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Friday, October 5, 2012

Pinterest for Authors: 5 Ways to Use for Promotion

I admit, I'm a Pinterst addict. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. Nah...go ahead. Tell everyone. I've been using Pinterest for maybe a year, but seriously starting utilizing it in the past four months. I have sat at my computer some days not realizing I've spent 4 hours or more pinning images. I currently have 53 boards and over 3,500 pins and counting. It's amazing how quickly the images add up.

Since my emergence on the Pinterest scene, I've come across some great marketing strategies. So I want to share with you some of the amazing ways I've seen authors utilize Pinterest to strengthen their readership and promote their books and writings, as well as some of the ways I'm currently using Pinterest to promote my own book.

First, what is Pinterest?
It's a cross between a virtual pin up board and a scrapbook. Once you create your account, you are able to create boards for different interests by organizing photos and illustrations from websites and blogs. For instance, I have boards titled Shoegasms, Kick Ass Boots, Yummy Desserts, and My Beautiful Book Covers. Each album contains photos (pins) of items that fit the description. You can also allow others to contribute to your album if you desire, which fosters increased sharing and interaction.

So what five ways can you use Pinterest to promote your book or writing?

1. Create an album like I did for book covers. You can name your album whatever you choose. Then pin book covers to that album. Make sure and leave a great description of the book, so if someone is interested in purchasing it or getting more info, they can do it easily. It's best to leave shortened url links as they look better. Try using Bitly or Tinyurl.

2. Create an album for the characters in your book. I'm currently in the process of doing this one. I'm finding it hard though to find characters that fit what I think the characters look like, or if I want to even go that route. I may just find items that fit the scene or setting associated with the character. I haven't decided. Or you can create fashions, clothes or accessories that your character would likely wear. You can choose whatever you like and create an entire world for your character with an album. Another great tip: add your readers and fans to the album as contributors and have them come up with images they think represent the character. It's a great way to get your readers involved and stay connected.

3. Create an inspiration board. I have one titled, Why I Write. It contains images and photos of things that inspire and motivate me to write. I hope that other writers, authors and aspiring writers can use the same images to help them too. We all need a little motivation sometimes and it helps readers to know that we don't wake up everyday revved up and ready to type away. Some days, it takes a little prodding. You can also use images that help you write, such as a beautiful desk, gorgeous stationery, funky pens or quotes about writing.

4. Create a Favorite Books album. I have one titled, Page Turners. It's an album of all the books I couldn't put down or books I just absolutely love. Make sure and describe your images appropriately with the author and title. This helps because authors may search for images of their own books, how nice would it be for an author to see that you've pinned their book and leave a comment on your pin? It's also a great way to give book recommendations to readers. People don't want to be inundated with your self-promotion, they want resources and info they can use.

5. Get your readers involved. Ask your readers to contribute to your album for the next book. Ask them to come up with images that you need to add description to your characters. Maybe your character wears a certain type high heel shoe or drinks a certain vintage wine but you can't find it. They can help you with the research and pin it to your board. Readers would love to contribute their input and feel like they helped in the making of your upcoming book.

BONUS* I couldn't resist. Actually, five just sounds better than six.
**Create a board for your videos. Yep, you can pin videos. I have an album for all my book trailers called Video Voyeurism for Books. Sound naughty doesn't it. I love it. You can also create an album for trailers that could help writers, video book reviews, book signings, workshops, or just a video message to your readers.

Must do's once you're on Pinterest

* Use large images, they visually look better. Use catchy album titles that sound attractive and appealing.

* Put a Pinterest widget on your blog or website so people can follow you on Pinterest. (mine is below near comments for pinning and at the top for following me)

* Reciprocate. Just like in the blogging community, people like to have comments and likes, but they also want their images repinned. Don't just put up photos and think that's it. You must engage by repinning other photos and following their albums.

* Try to use as many images from your own blog or website, it helps generate traffic, which could land you a new follower or reader. You can track how many people come to your blog from Pinterest by using your Google Analytics.

* Share your Pinterest albums with your other social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

* Use your time wisely. Pinterest can be a time sucker just like an other social media tool. Your objective is to promote, engage, connect and WRITE. Can't write if you're stuck on Pinterest all day.

Do you use Pinterest? What are some of your favorite Pinterest albums? If you've used Pinterest to market your book tell us how?
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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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