Episode 215: #TheSocialBookLaunch: Social Media Basics for Book Launching on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter - #AmWriting
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Episode 215: #TheSocialBookLaunch: Social Media Basics for Book Launching on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

 

This week, the How to Launch a Book series continues with everyone’s favorite: book launching on social media.

Twitter. Instagram. Canva. PicMonkey. Crello. Pinterest. Linked In. Head blowing up yet? We talk about planning your launch social media, how to use social media and image-creating apps to share and promote and why you shouldn’t feel one bit like you’re talking about your book too much when you’re launching it into the world.

We also fall apart a bit, here and there, because these are falling apart times, and we feel it.

#AmReading

KJ: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Jess: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

How to Be an AntiRacist by Ibram X Kendi

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Sarina: Pale Rider Laura Spinney

Don’t forget to check in with our sponsor, Author Accelerator. They’ve got a special book coaching class happening in June on coaching historical fiction, which I would love to be a fly on the wall for—as well as introductory and master classes on book coaching, and, as always, the ability to match you with just the right book coach to help you move your work forward.

As for us—we send out a MiniSode or a Writer Top Five every Monday to our supporters. Your support pays for the production and transcription of the podcast, and is the reason why, this week, you don’t also hear my conversation with the child who walked in while we’re recording. Also why there’s music and a fun opening. Because we hired a professional, because it’s good to do these things right.

So thanks for chipping in—and if you’d like to join us, click the button.

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KJ Dell’Antonia 0:01

Hey writers, it’s KJ. This week we are continuing our book launch series and Sarina is schooling me on getting all my social media ready for a fiction launch. At our sponsor, Author Accelerator, they’re offering some different schooling this month, June of 2020 with classes in book coaching. There are introductory classes, master classes, and (this fascinates me) a special class this month on coaching historical fiction. I love that they’re getting so specific, and I would love to listen in on that one. If you’re intrigued find out more at authoraccelerator.com. Is it recording?

Jess Lahey 0:40

Now it’s recording.

KJ Dell’Antonia 0:43

This is the part where I stare blankly at the microphone and try to remember what I’m supposed to be doing.

Jess Lahey 0:47

Alright, let’s start over.

KJ Dell’Antonia 0:48

Awkward pause. I’m gonna rustle some papers. Okay, now one, two, three. Hi, I’m KJ Dell’Antonia and this is #AmWriting, the podcast about writing all the things, short things, long things, fiction, nonfiction, essays, book proposals, pitches. In short, this is, as I say every week, the podcast about settling down and getting your writing work done.

Jess Lahey 1:18

This is Jess Lahey I am the author of The Gift of Failure and the forthcoming The Addiction Inoculation. And you can find my work at the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and The Atlantic, and various other spots.

Sarina Bowen 1:29

I’m Sarina Bowen, the author of 35 romance novels and the most recent one is called Sure Shot.

KJ Dell’Antonia 1:35

I am KJ Dell’Antonia, author of the novel The Chickens Sisters coming out July of 2020 and the book How to Be a Happier Parent out in paperback now, as well as the former editor of the Motherlode blog and column at the New York Times where I am still a contributor. That’s who we are. And this week, we’re continuing our how to launch a book series, in which we sort of try to cover all the different arenas of things that you can get ready for before your book launches. We’ve done Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads. We’ve done websites. And now we’re going to turn our attention to social media.

Sarina Bowen 2:22

That beast called social media.

Jess Lahey 2:24

Such a powerful tool sometimes. Well, and I know for a fact that when I talk to authors who are sort of contemplating the social media sort of for the first time in a professional context, they’re just so overwhelmed. They’re like, do I have to do all of it? So Sarina, do we have to do all of it? Do we have to do Pinterest, and Instagram, and Facebook, and do we have to be good at all of it? Because that’s the thing that seems to overwhelm authors.

Sarina Bowen 2:52

Absolutely. You will find it overwhelming because it is overwhelming and you don’t have to do it all. You absolutely have my permission not to do all of it. So, of course, everybody has their favorites. So you really need to ask yourself two questions. And Jess, you’ve been super articulate about this, too. Like, the two questions really are, which platform is your favorite or which platform makes you hate it the least? And the corollary question, which is almost as important, which platform is your people?

Jess Lahey 3:45

Yeah, where’s your audience?

