Instagram can be a great platform for promoting books or an author’s brand — it has more than 1 billion monthly active users, and according to Rival IQ, brands have a 13.5x higher median engagement rate on Instagram than on Facebook, and 27x higher than on Twitter.
That being said, not every author will find a relevant audience there — 71% of Instagram users are younger than 35. So some genre authors might have a harder time building a fanbase on Instagram than, for example, a young adult author. Just because a lot of people use a particular social network doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth your time.
If you do think it’s worth testing the platform out, here are some great examples of authors who’ve been able to successfully build an audience and publish content that connects with their readers. We’ve included a variety of authors, both traditionally and independently published, who write in different genres, and encourage you to scroll through their feeds to see the full breadth of content they post. We hope this will help give you inspiration for what to publish on your own Instagram!
1. Elise Bryant – Young Adult
Elise Bryant uses a bright, cheerful aesthetic to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at her author life on Instagram. She also posts stunning pictures of her book with different props and backdrops, including ebookstagrams!
2. J. Daniels – Romance
Daniels often reposts images from her readers. These posts include everything from creative interpretations of her books’ characters to stunning displays featuring her books. She always makes sure to tag and credit the creator in the caption.
3. Christina C. Jones – Romance
Christina C. Jones brings readers along for the ride as she writes her books. She uses Instagram to post intriguing quotes from her works-in-progress and clips from her YouTube channel where she describes her writing process.
4. Jennifer Niven – Young Adult
Jennifer Niven is able to get her posts in front of a variety of audiences by using relevant hashtags. These posts show up not only in the home feeds of those who follow her, but also those who follow or frequently browse the hashtags she’s included.
5. Tahereh Mafi – Young Adult
Tahereh Mafi often shares blurb and excerpts from her upcoming releases amidst stunning lifestyle posts.
6. R.S. Grey – Romance
R.S. Grey does a fantastic job of sharing stunning images of her books in multiple formats, whether ebook, hardcover, or audiobook.
7. Emma Straub – Women’s Fiction
In addition to sharing updates about her own books, Emma Straub is here to add fellow authors to everyone’s to-be-read pile! She highlights some of her recent book recommendations using Instagram’s Stories feature.
8. Alexandra Bracken – Young Adult
In addition to posting gorgeous photos and book updates for her readers, Alexandra Bracken uses Instagram Reels to promote her books and share some of her intriguing publishing insights. She sometimes cross-posts her TikToks to Reels as well!
9. Karina Halle – Romance
Karina Halle often uses the Repost app to share creative images and glowing reviews from her readers who tagged her in their photos or captions.
10. Kalynn Bayron – Young Adult
Kalynn Bayron gives her followers sneak peeks into the publishing process of her books to drum up excitement surrounding her recent and upcoming releases.
11. Sylvia Day – Romance
Every week, Sylvia Day reshares an image for #SylviaFanFriday, a hashtag she created to highlight posts from her readers.
12. Danielle Paige – Young Adult
Danielle Paige runs a lot of giveaways on her feed. Sometimes, these giveaways are for her own ARCs and books, and other times she includes books by authors she loves as prizes and encourages her readers to follow everyone involved!
13. Jennifer L. Armentrout – New Adult & Romance
Using Instagram Live, Jennifer L. Armentrout engages with readers of her book series. She posts the event details on her Instagram feed beforehand so fans can be sure not to miss it!
14. Ocean Vuong – Poetry
Author and poet Ocean Vuong uses his Instagram to give readers an intimate look into his life and work.
15. E.J. Mellow – Fantasy
With her stunning images, E.J. Mellow gifts her readers an honest look into her life as she promotes her upcoming releases.
16. Kiley Reid – Fiction
Kiley Reid uses her Instagram to share giveaways that promote both her own work and the work of authors she loves!
17. Sandhya Menon – Young Adult
Sandhya Menon’s posts highlight the buzz around her upcoming releases. She shares quotes and excerpts from different media outlets that have highlighted her work and tells her readers where they can find the full story!
18. Mari Andrew – Memoir
Both Mari Andrew’s Instagram and writing share her unique, whimsical-yet-vulnerable aesthetic. She often shares stylized graphics featuring a short quote from her book and includes the whole excerpt in the caption.
19. Victoria Lee – Young Adult
Victoria Lee participated in #AuthorLifeMonth where she, along with many other authors, responded to a different prompt each day. (You can see the original prompt here.)
20. Penny Reid – Romance
Penny Reid makes her feed interactive by frequently asking her followers questions in her captions. She uses a friendly, casual tone, and also engages with her readers in the comments.
21. Leigh Bardugo – Fantasy
Leigh Bardugo regularly spotlights her readers’ incredible interpretations of her books’ characters. Her feed also has a wonderful aesthetic and shares a behind-the-scenes look at the recent TV adaptation of her series.
22. Kristin Hannah – Women’s Fiction
As Kristin Hannah promotes her books, she participates in a variety of media events, from discussions on Instagram Live to appearances on television. She posts special behind-the-scenes moments from earlier events and exciting invitations for upcoming events on her feed.
23. Ransom Riggs – Young Adult
Ransom Riggs regularly shares posts and old photographs surrounding the lore of his series. He also shares recordings of his Instagram Live events directly to his page. For these events, he’s set up in his office space and speaking directly to the camera, which creates a casual and personal viewing experience for his readers.
24. Lindsay Elizabeth – Romance
Lindsay Elizabeth’s feed is full of beautiful, inspiring images, with even more inspiring captions! She uses her posts to share what she’s working on, while also giving readers (and writers!) insight into her professional process.
25. Stephanie BwaBwa – Fantasy
Stephanie BwaBwa uses a bright color scheme and distinctive graphics throughout her whole feed. This makes her posts easily recognizable and hard to miss as they pop up on her followers’ feeds.
Which other authors have a great presence on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below!
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This post was originally published November 10, 2015 and has been updated with all new examples!