Marketing Your Book on Pinterest Tutorial

Create new fans with Pinterest!

Jessica and I are big fans of Pinterest for authors trying to market their books, either traditionally published or self published.  To my knowledge, it’s the fastest growing social network out there, and it’s predominantly female driven, which is great for us, because our novels target the female audience.  We’ve had an author Pinterest page for about a year now, and actively look into ways to market our upcoming books there and create ways for our fans to be involved with us and find potential new readers for our novels.

Here are some tips  we’ve discovered for authors who want to use Pinterest the way we have to increase interest in their brand.

First, for those who have no idea what Pinterest is, in a nutshell, it’s s social media site that allows you to “pin” any webpage you want, similar to adding something to your favorites.  When you pin a page, Pinterest will let you select which image from the page you want to feature on your “pin board.”  Then, you can select which pin board to put your new pin on.  Most people have a few different pin board categories, like, “Food” or “Hairstyles I like”… you get the idea.  Then your friends on Pinterest can see all of your pins and repin them if they like what you’ve pinned on their own pin boards, and vice versa.  The more repins your pin gets, the more people will see it, obviously, and the more traffic you’re funneling to whatever page you originally pinned. In some ways, it’s similar to a visual representation of your bookmarks that you share with your friends.

Okay, so now you understand the idea behind Pinterest.  It’s time for you to make an account. Make sure you sign up as a “Business” and not just a person on Pinterest.  You’ll be able to feature your website more prominently on your main Pinterest page, and also, you’ll get a handy dandy little red check next to your website, similar to the way Twitter uses the little blue checks to let you know who is and isn’t legit.  You’ll need an official website to sign up for a business account, and you’ll need to know a little HTML, but Pinterest does a pretty good job of walking you through the steps you’ll need to take to get your little red check mark, and it’s pretty painless.  If you have a personal account already, just go into the settings and follow the links to change it to a business account.  Think of it this way, if your book does get famous, you’re going to have impersonators, so go ahead and make sure people know that you are you.

Little Red Check

Next, create a pin board for each of your books/comics/projects, whatever it is that you’re trying to share with the world, and make sure you designate a category for it, most likely “Film, Music & Books.”  We created a board for each of our novels and identifying things to pin on those boards that make sense for our books and our intended audience.  Our debut novel is Autumn in the City of Angels, the first in a trilogy, so we’ll focus on what we pinned on that board.  Autumn in the City of Angeles is a YA novel set in modern day Los Angeles, and takes place throughout the city, meaning we use some pretty famous landmarks.  Additionally, we reference very specific pieces of jewelry, clothing, prop items, etc…  We found as many of those things online as we could and pinned them.  This means, that when we pinned a landmark, like The Hollywood Sign, we make sure it references a link to a page that tells more information on that landmark, and when we pin Autumn’s Celtic Necklace, we make sure it links back to the store where a similar one can be bought.

At present, the book hasn’t come out yet, so only our Beta Readers have read it, but once we let them know that we’d created a Pinterest board for the book, they rushed to the site to see visual representations of all the things in the book, and loved it!  They could buy the items we mentioned, they could explore the Wikipedia pages for the landmarks, etc… And most importantly, they could repin things like, say, our cover and comment on how they want to buy the book when it comes out, or put it on one of their own boards entitled something like, “Books That I Love.”  This is good because when their friends, whom we aren’t acquainted with, check out their board, they see our book cover, and suddenly our book has a virtual recommendation of sorts by the mere fact that it’s been pinned to this board by someone who has read it and enjoyed it and perhaps they will repin it to their board.

Once you start getting repins, you increase the chance of your product going viral, at least to some degree.  Hopefully, when the book comes out, other new readers will respond similarly, and repin our book cover, and our Pinterest marketing scheme will help broaden our reader base.  Be sure that we’ll keep you updated on how it all goes in future posts. :)

Okay, so you’ve created a board for your book, or whatever project you were trying to promote, what next?  Your Pinterest looks a little thin… and that’s no good!  Well, it’s time to beef up your content.  Here are some suggestions.

Create a board of writing inspiration.  Anything that inspires you.  Beautiful pictures, nice reading spaces, scenic shots… dogs being cute.  Whatever!  You’d be surprised what can go viral on there!

Also, create a few other boards with interests you have.  For me, I’m an avid Southern cook, and, God help me, but I love carbs!  So I have a board just for cooking things that aren’t necessarily good for you, and was surprised when one of the recipes I did (that Jes took a picture of) went viral!  I’m also a HUGE geekstress, as well as Jessica.  So we have a board of just geekery that we pin things to regularly.  We get a good amount of repins from that board.  The key is, your followers are going to want to feel like they know you a little better through your social media, so feel free to show them your favorite stuff.  You’ll get closer to your fan base, and that’s always a good thing!

