You might be using Pinterest for recipes or fashion ideas, but did you know that it's just as valuable for growing your brand as an author?
Pinterest has over 433 million monthly active users. Imagine how many readers you could reach by creating and using an account the same way you use, let's say, Instagram for books or any other social media platform.
When used effectively, Pinterest can help improve your brand, boost discoverability, and allow you to interact with the reading community within your genre.
This quick guide explores the essentials of Pinterest for authors, so you can get your account up and running and start reaching more readers.
A. What is Pinterest for Authors?
Pinterest can be described as a "social bookmarking site" with a show, don't tell approach. It's a platform where authors, brands, or any other user can share photos that link to articles, websites, or products. Then, the users can collect these images by "pinning" them to separate boards based on themes, such as recipes, home decor inspiration, wedding ideas, books to read, etc.
It differs from other social media platforms for authors because the focus is more on engagement and sharing inspiration and ideas with a like-minded community rather than on likes.
"Content on Pinterest never expires," meaning it never goes out of fashion because it doesn't necessarily relate to trends.
And this is why it's great for authors. People use the platform like a search engine. They might search for phrases like: how do I start a blog, how to write a fantasy novel, sci-fi romance books to read, book quotes, etc.
Here is your chance to step in.
Think about what people search for in indie writing, your genre, or book inspiration, and answer those questions visually on Pinterest.
B. Why is Pinterest Important for Self-Published Authors?
So, let's look at Pinterest’s essential features and ways you can use them:
- Share covers of your upcoming books as early publicity. In this way, you’re creating a feeling of anticipation.
- Share quotes from your books placed on eye-catching visuals.
- Attach a Follow button to the visuals you post on your website and other accounts so users can pin them to their boards on Pinterest.
- Create boards that allow readers to get to know you: your interests, favorite books, preferred genres, and writing tips you’ve picked up along the way. Separate topics into different boards.
- Interact with group boards (with other authors and readers) that can keep you in relevant conversation about your work and interests. To do this, you can search on Pinterest for a topic that interests you, then go to the right side, where you can see All Pins, and select Boards.
- Interact with other Pinterest users and build a community.
- Funnel readers from your active profile to your author website, blog, and other social media platforms.
- Grow your mailing list.
- Create a board with photos of the most comfortable and atmospheric places to read: cafes, libraries, restaurants, and others.
Pinterest is more than a source of inspiration. It’s a user’s path to purchase. Here are a few ways to ensure your profile’s visibility.
C. Pinterest for Authors: Key Tips for Success
Pinterest is quite amazing. As simple as that.
You should create a Pinterest account because you do not need to spend as much time maintaining it as you would on LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other social media platform. Your success on Pinterest doesn't rely on you constantly engaging with your followers. You can answer their comments, but it's not a must.
It will be enough to devote 10-15 minutes daily to make some cool reposts from other social media platforms or post new content. It's a terrific solution for writers who don't want to spend much time creating visuals.
Besides, we recommend focusing on the following methods and strategies to make your efforts more effective.
1. Business means business
Create a business account just like you would for Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. It will allow you to access analytics, including:
- how many people have re-pinned your pin
- where your pin has been shared
- and the number of times your pin has appeared in homepage feeds.
This way, you can plan future content and create effective marketing campaigns because you'll understand the content your target audience resonates with. You'll also have access to information like your audience's location, age, and interests.
You will have all the necessary data at your fingertips, and you can improve your current marketing strategy and develop new campaigns.
✨ Once you create a page on Pinterest, let people know about it. Add the Follow button on your website. When your fans find out you're on Pinterest, they can engage with what you share.
2. Think like a reader
For many, Pinterest is a search engine for information and inspiration. To boost your discoverability and get noticed not only by your readers but other authors too, use keywords relevant to your writing in your profile description.
For instance, make it clear that you’re an author of YA romance fiction. The more specific you can be, the more you will find accounts similar to yours and be found by others.
Think like a book lover who has stumbled upon your Pinterest page for the first time. What would they want to know?
- Who you are;
- The genre you're writing in;
- What you’re interested in;
- Books you’re currently working on;
- Characters you’re currently developing.
You can show all this to Pinterest users through boards. When everything is ready, look at the result from the reader's point of view and answer one question: "Would you be interested in getting to know this author better?"
3. Create engaging content for your followers
With a large variety of profiles, users will choose one where they can receive new and relevant content regularly. Following the example of how famous writers maintain their Pinterest profiles, you should work on creating boards such as the ones we mentioned earlier.
Also, keep in mind that Pinterest is all about aesthetically pleasing posts. So, make sure to give your audience what they want.
The easiest way to make catchy images is with a platform like Canva. It provides all the tools you need to design modern visual content, so take advantage of this resource.
4. Join and stay active in groups
Once you have your account ready, it's time to move on to promoting it on the platform.
Here’s what you can do:
- For people to see that you’re actively pinning, join groups.
- Respond to group members and participate in discussions — it will help you grow your following without having to build everything from scratch.
- Engage in the community and support other independent authors and readers who enjoy your genre.
All this will help you show yourself, increase the visibility of your profile, and attract new followers. Pinterest can become another valuable addition to your overall marketing strategy.
D. Examples of Authors on Pinterest
Now that you know what authors do on Pinterest, let's move on to practical examples of how other authors maintain their Pinterest profiles. I've gathered a few profiles that can help you find inspiration to create your unique page. Here they are:
You'll find everything on Jody's Pinterest profile: inspiration pins, editing and writing tips, things she loves, etc. She also has separate boards for her books, with descriptions and pictures for each. Also, the author talks about herself in the profile description to peak users' interest.
If you'd like to create a profile where you'll share pictures from your stories and various sources of inspiration for book lovers, check out Alexandra Bracken's profile. It's an excellent example of an author profile on Pinterest.
Sylvia Day has a board for each of her books, and each board has pins with quotes and pictures of her book covers. Besides these, you’ll find many more boards on inspiration and even on her personal life.
The famous K.M. Weiland loves to share valuable materials with her audience, for which she created the "Writing Resources" board. There, everyone can find fascinating facts about writing, tips on creating and developing characters, and more.
To become a competitive player in the writing industry, you should know the game's rules and use all available tools to the fullest.
By including Pinterest in your promotion strategy, you can improve your book distribution and sales.
Hopefully, these Pinterest tips will help you with your self-publishing promotions and get your books to as many readers as possible.