World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

Pinterest for Writers

on July 21, 2013

Image I discovered Pinterest a little over a year ago, and already I don’t know how I lived without it. Really. I have been rescued from all the little piles of recipes and brilliant ideas I clipped out of magazines and left in strategic (?) parts of the house, only to forget about them and never try them. Sure, half of the brilliant ideas I now cull from Pinterest I am never going to try (like the do-it-yourself garden fountain, or anything else that requires a power drill) but at least now all of these potentially genius projects are neatly stored in one place – and almost invisibly. And I do try out at least one of my many recipe pins every week. I love to cook and I hate being bored, so Pinterest is a great way to gather new recipes to try every single day, all in one place.

The problem was, Pinterest, like most internet destinations, can become a dangerous timesuck, a vortex you enter with the best of intentions to spend just five minutes there and then get to writing, only to emerge hours later with a hundred new recipes, style tips, Grumpy Cat memes, and a word count of zero. I had to find a way to make my Pinterest habit compatible with my writing time.

So I did what many other writers have done before me: I set up a Pinterest account for my writing self and began pinning things related to my books, of interest to other writers, and a few other topics I liked that might interest someone else who had read or wanted to read my books. Some of it is posted in the interest of book marketing and some of it is more an extension of my author platform/social media presence. Within a few hours (literally) of creating my first boards, I had hundreds of repins and within a week a surprising number of followers, and it grows every time I do it. Bonus: it’s a lot of fun.

I started with boards related to my e-novellas series Snark and Circumstance. I posted on the Snark and Circumstance boards some bits of inspiration, like clothing I thought a character would wear; images of people who look like my characters; locations similar to those in the book; teasers about the plot in books to come; and a link to buy the book. Since the main character, Georgia, is a lone vegan in a town and family of carnivorous types, I also created Georgia’s Vegan Eats to collect and share some great vegan recipes — that board took off right away. Most popular right now is my board Writing on which I pin great quotes and inspiration from writers. I swear I pin anything to that board and it gets about 100 repins right away. I also have boards about works in progress, music I listen to when I write, writers with their pets, and Cool People Read, which features everyone from Malala Yousafrai to Betty White to Kurt Cobain (and proves even Johnny Depp looks smexier with his face in a book).  You can follow all or one of them to see new pins. I try to keep them updated all the time, especially Georgia’s Vegan Eats and Writing. Once you have followers, you need to provide continual content and Pinterest is a bottomless treasure chest of content waiting to be plucked and repinned.

Have the boards sold a lot of books? Honestly, I doubt it. But it has connected me to more readers and writers and librarians (especially through boards like Writing or Great YA Novels or Settings for YA Novels). And I know that looking at other writers’ boards has made me really curious about their upcoming books. So many of the pins on the Indie Ignites board, for example, make me so  eager to read their books when they come out, and generating interest in your work is what it’s all about.

Other writers, designers, and publicists agree. Alicia Kat Vancil of Kat_Girl Studios hosted a great Twitter chat about author pages that urged us all to provide links to our pinterest pages right on our blogs. As you can see, I did.

Swoon Romance and Month 9 Books encourage all of their writers to have Pinterest pages, so I asked Jolene, our pinner extraordinaire, to offer a little advice to writers who are Pinterest newbies:

As for advice for writers trying to market their work using Pinterest, Pinterest is an awesome tool to use! There are a myriad of ways to use it to your advantage.

1. Published authors: Make a board solely for your published works. This way people can check out all of your titles. Don’t forget to “edit” the image so that when people click on it, it takes them straight to either your site, the book on Goodreads, or where they can buy it (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)

2. Published or soon to be published authors: Make a board with a specific theme like new adult 2013 releases or YA Romance (whatever your book genre is). Include big name books in that genre and don’t forget yours. It will definitely help you gain exposure. Don’t forget to link your book there too via the “edit image” button and include an accurate description with keywords that will ensure people will find it.

3. Interactive: Start a Pinterest board for each WIP or book. Include your dream casting of your characters, setting, love interest, clothes your MC would wear, etc. Readers will love the extra insight to your book and it will help you get focused on your book if you’re stuck or blocked. This is also a place where you should make sure you  use the accurate keywords and hashtags for your book to be searchable and make sure you link each picture to the appropriate site (ie picture of your book cover linked to your book’s Amazon page for purchase OR picture of an actress who you would love to play your MC linked to your dream cast blog post).

So if you’re not pinning, it’s time to get started. And if you are, take Dorie’s advice: JUST KEEP PINNING.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: