lot of books and a lot of them do like two, some of them that's the thing is to go to books, book sales, and find books that they prefer it. Some of them happily take other books. Again, it's all about finding out which ones are going to be more open to you in some of them might say, no, it's just not my cup of tea, but a lot of, a lot of them are like books, even if it's for a proper, even if they might not get to it for a month or so, you know?

Autumn (26m 15s):
No, but I think they will be, if you have a nice cover, if you are a good enough writer, you know, if you can entice them, I think you'll be fine. But if you have maybe only one book out or, and it seems that you did the cover yourself, they might politely say no, so you have to do a watch that. Mm. And I definitely, I think it's important to note that, I guess. Yeah.

Jesper (26m 40s):
Yeah. Go ahead. No, I'm sorry. Yeah, there is a bit of a delay here, so sorry for that. So I didn't pick up the day you start at the talking, but the way I was just wondering as well that I guess they don't really mind how much or how little of an audience you have then, because from their point of view, the main thing that they want is just the free book. And they want some let's call it content that they can produce and by reading the book. Right. So, so they don't really get to that as long as the book looks wonderful. And it is when it in, within the stuff that they like to read already, then I guess they don't really care if you have a, you know, your aunt and your brother following you on Twitter, or if you have a, a, a 125,000 people following you, I guess they don't really care.

Autumn (27m 33s):
I don't think it does. I mean, it would probably be helpful if you can then promote, you know, cross promote them or offer them some kind of cross promotion in some way. But a lot of them, yeah, they're looking for content. They are looking for nice pictures, are good books to review, and you're basically maybe offering them something, you know, a free meal and as a selection that maybe they wouldn't have found, otherwise they might be happy about it. So it's not about, it's not something that they're going to just out and out, refuse. Not everyone. Some are going to have some, you know, like the reading and learn to be read pile might be a mile long and there just like, no, no, no. More as the one thing about reader's they tend to always won another book. Don't we always, yeah.

Jesper (28m 18s):
Yeah, because that's, that's basically my fear and all of this is that they might easily say, yeah, sure. Send it to me. But they have like a to be read pile. That is so weird because I imagine a lot of people will be doing this. Right. A lot of people will reach out to them and maybe they would just say, yeah, sure, no problem. And send it to me. And then it goes into the pile and not to say that they'll never get there, but it is, well, what if it takes a year before they get to your book? Right? I mean, is it been worth it? Yeah. Well, of course that'll be a nice once they get to it, but maybe that was not quite the point. Maybe you release the book and you wanted it to give a bit of a boost in and then a year that, well, then you could say to get some more books a year later, but it, is it more sounds like you needed to be aware of your, let's say strategy here or are you set your expectations, right.

Autumn (29m 15s):
Definitely. I think it's, you need to stay, you need to be clear when you are a private message to them and saying, I have a book that's a new release or that I'm looking to promote in June, just be clear. And like I said, do you need to know what you're going to get? Why are you approaching this Bookstagrammer or is it because they are incredibly popular or because you think they have an audience that you would like to get into or are they going to tag you because you're not going to get a free link that anyone who reads that post we'll have to go and probably search your book, or if they get, if you get tagged, they can go and follow you and read your bio and maybe find out where you are giving away at your freebie, because you only have one link.

Autumn (29m 57s):
So those are the things to keep in mind that you don't have much of a, you know, there is not a big advertising things. So you have to be really clear on what you're expecting. If it is it going to be followers to come and follow you, or you're going to have a sale, that's going to go with this book. Then you need to tell the Bookstagrammer, Hey, I'm planning on doing this. Would you be willing? Is that something you want to work together and do? Or you can do this review. And when you do the review, I'm going to give you five eBooks that you can give away for free, as well as part of your platform. This is a lot of things that you can make up and that they can do as well. And that's, that is not an atypical and Instagram. They can do.

