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Social Strategy: 100 Content Ideas for Every Stage of Your Writing Career


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Blue-Timeline-Cycle-Presentation.png?resFor many authors, generating social media content ideas is a necessary evil: we all know the importance of keeping up a platform so we can engage with readers and the book community, but maintaining social platforms is yet another to-do item on an already long list.

I’m here for you, friends.

Below are 100 social media content ideas for every stage of your writing career. There are 25 items listed for each of the four stages. Whether you’re an aspiring author, have an impending book launch, just launched a book, or your career is in-swing, I hope you’ll find the below ideas useful. 

The content suggestions listed are best-suited to three platforms in particular: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. That said, these ideas could also be used in your author newsletter, on YouTube or TikTok channels, etc. We all have a favorite platform (mine is Instagram) but no need to recreate the wheel: once you’ve created a piece of content, use it widely across platforms (and reuse down the road, if applicable!)

Let’s get right to it.

Career stage: Aspiring Author
Content goals: Form connections with other writers, develop an organic following

Content ideas for the aspiring author include:

  1. Post a picture from your WIP research (e.g. on location at a museum)
  2. Conduct a poll seeking opinions on future essays/blog pots
  3. Post a quote from a favorite writer that resonates with you 
  4. Engage with a popular writing hashtag, like #5amwritersclub or #writingcommunity
  5. Share a writer’s conference or festival you’re attending this year (tag the conference)
  6. Announce a new platform, e.g. the launch of a new or improved website, or TikTok channel
  7. Do a video tour of your home library/bookshelves
  8. Post an incentive for newsletter subscribers, like a free book (and send your next newsletter within a week or two)
  9. Give a peek into your revision process (e.g. show us your Scrivener layout)
  10. “Show me your stack” of research material for current or former projects
  11. Highlight your favorite writing products: notebooks, pens, highlighters (tag the brands)
  12. Post a picture of your messy (or tidy?) desk with #officeviews 
  13. Research trivia! Writing a thriller about autopsies? Give us some post-mortem trivia.
  14. Share a picture or two from another author’s event (e.g. book signing or festival) (tag them!)
  15. Get involved in online pitch contests, even if supporting from the sidelines (#pitchwars or #revpit, for instance)
  16. Doing Nanowrimo? Tell everyone. It’s a huge community. Cheer others along, too.
  17. Use Canva to convert any motivational quote into a cool, Instagram-friendly visual
  18. Post a craft book or two that you’d recommend to a new writer
  19. Snap a picture from your latest workshop group and post with one piece of feedback you received
  20. Coffee shop writing session? Post a pic with #booksandcoffee (tag the coffeeshop) 
  21. Go to a library, find the shelf with the genre you dream of being in, and post a pic (tag a few of the authors)
  22. Give a few WIP teasers – location of the story, a character name or profession
  23. On Wednesdays, post a line from your WIP with #onelinewed
  24. Love podcasts? Share your favorites (tag the podcaster)
  25. Share any writing contests you’re planning to enter (e.g. NYC Midnight)

Career stage: Pre-Book Launch
Content goals: Promotion, build your following, generate pre-orders

Content ideas for the author about to launch a book include:

  1. Do an ARC giveaway (ideally, LOTS! Ask people to follow and share in order to enter)
  2. Record a pre-launch “day in the life” reel. Be vulnerable, tell us how you’re really feeling.
  3. Share any most-anticipated lists you’re hitting (online, magazines, etc.)
  4. Repost news articles related to your story or themes, e.g. women’s empowerment, and explain how this relates to your story (then include a preorder link!)
  5. Give a sneak peek of your book’s end- or front-matter (e.g. maps, dedications)
  6. Run a few pre-order incentives for swag! Bookplates, bookmarks, totes. 
  7. Post excerpts from early non-trade reviews, e.g. Netgalley, Goodreads
  8. If they’re positive, post trade reviews, too (e.g. Kirkus, Booklist)
  9. Give us a peek at your process: pass pages, copyedits
  10. Post an image of your e-book on a Kindle (and a reminder that the e-book is up for preorder)
  11. Post an image of your audiobook on a phone or with headphones (and a reminder that the audiobook is available for preorder)
  12. Share an unboxing video! ARCs or finished copies.
  13. Give us a picture of page 1 to tease us into the story
  14. Share an audiobook teaser if your publisher has made one available
  15. Take a selfie with a picture of an article or newspaper featuring your book. Selfies tend to get strong engagement.
  16. Do a countdown! Three months to launch, two weeks to launch, etc.
  17. Share pictures of yourself signing finished copies, book plates, tip-in sheets, etc.
  18. Doing a Goodreads giveaway? Share it out loud and wide. 
  19. Feature any blurbs for the book (tag the author who provided the blurb)
  20. Post a picture of a bookseller holding up your ARC
  21. Cover reveal!! Make it splashy. Do a countdown beforehand and/or collaborate with another social media account on the reveal.
  22. Post a picture of your book deal celebration (sipping champagne, etc.)
  23. Share your launch event lineup in the weeks before launch
  24. Post an ARC giveaway for newsletter-subscribers only (announce winner the next week in your newsletter)
  25. Share subrights news as your publisher permits (international deals, large print, film, etc.)

