But there’s no denying we are becoming an even more visually-oriented society than ever before. And that’s saying something!
Authors know to use Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Linked-In, and other social media sites, but a relatively new kid on the block is Pinterest. Think of a virtual bulletin board you have divided into categories. You find pictures that fit your categories and “pin” them to your boards. For some odd reason, people search out your boards and “follow” them, like having “friends” on Facebook or “followers” on Twitter.
Pinterest launched as a closed, invitation-only beta site in March, 2010. From it’s initial 5K users, after only nine months the site had 10K users. Time magazine, in August, 2011 listed Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” article. In December of that year, Pinterest became one of the ten biggest social network sites. By July, 2013 the site had 70 million users world-wide, 80% of them women.
That’s quite a potential audience for authors.
I heard about authors using Pinterest from someone in one of my Facebook affinity groups. She described how she used the boards to post pictures of her books and to promote the books of others. I was intrigued and checked it out.
This particular networking site doesn’t require nearly the same amount of energy as other social networking sites I use. Pinterest, for me, is more similar to my relatively-static website than the ever-changing blogs I write. I don’t actively seek followers, but they find me. It’s an interesting phenomenon.
To promote the author side of me, I have storyboards for my three published books (one in 2013; two in 2014) as well as a nascent story boards for my current WIPs, Prime Rib and Punishment, Potluck, and a romance.
I posted pictures of people who look like my characters. I posted pictures of important places, events, and objects in the books. Of course, I have book covers for already published romances and Mission Impastable.
I now use it as one of my planning tools as I plot the book and events. It’s almost as important, to me, as the 10 key events and character sketches I produce. My Pinterest Story Boards are a quick reminder of what the book is about and who’s in it. Maybe someone looking at it will be intrigued.
Additionally I have boards related to my books. For Mission Impastable, I have a board on “Food Porn” (luscious pictures of food) and “Kitchen Gadgets”. Without any effort, advertising, or soliciting, I have almost 200 followers. Just think what I could get if I promoted the boards! I get “repinned” a lot, which I think brings in more followers.
Whether or not sales result, I have no way of knowing. What I do know is that every day people are looking at my boards and my book covers may stick in their heads. I see it as a kind of passive--and FREE--advertising.
It was fun to put my book concepts into pictorial form. It’s actually another sort of summarizing or synopsizing your ideas. A way to see your characters and book events. Try it for fun! You might get hooked like the other 70 million folks using Pinterest.
If you’re curious, check me out at https://www.pinterest.com/authorsam/. I’ll follow you, if you’ll follow me.