Sarina Bowen 3:47

Yeah. And you and I have discovered that our answers to this question are like 180 degrees different, whereas you talk to educators all the time on Twitter, and my audience is really on Facebook and Instagram.

Jess Lahey 4:04

Yep. How did you figure that out? I mean, for me, it was fairly obvious from the get go because I think I started learning about personal learning networks and realizing, oh, that’s where all the teachers were. And I was using it for teaching. But then, of course, when I started writing something that was about teaching, it was sort of a natural fit for me. But did you have to go looking and sort of figuring out where all those people were for you?

Sarina Bowen 4:28

I really did have to pay attention because there are a lot of authors on Twitter. But at one point, somebody said to me, Twitter is where I go to talk to other authors. But I reached my readers on Facebook and I thought, okay, well, that feels a little bit familiar. But I’m a really analytical person and I like data. So of course, I’ve been using all of these sites, at least partly, for kind of a long time. And I realized that my Squarespace website (and every website does this in some capacity, you just have to find it, but it has really good data about this) it’s called traffic sources is the page that I look at. And under social media in the last 30 days, you can see, or maybe I’m at seven days here. But over some period of recent time, I have gotten 816 clicks from Facebook, 158 clicks from Goodreads, and 78 clicks from Twitter, and 18 clicks from Pinterest. So that tells a really clear story immediately about what’s working. And of course, we post fewer links on Instagram and my Instagram shows up on this other page because I use a program for this and I’m getting like 200 off Instagram.

Jess Lahey 5:54

Wait, what do you mean when you say that your Instagram is showing up on another page and use an app for that?

Sarina Bowen 6:01

Well, let’s let’s just dive right into Instagram because lots of authors love it. So anyway, what I was trying to say is that you, you can be given permission to cut one of these out if you can see in hard numbers where people are finding you. And of course, a lot of the links that I post on social media do not lead back to my website. So this is just a little subset. But I still find it quite telling and it gave me permission to walk away from Twitter without really looking back and I actually changed my account there. It says now that it’s a Sarina Bowen update account infrequently monitored, because I’m not part of the conversation. And it basically says, this is a promo account, you know, do with that what you will, I don’t expect to have a grand, wonderful following there, because I have chosen not to pursue it.

Jess Lahey 6:57

You know, it’s really interesting. I have a column up in TweetDeck – one for you and one for KJ, because I like to keep tabs on what people are saying about my peeps. And occasionally I’ll find stuff before you guys see it. But what I often see are cross posts from Goodreads with a tweet saying what percentage they are through him via Goodreads. And it’s really clear that people are letting Goodreads cross post to Twitter for them. And that’s the majority of what I see from readers regarding your books, which was a really interesting realization to me that it’s sort of not that the readers are necessarily there, but that they’re letting Goodreads cross post for them.

Sarina Bowen 7:39

Yeah. And can we just back up to the part where you said you have a column on TweetDeck, but that column is a special thing. That’s a search column, right?

Jess Lahey 7:48

Right, right. Meaning I have a search column with quotes around your full name and a column for you on @SarinaBowenUpdates or whatever your handle is. Just because I like to just know what’s happening with my people.

Sarina Bowen 8:05

That’s amazing.

Jess Lahey 8:08

It’s fun, I like to see what people are reading of your stuff. And you know, it’s always fun to report back that when people are saying nice things.

Sarina Bowen 8:15

You know what, at one point I had a column like that. But I found that I didn’t always want to know all the things that were showing up there.

Jess Lahey 8:26

That’s probably true. I’ve seen some things that I didn’t necessarily want to see. But that’s also how I found out about that thing where I was my one of my essays was on the SAT, because people weren’t tagging my handle on Twitter, they were just saying mean things, and making memes about me using my name and sometimes misspelling it, but either way, that’s how I found out that I was on the SAT and that all the high schoolers in the country hated me that year.

Sarina Bowen 9:05

We’re still on Twitter, so let’s let’s finish Twitter because I want to know something that I’m not good at on Twitter because like I said, I don’t use it that much. But how do you use hashtags to find your audience?

