Authors And Social Media: Instagram Reels Ideas For Every Writer

Social media interaction is vital to today’s book culture. Here are some Instagram Reels ideas for elevating your Author Instagram account.

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Audience interaction as an author looks vastly different than it did just a decade ago. While email newsletter subscriptions and magazine interviews remain relevant, social media now reigns. This is true for traditionally published authors and indie authors alike. Readers want to feel more connected with the authors they love, the books they write, and other readers who share in their reading obsession — I mean enthusiasm. Instagram reels are on the rise, taking authors with them.

Instagram is a prominent place to start an author’s social media platform to both market your brand and give your audience a glimpse into your life. Photos are accessible and quickly sharable. However, Insta is no longer just a photo-sharing app. Since the success of the short video-sharing app TikTok, Instagram has realized the value of such a medium and is focusing on its reels section. 

Sharing photos of oneself can be scary, even more so when sharing videos. But fear not; below are some ideas to help plan your Insta profile’s reels content log. These helpful ideas are professional and personal, and for good reason. While audiences want to hear about your work, they also want to know about you, your likes/dislikes, and what you do outside of writing. 

It’s not enough to share content that is related to your books, especially if you want interaction on your posts. In case you were confused, this is the goal! Interaction means Instagram will continue to push your content, and you’ll continue to garner more followers and, hopefully, more readers. Here’s a look at 10 reels ideas we’re covering to help you find the best ways to showcase your profile and garner more followers:

  1. #WriterLife
  2. Get to Know the Author
  3. Book Recommendations
  4. Writing Cave
  5. Book Trailers / Animated Book Covers / Character Inspirations / Plot Aesthetics
  6. Bookish Favorites
  7. Influencer Content
  8. Sharing the Love
  9. Trending Content
  10. Unrelated Feel-Good Content



The mood has struck, and you’re firing off 3000+ words a day and then bam, writer’s block has hit you like a ton of bricks. Your favorite notebook no longer has blank pages, and you can’t reach for one despite having 10 others waiting in the wings. There are always things getting in the way of your writing: something as cute as the cat wanting attention, or sometimes it’s a latte and laundry. Even worse when it’s a deleted file, and you can’t find the backup. Show your audience the hilarious and frustrating side of writing. 

The audience knows writing a book is difficult; in fact, most of them want to write one. Being authentic about what you come up against has them relate to you even more and see themselves through you. Let it rip! 


Maybe you’ve found some writing techniques that have helped you knock out a word count or remember all those tricky comma rules. How do you get past editing during freewriting? Some authors have nifty tricks to the writing process that others have never heard of. Share your genius. The audience loves writers’ tips to get insight into how to conduct themselves as a writer. As I said above, if they love books, there’s a 99% chance they want to be a writer themselves. 

Get to Know the Author 

As mentioned earlier, the audience craves to know you. To know the author and the person. Share short video reels that give them a sense of who you are. How did you start writing and/or why do you write? What are your hobbies? Do you have a favorite writing or reading nook? A favorite peaceful place? Are you going on a trip? Do you have pets you adore? Whatever your hobby or interest is, don’t underestimate the audience’s interest in it. 


Audiences love to see pets, but knowing you have a special connection to that cute animal makes it even more special to them and makes them feel like they share something they care about with you. Share it all!

Book Recommendations

It is incredibly easy to type “books like XYZ” into Google and get a slew of recommendations. However, no one is more qualified to compare than the authors themselves. Readers want to hear what others think, not just what the second search result says.

This helps bring in readers who are already dedicated to your work but also those who might not have known about you previously and are taking your recommendation to heart to read your book if they’ve read and loved it. This tells the audience that you’re a reader and a writer. It draws connections between you and your audience based on shared reading history. And as any reader can attest, nothing beats talking with someone who shares their love for a book. Check out this Instagram reel from The Creepy Book Club.

Oftentimes, what people see are authors promoting their own books over and over again. By recommending other authors’ work, you show that you’re about the reader and bookish culture, not just your own book. By surprising some authors with your recommendations, you make connections and friends while also putting yourself on their radar. 

Additionally important, making recommendations is the type of evergreen content that is not reliant on whether you have a book out or not.

Writing Cave

Sharing the place where all the magic happens can be cathartic to both you and your audience. It sets you up for a writing mindset, and the audience knows that a new book is in the works. Some writers don’t have a dedicated space and love to write on the back patio in warm weather, or they get the most inspiration in their favorite indie coffee shop off Main Street, where they can see the eclectic people of their hometown going about life. Here is a reel with the author in her writing cave sharing the first line of her WIP book.

Keep in mind, if you think what you do doesn’t fit people’s expectations, that’s okay! Sharing anything unorthodox about your writing spots or process is great, too! 

Book Nook Tour 

Readers love a good home library/book nook where they can get cozy and forget about life in the pages of their next read. How about giving your audience a tour of yours? Cressida McLaughlin shares her writing cave, which is also her book nook.

Besides sharing where you read, share your library and bookshelves. There’s nothing a book lover likes more than beautiful (or not-so-beautiful) bookshelves/libraries. You can reveal when you bought them, how they fit into your life, and more. Combining your bookshelves and/or book nook with your recommendations is often a perfect tie-in.  

