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Do Instagram Book Promotion Offers Really Work?

Updated: Mar 14

Example of an Instagram post that shows likes and comments.

I recently did a post on Instagram congratulating one of our authors, Robin Main on achieving a number one Hot New Release on Amazon for her book, ALEF-TAV's Hebrew Living Letters: 24 Wisdoms, Deeper Kingdom Bible Study.

One of the hashtags I selected in the post was #newbooks. It wasn't very long after the post that I started getting direct messages from pages offering to promote the book.

I looked at the page and it was filled with very nicely created posts of books in a variety of settings. Most of them were of book covers or authors proudly holding their books. Their paid promotions were a reasonable cost and seemed like something worth considering.

As I hovered over the posts most of them had over ten thousand likes. Wow, I thought, they must really be selling books! But then I noticed there were zero comments on any of the posts. Odd I thought. You would think with over ten thousand likes surely one person would have commented.

Then I wondered how many books have these authors sold? As a publisher we invest in software to help us see how many books a title sells in a month for competitive analysis.

I typed in a variety of titles that were listed in the posts, romance, self-help, and none of the books listed had sold more than one book in the last month. How can that be I thought? Even one percent of ten thousand is a hundred.

Upon further research I discovered that this is a popular business model using Instagram "theme pages." They are created on a topic and then populated with posts, stories or reels. When you are messaged and look at their page, it looks impressive and also seems like a reasonable marketing spend.

Maybe there are some themed book pages that really do offer good promotions, ones that have active followers that engage and even buy those books. I would recommend doing some research to find those pages and then ask them if they do promotions, and be cautious of the ones that direct message you.


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