How Successful Authors Market and Promote Their Books on Instagram: Cassie Clare

Have you ever wondered how publishing houses and successful, well-known authors (like Cassandra Clare) market and promote their books on Instagram?

I have!

While some traditionally published authors have a whole marketing team behind them, it’s still helpful to look at the strategies they use to market and promote their books. That way, you can incorporate them into your own marketing strategy.

I’m a huge Cassandra Clare fan. Whether it’s her Mortal Instruments series or Dark Artifices trilogy, I’m always reading her books as soon as I get my hands on them. That’s why I thought it would be perfect to start this new author’s marketing series with her.

In this blog post, I’m going to be diving into the following:

  • An overview of her social media platforms
  • Social media marketing strategies – Before the book release
  • Social media marketing strategies – During the book release
  • Social media marketing strategies – After the book release
  • Other marketing strategies

Now, enough chit-chat, let’s dive into this blog post.

An Overview of Her Social Media Platforms

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Cassandra Clare has 575k followers on Instagram, which is her primary platform. However, she only posts on average 1-2 times per month, but within 1-3 months of a release, that increases to 14-26 posts monthly.

We are going to focus on her Instagram in this post, and all the information below will be based on her Instagram strategies.

Social Media Marketing Strategies – Before the Book Release

There is a lot of build-up for Cassie Clare’s new releases, even though her following is massive and highly engaged. I feel like everyone who does read her books (which is millions, by the way) is obsessed (like me) and lining up at the bookstore to get her new releases.

However, she still engages in specific marketing tactics and strategies to give her new books that extra push before the release to the world.

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Many of her recent releases require readers to have read all, if not a large majority, of her previous books. This makes marketing interesting because she is speaking to a very niche audience. Her die-hard reader fans are her audience. The fans who read every single one of her books, if not all of them. She rarely speaks to all urban fantasy, young adult lovers because of this.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a HUGE audience still, but it means her marketing team needs to understand who her readers are on a personal level. Her marketing team is still asking themselves, “How can we make them more excited? How can we have them constantly posting about anticipating her new book? How can we make them continuously talk about how they can’t wait to read it? Even though we know they will already buy it.”

Do you get what I’m trying to convey here? Her audience will already buy her books, but the marketing strategies for her recent books focus on how we can get them more excited. How can we take anticipation to a whole new level?

In my opinion, the answer to this is based on my experience and what they have done is to include her readers in the marketing process. This makes the experience more memorable, creating happy memories around the books and Cassandra Clare herself.

Okay, okay, now let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

What does Cassandra Clare do on Instagram before a book release?

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For her most recent release, Chain of Iron, which was released on March 2, 2021, Clare really started ramping up posting in January of 2021.

Her content in January focused mainly on promoting the book. She shared quote cards, details about virtual signing, and character art. Overall, she posted 14 posts in January, which means she posted almost every day. That’s a lot!

Her content consisted of the following:

  • Classic book promo (quote cards, reviews, etc.)
  • Virtual book signing info
  • Character art

Character art is a fantastic way to engage your readers if you have the means. It’s fun and entertaining and allows your readers to connect even more with your book and its characters. 

And of course, classic book promotion content like quote cards and review cards are an excellent way to spread the news about your book. These are essential for your social media marketing and content strategy for new authors.

Here are a few examples of quote cards that Cassie posted and some I’ve created for my author clients!

Cassie’s Quote Cards

My Client’s Quote Cards

If you need help creating book promo content, check out my social media management services! Click the button below ⬇️

Social Media Marketing Strategies – During the Book Release

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Now, we are into what happens during her book release for Chain of Iron

Clare posted a stunning video to promote the book on March 2, the release day for the book. (Click HERE to watch it.) She also shared a series of Stories on her own account and posts by influencers and fans.

While she only posted once on release day, she posted 13 times in March to show off the book and keep people engaged and excited.

The posts were very similar to what she posted leading up to the release. However, while she shared character art, she also gave readers more insight into the BTS of promoting a book. It’s fun and exclusive! Many readers want to see this, so after your book drops, consider following Clare’s lead and giving people an insight look into what goes into creating a book.

Clare also utilizes a lot of influencers from Bookstagrammers to BookTubers, like EmmmaBooks. This is a helpful tip when developing your book marketing strategy: Order ARC copies and send them out to influencers who love your book genre and whose audience is full of your ideal readers. And don’t shoot only for people who have 10k followers. Find people who you genuinely think would enjoy your book, whether they have a smaller audience or not.

By giving people the opportunity to read your book early in exchange for reviews and posts on release day, you reach more people and connect with your ideal readers.

During a book release, the main thing to do is to keep up that momentum. I recommend posting about your new book 75% of the time during your book release, including the week leading up, during, and after your release. 

Post as frequently as possible (4-5x per week) during release week, and don’t forget that it’s never too late to reach ideal readers. Share the synopsis of the book, post reviews, and give people a look at BTS!

Social Media Marketing Strategies – After the Book Release

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For the sake of this blog post, I’m classifying “after the release” as April and May. Okay? Okay.

In March, Clare posted 7 times. These posts were static and carousel posts and no videos or reels.

In May, she posted 12 times (no videos–only static and carousel posts). The primary post she shared was fun character art. Post-release, sharing character art is an excellent tactic because many people have already finished reading her book since it’s been out for 1-2 months. Now, they can turn to her Instagram and see the characters they spent days fawning over visualized. However, she also shared some other Shadowhunter-related posts, like merch and lifestyle posts.

Reels are the best way you can reach the most ideal readers. Since most of us don’t have the insane audience Clare does, we need all the reach we can get before and after a book launch. Post-release, I recommend posting a mixture of video and static posts, but overall, prioritize reels.

Also, make sure you are shaking up your content a bit. Don’t only post content related to your book. While it’s important to share content related to your new book, you need to keep people who haven’t read your book yet interested and engaged so that they will pick up your book ASAP.

Post about your book 25% of the time post-launch, and share content on other topics the other 75% of the time.

Like during your release, you need to keep up the momentum for your book even after the release. Whether it’s one-month post-launch or one-year post-launch, you need to keep advocating for your book.

Other Marketing Strategies & Tactics

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Alongside Instagram, I wanted to highlight one other marketing strategy that Cassandra Clare used that I recommend to authors.

This strategy is connecting with ideal readers through other audiences by guest-starring on podcasts and guest-posting on blogs.

Over the years, for her releases, Cassandra Clare has been on podcasts like 88 Cups of Tea and The First Draft and on YouTube channels like EmmmaBooks to talk about her upcoming or recent releases. This is something I think ALL authors should add to their marketing plan.

There’s a limit to who we can reach online, but you can combat this by getting in front of other people’s audiences.

However, this can be time-consuming. If you need help curating a list of potential podcasts, blogs, and YouTube channels to guest-star or guest-post on, check out my book marketing service because this is something I can do for you!


Do you feel inspired to create your book launch marketing plan, or feel the need to tweak your current one a bit after reading this?

Good!

I hope this dive into what Cassandra Clare does on Instagram and her other marketing tactics was helpful for you and your upcoming book launch!

If you need help managing your social media, creating content, and/or marketing your book, click the button below to browse my services. I look forward to chatting! 🙂

AND, the first step to any successful social media strategy for an author is strong brand awareness. Learn how to boost your brand awareness on Instagram with 30 content ideas in my recent freebie. Click the button below to download today!

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