Jess Lahey 9:19

Well, it depends. I use hashtags on Twitter for education stuff, simply because they’re chats that happen, like more chats than I can even tell you. If you do a Google search on education hashtag Twitter chats you will get this table that has hundreds of Twitter chats. So occasionally, I’ll use them for things like you know, I need a particular book for kid a particular age and then I’ll hashtag a couple of reading or teaching literacy hashtags, but I actually don’t use hashtags very often on Twitter. It’s not so much my jam.

KJ Dell’Antonia 10:03

It’s not like Instagram, there’s not a lot of room for them. You just use a hashtag, unless you’re joking.

Jess Lahey 10:10

There are exceptions, though. I mean, like if a big education conference is going on, I’ll throw up a column for that education conference and follow people at that conference so that I can see what’s going on, and find out what people are talking about, and things like that. But for the most part, yeah, I don’t really use hashtags. I don’t use hashtags the way people use hashtags in Instagram. It seems to be a bigger deal in Instagram than it is on Twitter, at least for me, that may not be the case for everyone. But definitely for me, hashtags are not as much a thing on Twitter.

KJ Dell’Antonia 10:42

I think that the reason to use them on Twitter tends to be because your being part of a conversation is around a hashtag. So it’s often political, but not always. I mean, that’s why. Whereas on Instagram, because people rarely reshare because Instagram makes it hard, I will follow certain hashtags. And then from those hashtags, I might find new accounts to follow. Because for example, I’m actively looking to follow people who write about the kinds of books that I write. So I follow a hashtag for that. I don’t do that in Twitter for a lot of reasons. One of which is that I just don’t go on Twitter anymore.

Jess Lahey 11:30

I absolutely just misspoke though. Because in looking for this new audience for the new book, I actually do have a list around people in recovery and then I also do have a column for hashtag recovery or hashtag sobriety or hashtag sober so that I misspoke. Because I don’t know the audience as well in the recovery world as I do in the education world, I do occasionally go mining and looking around just to see who’s who, who’s talking about what, who’s reputable, who’s not, sort of who’s in the conversation, and those hashtags can occasionally help me access that.

KJ Dell’Antonia 12:09

And I think the thing for Twitter is that if you’re a nonfiction author, especially, but it probably works in fiction as well, is that you can end up in a conversation with an expert that you might want to reach or a fellow author that you might want to reach because if they’re putting out a tweet, and you reply to it, it’s just different, then they might tweet back. And because they’re actually actively on there, well depending on whether or not they’ve scheduled their tweets, but usually the kind of thing you’d reply to isn’t that, so there’s an opportunity for connection there that’s a little bit different, but I don’t know. It’s sort of more general. It’s not a lot to do with launching your book.

Jess Lahey 12:57

Well, for me though, the one thing I do though is if I find someone who’s in my demographic squarely, someone who I really am interested in following on Twitter, and who I think really follow some interesting people, whether it’s recovery or education, I will go through who they follow and sort of say, oh, look, there’s some people I don’t follow and follow those people. So that can be really useful too, if you’re new to a field. Going and looking. For example, if you were really interested in like COVID stuff, and PPE, there’s this woman, Dr. Megan Ranney, who’s out there in the media a lot and Megan would be a great person to go follow and then look at who she follows because she probably follows a really reputable group of people within that field. So that’s a really great thing to do, too. For example, if you were writing your first novel, and it happened to be a women’s fiction novel, go look to see who like Jennifer Wiener or KJ Dell’Antonia or Jodi Picoult, who do they follow? And obviously, there might be some interesting people for you to follow in there as well. So that’s been really useful for me.

KJ Dell’Antonia 14:05

But to specifically bring us back to book launches, I will say one thing that I did on Twitter with my nonfiction book launch, and I think Jess may have done some of the same thing, is to tweet everyone I quote in the book. So when I was launching my nonfiction, I prepared in advance a bunch of tweets that were like, ‘Thanks for your help with How to Be a Happier Parent, Jessica Lahey, it’s out now.’ They were a little better than that and I had those all revved up and ready to go and either scheduled or not, so that’s a way to let people that were helpful to you know, so that hopefully they will share. So that’s one way to use Twitter. And another way is to ask other people to tweet for you.

Jess Lahey 14:50

Right. And, you know, our groups of friends can be relied on to really boost us if we need them. But it’s been really fun watching for a friend. Like when Catherine Newman’s book was first up on Amazon, and you know, it’ll be out by the time this podcast goes up. She did that. She said, I want to thank @JessLahey for supporting me in this book by blurbing it and blah, blah, blah. And that sort of reminds me, oh, yeah, I really support this book I want to help. So you’re right, that’s a really good way to do it as well.

