Why (and How) Writers Should Use Pinterest

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How and Why Writers Should Use Pinterest Pinterest tends to be one of the last social media tools that authors use for their writing purposes. Many writers may be using Pinterest to store pretty pictures and dare I say it, even to procrastinate! Pinterest is much more than just a place to find and categorize inspiration photos for your kids birthday parties or your home. It can be a good inspiration tool for your books, an excellent promotion tool and of course, a good selling tool.

#1. To Sell Your Book

Pinterest is a visual tool, used mostly to catalogue pictures into different ‘mood’ or inspiration boards. The beauty for those selling online is that every pin (picture) carries a link to its source so if you have pinned the front cover of your book from where it can be purchased online, it will always carry that link, no matter how many times others might repin (share) it. That means that people all over the world can click that link and purchase your book. However, Pinterest works best when you use it with your target market’s wants in mind – what might they like to see on your account besides pictures of your front cover? How can you add value to their Pinterest experience? How can you become someone that they want to follow?  Do read on.

Derelict_barn #2. Gain Inspiration

You could use Pinterest to find inspiration for your novel. Find pictures of people that resemble your characters and pin them to a secret board so that you are the only person who can view them. This can help you in describing the character’s appearance and make them ‘come to life’ for you. The same goes for settings for the book. Imagine writing a description of a derelict barn on a stormy night – you’ll find plenty of images on Pinterest to inspire you.

#3. Show Potential Readers Some Sneak Peeks

When your book is published, you could show your fans and readers these pins, either by making the secret group a public board or by repinning those pins into another board. Enthusiastic readers of your novel would love to see more insight into the work behind the book.

Abby Green, an Irish author of romantic fiction, has numerous inspiration boards on her Pinterest account. Lisa Wingate uses Pinterest to inform readers about the historical background to her fiction as well as showing them artefacts and dresses that would have been worn by people during that time period.

#4. Reading Groups

Encourage reading by sharing your recommended reads, those books you enjoy reading. It is likely that those who like your taste in reading will also enjoy your books. Remember that when pinners repin a pin, a pop up box encourages them to follow another board that same pin has been pinned to – the more you pin and repin, the more chance you have of growing more followers – particularly by this method.

Why authors should use Pinterest

Therefore, pin and repin books in the same genre as your own book – and books you genuinely enjoy reading. Even better, you could link to your book reviews on your own website, thereby encouraging people to click the links to read the review and arrive on your site where they can also see your books for sale.

#5. Connect With Readers

Remember to consider how readers will use Pinterest too – they will comment under the cover image of your book when they are pinning or repinning. If you find glowing tributes and recommendations, you can follow them, comment under the pin and thank them, and generally engage – encouraging them to follow you back (if they aren’t following you already). See how this pinner recommends this book to other readers of historical fiction:

how authors should use Pinterest

You can find out who has pinned from your website by typing in http://www.pinterest.com/source/yourdomainname.com to the address bar, inserting your own website address. You could also do a search for the title of your book and see what comes up.

#6. Create Relevant Content for your Target Market

What are your target market interested in? If you write parenting books and your potential readers are going to be interested in finding tips on educating children, storage tips for children’s toys, recipes for suitable weaning foods, educational toys etc, then create boards to interest them (as well as you). Find quality content online (as well as your own books) and pin to these boards. You will then become seen as a person to follow for excellent content as well as your words of wisdom in print.

Laura Frantz, an author of Historical Fiction, has numerous boards to interest those who like history – historical houses, art, letters, lace, antique silver, Russian history, antique dolls houses, American Revolution, 18th century dress, Early American life – a treasure trove of interesting pins for history lovers.

Don’t forget to create content for all book lovers too – boards for interesting bookcases, book storage, libraries, quotes about books, plays – anything you can think of really.

#7. Become Part of a Writing Community

You can get to know other writers, learn from them, share stories, ask advice, share successes and become part of a writing community on Pinterest as easily as on Linked In or Facebook. You could even become a ‘leader’ by starting up a contributor board for other writers and inviting others to join.

See our post ‘All you need to know about shared boards’ for more tips. Always remember to pin quality content and to be extremely active within the board when you are its creator if it is is to work well. For example, this community board for writers includes inspiring quotes for writers, stories of the writing process from established authors.

I hope you found this post useful. If you would like to learn how to use Pinterest more effectively, do check out our online Pinterest courses at Beginners and Advanced levels

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Posted in Pinterest, Self Publishing, Writing
  • http://twitter.com/JBBC marieennisoconnor

    Great tips Lorna. These days writers have to work harder than ever in a crowded market to stand out. Following your advice would be a great help in this.

    • http://www.writeontrack.ie Lorna Sixsmith

      Thanks Marie :)

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  • colettesartor

    Wonderful points, all of them. I struggled for a long time trying to figure out how to use Pinterest effectively, and now it’s my favorite source of writing prompts for my students, and a great source of visual inspiration for my own writing. I have a student who even uses Pinterest to create different boards for her characters.

    I’m going to post this to my Writers’ Resources page, if you don’t mind. (http://colettesartor.com/writers-resources/)

    • http://www.writeontrack.ie Lorna Sixsmith

      Thank you Colette, I have an idea for a novel and am going to use secret boards for inspiration for my characters too – then I might reveal them when the book is out there!
      How do you use it as writing prompts? Do you find a picture of a particular scene or person and ask them to write about it?
      I’d hugely appreciate the share, thank you.

      • colettesartor

        Lorna – sorry for the delayed response. i just happened to see your reply on Disqus. There are tons of writing prompt boards on Pinterest that I draw from for my own board. Sometimes I post my own writing prompts on Pinterst as well, plus full blown craft posts that contain writing exercises from my blog. The exercises usually pair a prompt with an image plus other instructions.

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  • AnnetteRochelleAben

    LOVE me some Pinterest! Use it all the time to promote myself and others

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