Saturday, April 07, 2012

Can Pinterest Images Work for Authors? You Bet They Can

I just started using Pinterest. It’s the new social network that many are saying “I don’t get it” about--just like they did when they first ran into Twitter. Now we’ve all been Twitterfied.

I didn’t get it, either, but I've been applying lots of general marketing techniques to Pinterest and that gave me a bit of a headstart. Now people are asking me what I think of it for authors and I’ve been telling them that Pinterest is like any other promotion or social network. If you want something to be successful, you have to promote the promotion.

An example. I got started by telling my author friends on Facebook that if they pinned one of my books to one of their bulletin boards, I'd do the same for them. I have several different book boards. These are online bulletin boards where you categorize posts (images with little cutlines or blurbs)  that intrigue you. One of them is "Books by My Friends" where I pin these books to help give them extra exposure. I also pin images of gorgeous book cases, quotes, book-related cartoons, etc. on that wall to keep it interesting rather than just a wall of book covers, which they could find on Amazon.

I’m  offer you subscribers to SharingwithWriters blog (and visitors!)  the same deal, of course. But to work well, you really need to have a board showing your book cover—preferably with related images pinned on the same board.  You know, so I can find it and repin it when you follow me.

We're all in this together. (-: Find me at Also notice how I separate out the books I write in different genres to separate boards. And how I sometimes repeat a book image on two different boards. As an example, the theme of my novel is rooted in tolerance so it appears on my Tolerance board and on my Literary and Poetry board.

I believe it's little techniques like these that can make a difference to a network that at first doesn't seem innately suited to the needs of writers. And don't forget to toss a little personal in about you. Your readers don't want to know what you ate for breakfast on Twitter, but if it's a great pancake recipe with a great food picture, they will want to know on Pinterest.

And yeah, its all about branding and finding those marketing angles I talk about in The Frugal Book Promoter ( You have to analyze your own book to understand the possibilities for marketing it, for branding it, for targeting your readers.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second ediction of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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