Also, create a board that references your blog.  We have a board that is only for our book reviews.  People can see the image of the book we reviewed, and if they click on it, it leads back here to our blog page where the book review lives.  If they like what they see, perhaps they’ll subscribe to our blog posts, and now we’re reaching a new fan on a regular basis!

Also, try and drive traffic to your Pinterest account from other sites where you may have a larger following.  We use an app on our Facebook Fan Page that allows anyone to Pin any of our posts and pictures.  It’s called Pinvolve.  This app automatically leaves a link that tracks back to our page on all pins made from our posts, so if the Pin were to go viral, when anyone clicks on the image, it comes back to our Facebook Fan Page.  Again… that’s a very good thing.  We also use this app to Pin our own images, so fans of ours who are only on Pinterest and not yet on our Facebook Fan Page still see our posts, and again, hope it gets a lot of repins, or at least has a good reach.

This is what the app looks like after you’ve installed in on your Facebook Fan Page.

To get Pinvolve on your own Facebook Fan Page (you do have one of these set up for your brand, don’t you?) you can search for the app, install it and point it to which Fan Page you want it to appear on.  To re-iterate, with this app installed, every Facebook post you make on your Fan Page with a picture or link is “pinnable” through Pinterest.  Meaning, if someone were to click on the app and click on the Facebook tab, they will see all of your posts in a friendly familiar Pinterest layout, like so.

Note that the app displays your posts in exactly the same manner as their own Pinterest page, so there should be little confusion for them to pin your content to their pin boards.

If they hover over any of your posts, the familiar Pin button shows up, along with a button to tweet the post or share it.

When someone does Pin something of yours to one of their Pinboards, Pinvolve will leave a link that traces back to your Facebook Fan Page, hopefully funneling people to you.  So make sure you post good content on your Facebook Fan Page and frequently.  The basic takeaway here is, if you find and share good content, you’re more likely to get shares/pins/tweets/comments/likes, etc… and if you’re careful about making sure the breadcrumbs for the content leads back to you, you have the potential to pick up new fans.  And that’s obviously our goal.

Always make sure as many of your pins as possible track back to a URL.  If you didn’t use Pinvolve and it doesn’t already have a link to your Facebook Fan Page, you can hover over any pin and click “edit.”  You will then see a box to add a URL, and if the URL you enter is your Facebook Fan Page, or your website/blog, whatever, even better!

But make sure the link makes sense.  Like, I wouldn’t post a picture of a French Loaf and have it link back to the “About Us” section on our Facebook Page.  However, I might post one of the daily funny book nerd images from our Facebook Fan Page and leave a link to our Fan Page where there’s similar content posted on a daily basis.

Also always remember, Pinterest is a visual medium.  So try to find the most striking picture of your subject to up the chances of your pin going viral.

Okay, now that you’ve built some content that can be traced back to your Fan Pages and Website, you should link your Facebook to your Pinterest and find all of your current Facebook friends who use Pinterest and “Follow” them.  Those friends with good netiquette will follow you back, giving you at least a few followers to begin with.  Next, use the search bar in Pinterest to search for items/people/boards that have a similar interest as the boards you’ve made for your brand, then choose which people and boards to follow and which pins to repin.  Odds are, a few of these people will end up following you back.

Now that you’ve created your Pinterest, the worst thing you could do would be to abandon it.  So log on at least a few times a week, and repin things that make sense for your brand that your friends are pinning.

We also created a Fan Board.  We haven’t done too much with it yet, but the basic idea is, we can allow certain friends the ability to pin things on that board for us, which could be fun for some trusted fans.  Be careful if you decide to do this, though, and don’t allow just anyone to pin to this board, because it shows up as just another pinboard to those who follow you.  And the last thing you want is to find something off-color or lewd, or just completely off the mark has been pinned to your board when you didn’t realize it.

And last but not least, make sure that you leave links to your Pinterest everywhere you’re represented online.  Put links on your webpage, your Facebook Fan Page, your Twitter, your Google +… you get the idea.

Okay, that’s about it.  Hopefully this approach will help you, and we’ll update folks on any further tips we have, and how it’s working for us.  Make sure to sign up to follow our blog for future book marketing tips, and to stay updated on when our books drop.  And don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Pinterest and Twitter!  Happy pinning!

5 Comments

  1. Excellent advice! I love Pinterest, it’s an amazing way to keep track of favourite links.

  2. google says:

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping
    it up all over the web without my agreement.
    Do you know any methods to help reduce content from being ripped off?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Dana Melton says:

      Oh, wow. That’s honestly a question I’ve never been asked before! I really don’t know a good answer to this. I will say, in the internet age, unfortunately, plagiarism tends to run rampant, and it’s such a shame.

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