KJ Dell’Antonia 15:25

Right. And so then another thing that you can do within Twitter is to create tweets about the book that people that are on your email list could send out. And if you go to share link generator, you can write a tweet that then you can create a link and you can put it in an email, you can put it in a blog post, you can put it on almost anywhere and say click to tweet. And if someone clicks that, then their tweet pops up, it’s editable. So what I do with that, is I send it out to a bunch of people that I know, but maybe my email list, maybe my launch team, maybe just 20 people that I have collected, and I say, it would be awesome for me if you would tweet about the book. Here, I’ve made it easy. Click here, and you get an editable tweet about the book with all the links. And the person clicks. And it says, ‘Hey, I’m so excited to welcome KJ’s new book, The Chicken Sisters into the world.’, and they can change that too. You know, ‘I’ve read this and I love it’ or ‘I hated this I never want to hear from this author ever again’. You know, they can change it to anything that they want. But it’s already there. And it has the links and it makes life so much easier. And I always kind of boggle at people who don’t. People who just send me an email and say would you mind tweeting about the book? To do that I have to go find the link, and then I have to think of something to say, and I have to go on Twitter, I mean, there’s like four steps in there. Whereas with share link generator, you can make it a one click deal. It also works for Facebook, but we’re not on Facebook yet.

Jess Lahey 17:09

All right, are we done with Twitter?

Sarina Bowen 17:11

I would like to propose one last thought on Twitter that’s actually applicable to all of the platforms we’re discussing today. Which is that by the time any author gets to her launch day, she feels as though she has been talking about nothing except her book since the beginning of time. And she is a little bit sick of herself and the whole topic. But I would just like to say that Twitter specifically has a sort of short half life of each tweet. And even if you feel you’ve been discussing your book way too much, launch day is not the moment to change your behavior. Like it’s the one day when everyone will forgive you for talking about your book launch a whole lot. So you know, hang tight and put out yet another tweet about your book on that launch day because that is your moment. And not that many people will see that tweet, even if you are sick of yourself.

KJ Dell’Antonia 18:14

And to save yourself the agony of spending your launch day writing 10 different tweets about your book. Write him ahead of time. I mean, then you’ve got them. I’ve got a Google spreadsheet going in which I’m just dumping possible posts or make the images that you’re going to use have them all ready and just know what you’re going to put out there so that you don’t have to generate it while you’re sort of feeling that ‘Oh my God, I’ve been talking about this forever.’

Jess Lahey 18:54

This week coming I believe is my copy edited manuscript and I have scheduled for when that has to go back in and then I’ll have another date coming when I’ll hopefully get my galley proofs. And my plan is to go to those looking at my copy edits with a highlighter so that I can highlight a few tweetable, Instagram-able, quotable things that I can make Canva cards for from the get go. Because I’m probably not gonna want to go through the manuscript to the fine tooth comb again, after I do it for all these edit things. So why not do both at the same time?

KJ Dell’Antonia 19:30

I did that with the novel as well.

Jess Lahey 19:34

So smart…

KJ Dell’Antonia 19:35

Sarina, you do something a little different. You do sort of the ‘Here’s what you can expect to find’, which I always think is really fun, which I am also doing now.

Sarina Bowen 19:49

Well, Jess mentioned Canva cards, and let’s just spend a minute on Canva, because it’s a really useful tool of mine. Canva is a graphic design program at least that’s what it calls itself. And there are many there’s one called Crello there’s several versions of this beast, PicMonkey, lots of places where you can use templates and make cute designs fairly easily even if you’re not a Photoshop human. But what I love about Canva specifically, and I actually have the paid version of it, is not only is it good at designing stuff, but it will save it for you for later. So when I’m feeling it in terms of promoting my book, and I’m not sick of myself on a particular day, I can go into Canva and mess around with things like quotes from the book, or thank you for your support, or anything that has to do with that design. And you can actually make pages each Canva document, you can just duplicate the thing you made, and delete the quote and put in a new one. So it’s really good at sort of holding your design brain in one spot.

