A Romance Author’s Guide to Instagram: How to Find Readers and Sell Books

There is a massive audience of romance readers on Instagram and an overall large audience of readers, so it’s time to conquer Instagram if you’re a romance author.

I always recommend Instagram as a platform for my romance author clients to focus on for a few reasons:

  • It’s a visual platform, making it easier to share book quotes, similar book recommendations, and other posts that romance readers respond well to.
  • It’s easy to connect with your ideal readers.
  • There are various ways to share content, such as static posts, carousel posts, Reels, Instagram Stories, etc.

In this blog post, we will go over EVERYTHING Instagram-related. This is your go-to guide for conquering Instagram as a romance author and using it to enhance your brand, grow brand awareness, and establish a loyal and engaged audience of ideal readers.

Let’s take a deeper look at what’s coming up in this blog post:

  • How to set up and optimize your Instagram account
  • Six quick tips for getting started
  • How often you should post
  • What to post (with 10 creative content ideas that sell books!)
  • How to find ideal readers (and get them to follow you!)
  • How to write SEO-friendly captions to reach more readers
  • Why you need to engage on Instagram every day

Ready to dive in?

Photo by Enzo Muu00f1oz on Pexels.com

Here’s A Romance Author’s Guide to Instagram: How to Find Readers and Sell More Books

1. How to set up and optimize your Instagram account

The first step to conquering Instagram is appropriately set up and optimize your account for success. You can do this in several different ways:

  • Choose a username that has the word “author” or is just your first and last name.
  • Create a professional account under the “Author” category.
  • Put “Romance Author” in the name section of your bio.
    • Ex. Rose Jones | Romance Author
  • Use 1-3 relevant keywords in your bio description of who you are and what kind of books you write.
    • Ex. A lover of books and a writer of small-town romance novels. Click the link below and check them out! (keywords are bolded)
  • Add a Linktree link in your bio that links to your books, website, blog (if you have one), and other social accounts.

Developing a strong Instagram bio and account makes it easy for ideal readers to find you, so consistent keywords and active links are essential.

2. Six quick tips for getting started

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Instagram can be overwhelming. I get it. Roughly one billion people are using the platform, and thousands of other authors are utilizing it. So, to help make your time on Instagram as simple as possible, here are five quick tips for getting started.

Honestly, these tips are helpful even if you’re already on the platform!

  1. Map out your content for the first month (or any month) ahead of time.
  2. Create a posting schedule and stick to it.
  3. Don’t feel the need to post every single day. 
  4. Utilize video content like Reels over static posts.
  5. Take the time to research relevant hashtags for romance authors.
    1. Ex. #romanceauthors #romancereadersarethebest #romanceauthorsofinstagram #romancewriters #romancelovers
  6. Don’t only create content that promotes your books. Create content that stimulates engagement, provides education and offers entertainment.

Those are six quick tips for starting right on Instagram, so let’s dive into an important topic: How often you should post.

3. How often you should post

This is a common question among everyone on Instagram: How often should I post?

To be honest, it depends. It depends on who you are, what industry you’re in, what types of resources you have, etc. However, since we are talking about romance authors specifically, here’s what I’ve learned after running several romance author accounts.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
  • You don’t need to post every single day. Anywhere from one to two times per week is completely fine if you remain consistent.
    • Suppose you have more time or money to outsource. In that case, I recommend posting anywhere from two to four times per week at the start to gain momentum and start showing up in people’s feeds.
  • As long as you engage before and after each post, you will see good results. Even if you’re only posting once a week.
  • If you have a book release coming up, I recommend starting to post more and more as the months get closer to release day. 
    • For example, when release day is three months away, start posting one more time every week than usual. When release day is two months away, start posting two more times every week. And finally, when release day is only a month away, start posting as MUCH as you can. This could be every day.

Now that you understand how often to post let’s dive into what you should be posting and a handful of ideas if you need some inspiration.

4. What to post (with 10 creative content ideas that sell books!)

Suppose you are only posting about your book or only posting random inspirational quotes. In that case, we need to change this for a few reasons…one, it’s not helping you sell books, and two, it’s not helping you achieve anything at all.

When it comes to what to post on Instagram, variety is vital. You should have content that inspires engagement, nurtures education, and promotes your books. Not just one of these things.