Autumn (30m 38s):
A lot of people do like, Hey, I'll choose five people from my comments to give him a private message. You a link to get a free book. People do comment and giveaway is a lot on Instagram. Its like tag follow a comment and then we'll give away a Book and team up with the big Bookstagrammer or, or even a modern Bookstagrammer. I do that with you. It can benefit both of you. You are giving them something to give away for free. They're getting content and also building their own platform. And you're going to cross post. And if your audience likes Instagram as a younger audience, this can be a really fun. You can have fun with it. I think that that's the thing to remember is just Instagram. It's a lifestyle.

Autumn (31m 18s):
And so you're selling, reading your selling fun and adventure and you love your readers'. Those are the vibe's you should be giving out with your post and with your offer. And if you do that, I think you will get a good response if you're, you know, just saying, Hey, here's my freebie. I think you'll like it, you should read it. You're probably going to hit a brick wall and not a problem.

Jesper (31m 46s):
Yeah. And I think so too. And well, I guess it's a, it's up to people to try. I mean, why not? You, you can try it out. It, it doesn't cost you anything to send an email or contact these people. So in that sense you can try it out, But I'm still here. Yeah. I was still thinking that it might be more difficult than you think

Autumn (32m 8s):
You challenging me to go give this a try aren't you?

Jesper (32m 13s):
Yeah. Yeah. Try it out and see how many new people you can actually get to say. Yes. Because I, I, no. Okay. Let me, let me, let me rephrase that. I think you can get people to say yes, But I'm not So sure that they will get to it in, within the timeframe you would like them to.

Autumn (32m 32s):
That will be, it would be an interesting topic. But I think again, it comes down to like, especially like right now I'm releasing a whole series. So I know I'm going to be releasing books from here till June. If I could sit up a Bookstagrammer even when the final book that they are going to maybe read one or two of them are, maybe I'll get them all in the series. That's not, as you planning ahead, it's like planning ahead. All of your advertising. You're not expecting an immediate thing. I mean, they are going to have to reach, you have to ship the book, you know, they have to read it or they have to post it. So it might not happen. But I think being clear, a lot of these. Yeah. Like I said it to them, this is the professional level of business. So if they are not being clear and concise and can you give you a time frame, then move on to someone who can give that to you.

Autumn (33m 16s):
Not, you don't want little, Oh, you know, it looks good. I'll get to it sometime in 2020 for you, you know, you definitely want to pin it down. And to me the biggest hurdle, a in the pet challenge, I see, I mean, I do like Instagram, but I do see problems because it is constantly changing. Facebook does own it now in Facebook likes to change things quite a bit. Yeah. And they love that. Yeah. And so it, it keeps changing. Like when you first, when I first joined Instagram, you never saw a promotional post or, or you could see one every 20 or 30 and then they changed it to like one every third post became promotional and then they could have three together and then they stop doing that and they changed how you do it.

Autumn (33m 60s):
But it is, it can there's days that I go on there and I'm like, I just can't take that. And then last week, of course, when we are, we're talking now, I'm, it will have been two or three weeks ago. I went on an all of these cross posts from tick-tock and I'm not on Tik TOK for a purpose. I don't really like video. I don't want to do a tock. It's not Instagram. And Instagram tends to be static images. They have some video, but it's, you know, Instagram TV never took off. It's not a big thing. So most of the video are very small or some, a little blurry images that are moving a little bit. And suddenly there's all these cross-post from Tik TOK that were one nut format it to the Instagram size, which is 1400 by 1400.

Autumn (34m 42s):
So there are odd sized stretched wrong. And I just couldn't take it. I'm on there for the pretty pictures to talk to authors. I like to have conversations in suddenly all of these people doing Tik TOK stuff. It was just like, I'm done. I didn't even look at it the rest of the day. So, you know, if you give a book to somebody, I don't know what Instagram will look like in six months. It as much as I hate to say it, but I don't know. It could change hugely because every once in a while, if Facebook decided to roll out on a massive change, the Instagram and there's usually an uproar and then they bring it back a little bit, but it's not owned by the original founders who had the vision for it that I used to be.

Autumn (35m 25s):
So it is changing constantly. And so there is that. So if you do a giveaway, it somewhat a book and they say, I'll read it in eight months. It might be fine. Last year we could have hit the earth by too. So I don't know.

