Question: I’m not very experienced with social media and have no idea what to post. What can I share that will engage readers and help me build a following?



Having a meaningful presence on social media is an essential part of a successful book marketing plan. Authors need to take advantage of this promotional channel not only because it is FREE, but because it allows you to reach a global readership.

One of the toughest challenges for authors, especially those who are not as social media savvy, is creating and maintaining a portfolio of engaging content to share with potential readers and fans. The key to success is building a community organically, rather than seeing it as an ongoing marketing chore. By making it enjoyable for yourself and your followers, you will ensure social media is a valuable and productive use of your time.

Here are 40 content ideas to engage with readers and build your following:

1. Do a cover reveal

Authors can post cover reveals on social media to create excitement.Readers love to be involved in the creative aspects of your book, so if you are able to give them an exclusive look at your forthcoming book’s cover art, this can generate excitement for the book’s release.

2. Ask questions

One of the best ways to engage is to ask questions. Do you want feedback on which book title is best? Or, maybe you’re just curious about what people are reading at the moment? Many social media platforms will allow you to set up poll questions that followers can answer.

3. Post quotes or excerpts from your work

Another way to give an exclusive look at your work is to share quotes or short excerpts from your writing. These can be used as teasers for fiction books, or as bits of information or inspiration for nonfiction books. 

4. Share upcoming events

Whether doing a book launch event, speaking engagement, or school visit, it’s important to keep your followers updated on your upcoming events and appearances. This gives them an opportunity to attend and support you, or, share the opportunities with others.
Authors should share any upcoming events on social media.

5. Discuss any hobbies or talents

Readers like to get to know what authors do outside of the writing. Do you have any hobbies or special talents you’d like to share? How do you spend your time when you’re not writing or doing book-related things?

6. Repost things from other authors

A great way to support your fellow authors is to repost interesting content or exciting news they share on their social media pages, and hopefully they will return the favor. This can put you on the radar of their readers and followers.

7. Share a “day in the life” video

People are always curious about what a typical day looks like for someone else, and readers are no different when it comes to authors! You can record a short video of your workspace and key “author” moments in a typical day.

8. Post a video of you unboxing books

Nothing is more exciting for an author than receiving the first copy of a new book, and readers love to share in the excitement. You can record a short video of your unboxing.
Authors can share news about forthcoming books on social media.             

9. Discuss milestones on your works in progress

Let readers follow along on your writing, editing, and publishing journey. Be sure to share big milestones such as finishing a first draft, completing revisions, and setting release dates.

10. Share travel photos or photos behind the scenes of research

You’ve likely done some serious research for your book and may have even travelled to get up close and personal with your book’s setting or subject matter. Be sure to share these photos and any interesting facts you’ve learned.

11. Share photos taken with fans

When you’re at in-person events, have someone take pictures of you greeting and interacting with fans. Just be sure to ask permission to post any photos of others on your social media.

12. Post quotes or excerpts from stellar reviews

You’ve worked hard to get those reviews, whether from professional sources, book bloggers, or readers. Post excerpts from the positive reviews to let others know how well your book has been received.

13. Give writing advice or tips

You likely have fellow authors and writers following you on social media, so if you have some writerly tips or tools that you think may be beneficial to others, be sure to share them.

When there is nothing else to post on social media, authors can use humor.14. Use humor

Everyone loves humor when done tastefully. There are loads of funny memes related to writing and being an author, and even more related to animals. When you’re not sure what else to share, add a little humor to your page.

15. Share quotes from famous writers

All writers draw inspiration from the classics and from renowned writers, past and present. If there are particular quotes that inspire you, share them with your followers. 

16. Post something inspirational

Providing words of encouragement or inspiration with an eye-catching photo can be very powerful. Everyone benefits from some positive vibes.

17. Thank your fans

It’s always good to acknowledge the support you receive from readers and fans that follow you and purchase your work.

18. Give a reminder to leave a review

Readers get busy and sometimes forget to write reviews for the books they read. Post a little reminder letting them know how much reviews mean to you, and thank them for their time.

19. Share writing prompts

As mentioned above, you likely have other writers and authors that follow you, so if you come across a fun or interesting writing prompt, share it on your page.

20. Link to your website or blog

If you have a website, make sure people know where to find you. If you are maintaining a blog on your website, you can share a link to any new blog posts.

21. Share interviews or media appearances

Book publicity opportunities like blog interviews and podcast appearances can be challenging to secure, so when you do get an exciting opportunity to speak about your work, make sure your followers know.

22. Discuss what you’re reading

Are you reading craft books to enhance your prose? Or, maybe you’re reading books similar to yours for inspiration? Let your fans know what you’re reading, what books you like, and what’s on your bookshelf.
Authors can share what's on their bookshelf on their social media.