Here’s a post I created and shared on Instagram that helps you visualize your Instagram feed. And also explains what type of content to post. You can adjust this post to your needs and wants, but for the most part, this provides a healthy amount of variety for your account.

P.S. UGC stands for User-Generated Content. This includes book reviews, character art, etc.

Now that you understand the types of content you should be posting and how often, here are 10 content ideas that will help you build brand awareness and sell more books!

  1. Create an Instagram Reel that showcases 8-10 images representing your book.
  2. Create an Instagram Post or Reel with a quote from your book.
  3. Create an Instagram Post word search with the names of your books or the names of characters from one of your books.
  4. Create a This or That Instagram Post with popular romance tropes.
  5. Create an Instagram Reel showcasing romance books that are similar to yours.
  6. Create a “Guess the Romance Book” Instagram Reel that showcases images from a popular romance book or one of your books.
  7. Create an Instagram Post for any fun national holidays that relate to your books or the romance genre. (Ex. Valentine’s Day, Kiss Your Partner Day, etc.)
  8. Create an Instagram Post or Reel sharing the inspiration for one of your books.
  9. Create an Instagram Post promoting readers to follow you on your other platforms (Facebook, BookBub, blog, etc.).
  10. Create an Instagram Video sharing your book’s synopsis and where readers can buy it.

Remember to mix memes, book quotes, writing tips, and other types of content into your content schedule. While it’s essential to promote your books, nobody wants to be sold every time they open up Instagram.

5. How to find ideal readers (and get them to follow you!)

Now that you have an Instagram account with an optimized bio and a content plan, it’s time to find ideal readers and get them to follow you. Before diving into how to achieve this, here are a few things to remember before finding readers.

  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule.
  • Post a combination of engaging, entertaining, and promotional content.
  • Engage frequently with followers.
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

It’ll be easy to maintain your followers by actively following those three guidelines above. 

Now, let’s dive into HOW to get your followers in the first place.

  1. Search for readers using relevant hashtags, like #romancereadersofinstagram #romancereadersarethebest #romancereaders.
  2. Find similar romance authors to you and start engaging with their followers.
  3. Post frequently and consistently using relevant keywords and hashtags.

When following ideal readers, you like a few of their posts and leave thoughtful comments on them. Keep it simple and light, but make sure they know you followed them. Don’t follow and ghost or slide into their D.M.s promoting your book.

6. How to write SEO-friendly captions to reach more readers

Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA on Pexels.com

This is often overlooked, but Instagram does use SEO, which is why you NEED to start making your captions SEO-friendly to reach more readers.

Here are 5 tips for crafting SEO-friendly captions so that you can catch the attention of ideal romance readers.

  1. Pick one to three keywords or key phrases to use throughout your caption and use them three to five times throughout the caption. (Try and use at least one that’s the same in your Instagram bio.)
  2. Write captions that are between 250-500 words.
  3. Always use 12-15 hashtags that are a mixture of popular and niche ones. (And include them in your caption, not a comment.)
  4. Add an alt image text at the end of your caption for photos.
  5. Stick to similar topics for content.

If you need help creating consistent captions and writing SEO-friendly captions, click the buttons below and check out my social media management and online content editing services.

7. Why you need to engage on Instagram every day

There are one billion people on Instagram, so thousands and thousands of content are uploaded to the app every day. Therefore, you need to engage on Instagram every day to keep your content and account at the top of your followers’ algorithms. 

Whether you post or not, you need to engage with your followers and new followers to build community. Here’s what I follow when I post and when I don’t keep up the momentum of my account.

When I Post:

  • Engage in my Instagram feed for 10-15 minutes before and after posting.
  • Follow 10-15 new accounts, and like and comment on their most recent posts.
  • Follow a few new relevant hashtags.
  • Share an Instagram Story promoting the new position.

When I Don’t Post:

  • Engage in my Instagram feed for five minutes.
  • Share an Instagram Story with an engagement feature (ex. poll, q&a, etc.) 
  • Follow five new accounts, and like and comment on their most recent posts.

There is your go-to guide for getting started on Instagram as a romance author. Hopefully, you were able to understand how to optimize your account success, from your Instagram bio to content to your Instagram’s health overall.

If you have any more questions on the topic, please email me HERE and browse my services.

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Don’t forget to read my latest blog post too: 10 Easy Creative Ways to Market Your Book Before and After Release Day

See you in my next blog post!