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The Writer’s Guide to Instagram: Tips from Top Bookstagrammers and Authors

The Writer's Guide to Instagram

Instagram is a massive and growing social media platform, and it is full of book lovers. There are many book-focused Instagrams with tens of thousands of followers, whose moderators feature books in appealing images that are widely liked and often reposted. As of this publication, users have posted over 29 million pictures with the hashtag #bookstagram. For many authors, Instagram has become a strong platform to attract new readers and engage with existing fans. However, the image-based social media service remains confusing to others, and many authors don’t even have a profile.

To help demystify Instagram, we asked popular bookstagrammers and authors with large followings to share their tips for creating stronger profiles, taking better pictures, attracting new followers, and getting popular bookstagrammers to feature their books. These strategies can be used by anyone, from beginners to experienced Instagrammers, to help grow, develop, and improve their presence on the platform. We hope this guide will help authors and others in the literary world attract new readers and engage more with their fans on Instagram.

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Book Marketing Tips: How To Grow Your Readership Through Podcasting

Our lives are becoming increasingly impacted by voice and audio technology, something I discuss frequently on The Creative Penn Podcast. Today, author and podcaster, Paul Sating shares why it’s a good idea for authors to podcast, and how it can help with book sales.

It’s difficult to get published but finding a reader base for your books can be even more challenging.

Maybe you’ve leveraged every tactic known to ‘writerhood’; newsletters, blogs, paid ads, and various writer-centric websites aimed at readership.

Even writing nonfiction books isn’t a guaranteed path to market awareness of your brand. The challenge of finding readers, standing out from the crowd, becomes more difficult as the crowd swells.

But what can a writer do? After all, there are only so many avenues available to us. The good news is, publishing is a long road, but it is a road with numerous branches that can help us reach our goal of finding new readers.

One way to create a unique presence is by sharing your voice with the world by starting your own podcast. Now, before you say you couldn’t possibly podcast, allow me to tell you how it’s not as difficult as it may first appear and why you might want to consider getting into this medium.

Reasons to Podcast

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The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors via ‏@annerallen ‏

Get your copy / see more author’s books / check out author’s website

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by [Allen, Anne R.]An easy-does-it guide to simple, low-tech blogging for authors who want to build a platform, but not let it take over their lives.

An author blog doesn’t have to follow the rules that monetized business blogs do. This book teaches the secrets that made Anne R. Allen a multi-award-winning blogger and one of the top author-bloggers in the industry.

And you’ll learn why having a successful author blog is easier than you think.

Here are some things you’ll learn in this book:

•How an author blog is different—and easier to maintain—than a business blog
•What authors should blog about at different stages of their careers
•Choosing the right blog topics for your genre and audience
•How one type of blog post can build your platform quickly
•Basic SEO tips that don’t make your eyes glaze over with tech jargon
•How to write headers that will grab the attention of Web surfers
•How to keep your audience by learning the tricks of content writing
•Essential blog and social media etiquette rules
•What happens to your blog when you die?


Get your copy / see more author’s books / check out author’s website

“Anne writes the essential blog for today’s writers.” Mystery author Carmen Amato.

“I love following the blog of Anne R. Allen…for up-to-date tips and helpful articles for writers on what’s current in the publishing world.” Author D. G. Kaye.

“BRILLIANT! One of the Top 10 Resources for Self-Publishing Authors.” author Mark Tilbury.

“Anne is one of the most successful author-bloggers out there.” Reedsy

“One of the Top 15 Blogs for Indie Authors to Follow…I adore Anne’s blog. Aside from being one smart lady, her mix of sass and education is priceless.” Social media strategist and manager Frances Caballo

“You know what a huge fan I am of Anne R. Allen’s blog…absolutely marvelous.” Romance author Collette Cameron

“I recommend following the publishing blogs of both Jane Friedman and Anne R. Allen…I’ve implemented many of their tips, which have helped boost my SEO.” New York Times bestseller Eileen Goudge in Publisher’s Weekly

Get your copy / see more author’s books / check out author’s website

5 Tips To Spice Up Your Amazon Author Profile

Every element of your web presence is part of marketing your books. When readers are becoming fans of your books, they’ll begin to want to know more about you.

One of the first places they’ll learn about you is on your Amazon author profile. Chris Fey offers several tips on how to make that page as inviting and informative as possible.

In June, The Creative Penn hosted me for a post: 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Amazon Book Pages, and now I have the opportunity, thanks to Joanna Penn, to offer another post inspired by that one and share 5 tips to spice up your Amazon author profile.

Every author gets a profile when they sign up for an account through Amazon’s Author Central to claim their book pages.

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Guest Post: Why Snail Mail is Still Effective in the Age of the Internet

Guest Post: Why Snail Mail is Still Effective in the Age of the Internet Marketing

Now that brands can reach consumers through emails, texts, and social media, the idea of sending a physical postcard or promotional letter is obsolete, right?