23. Promote new book formats

If you’re getting ready to release an eBook or Audiobook version for an already published paperback or hardcover, let everyone know. This can lead to repeat sales and new sales.

24. Show off your pets

Everyone loves animals! Sharing photos, videos, and stories of your pets can be a great way to give followers a fun peek into your daily life.

25. Promote special discounts or deals

If you are running a special promotion or discount for a limited time, make sure people know about it. This can help boost your sales during the promotion.

26. Share exclusive content

Most writers have way more content than what gets published in the final version of a book. Make your followers feel special by sharing cut scenes, cut chapters, or even short pieces that have been created as a spin-off.

27. Do a giveaway

Everyone loves the chance to win something, and readers are no exception! Giving away a copy of your book, a copy of another author’s book, or other merchandise can be a great way to build your following.

28. Go Live

Many social media platforms have a feature that allows users to go live with their followers, meaning you can do a live video stream. This is a great way to do a Q&A session with fans.

29. Answer FAQs

Curious readers often ask authors similar questions, so if you see common questions in comments or in emails your receive, answer those questions on social media.

30. Promote special editions or updates

A great way to reinvigorate a book that is already published is to release a special edition or make any necessary updates. Even owners of your current edition might benefit from purchasing the new edition.

31. Post news related to your themes or topics

Your followers are interested in the themes or topics you write about, so if you come across an interesting news article or video that you think they will appreciate, share it with them.

32. Promote your newsletter

The best way to build your email distribution list is to let people know about it. Include a link to sign-up for your newsletter and let people know what they can expect to get from you.
Authors should share news about any awards received on their social media. 

33. Share awards you’ve won or honorable mentions

Awards help build your credibility as a writer, and speak to the high quality of your book. If you’ve won any awards or have received any honorable mentions, let your followers know.

34. Provide writing updates

All writers get stuck at some point in the process. Share your challenging moments with your followers, and your moments of perseverance.

35. Support any charities or causes you are passionate about

Giving back and supporting causes are wonderful experiences. Share these passions with others, especially if you want to bring awareness to a cause.

36. Promote a preorder

If you’ve set up a preorder for a forthcoming book, let people know. This can be a great way to get some early sales and build excitement for the release.

37. Post character sketches

Fiction authors can get really creative with this one. Whether you hire someone to do the artwork, or you do it yourself, readers love visuals of the characters you write about.

38. Record and post a short reading

Rather than sharing an excerpt from your book in text form, you can record yourself in video or audio reading the excerpt. Making your post more interactive like this can draw more attention.

39. Share a music playlist for a character or book

Many authors find it helpful to listen to certain types of music when writing a book. If there are specific songs, albums, or genres of music that you listen to when writing, share them on your page.

40. Acknowledge holidays and awareness days

There are the major holidays you can recognize with a festive post, but there are also many lesser-known, themed holidays and awareness days, or even awareness months. 

Authors can acknowledge awareness days on social media.
Social Media Best Practices

Now that you have some ideas for the types of content to post, you’ll want to follow these best practices to ensure your time and creativity are well spent.

Be authentic – Social media is a way for current and potential readers to get to know you better. Be the real you and not an imitation of someone else. If you have a strong author brand, make sure your social media pages reflect that.

Be consistent – Whether you post every day, or just a few times per week, you’ll want to maintain some consistency with how frequently you post. Post too often, and followers might feel inundated by your content. Post sporadically, and your followers might lose interest and forget about you.

Keep it positive – Avoid getting too opinionated or political on your social media pages, unless the discussions are directly related to your book’s content. You risk alienating followers if your pages are full of negativity or controversy.

Use a scheduling platform and cross-posting to save time – Online services such as MeetEdgarHootsuite, and Buffer allow you to schedule posts ahead of time to be shared later on, and many social media platforms allow you to link platforms so that you only post once and it publishes on multiple platforms.

Don’t oversell – It’s extremely important to maintain a balance with the content you post on social media. The majority of your posts should be to inform, entertain, or inspire your followers, not directly sell. Find creative ways to promote your work without saying, “Buy my book!”

Don’t forget hashtags – A hashtag is just a simple way to categorize online content to make it easily searchable by users. It’s always a good ideas to include a few, relevant hashtags in your posts so your content is more discoverable.

Respond to comments – When people comment on your posts or like your content, be sure to acknowledge their effort. You can respond to a comment, thank them for commenting, or simply give their comment a thumbs up.

If you still find yourself struggling with what to share on your social media pages, look at what successful authors in your genre are doing and how they are communicating with their followers. Social media is constantly evolving so there is always more to learn, no matter how much or little experience you have. If you need more help getting started, utilize the social media resources available on the Author Learning Center.