Career stage: Post-Book Launch
Content goals: Promotion, early sales

Content ideas for the author who has just launched a book include:

  1. Day of launch: give a reminder to early readers to review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.
  2. Explain your book’s dedication (why you dedicated it to this person)
  3. Share pictures of any organizations you donate finished copies to, e.g. Little Free Libraries, charities, etc. (tag the organization) 
  4. Share pictures from signing events or launch parties
  5. Roll out book club kit information: where can book clubs find information (recipes, “behind the book,” etc.)?
  6. Share a themed cocktail (or food) to enjoy while reading your book
  7. Visit your local indie bookstore and post a picture of your book on their shelves
  8. Announce any bestseller lists as you hit them
  9. Share your pet curled up next to your book! Encourage others to do the same. Readers love pets.
  10. Show off any launch gifts or flowers you received
  11. Shout out your audiobook narrator(s) and tag them
  12. Encourage people with Audible credits to purchase your audiobook
  13. Support allllll the indies! Each day for a week, share an indie who has your book in stock.
  14. Post a few of your favorite quotes from the book (use Canva for nice visuals)
  15. Run a giveaway for a finished copy (to enter, subscribe to your newsletter)
  16. Announce additional print runs as your publisher notifies you
  17. Character casting: share who you would cast if your book was made into a film
  18. Subscription boxes: repost unboxings or images of boxes that featured your book
  19. Do a few IG Live events with bookstagrammers
  20. Style yourself (or someone else) like a character in your book (amazing example is here!)
  21. Share a music playlist themed to your book
  22. Post reader art (cover re-renderings, character sketches, etc.)
  23. Give shout-outs to individuals you put in your Acknowledgements
  24. Two weeks after launch: give a reminder to all readers to review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.
  25. Record a thank-you video to readers for their support over the last few weeks

Career stage: Career in Swing
Content goals: Promote backlist, support other authors

Content ideas for the author with a career well underway include:

  1. Design a fun flowchart to help readers choose what to read from your backlist
  2. “Spring cleaning” your home bookshelves? Make it splashy. Do giveaways for those other author’s books (tag them!)
  3. Post sales as they arise on your titles, e.g. $1.99 e-books.
  4. Guest content: ask your editor or agent to share an essay or blog post
  5. At an airport bookshop? Post pictures of other books (tag the author)
  6. Post your book “on vacation” or a collage of travel pictures that feature your book
  7. Share foreign cover reveals as you’re permitted to do so
  8. Identify where you fit on reader challenges (e.g. PopSugar) and encourage people to include your book in their own challenges
  9. Share your “Featured Notes & Highlights” for your books on Goodreads
  10. Post holiday or gift bundle ideas (tag brands you would pair with your book in a gift bundle)
  11. Post comparable titles (tag other authors) for people to read if they liked your book
  12. Share short scenes cut from the book during revisions
  13. Feature local indie bookstore events (e.g. festivals) and tag the store
  14. Share any ARCs you’re reading (tag the author and their publisher)
  15. Reveal funny copyedits or typos that were caught during revisions
  16. Do a NetGalley shelf reveal and brag about the ARCs on your TBR (tag the author)
  17. Post wine/tea/food/candle pairings with each of your backlist titles
  18. Celebrate when your book launches in other territories 
  19. Do an “Ask Me Anything” (“AMA”) feature on your IG stories
  20. Post any essays or articles you’ve written between books, e.g. as published on Medium, CrimeReads, or Writer Unboxed
  21. Share a fun fact about your non-writing career background or university. How did those years benefit you now as a writer?
  22. Make an Instagram reel featuring a few titles from your author friends or imprint siblings (tag authors and publishers)
  23. Do a throwback photo or “then and now” side-by-side pictures showing how far you’ve come since your debut novel
  24. During holidays, promote a charity or organization related to themes in your book for anyone interested in giving opportunities (tag the organizations) 
  25. Promote launch day celebrations for author friends and state why you loved their latest title

 

Now, it’s your turn. Tell me your social media tips and tricks! What’s your favorite platform? What content suggestions do you have for other authors?

 

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About Sarah Penner

Sarah Penner is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary (Park Row Books/HarperCollins) which will be translated into more than thirty languages worldwide. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Sarah spent thirteen years in corporate finance and now writes full-time. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit SarahPenner.com.

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