KJ Dell’Antonia 21:10

And you can resize it for something else. So you can duplicate it and then resize it into Twitter size, or Facebook size, or LinkedIn size, or Instagram story size, instead of Instagram post size.

Sarina Bowen 21:25

Right. I think the resizing is part of the paid portion, or at least it used to be, but that was definitely something that I enjoyed getting after I became a whatever it’s called pro member. It’s not very expensive either. It’s like, the whole year costs $200 or something like that. So Canva is definitely a great tool for when you’re switching from Twitter to Facebook or you want to play around with a checklist. Those checklists you were just talking about that I make are also wonderful in Canva. And another thing I do if you have chapters in the book that you’re launching, and those chapters have titles, I like to make countdown chapter titles because as you hurtle through that month towards your book launch, it’s great to be newsy. And so I will make let’s say, chapter eight of my book is called, ‘Is that really a duck?’ I will make a Canva card that says in eight days I will bring you chapter eight, ‘Is that really a duck?’ And then the next day, I’ll have one to post that says, in seven days, I can bring you chapter seven, ‘The duck went fishing’, and on and on because I’ve taken the trouble to give my chapters funny titles or informational ones, and it just gives you something newsy to put out into the world as you count down to your terrifying book launch.

KJ Dell’Antonia 23:04

I did that with nonfiction, too. I did it with How To Be a Happier Parent and it was fun and it was helpful and it was just it just felt like something to say. And I made little cards, and it kept me busy, and gave me something to say.

Jess Lahey 23:25

I just want to underline this whole planning ahead thing, because if you are waiting until the very end to think about doing these things, you’re going to just be so overwhelmed. So the clear message here is be thinking about text, tidbits, strategies, things you want to do ahead of time so that you’re not overwhelming yourself the week of pub date.

Sarina Bowen 23:45

Definitely.

Jess Lahey 23:46

Because that would be insane.

KJ Dell’Antonia 23:48

And let’s talk a little about the goal of all of this. It’s not going to sell millions of books, you’re only probably reaching… So when you ask other people to share on social media, you’re reaching their followers and when you’re sharing you’re mostly reaching your own followers and some retweets. But I think something important to remember is that people need to see the book more than once, usually before they head over and click and buy. And sometimes they don’t even remember where they saw it or how they saw it, it just becomes familiar because you’ve posted a lot of imagery around it. But you haven’t made it annoying, you’ve made it fun, you’ve made it entertaining. So when people see that title, when they’re surfing a book site, or hopefully in a bookstore, it makes them go ‘Oh yeah, I’ve been thinking about that one.’

Jess Lahey 24:44

I definitely hear that a lot that you know, we’ve talked about this before, that it’s the repetition and sometimes it’s the second, third, or fourth time that someone says ‘Oh yeah, that book that I meant to buy the first time I heard about it, but didn’t.’

KJ Dell’Antonia 24:57

So to some extent, that all means that if you don’t do it during launch week is just an excuse to do it. If you don’t do it during launch week, fine, the next week do something different, create a bunch of things, and start putting your book out there. We don’t need to panic if we don’t get it all out there on launch day.

Jess Lahey 25:24

You know, what’s so interesting about the social media thing too, is that there have been all kinds of attempts, there was that thunderclap thing that was a couple years ago where you’d ask people a favor to all tweet and post something to social media the same exact time and I don’t think that that had any kind of effect and it was a huge amount of effort. And it sounded like you were getting something done, but I don’t know that it actually had any major effect. So when we talk about these things that you’re supposed to do on social media or that you could do on social media, we’re not saying that you have to do all of these things and they’re going to have a major impact on book sales. But every little bit, you know, can help. And as we always like to say, we don’t want to get six months out from book release and say to ourselves, ‘Oh, I could have done that other thing. I wanted to be able to say, we did all the things that were under our control that we could do to help our book do well on launch day. But that thunderclap thing was very weird, I think anyway.

Sarina Bowen 26:26

It was an attempt to make virality happen where it wasn’t destined to.

Jess Lahey 26:33

Exactly, to force a lot of noise all at the same time in the hopes that it would catch fire. And I don’t know, I just mixed metaphors. But I don’t know that that was a particularly effective thing to do. And I like to be sparing and what I ask other people to do to help me out and being a part of something like that wasn’t something I was particularly interested in.

