In the world of social media marketing, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are commonly referred to as the Big Three. While these sites are incredibly important for authors to build their following, there is another underutilized social media platform that can be just as powerful when leveraged properly: I’m looking at you, Pinterest.
An oft forgotten corner of the Internet, Pinterest is frequently stereotyped as the digital home for crafters, foodies, and brides-to-be. According to Hootsuite, 250 million people use Pinterest every month, Pinterest reaches 83% of US women between the ages of 25-34, and 50% of all new users in 2018 were men. Not only does Pinterest have the reach, it has the results. In 2018, Pinterest reported that 98% of their users actually tried the ideas they found on the platform.
Beyond the numbers, Pinterest is a powerful tool that authors can use to their advantage. Perfect for building character profiles, research, and more, Pinterest can help authors stay organized and meet their needs while trying to make those tough deadlines. Below are four suggestions for how you can leverage Pinterest as an author.
Character building is a key element for any work of fiction. To create compelling, well-rounded characters, authors need to know their characters inside out. Creating a virtual vision board that represents everything from the way a character looks, to the way they dress, to the type of car they drive is a great way for authors keep the various facets of their characters organized in one place. Author Leigh Bardugo has some fantastic character Pinterest boards, highlighting the inspiration behind their clothes, looks, etc. Character boards are not just a great organization tool for authors, but are also a great way to give fans insight into the characters and the craft that went into developing their aesthetic.
Attention: authors writing nonfiction, historical fiction or any other genre that requires a ton of research, Pinterest is your new best friend. As previously mentioned, Pinterest is a fantastic way to stay organized. When doing research for a book, it is easy to lose track of your online sources. Bookmarking article after article can get cumbersome and time consuming. Using a Pinterest board to keep track of your research is a convenient way to centralize your materials in one easy-to-access spot. You can create your own pins easily by adding the Pinterest Save Button to Google Chrome and pinning items from around the Internet to your boards. Once your book is complete, consider saving your research boards as bonus content for your fans who might be interested in learning more about the topic.
Like other social media sites, Pinterest is ultimately a marketing platform. However, unlike other social media sites, Pinterest provides a more creative and customizable user experience. With Pinterest, authors can create boards for their own use in addition to curating content for their fans. While it is not the most immediate social network, it does have high user engagement. Also, Pinterest users are more likely to follow-through on items they pin because they are creating the experience. Pinterest provides a multitude of opportunities for authors to market their books. A few examples of ways authors market their books on Pinterest include: book cover galleries, collections of past interviews and media coverage, book giveaways and contests, free book previews, previously mentioned bonus fan content, and more. Author Kellie Coates Gilbert has a Pinterest board that highlights promotions and upcoming titles for several different authors in addition to her own books, creating a curated collection of content for readers that masks blatant self-promotion and continually brings them back to her page.
We here at Three Houses Press know first-hand just how time consuming and stressful writing can be. Especially when a deadline is involved. Taking care of your mental and physical health is vital and taking the time you need to stay healthy should be built into your daily routine. However, we know how hard it can be to budget the time to cook a healthy meal or fit in a visit to the gym. On Pinterest you can find quick, easy recipes and home work out regimens that can accomodate your writing schedule. Other great boards to consider adding are motivational quotes, meditation and mindfulness exercises, and organization hacks.
The suggestions above are just a fraction of the ways in which authors can utilize Pinterest to be more productive and promote their books. Some other honorable mentions include writing prompts & tips, motivational quotes, writing playlists, book club resources, and book recommendations. Like all social media sites, building your platform takes time and effort. The key to success on Pinterest is curating good content, interacting with other members in the community, and frequent activity.
For inspiration, here are some authors who use Pinterest in fun and interesting ways: