My Odd Relationship with Instagram

Last month, the Alliance of Independent Authors posted a good article about how to boost your presence and ultimately book sales on Instagram. There was a lot of useful advice, which you can find HERE. The more I read, however, the more my head started to spin. Among the many suggestions were preparing reels, posting high-quality content regularly, creating a theme, hashtags, being creative in the captions, and much more. Of course, there was the issue of snapping quality photos, which is where I really run into a snag.

Although I enjoy viewing photos on Instagram, I’m not much of a photographer at all. In fact, I rarely think about taking pictures unless on holiday. When I go out for a walk, which isn’t often enough these days, it rarely occurs to me to snap a picture of anything, so you can see my conundrum. I’m just not sure what to photograph. I don’t have a pet right now and when I sit down for a meal, even a fancy scrumptious one, it never occurs to me to take a picture of it. I just can’t seem to get my brain around the idea of integrating photography into my life. On the other hand, I like the quick simplicity of Instagram.

While I like my life, I can’t say it’s overly exciting. I write. I babysit Ellie. I do chores, run errands, exercise a little, and read. I am going for a CT scan this week, which might count as exciting but I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see a photo of that. I sure don’t.

I know some of you are on Instagram because we’re following one another, and if you’d like me to follow you, let me know and I’ll do my best. Right now, I’m just starting to develop the habit of checking in daily, but sometimes that doesn’t happen either. My question is, as writers, do you use Instagram? What is your best means of acquiring followers? Do you feel it’s helpful to find new readers or grow your brand?

Meanwhile, the BookFunnel promo I mentioned a couple weeks ago is midway through, so if you’re interested in a chance to win a $250 gift card or looking for other great mystery reads, please check it out HERE. My 5th Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock, will be on sale for $.99 until March 31.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

16 thoughts on “My Odd Relationship with Instagram”

  1. I love Instagram because I do enjoy taking photos: nature and dogs are mostly my thing and suit me. The best way to get followers is by using lots of relevant hashtags. I just watched a good presentation on #bookstagram which is all things relevant to readers. Instagram really is my favourite social media.

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  2. My experience with Instagram is that I get the most reaction when I’m consistent with posting. Every day is ideal, but I rarely manage that schedule. Remembering to take my phone with me and then remembering to snap a photo are chores enough. Sadly, videos get the highest reaction, and those are even more trouble to do.

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  3. I’m the opposite when it comes to photos. As I’m walking and admiring my surroundings I find so many beautiful photo images around me, I have to take stock and control my clicking! My advice is to take an interest in skeletal trees on your next walk. They have a mysterious quality, especially against a grey sky that could fit the theme for your mysteries. Also it would be useful to include buses—not a very exciting image, but perhaps you might consider a corner of a bus and the street scene in the rest of the photo.

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  4. I like Instagram for the nature photos and fun celebrity reels, but am not a fan of book promos there. To me there’s a time and place and Instagram is neither. But that’s just me. Many use it to promote their books and seem to do all right with it- just not for me.

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    1. Thanks for your input, Jacquie. I’ve often felt the same, which is another reason why I still struggle with Instagram. I think I’d have to be much more comfortable with it and really understand the platform better to do effective promotion. Can’t say I’m overly motivated on that score right now.

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