Tag Archives: Instagram for authors

Using the Later App as an Author: A review

3 May

I recently took a social media hiatus while moving, but during that time, I reflected on my social media use a lot. To be honest, I felt a lot better mentally and emotionally being off social media. (Not a surprise considering all the studies that have come out talking about the effects of regular social media use.) It’s not that I don’t like social media—I’ve actually met some of my best writer friends online—but reels of bad news, good news, all kinds of news absolutely uses up a lot of time and energy. I knew coming back that I wanted to change things.

For one, I wanted more time to myself. I wanted to get back to blogging more regularly again. I wanted more energy to dream up new book ideas, not tweets or Instagram posts. 

When I took a look at my social media use, I realized that Instagram—not Twitter—actually demanded the most of my time (and for the littlest return). Taking photos, editing them, then writing captions (along with viable hashtags) was just too much to handle on a regular basis. I didn’t like what I was creating, but I didn’t want to shut it down. I just wanted to adjust how I posted. 

I thought, Wouldn’t it be great if you could schedule your Instagram posts?

That’s where the Later app stepped in. 

Later is a desktop and mobile phone app that allows you to schedule your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn posts. For the purpose of this review, I will mostly be focused on Instagram, with a sprinkling of Twitter and Facebook. 

First thing’s first:

I downloaded the app and watched a couple tutorials. 

Pros:

I got my first big hiccup when I connected my Instagram. It was a personal profile, so it wouldn’t let me schedule photos to auto-post. When I changed my Instagram to a business account, Later didn’t notice this change, and I had to reach out for help a few times. But it eventually began working. 

  • You can schedule your Instagram photos and stories to auto-post any time, any day. This cut back on a lot of my free time and allowed me to stay in the moment a lot more. I always dreaded taking photos and then sitting there trying to post while the moment passed me by. It’s nice going about my day knowing that Later is posting my photo at 11 AM while I’m at work and don’t have the ability to check. (And I don’t have to wait until my lunch break to get something out!) I definitely think this feature is my favorite part, and I believe it will keep me posting more than I was able to in the past. 
  • You can use your phone or your computer. I actually used my computer the most, which helped because I type on my laptop a lot faster than on my cell’s keyboard. I scheduled three weeks of content on one Sunday afternoon. 
  • The preview feature on Instagram is so pretty! This is probably my favorite feature. I can preview the future on my Instagram through the app to make sure that my upcoming posts look good next to each other. If they don’t, I can quickly shuffle them around until they look aesthetically pleasing. I’m not *quite* using it that way, but I’m definitely planning on using this to sharpen the look of my social media in the near future. You can see mine from last month in the screenshot below. That said, there is a negative side, which I cover below.
  • There’s a calendar where you can check your timing: This helps if you want to make sure that you’re posting at different times on different days in order to reach new audiences. 

Cons:

  • The preview feature is beautiful, but it doesn’t show you how your feed currently looks. Instead, it updates based on what you’re adding from the top, so the sequence is off. I find this extremely annoying (and odd) that this feature is set up that way, because it’s supposed to be used in a way that helps you coordinate your photos. This oddity in design is definitely one of the biggest drawbacks for me. In order to see my feed the way I like, I often schedule three posts at a time and/or add extra fillers that won’t post so I can get my feed to look the same as my feed on the phone.
  • Unless I’m missing something, you still have to edit your Instagram photos in Instagram if you want a specific filter. The Later app has different filters. I find this design really strange. It would be nice if it could offer the same filters as the app you’re posting on. 
  • It’s not the best for Facebook and Twitter. You have to use an image in order to schedule posts, so if you just want to post a sassy tweet, it’s best to continue using the Twitter scheduler. 
  • If you do schedule through the Later app to post a photo on Twitter, it shows that in the sub-text of your tweet. (My post says Later app rather than Twitter web, if I had just scheduled it through Twitter.) This isn’t really a complaint, aside from the fact your followers will know it isn’t live, which might cut down on interaction. On my end, there didn’t seem to be any difference in how it showed up in the algorithm, which is nice. 
  • You can’t upload videos unless you pay. Not a huge deal breaker for me, especially since other scheduling apps require money far earlier than this app does, but it’s worth noting.
  • You also have to upgrade in order to schedule stories.

There’s a lot more features than just these, but this is what stuck out to me as a first-time user. 