Sarina Bowen 26:54

Right. I don’t think I once participated, but it was an interesting experiment.

Jess Lahey 27:00

Alright, anything else that you want to add to this discussion about Twitter or Instagram?

KJ Dell’Antonia 27:07

We didn’t do Instagram…

Sarina Bowen 27:09

We should do Instagram, which is growing faster than the other services that we’ve been talking about.

Jess Lahey 27:17

Sorry, in my head I kind of thought we had sort of done Instagram because in my head I associate Canva with Instagram, so mentally I had gone there. So my apologies. Sarina, Instagram.

Sarina Bowen 27:59

Instagram is a platform where sharing doesn’t really happen very often. So you kind of have this one moment to put something visual and beautiful in front of people and hope that it sticks with them. But discovery on Instagram also works a little differently than it does on other platforms, which is that hashtags really matter on Instagram. So, before you are launching your book, you want to figure out what hashtags people are using who are looking at books like yours and I have a little collection of these I keep it handy.

Jess Lahey 28:42

There’s a lot of them for authors and writers and books on Instagram. There’s a ton of them, so good for you having a list.

Sarina Bowen 28:50

Well, I have several lists, honestly. So if I’m talking about my own book that’s coming, I will use bookaddict, booknerd, bookworm, booklove, booklover, contemporaryromance, romancereads, IGreads, oneclick, alwaysreading, you get the idea. There’s a lot of these.

KJ Dell’Antonia 29:08

And let me guess that you have a list that is pastable.

Sarina Bowen 29:11

Oh, yes.

KJ Dell’Antonia 29:12

So where do you keep that?

Sarina Bowen 29:14

I happen to keep it in notes, that little yellow app on all things Apple that is just really handy. But you could use Google Keep for this, you could use any program that you keep handy.

KJ Dell’Antonia 29:26

I use Evernote and I have thought about using Keystrokes. Because since Instagram really requires that you use the phone. You know, you can’t post to Instagram except on a phone. So if you go (in an iPhone, at least) into general, and you go to keyboard, you go to text replacement. You can make a series of letters and put them all in there and then when you type that series of letters they will all pop up.

Sarina Bowen 31:00

KJ taught me this nifty trick because actually I use it on Instagram too, which is that I have thank you and some longer phrases for thank you spelled out in German, French, Italian, and Portuguese, because Instagram is a really international platform. And at least half the tags that people are using for me on Instagram are in German, honestly. God bless German instagramers. So I have three different German phrases saved in those Keystrokes that I apply when somebody takes some beautiful picture of my German book and tags me in the post so that I can be thankful without writing danka, danka, danka, danka all day long.

Jess Lahey 31:50

Yeah, that’s really brilliant. And I’m actually going to need your help because I got tagged in a couple of things that I needed a Portuguese thank you for and I didn’t have it. So that’s really smart and really thoughtful.

Sarina Bowen 32:06

So, that whole keystroke thing and being made to create stuff on your phone is kind of a drag. Thanks, Instagram, you can actually hack your way around this by installing a Chrome plug-in that fools your Instagram into thinking you’re on a mobile device when you’re not…

But my current setup is that I probably have the picture on my phone anyway because I use an iPad to create a lot of imagery, and then I type whatever I want onto my notes on a laptop, and then I just open it on my phone, and copy and paste, or I rely on Bluetooth to copy from one device and paste into another. Because I am never, ever composing an Instagram caption on my phone, my thumb’s are not that good at typing, it’s just not happening. So there are several ways to keep your Instagram feed looking good. And you don’t need to do that. Like you don’t need to become obsessive about the beauty of your Instagram feed. But, there are moments when I want to kind of work hard on this. So I have an app called Preview that I use to look at what the grid will look like before I post and some people use one called Planoly. And there’s also Later which is a posting to Instagram app. And if you change your Instagram to a business account, you will be allowed to schedule via some of these third party things so that it could post automatically. I don’t actually do that, I don’t need to post Instagram so often that scheduling is super helpful for me. But I know that a lot of people like to do it that way.

Jess Lahey 34:13

But if you want to see a beautiful Instagram account, go check out Sarina Bowen’s Instagram account. The gold standard seems to be what some book bloggers and some romance readers in particular seem to do for the authors that they love, and the people who create these gorgeous Instagram posts for you just blow me away. I’m amazed by the kind of artful creations that your readers create, and that you create for your books. They’re really beautiful.