Jesper (35m 42s):
No, that's true. But, but I actually, I was actually thinking while you were talking that that might be THE, so to speak easiest way of getting mileage out of Instagram would be to basically just reach out to, let's say new Bookstagrammer like once a week, every two weeks are once a month or whatever. And they don't care about when they get to it, But, but just sort of get the wheelchair and

Autumn (36m 9s):
Just turning it off. Yeah. Yeah. Well,

Jesper (36m 12s):
Yeah. And then eventually something will pop out here and there that, that then they got to it. I mean, that could be a way where I think it could be working, but I'm more of a much more hesitant if you have deadlines and you need it within this timeframe. And so I think that will be difficult, especially if you're talking about maybe not the low grade Influencers. I, but if it's a Influencers with a big following who does this as a professional level, they will not, you know, buy to your time scale that you will have to abide to Dez. Yeah. And, and, and that means that maybe you have to wait 10 months or whatever, but if you keep feeding the monster, as you say, every week or every second week, or once a month or whatever, you have the time for it, and it's something that will trickle out down the road.

Autumn (36m 58s):
Right. So, so that might be something that could be worth it.

Jesper (37m 3s):
Absolutely edit it to me. And the other only caveat I have is that you're building a platform on someone else's platform and you and I have discussed this a lot, especially recently. Yes. And so that's a great, if you give 50,000 Instagram followers and you become your own influence or an author influencer, that's fantastic. I don't know many author Influencers other than the really big names that have that many followers. I mean, it seems a lot of them cap out at the 5,000 to 10,000. There's a few who get a little bit higher, but I think that's a great, but I have to admit, I spent a lot of time last week formatting some images to like do a character or a lot of people, sometimes format some stuff for like character introductions or a cover reveals, you know, they do all of these things and it's great.

Autumn (37m 53s):
And then I feel like it's gone in, or, you know, it'll be on my feet for a while, but it essentially, if I post once a day or a couple of times a day, it's gonna trickle down really quickly. And I ended up taking the images and putting it on my blog and spreading that out too, like Amazon and good reads and all these other places that I think it, it did a lot better in, by being on my blog. It will last a lot longer. I got up, I, I sent it out to my pore subscriber's that I have neglected recently. So I do think it is one thing to consider that, like, what are you doing on Instagram and how is it helping your platform? Yeah. It's great to build something there, but how are you going to convert them into readers?

Autumn (38m 34s):
And if Instagram changes hugely, how are they going to find you so that, you know, they're on your mailing list? Or do they know where your website is so that they can go and find you because you know, Facebook used to be the big thing and maybe it still is, but I think it's tanking Twitter. I used to, I have, I have so many followers on Twitter, but I have not been active really on that platform for a long time, because it's just changed too much. And I'm not that interested in. I have to have been like, Oh, I'm a graphic designer. I like pretty pictures. I tweet don't do forums. That's just pictures. I don't know.

Jesper (39m 9s):
Yeah. Yeah. But getting people from those platforms, whatever, whichever one is that you're using it in this case, in a Instagram, getting them off of there and onto your email list is absolutely key. I mean, years ago I wrote a book about how to use Twitter as an author and a low and behold, like six months after I published that book, Twitter changed the, a in terms of conditions so that the strategy that I was using to actually get people off of Twitter and on to the email list, stop working.

Jesper (39m 48s):
So that's the thing that you all are. I think you always just have to keep in mind with the stuff that if you are not funding the funneling them away from the platform and onto your email list, it could go away tomorrow. And then when I say that, I also know that many people will think, yeah, but that's not really going to happen. I mean, what about YouTube and people who have been YouTube has for years and years and years, and now you're on a living and that's true. Yes. But sometimes it happens and maybe it hasn't happened yet. And maybe it won't happen for the next two years. Who knows? I don't know. But I'm assuming that the being an author means that you want to build a lifetime career out of this.

