Ask every self-published writer what they want more than anything else and they will tell you that they want to sell their books. ALLi's Social Media Manager Karen Lotter describes five ways that Pinterest can help authors not only sell more books but plan and write them too.
What is Pinterest and does it Really Work for Authors?
In the social media world. Facebook and Twitter were always the big ones until the image-based platforms came along. Pinterest seemed to pop up from nowhere and just spill over into every sphere. Before we realised it, we were all pinning, because it was such fun.
For those who still don’t know, Pinterest is like an online bulletin board that has mated with a social media interface. Think of a series of corkboards hanging on your wall. Each corkboard has a theme that you choose and curate. Members can create multiple boards of almost any topic under the sun and collect “pin” as many lists, pictures, videos, and links as they desire.
They can also share their boards, and allow their pins to be repined by others. This is why it has so much potential to be used as a very potent tool for authors to promote their books.
Smart Pinning Rules and Regs
- Create concise descriptions of each pin, using hashtags, keywords, links, etc
- Remember to pin your book covers from sites where the book can actually be purchased
- If you want to get really serious about it, tag every book cover pin with genre, author, and title information.
Plan Your Book on Pinterest
If you're writing a book, use Pinterest for planning. Authors can easily create a board for characters, settings and plots – in fact whatever they are researching for their novel. Pin interesting images for characters. Pin up beautiful places might that could be used for your settings. For plot, repin images of events. Are your characters getting married? One thing you’ll find plenty of on Pinterest is weddings! Historical fiction writers who need detail for the descriptions – this is the perfect place to gather objects, photos, furniture, etc all on one board.
Pinterest Collaboration – Indie Authors Member Books
On Orna Ross’s Pinterest there is a communal board for ALLi Authors where they can pin their own covers and also those of others: http://www.pinterest.com/ornaross/alliance-of-indie-authors-members-books/
Pinterest is great for collaboration with other writers. If you've got some partner writers out there, or you belong to a group like ALLi, give them access to some of your boards for collaboration. You know, you can also let beta readers and editors in on the action – it makes for a more shared experience. All you need to do to be able to pin together is to follow each other. (Then let the person who owns the board know and he/she will add you to the names board).
Create a Blog Pinboard
Depending on what you post on your blog and how you illustrate it, you could do well with pinning some photos from your blog. Either create a board for them of just pin them to an assortment of boards with really good captions. Anyone who has been on Pinterest for a while will be able to tell you that what is needed are eye-catching images. People will click through to see where they originated.
Create Boards in a Theme Around your Writing
If you write science fiction, for example, create some boards that have to do with science fiction – remember you want to draw like-minded people to you – people who may be interested to buy and read your books. It is not hard to create a theme park of boards to engage people who may like you and your books.
Make your Pinterest about You
This ties in a bit with the previous point. Authors should try to pin in a personal manner. Remember you want to connect with your readers, so set up your Pinterest platform with as much detail as you can, including your website and a great photo.
Make your boards about you and things that you find interesting. The more your fans connect with you on a personal level, the more they will make an effort to follow you and promote you. Do you like chocolate, cupcakes, seventies music? Well share it with your readers. Don’t try to market to them.Tell them about new releases, launches appearances, but don’t push it.
Pinterest is fun, it is huge and can also be very effective for authors. It is a great way to create the much-needed engagement with readers, so get pinning!