Book Trailers / Animated Book Covers / Character Inspirations / Plot Aesthetics

Have you seen the GoogleLens book covers? They’re amazing! Some authors have been animating and sharing their covers as reels on their Instagram profiles. Check out Leigh Bardugo’s Rule Of Wolves paperback release cover reel below. Sharing reels dedicated to book aesthetics is a great way to get a “One Click” without a blurb. 

Much like movie releases, book releases are anticipated in many ways, from cover reveals to trailers depicting the essence of the story. The Ambulance Chaser’s Brian Cuban released this trailer to announce the pre-order status. 

One thing we’ve learned about social media is that the audience cares more about being in the know about the book than a superficial book trailer that looks nice but doesn’t have a lot of substance. When you craft these things, be sure that the audience would really get a taste of what’s to come, rather than a generic “coming soon” with an animated book cover and a generic review. Everyone has seen those 1,000 times, and it won’t make a great impact. 

Did someone inspire you to create a specific character? Maybe someone famous reminds you of that character? BookTokers and Bookstagrammers are notorious for their celebrity character visions. *ahem* Henry Cavill/Charlie Hunnam as every MMC, ever. Audiences like associating celebs with their favorite characters, but seeing your inspiration is important, too. These can be added to reels depicting the aesthetics of your book.

Bookish Favorites 

Let your book passion shine by sharing your bookish favorites. If you’re in the middle of reading a new book that truly encompasses that trope, you will run to the bookstore for every time, share it, and tell your audience why you love it so much. Love certain authors? Maybe you’ve found a new favorite author or genre. Is there a character you cannot quit thinking about? Try out a reel like this one. 

Don’t limit yourself to outside favorites either; it’s okay to mention why your own books/characters are your favorites, too. It shows you are both a reader and a writer. We all love a good quote, and sometimes, that quote really makes a book. Like this one, a simple reel of you flipping through a book overlaid with quotes is another way to share your favorites. 

Influencer Content

There are several services, or you can even do it yourself, to send your book out to bookstagrammers and book influencers. These relationships are great because a bookstagrammer will not post about your book unless they believe in it. Oftentimes, it might cost the price of a $10 Starbucks gift card to compensate them for their time. 

Then, you can share their reels and posts to your stories and create a highlight on your profile with all the stories featuring your book. 

Reels that get your books into the hands of enthusiastic readers are both fun and marketing genius. Giveaway contests and ARC giveaways drive content interaction. After those readers have received your book and posted reviews, you can remix their reels or share their reviews. Create a reel dedicated to good or bad reviews because, as we know, sometimes it’s the 1-star reviews that give the most reason to buy a book. These reels don’t have to be complex; this one from Chelsea Lauren is quick and visually appealing.

For posts, stories, and reels, make sure that the creators add you as a collaborator or that you add them as one when you post it. This exponentially increases the reach of the post.

Read about how to collaborate on Instagram here.

Sharing The Love

Like Hollywood celebrities, authors get quite a mix of fan mail. Opening or unboxing the fan mail on reels shows you appreciate the time they took out of their lives to show you some love. This doesn’t have to be limited to just fan mail, either. Unboxing the newly arrived hard copies, like Jayne Allen, is a great way to show genuine emotion when holding your book for the first time.

Showing your backlist with updated covers is also a great way to interact with your audience. Do you have merch, or have you partnered with anyone who creates merch? Book nerd bookshelves are lined with trinkets, candles, and artwork depicting their favorite stories.  

Trending Content 

Dancing and lipsyncing to popular songs and phrases are always trending on social media, though the popularity cycles quickly. Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t bad, especially if you make it your own. “I Made You Look” by Megan Trainer is a massively popular song on Instagram right now.

Social Media platforms utilize algorithms that tend to push reels that involve trending content, so it’s always a good idea to utilize what’s popular with your own twist.    

Unrelated Feel-Good Content

There is so much angst, drama, and terrible things happening around the world, politically and socially. It is amazing what a 15-second clip of something heart-warming can do. A man helps a stranger on the metro understand his son’s math so that he can teach that son at home. Kids help an elderly woman escape a house fire. Author’s daughter shares his 11-year-old book on social media, and it becomes a best-seller. The quick videos add a light and warm feeling to your audience’s feed and will bring a smile to their face.

Remember “Get to know the author” above — this type of content could just be part of your brand. That you’re a person who brings happiness to people’s lives and sharing things that resonate with you is 100% okay to do! It’s who you are. Don’t be shy about sharing things that might seem outside of what you’ve been sharing. If you believe in it and it touches you, it’s authentic to share. If it doesn’t work, you can always discontinue doing that in the future. 

Just Get Out There and Be Yourself   

No matter the content you decide to post on your Instagram, the most important aspect of what you share is authenticity. Sharing who you are as a person and a writer is always the best way forward. You could give every suggestion above a try or pick and choose what you feel comfortable with. What you decide doesn’t work is easily deleted, and you can try something new.  

For more insight into the publishing industry, check out our Bookstr Blog by clicking here!

Find out what else Bookstr can do for your book and your brand by visiting our Author’s Services Promote Your Book page.