Sarina Bowen 34:45

They blow me away, too.

KJ Dell’Antonia 34:47

Well, you can use those when someone else makes a beautiful image of your book or just makes an image of your book because my goodness, thank you very much. You can do a couple of things. You can post it to your story, which is only polite I think and quite common, but you can also use an app that will allow you to repost and in this case I use Repost. And if you’re using an app like that, then when somebody else posts about the book, you can take their post and use it in your feed. Thus, you know, adding to your number of images that you have without you’re having to create an image which is really cool. And there’s the opportunity to sort of say, you know, thanks bookstagrammar for writing this lovely thing about my book, and then you can share the lovely thing.

Jess Lahey 35:38

What’s always weird is when someone thanks me for posting something beautiful they made about my book to my story, and I’m always like, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you. This is the most beautiful thing ever. And it’s such an incredible honor to be able to repost that.’ So it’s a wonderful, it’s also just a great way to sort of connect with readers. I love it.

Sarina Bowen 35:56

Repost and those apps also will copy the entire caption that the other person wrote…

KJ Dell’Antonia 36:04

Including the hashtags.

Sarina Bowen 36:07

Yeah, exactly. So that not only are you assured an easy way of giving credit to the person who created that thing, but it’s very easy to share. So because we never want to get into trouble and have any creator think that we’ve stolen their work for our own.

KJ Dell’Antonia 36:28

Yeah, that’s the nice thing about using the app instead of screenshotting it, is that it makes it very clear where you got it. And it’s just socially acceptable.

Sarina Bowen 36:38

Yep. My other trick for working ahead on Instagram is that I don’t commonly have more than a small handful of paperback arcs to give away ahead of the launch. So I went to Moo and I made a bunch of these beautiful five by seven postcards. Like I’ll do like 150 five by seven postcards of the book cover. And I will mail them all over the world because like I said, Instagramers are very international. And then I will see those postcards pop up all over Instagram during launch as well. And they cost a lot less than a paperback arc and it’s honestly really about the shipping, I can put $1.15 stamp on one of these cards and send it all the way to Australia, whereas shipping a book to Australia costs $25.

KJ Dell’Antonia 37:38

And that sort of gets around you know, if you want to be sharing arcs, they can be digital, but there is something that people can take a picture of, which is really nice. People love having something to take a picture. I love having something to take a picture of. I don’t do LinkedIn, but I have some friends that do it really well. And so I’m just gonna ask them when my book comes out will you post this on LinkedIn, please? But if you are a business writer, you probably should be.

Sarina Bowen 38:22

Definitely.

Jess Lahey 38:24

Absolutely. The business world is very much about LinkedIn. And you know, I will post things there but I actually don’t see a ton of interaction with the stuff that I post there. So it’s often an afterthought for me. Alright. Can we talk about what we’ve been reading? Pretty pretty, please.

Sarina Bowen 38:53

Absolutely. Has anyone been able to read?

KJ Dell’Antonia 39:00

I will note before we talk about what we’ve been reading that we didn’t talk about Facebook.

Jess Lahey 39:05

I think that’s a whole long discussion in itself. I mean, that’s just me, mainly because I hear Sarina talking about the stuff that she does there. And she’s on a whole other level with Facebook and I sort of have the feeling that that’s its own episode in and of itself.

KJ Dell’Antonia 39:23

Okey dokey. There we go. Stay tuned. We got one more book launch thing to go.

Jess Lahey 39:34

KJ you have been doing a beautiful, beautiful job, by the way, speaking of Instagram of talking about what you’ve been reading, and you’ve really done a great job of doing these capsule reviews of books, and you’ve sort of set a standard, I think, for me anyway for understanding how to do a really quick review of a book. So I just wanted to tell you that I have been appreciating those a lot.

KJ Dell’Antonia 39:56

Why thank you, I’m actually planning to up that game. So, I’ve been creating a whole list of books that I want to make sure get shared. This is partly just the the whole let’s help make book book launches still work. So I’ve got a whole great list of books that I want to share with people that are either books that I recommend and here’s why, or books that I have had an arc of, or books that I’m super anxious to read. And I’ve been putting together ways to do that. So yeah, I’ve been having fun.

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