Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pinterest: Another Way to Develop and Promote Your Novel

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Hmm. As a novelist, I’m not sure I like this old saw. After all, I am not a graphic novelist, but the old fashion kind. I paint with words.

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 I’ll follow you, if you’ll follow me.


Thonie Hevron said...

Good post, Sharon. I haven't followed through with my Pinterest plans but I like your ideas so much that I have a new enthusiasm for it.
Now, I just have to find the time...

Sharon Arthur Moore said...

Ah, time! Yes! Thank goodness this one is the least time consuming for me of all the social media I am active with. I've started a blog series on using Twitter and how to manage time there, too. Thanks for reading and commenting. As you know, interaction keeps us going.

Nancy LiPetri said...

I recently became hooked on Pinterest myself. OTP book covers was my first "board" and of course my cover is showing. It's fun to see who pins them.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I'm on Pinterest too, but haven't done a lot with it.

Sharon Arthur Moore said...

I hope, Marilyn and Nancy, that you will expand your use after reading this post. I know this is just a starter kit for Pinterest for authors, but you gotta start somewhere, eh? Maybe at PSWA we can have a lunch conversation about using social media more effectively.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

I also pin on Pinterest and find that some of my pins get repined, especially those related to my children's book, Ants on a Log. I also repin when I see a children's book that looks interesting. Beryl

Sharon Arthur Moore said...

That's exactly how it works! The word spreads! Good for you, Beryl! Sharon