Hashtags for Authors and Book Marketing Pros
Useful Social Media Tips to Connect with Readers and Fellow Writers
Hashtags Help Find Your Book's Audience
What started out as a Twitter "thing," hashtags are now used on all types of social media platforms—Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. For purposes of this article, we'll stick to hashtags for authors and other bookish pros. Specific hashtags for writers and publishing professionals can connect you with like-minded authors and fans, and help you grow your list of followers on Twitter and on other forms of social media.
First Hashtag First
One critically important hashtag for author research purposes is: #mswl
This is short for "manuscript wishlist" and it's the hashtag used by editors and agents who are trawling for particular types of manuscripts.
Hashtags for the Writing Community
Before you market your book, you must write it. Here are some writerly hashtags to help you find Twitter sympathy while you toil away at the keyboard—and to help grow your list of sympathetic followers for when the book is out.
- #amwriting: It’s not really clear how one can be writing and tweeting at the same time, but this is commonly used by writers to indicate they’re generating pages.
- #amediting: Similar to #amwriting, this hashtag indicated that the writer is going through his or her pages, revising.
- #writingtip or #writetip: Writing coaches, editors, and others whose livelihoods depend on authors will offer up their tweety pearls of wisdom, marked by these hashtags.
- #writingprompt: This hashtag is used when writing coaches give a suggestion about what to write, an idea to get the writer going and help to stimulate the flow of the pen on the page.
- #writingsprint: The Twitter version of “on your mark, get set, write!", this hashtag encourages author participation in a timed writing exercise.
- #nanowrimo: National Novel Writing Month (in November) helps create solidarity among those toiling on their magnum opuses (opi?).
- #writerwednesday: Used on—you guessed it—hump day, this general hashtag can be used alone or in tandem with other hashtags to mark a variety of different tweets—for author promotion (for oneself or one's friends), to highlight other writerly pursuits, such as a #writingtip (see above).
- #fridayreads: The writing and book publishing communities are nothing if not passionate readers themselves. By adding this hashtag to a Friday tweet about what you’re currently reading, you show support for other writers and for the book business. It’s good karma for your own work.
- #ff: Stands for “Friday Follow”; another weekly show of generosity on the part of a tweeter, where one recommends sites to follow.
General Book and Genre Hashtags
These mostly self-explanatory hashtags will help connect writers with fellow genre writers or readers, whether to support the writing process or to get out the word in book marketing efforts (see more book promotional hashtags, below):
- #fiction (often combined with other genres; see some examples below)
- #short or #short #story or #shortstories or #shortreads
- #litfic (for literary fiction)
- #histfic and #histnovel (used for historical fiction)
- #scifi or #science #fiction
- #romance (read more about the Romance genre)
- #paranormal (used for books like Amanda Hocking's)
- #cookbooks (also related to the cookbook genre #food #cooking #recipes, etc.)
Useful Hashtags for Author and Book Promotions
Using these hashtags in tweets will help alert followers and potential followers about book promotional efforts:
- #bookgiveaway: This signals to all that you’re raffling or otherwise giving away a free copy of a book. Also useful: #free and #freebie
- #teasertuesday and #samplesunday: Offering up a link to a sample chapter or another snippet from your current work or work-in-progress is a great way to get readers involved. The Twitterverse has made Tuesdays and Sundays the days when writers customarily do this—these hashtag helps readers find the excerpts.
- #novelines: Use this hashtag when you quote from a novel—your own or others.
- #poetrymonth: Poets are used to short-form writing—they should be pretty good at tweeting, no? And in April, they should use the hashtag for National Poetry Month.
- #shortreads: This hashtag generally relates to short stories and gets used most intensively in National Short Story Month, in May.
- #indiethursday: Readers who support independent booksellers use this hashtag when tweeting about their purchases. On Thursday.
General Promotional Hashtags
These hashtags can highlight the elements of your book marketing campaign to the Twitterverse.
- #free or freebie
Hashtags for “Indies”
Self-published “indie” authors have an especially rich on world Twitter. As many publish on ebook only, tweeting and linking is an organic way for them to drum up reader interest in their books and connect with other DIY writers.
- #indieauthor or #indiepub: Authors use these to define themselves as self-published.
The following hashtags help alert potential readers as to the ebook formats on which the work is available
- #ebook #kindle
- #sony #nook #pubit PubIt is Barnes & Noble's ebook publishing platform
eBook Publishers and Purchase Sites
These direct followers to sites where the books can be purchased, etc.
- #amazon and #kpd (Kindle Publishing Direct)
- #nook (Barnes & Noble)
Of course, there are undoubtedly more hashtags that will be useful, depending on the topic tweeted about.