Five Instagram Content Ideas for Authors

Instagram for Authors eBookDuring a podcast interview with host Judith Briles, founder of AuthorYOU®, we talked about Instagram and Judith’s first question was, “Why should we [authors] be using it?

According to Pew Research, Instagram is the second most logged in social media site, only second behind Facebook. There are one billion users and approximately 120 million users in the United States (that number is projected to keep growing). Plus, six out of ten Instagram users log in to the platform at least once a day.

Therefore, the thing to ask yourself as an author is, “Should I be there or shouldn’t I?” In most cases, you probably should. And the reason I say ‘most cases’ is because we all go through those phases of, you know, there’s some new sparkling, shiny object out there and we think, “OK, everyone else is there so I should be there too.”

But just because everyone else is there, it doesn’t mean you should be. Look at your audience, look at what your goals are, and do you like the platform? Will you have fun there? Because if you don’t find it fun, then it’s just going to be a chore and you’re not going to be consistent and maintain it. Then, make a decision as to whether or not you’ll jump on the Instagram bandwagon.

Authors have a lot of material they could be sharing on Instagram, but many of them aren’t doing so. Therefore, I created a new eBook titled, “An Instagram Primer for Authors: Tips and Pointers to Get Started.” Within the pages of the eBook I share four Instagram basics for starting an accounting along with ten ideas for content you can be sharing on Instagram and tips about hashtags.

Here’s a sample of five content ideas authors should be sharing on Instagram:

#1. One great place to start is with a cover of your book. If your book is already published and you put the link to the sales page in your bio, remind folks that the link is in your bio (a call-to-action). You can put the URL in the caption, but remember, it’s not clickable from there.

Your book is not published yet? That’s okay. You don’t have to wait until the book is published to start marketing it. For example, if you’re working on a cover for your book, you might post one or two versions of the design and say, “This is what I’m working on. What do you think?” See how people respond. And, when they do respond, reply back to them. ENGAGE!

#2. Do you have an upcoming release? During COVID, a lot of people started writing or finishing their books. If that’s you, share photos about your upcoming launch or about the new book that you’re working on. Use quotes to tease readers about what you’re doing and get them excited.

#3. Go through the pages of your book and highlight anything that you feel is inspirational or motivational. Then, turn those quotes or tips into memes you can post on Instagram. If you have your own images, superimpose your words on an image and post that. In the caption, mention the page number where the quote is written in your book and a call-to-action reminder that the link is in your bio. This is one way to entice your followers and convert them into readers. And, don’t forget to include hashtags in the caption.

NOTE: Please don’t use images you find on Google, just because they’re there doesn’t mean you’re free to use them. You don’t want to risk copyright infringement. If you don’t have your own images, consider using an app like WordSwag, Adobe Spark, or They offer images you can use and they’re wonderful tools for creating memes. Or grab your phone, step outside in nature and start shooting some of your own photos.

#4. For those authors who say, “My book is fiction, I don’t really have any quotes I can pull like that,” I say think again. Maybe the characters in your book have said something humorous, inspirational or thought-provoking that you can turn into a meme. And of course, if your book is illustrated or includes photography, you’ll have lovely imagery to share.

#5. In addition, you can post quotes from other authors, writers, or mentors who have inspired you. BUT always attribute the quote to the appropriate source.

Find out the additional five content ideas along with four Instagram basics in An Instagram Primer for Authors, available on Amazon.