Pinterest for Authors
Pinterest has become a major player on the social networking scene and it’s easy to see why. If pictures are worth a thousand words then Pinterest is the bank. The site has become my go-to place for lots of reasons, the least of which is marketing, but as time goes by I realize how dynamic the site can be for aspiring and self-published authors.
Creating a platform for your writing or branding yourself are buzz words in the industry of self-publishing and there are a number of authors doing it right. In the by-gone era of big publishing houses the marketing teams were responsible for finding and distributing information about books as were the various lists and magazines, now it’s the author’s responsibility and this is where Pinterest excels.
As a writer myself, I find the need to bookmark sites and information for research and ideas but this becomes cumbersome when adding to an already long list of sites bookmarked on my browser bar… enter Pinterest. I was invited to join Pinterest in the last few days of beta where one had to receive an invite to become a member, now it is a matter of just signing up and creating your boards.
I find the boards are an excellent way to keep like items and ideas grouped in such a way that I can go back and rediscover or actually read something that caught my eye. It is unlike any other platform in that I can share my ideas or keep them private, but I can also upload blog posts or pictures and create a note that will help me locate it in the future. When I pin something I don’t have to worry about trying to find which bookmark I used, instead I can effectively organize my thoughts and can change or delete them at any time without affecting other pins.
For writers (new or otherwise) it is a boon to be able to pin the cover of a non-reviewed, brand new, or unknown book and gain some interest. The pin (once clicked by others) leads to whichever site you choose such as Amazon, or Smashwords, or even your own website. This provides an opportunity to get some eye-balls on your book and can make the difference between a sale and obscurity. Granted, the pinning of said cover is just the beginning of the marketing process and one that can still lead to obscurity if some time is not invested, but it is an opportunity to find a readership. Locating other like-minded pinners (reader in this case) is important and participating with comments on pins that interest you is another way to interact and can really make a difference for a new writer. Joining the appropriate group boards is also important as it will allow you to pin and interact with people who do not yet (and may never) follow you, providing a larger reach.
I am passionate about reading and I love discovering new authors so a good portion of my boards are dedicated to books. I have grouped boards by genre as well as separate boards for free ebooks and book reviews, but I also belong to several other group book boards. Over the course of a year I have steadily gained a following and have opened the original boards as group boards leading to a greater number of pins and a greater rate of discovery. This is where the effort of creating a good board comes into play. As an example this is my Indie and Self-published Author board link : http://pinterest.com/bayajack/indie-authors-and-self-published/
Whilst I do not have the hundreds of thousands of followers like the original pinners, I do have enough people with common interests to consider the group book boards successful in spreading the news about a certain author or book. As the followers of each board grow, so does the outreach of each pin.
For new authors it might be a way to enter into the public spotlight a little at a time and offer your book to those that will be interested. Unlike Facebook, there is no real way to know how many people you have reached, but the people who do re-pin and do offer comments are likely to become readers of your book. If your blurb and cover are impressive, the possibility of going viral on Pinterest can create a windfall of book downloads or blog post reads.
Creating a presence on Pinterest is something every author should consider. Once an account is set up, the creation of your boards is important but always changeable so no worries if you feel the need to edit, delete, or rename. Finding others with the same interest and following their boards is one of the easiest ways to gain your own followers and once they follow you – you will be able to share your book pins with those same readers each time you post.
If you’re interested in becoming a contributor to one of my group boards then click on this link https://www.pinterest.com/bayajack/boards/ and select the board and request an add by commenting on one of my pins or find the “Add Me” pin on each board. Not all my boards have to do with books but those that are available to join will have the group symbol shown on the top right corner. I welcome comments and requests on both this site and Pinterest.