Actually, the above statement couldn’t be more wrong. It’s precisely because of the prevalence of emails and social posts that physical mail has become a more effective marketing tool than ever before. With the average worker receiving 121 emails a day and nearly half of their inbox considered spam, it’s no wonder that many use instant deletion to clear out messages without ever opening a single communication.

Phishing scams pretending to be from secure sites like Apple or Paypal have also led consumers to assume emails are yet another attempt to steal their information. A pause inside the distracting world of electronic messages, mail is a more personal—and trustworthy—way to communicate.

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What’s Your Promise to Readers? Your Weekly Book Bubble Inspiration


Because I speak frequently on the topic of author branding, writers often ask me what the term means. “Kathy, what is an author brand?” At its essence, your author brand is simply the promise you make to your readers.

Sounds simple, right? It is. But simple isn’t always easy. It takes deep thinking and time to discover your unique author brand and learn how to articulate it clearly to your readers.

This week, use the Author Insight in your Book Bubble to share your promise to readers. It will help you discover your author brand. Let your readers know that you’re working hard to create a unique and powerful reading experience for them, and you’d love their feedback. Tell them about the type of characters, story lines, emotional experiences and wordsmithery you promise to create for them. Let them know that you are committed to continually honing your craft and mastering the art of storytelling.

I look forward to reading your book bubbles in this week’s Weekend Reader Marathon. To participate, simply create a book bubble by tomorrow (4/11) at noon ET. If you’ve already created a book bubble this week, you’re all set. Your bubble will automatically be included in our event, which is free to all Bublish authors.

If you haven’t created a book bubble this week, there’s still time. Just head on over to and create a book bubble today.




You guys are amazing! Now go forth and Bublish!

xo, Kathy

PS If you don’t have a Bublish account, start your free trial here.


Kathy Meis
Founder & CEO



How Can I Gain More Subscribers for My Author Mailing List?

newsletter subscribers people-2588620_640Ah yes, the question that so many of us toss and turn at night trying to answer: How do I get more subscribers for my newsletter? We’ve figured out how to use Mailerlite or Mailchimp of some other mail delivery service, now how do we find readers who want to hear from us? Here are a few ways the IU staff builds their subscriber lists.

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21st Century Marketing For Authors Bundle w/Resource & Bonus! #bookmarketing #howtoebook Your Guide to Understanding Up to Date Marketing! Only $5 plus s&h

21st Century Marketing for Authors gives beginning engagement tips and thorough knowledge of how to present yourself and your website in today’s world. Learn how to take the old and make it new, but what not to do anymore or what doesn’t work.

Paperback version Only $5 plus shipping and handling | Grab your copy now

After The Book Marketing in the 21st Century ebook version- This is a basic resource sheet with links that are mentioned in the pdf and video. Download it now for free.

The 21st Century Marketing video can be seen on YouTube for FREE at

See below for details about the paperback version.

Paperback version Only $5 plus shipping and handling | Grab your copy now

Get just a taste of this book with this free pdf | Click here

And if you want the full paperback version with:

  • Offline bookselling Techniques
  • Press Release Techniques
  • Marketing Checklist
  • Social Media Posting Schedules
  • Tips for Secondary income for authors
  • Resources & Links to
    • Reviews
    • Indie Bookstores
    • Public Libraries
    • Book Bloggers
    • Bookclubs
    • Book Reviewers

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How to announce your book with an e-mail blast

announce your book

What’s the best way to announce your book via e-mail?

I’ve received quite a few book announcement e-mails lately. I want to be excited for the authors, because this is a big deal. Sadly, though, most of the messages aren’t very compelling.

More often than not, they’re self-congratulatory (“I’ve achieved my dream!”) or self-serving (“If you buy my book on Amazon in the next 24 hours, I can become a best-selling author!”).

Some are brief: “My new book is out. Here’s a link where you can buy it.” Others are rambling. None of them tell me why I’d want to buy the book – what’s in it for me, the reader.

8 tips for using e-mail to announce your new bundle of joy

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Author Platform: How to Build Your Online Audience and Stay Sane

Digital platforming on social media can feel endless. If it’s not leading to book sales (and let’s be honest, it probably won’t) it can feel fruitless. But that doesn’t mean building your author platform online isn’t important.

Over time, all those individual connections you make add up to a following, and a following contributes to a readership. It can also be great for networking with publishing professionals who can help your career grow.

So, sorry, I can’t excuse you from online platforming. But I can help you stay sane while you do it. With a strategic foundation, a few great tools, and established boundaries, any author can build a platform without the overwhelm.

Here are a few steps you can take while you’re building your online audience that can save your sanity:

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