Overall, my only other complaint is that there’s no way to take notes. I really want a place where I can schedule all my social media from one place and take notes, so that I can reference that as I continue to build my schedule. I’ve used Hootsuit and other planners in the past, but so far, I just haven’t found the *one*. 

Maybe one day!

Conclusion: 

I will probably use this app for my Instagram and continue to use individual scheduling for my Twitter and Facebook page. 

Do you use a social media scheduler? What are the pros and cons? What do you recommend?

Also, if you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m @authorsat. Comment on any photo on my Instagram and let me know you found me via this article, and you’ll be entered to win a query critique! Winner chosen Friday, May 7.

~SAT

#WW The Truth Behind An Author’s Instagram

4 May

I have a confession. As an #authorofinstagram, I post daily pictures of my writing life that are more or less fictional stories themselves. Sure, my cats are real and that coffee was definitely mine, but not all of my posts are live (although a fair portion of them are), and the mood I describe might not necessarily be accurate.

Whaaaaat?

Don’t judge me. It’s called marketing for a reason.

When I post: #AmReading

reading

What I’m actually doing: Flipping through #bookstagram and #bibliophile to see what everyone else is reading so I can add more books to my already ridiculously long TBR list. Oh, and reading. I’m probably reading. I’m also probably reading indoors with pajamas on. Not in the fall leaves or the snow or whatever else I took a picture of me doing hours ago.

When I post #CoffeeAddict

coffee

What I’m actually doing:

Losing my mind. No. Really. I drink too much coffee a day. Sometimes, my fingers shake. (And it doesn’t even wake me up.) I’m an addict, addict. I drink it because I can’t function without it…which means every coffee picture you see is never my first cup of coffee that day. I’m like that guy from the McDonalds commercial who can’t talk to anyone until he has his coffee. I’m having a coffee right now. (Or am I?) Since coffee means I’m losing my mind, coffee also means that I’m about write, because writing and losing your mind go hand-in-hand.

What I post: #AmWriting  writing

What I’m actually doing:

Staring at what I wrote last week and wondering why the hell I thought any of it was a good idea. Oh, wait. That’s not that bad. Okay. We can just rewrite this, and then…OH! (Insert fellow #amwriting poster here) is writing, too! I wonder how their day is going. *messages fellow author, geeks out for ten minutes, forgets everything* And when I finally get back to writing, something funny better not happen, or I will stop to tweet about it. This is a vicious cycle. If I manage to stay focused, writing might be done in a coffee house—that sees me way too often—or in my office—where my cats see me way too often (hence why they’re in most of my photos, but we’ll get to them in a minute…)

When I post #Catstagram

catsWhat I’m actually doing:

They’re so cute, right? Right? They’re perfect little cuddly gremlins…I mean, cats. There is a reason I call my cats gremlins. As soft and furry and sweet as they appear on my Instagram—trust me—we have our moments around here. Between my desk’s wires (Boo Boo’s favorite thing to tackle out of the wall) and Kiki’s ongoing nemesis battle with Bogart (no, really, they fight all the time), I am constantly chasing them in and out of my office. They attack pens. They attack papers. They attack dangling headphone wires. And sometimes, they throw up on my feet. But hey, that’s love.

In the end, you witness a lot of pieces of my author life, but pieces are pieces. Writing is hard. Being an author is hard. It’s not all coffee and cats and reading and writing. We have our ups and downs and everything in between. Despite all of today’s truth, I do love this crazy, catlady, writing life, and I hope you’ll still enjoy it when I share pieces of it with you on Instagram. Yes, that is a link to my Instagram. Feel free to click it. 😉

~SAT

teaser11The first Bad Bloods teaser released! You can expect a new one to release every #TeaserTuesday via…you guessed it…my Instagram. I’d love to connect with you on there, so feel free to send me a message, and be sure to pre-order Bad Bloods by clicking the links below. It’ll only be available for 2.99 for a limited time, so take advantage of the CTP sale while you can.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods today!

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In other news, Clean Teen Publishing is about to host an AWESOME giveaway/release party THIS Friday on Facebook. Click the link to check out the CTP Marvelous May Reads Release Party. I will be there!

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safe_image.phpAlso, don’t forget, the first book in The Timely Death Trilogy is currently FREE! I wanted to give a shout out to Instagram’s Devyn T. for drawing some fan art. Feel free to send me your art any time! I love seeing it. In fact, it makes my day.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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