Jesper (40m 31s):
And one thing I can say for sure is that Instagram will change over the next 50 years. It will not be the same. So if, if that's the only place where you have your audience, you have an issue. Yes. All right. And that was also the people at some point that we built the entire business spaced on a Google apps and stuff like that. And then at some point Google changed how Google ads worked, worked at, and they didn't pay out affiliates at the same level anymore. And so on. So on and people's business stuff from basically overnight, right. From one way to the next. So it's not to sort of paint a doomsday picture out of things, but I think it is important to be mindful that it's only when you have the control over the customer data, that you can build a proper sustainable business because otherwise you will always be dependent on the Well womens and ideas about THE, whatever the other is this the same thing with Facebook, right?

Jesper (41m 35s):
I mean, a lot of authors at the moment are selfish, inclusive, inclusive, eh, has a quite big audiences maybe in Facebook groups and stuff like that. And if that's the only place where you have them, you, again, you have an issue. So yeah, I think this sort of stuff is really, really important. All right.

Autumn (41m 55s):
Yeah. I agree. And that's why, you know, it's definitely got me thinking again that making sure your, your core, your, the stuff you own, like your own website, your own blog, make sure that that's solid and growing and push out to the other platforms, you know, reuse your posts or one of the, I still love that about blogs. I mean, you can list, you can link your website, blog to your Amazon profile, to your good reads profile. You can spread that out to your Twitter, to your Facebook. You can link it to your Instagram, but you can find ways of cross posting it. I know that you use a, a, a social post or I use I'm a social pilot. There are ways of pushing out, even in a blog post, even if the link isn't live, you can kind of, if you have an easy website, which is the whole purpose of having a website name is that it's easy to type.

Autumn (42m 43s):
You can send people back over to it. And so, you know, making sure that you're generating those links to come back to where your core, your center core that has strong, that you own is, is really the best use of your marketing time. Rather than sitting there on Instagram for hours and hours of sitting on Facebook for hours and hours. That's one not helping you right now. And two, it's not a platform you Oh. And so at the end of the day, those people could disappear overnight. If something changed in the platform. I mean, everyone says that about Amazon and that's one reason I'm wide. And your wide is that if something happens on Amazon where it's not our only basket of eggs, but I really do believe that.

Autumn (43m 26s):
I mean, I don't just talk That I, I walk that way.

Jesper (43m 32s):
Yeah. Yeah. And we also had an, I don't remember the episode number anymore, but people can search for it, but we had Joanna Penn on and on a past episode as well, where we talked about diversifying your income and that's exactly what it is so important. And she, she was a big advocate of that as well, to make sure you don't have all the acts in one basket because it's going to hurt one day. If that's what you do, maybe not now, maybe not next five years, but one day it will hurt. So yeah. I try always to diversify, making sure that you control your audience, meaning that you have them on an e-mail list so that you, no, that no matter what happens with Facebook or Instagram or whatever, you have a way to contact those people.

Jesper (44m 15s):
When you have a new book out, that's the only way to build it sustainable. Yeah.

Autumn (44m 20s):
Yeah. And speaking of a new book out, according to the end of this podcast is released. I released a book yesterday. I can't wait to the future me to tell the, present me how that goes. So I don't know. We just realize that that's a really exciting, we want to time travel for my book really is okay. Back to the park. That was perfect though. But any final words on a Bookstagram on Instagram and what not? No. Other than, like I said, it is, it's a lot about branding. It's a lot about lifestyle and its a lot about, you know, I would assume a militia WRITING dystopian or something really dark and depressing that it's about having a little bit of fun.

Autumn (45m 6s):
So do keep that in mind that sort of what Instagram is about. It's not about just selling one thing, its about selling a whole lifestyle of what it's like to be a reader. So treat the Bookstagrammers like professionals who with a professional brand equal, if not better than yours and be nice, but come say hi, it's really fun. And if you do come say hi to me, so I, because I'm on their and you're not, but I really do enjoy it. Assuming they stop cross posting tick talk. Well maybe one day I'll say, okay, so next Monday we are going to share some tips and thoughts on writing a first draft.

Jesper (45m 48s):
We will try to be as helpful as we can when it comes to a first draft.

Narrator (45m 54s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on Am. Writing Fantasy for as little as a dollar a month, you'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast, going to stay safe out there and see you next Monday.

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