I know I should be active on social media.  As an author, the best way to get people to see your books is to be out there, saying hello and mixing with the crowd, rather than spending money spamming people with ‘buy my book’.

So I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and I even have some book readings on YouTube.  The Facebook presence includes pages for the book series.  It includes my Jemima presence, and my private one (for real family and friends).  I only do Jemima on Twitter, and Google+, which I don’t really understand and languishes somewhat, because I don’t really have time to address it.  And frankly, logging out of my private account into the Jemima one on Facebook means I don’t really interact with people on FB, only through the book pages.  And of course there’s also Goodreads, where I’m also a moderator on the Great Middle Grade Reads Group.

There is, simply, too much social media.  I prefer to devote my time to my blog, to writing and to reading.

So why am I asking about Instagram?

It’s all the fault of this post by literary agent Carly Watters, reblogged by the Story Reading Ape a couple of weeks back.

If you’re unsure about whether Instagram is for you try it out and you’ll quickly see why book lovers flock there. Book covers are made to be captured and shared on the platform. Writers can share their WIP adventures or road to publication. Publishers host giveaways.

Plus, many book bloggers now use Instagram to promote their book coverage on their blogs. So not only should writers be on there to build a personal platform, writers should also be on there building a community to help promote their book when the time comes.

I think of Instagram as picture driven, much like Pinterest.  I’m not sure how much social media interaction benefit there is from Pinterest, maybe I don’t use it properly.  In fact the best thing about Pinterest for me is using it as a random filing cupboard where I link things I think might be useful, like A to Z challengers I like, or writing advice, or book review sites – or Inktober, which is what stopped me passing over the Instagram article.

Instagram like pictures, and one thing I have for the Princelings books is pictures.  Zillions of them, so it seems, although at 8 books averaging about 20 chapters each, it’s ‘only’ 160 chapter illustrations (plus a dozen for seasonal short stories).  So maybe I have the raw material for a presence on Instagram.  Do I want it?  I don’t know.  I just think I ought to find out.

Of course, it would also be another excuse to buy a tablet or iPad.

What do you think?  Do you use Instagram?  What does it do for you?

Photo from Instagram brand images

 

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What do you think of Instagram?
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19 thoughts on “What do you think of Instagram?

  • 14 November, 2016 at 6:00 am
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    I joined Instagram a few days ago to look at some pictures. I’m obviously a luddite of sorts as I can’t get my head round the fact it’s supposed to be social media. Non comprende. I think I’ll stick to Twitter which seems to get the message across for me.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • 14 November, 2016 at 6:03 pm
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      Yes, I’ve been looking at a couple I’m getting through email feeds. Not sure at all…
      xxx Luddite hugs xxx

  • 14 November, 2016 at 10:02 am
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    “And frankly, logging out of my private account into the Jemima one on Facebook means I don’t really interact with people on FB, only through the book pages.”
    Personally, I use multiple browsers if I know I need to use multiple accounts. I use “Portable” apps, which means that they can be stored on a thumb drive or in a certain place without having to install it on the computer. Essentially, you can take it places and access things on other computers. http://portableapps.com/ Is the place I got my copies, but I’m sure Googling it yourself to find the best option for you would be good. With that, it means that I can log in to differing accounts in different browsers (one in Firefox and perhaps one in Seamonkey- but you can’t have two versions of the one browser running at once, I’ll mention) and not have to log out if it’s a hassle.
    That’s just my personal preference, though.

    As for the Instagram stuff? I don’t use it. I’ve been on it and I just don’t like it, personally. The set up is a bit strange to me and I just don’t like the layout. I have uploaded many of my own photographs to the internet, but I use different websites for that. Such as my DeviantART account, for example.
    Yes, social media is really important for spreading the word. However, I feel that it’s really annoying when people “force” it. Think of major brands and when they post things about news stories and use their product to put a “spin” on it, for example. Sometimes it can work well, but it can also turn cringe-worthy or just be plain offensive.

    Bottom line if you feel my comment is a bit long: don’t feel forced to use Instagram. Maybe just use what you feel comfortable using for now and you’ll perhaps get into Instagram later. Don’t worry about it! 🙂

    • 14 November, 2016 at 6:04 pm
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      Thanks for those great tips, Catherine. I certainly agree about people forcing it. Maybe I’ll just stick to what I know for now.

  • 14 November, 2016 at 3:09 pm
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    I think we are overrun with social media. It’s incredibly hard to keep up with so many. I’ve tried Instagram, and do post occasionally. It’s a visual thing, so I’ve used it mainly for quotes from books, book covers and travel snaps.

    My next focus will be on Facebook, by way of regularly posting short promo videos. In a crowded world of social media, video seems to stand out. If done well it can certainly catch attention. Who knows, if my mini-vids are successful it could be a whole new revenue stream.

    • 14 November, 2016 at 6:06 pm
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      Knowing you and your terrific style on trailers, I think mini-vids from you will definitely be a huge hit! Thanks for the thoughts.

  • 14 November, 2016 at 3:38 pm
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    Good food for thought here, including in the comments. I’ve yet to even master Twitter (and do nothing with my Google+ account), so the thought of learning another is daunting.

    Jemima, why would it lead you to buy a tablet/iPad? I find that almost everything is harder on the iPad.

    • 14 November, 2016 at 6:08 pm
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      You probably have a smart phone to access mobile apps on. I don’t. OTOH I had a look at the things I could do with my illustrations on iPad Pro, and taking it with me to birdwatch with the interactive id guides….

      The list is growing, but it’s not justifiable yet.

  • 14 November, 2016 at 8:14 pm
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    I have an instagram account, but I don’t post much book stuff. I’d like to, but I keep forgetting to get images on my phone for me to share and end up posting some other non-book related pic.

    • 15 November, 2016 at 3:53 pm
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      Judging from the huge amount you pack into your life, Patricia, I think forgetting to share images can be forgiven.

  • 14 November, 2016 at 8:37 pm
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    Instagram is where all the young folk are, apparently. I made the decision not to join Instagram because like you said, there are just too many platforms to focus on and I didn’t really have the content to put up there. Interestingly though (to me at least), Mad Martha is thinking of starting a craft blog in the New Year, and that will link to Instagram and Pinterest, so I’ll no doubt find out more about it through her!

    • 15 November, 2016 at 3:53 pm
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      Yeah – but are they going to be readers of my books? If I don’t try, I won’t find out.

  • 15 November, 2016 at 12:03 pm
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    Hello Jemima. I occasionally use facebook but don’t have Twitter or Instagram. They just seem to be refuse bins for all the drivel and scandal that people (predominantly teenagers and show offs) enjoy revelling in.

  • 16 November, 2016 at 2:30 am
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    I pretty much use Instagram for photos and not of my one book cover, LOL. You have to be choosy and you seem to be on the right track. Someone commented that Facebook and Twitter are for teens. Not true anymore; more Boomers use Facebook than any other group. Teens turned to snapchat a while back. Eventually us old folks can take that over as part of our grand scheme, muahahaha!

    • 16 November, 2016 at 4:14 pm
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      lol I think you’re right, there, Terri! Thanks.

  • 16 November, 2016 at 4:00 pm
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    I can barely keep up with what I’m doing now (two Facebook pages, twitter, blogging). I need time to write, review, critique and edit!

    • 16 November, 2016 at 4:15 pm
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      Yes. That’s definitely the problem. I need more time to keep up with your books, too!

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