Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 78--Pinterest for Authors

If you haven't heard of Pinterest, you have now! It has swept the internet like wildfire. It's not even close to reaching its full potential yet and it's evolving daily. Authors can't afford to ignore new social media when it's our job to connect with people. Remember MySpace? My fourteen year old doesn't.

I resisted Pinterest out of sheer stubbornness. I had no desire to harass all my friends again with friend requests. I just inundated them with requests from Goodreads, LinkedIn and Twitter. I'm trying to build my followings there. To add a new site is exhausting. I want to be done! Besides, how could Pinterest help an author? And what is it anyway?

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. It helps you organize and share things on the web that you find useful, pretty, interesting or whatever. Members create virtual cork boards and pin stuff to them. For instance, a gal planning her wedding can pin photos of dresses, cakes, flowers, invitations and then evaluate all her ideas in one place. When she clicks on a photo, it will taker her right back to the site from which she pinned it. Besides weddings, the most popular uses I've heard for Pinterest are craft, redecorating and recipe ideas.

But how can Pinterest help an author? I just joined and I can't fully answer that yet. I think the better question is, how can it hurt?

It's like the old saying, there's no such thing as bad publicity. There's no such thing as being too connected on the internet! My goal is to be easily found. Besides the obvious advantages of being visible, I link back to my book everywhere I'm a member. The internet is called the web for a reason. Think of each link as a strand of your web. The more links you build from different websites, the larger your web. The larger your web, the more "flies" you will catch.

This was the first reason I signed up for Pinterest--exposure. The second was to stay in touch with what's new and what's hot in social media. Since joining, I've discovered more reasons to join. Readers create virtual boards of their favorite books. If your book gets pinned, it can end up getting re-pinned (much like a re-tweet) and news of your book can spread this way. You don't have to be a member for this to happen, but if you are a member, you can be the first to pin your book and maybe get the ball rolling.

Once you join, you should probably do some pinning yourself. I created a board called "Hot Book Covers". I love a good book cover and here I get to show off the ones I think are hot. Maybe I'll meet other readers, maybe I'll pin my new YA cover when it's done...but the other thing I learned about Pinterest is that it's fun!

Here an example of a cover I pinned

Click here to see all the covers I pinned last night. I didn't understand how Pinterest could be fun or useful until I did it. I would like to decorate my kids' bedrooms and I'm excited to create boards for that and pin all my ideas in one place. I recommend that you try it, if you haven't already, and pin what you like. Writers have hobbies, focus on those and the relationships will follow. Opportunities will arise to connect with fans and promote your book over time.

Here is an article from ProBlogger with specific Pinterest marketing tips. These tips are great for bloggers who sell books or anything else. 

To Do: Join Pinterest and start pinning today! If you follow me, I'll follow you back. My profile is JenniferDiaries.

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
author of The Pet Washer
a novel for children aged 6 and up!