Bookstagram - How to Find Your Ideal Reader

Ideal Reader

Whether you are a bookstagrammer, a book reviewer, a book blogger, a booktoker, or an author, knowing your ideal follower, your ideal reader, and your ideal customer is essential for good social media postings, and it is key to business outreach. 

Before we move on ask yourself the following questions:

  • Authors, do you know your ideal reader?
  • Book reviewers, do you know your ideal book lover?
  • Artists, do you know your ideal art lover?
  • Businesses, do you know your ideal customer?

For the purpose of this piece, I will be focusing on Bookstagram, which is Instagram for book lovers, a whole world of book lovers. The concept of finding your ideal reader or ideal follower can be adjusted for anyone looking for followers online. Once you find your niche, you need to find those in your niche. 

Why do you need Instagram followers? And why do you need to go looking for Bookstagram followers? It may seem like a strange question, but some authors simply start a Bookstagram account or another social media account and expect the followers to just show up and follow, while others create an Instagram account but keep it private. 

Social media is work, but if you set yourself goals, and start interacting and engaging with those in your niche, not only will you increase your visibility, but you will connect with others, find a support system, and very likely new readers. 

Why do I need Instagram followers? 

  • You need Instagram followers for visibility.
  • You need Instagram followers for the algorithm to acknowledge your presence.
  • You need to put your account to the public setting for people to see your posts.
  • You need to put your account to the public setting to be inviting and welcoming.
  • You need to engage with your Instagram followers for maximum benefit. 
  • Start lifting other people up, and you will see a magical difference in your social media world. 

How do you feel when you encounter a private Instagram account? You likely assume that the account holder only wants to be followed by close family and friends. So, if you put your setting to private, you lose followers, you lose readers, and you lose out on engagement with potential readers.

Yes, you will get the occasional spam comment, or get tagged in a spam post, but all you have to do is block it and all other accounts that profile may create. The benefits far outweigh the negatives because how can you sell more books if no one knows about your book?

Ideal Reader

How to Find Your Ideal Reader

  • What inspired you to write your book?
  • What characters inspired you to write your book?
  • What tv shows are similar to your book?
  • What is your writing style?
  • What genre(s) do you write in?
  • What genres do you read?
  • What are your favorite books?
  • What themes are your book about?
  • Who is your favorite author?
  • What is your niche? 
  • What author writes books similar to yours?
  • Are there any current releases similar to the book you wrote? 

Knowing who you are as a writer is essential to getting a good grip on who your ideal reader will be. Of course, we can only make assumptions, and there will always be exceptions, but as a rule, defining your ideal reader will help you focus your Bookstagram and social media strategy. 

Bookstagram - Ideal Reader

The bio and the reviews that other bookstagrammers post are often the keys to your answers whether to follow or continue to engage. If you are a contemporary writer and they only read fantasy, they are not going to read your book. If you are a romance author, and they mostly read dystopian thrillers, they're probably not even going to look your way. 

Bookstagram Tips

How To Find Your Ideal Follower on Bookstagram:

  • Look at their Bookstagram bio.
  • Look at the kind of reviews they post. What genres do they read?
  • How long since the account holder was last active?
  • How often are they active?
  • How many followers do they have?
  • What kind of accounts do they follow?
  • Search for followers through hashtags

The Instagram Bio:
The bio often tells you where a Bookstagrammer is from, how old they are, what their favorite genres are, and maybe whether they are for equal rights, their hobbies etc. Look at the emojis they use to express themselves as well. 

The Book Reviews:  Some book reviewers review in many different genres, especially if they just signed up with Netgalley or another similar review program. Others review books of their own choosing, while some review books sent directly to them by authors. Take a look at the reviews they post. Some post only positive reviews, others post only reviews with 3 stars and above, others will post any review even if they only gave the book 1 star or didn't finish it. DNF.  What genres do they review? What genres do they prefer to read? 

Bookstagram Activity Level: The first one - three posts may be older posts, because these have been pinned to the top, so go down five posts or so and see how long ago the person last posted something. 

Bookstagram Followers: The number of followers that a Bookstagram account has may be the key to whether it would be your ideal reader. Ask yourself this question: Will a Bookstagrammer with 5000+ followers who only follows less than 1000 accounts actually care about your account? About your book? About your review? Something to think about. 

You can also gather a lot of information about a Bookstagram account based on the accounts they follow. You may even find someone among their followers, who seems like a perfect match for you to follow. 

Bookstagram Hashtags: Not only do I encourage you to use hashtags in your own posts, but hashtags on Instagram can be a great way to navigate Bookstagram and find followers that would like your book. I share a list of my favorite bookstagram hashtags here, and this is a great way to start, but don't limit yourself. Once you search on a word, click the hashtag section, and then click the most recent section.

The biggest Bookstagram tip I can give you on finding followers and promoting your book is this: Do not promote your book in Bookstagram comments! Do not! 

Wondering how to promote your book without promoting it?

How To Get Instagram Followers

  • Make your own Bookstagram fantastic and memorable.
  • Create your own Bookstagram aesthetic based on your personality.
  • Post often.
  • Vary your content.
  • Once in a while post something from your book or about your book.
  • Ask questions to encourage engagement and make it easier for others to engage with you.
  • Respond to comments left on your posts?
  • Ask commenters questions.
  • Ask questions in your stories.
  • Pin your book to the top of your Bookstagram account. 
  • Pin your Bookstagram profile post or something about yourself to the top.
  • Set aside a certain time each week to look for new Instagram followers.
  • Search through Hashtags, other like-mind bookstagrammers, and authors who've published books similar to yours. 
  • Go through their follower lists. 
  • If a follower has a public, bookish IG profile, then like some of their most recent posts, or leave a comment. 
  • Follow if the account looks interesting and fits your niche.
  • Do not leave a comment about your books. No, no, no! Leave a comment relevant to the post, the photo, or the book that the bookstagrammer is posting about. 
  • Do not refer to your book. No, no, no! Your Bookstagram name and profile should make it clear that you are an author/book reviewer etc. Ask a question relevant to the post and this Bookstagrammer.
  • If you find a Bookstagram or Author Account that is similar to your own niche or book, screenshot it for later follow up or save it. When you have time go through the follower and following list to see if you can find more like-minded accounts.
  • If you don't screenshot or save an Instagram profile, you will probably never find it again. 

For More Bookstagram Tips for Authors and Book Lovers:

Have a Bookstagram question or Instagram tip to share? Please leave a comment.

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