by Lindsee Huckabee
I may be new to the publishing world, but if there’s one thing I’m an “old” pro at, it’s Pinterest. At Infinity Publishing, we believe book marketing is the cornerstone to a book’s success and Pinterest is a great way to increase your book’s exposure to readers. Pinterest is an online pinboard, a wonderful way of sharing, saving, and categorizing images onto themed boards (or groups of pins). I’ve got to warn you, it’s addicting.
Each image links back to the site on which it was originally posted. For example, if you see an image of a pasta dish that looks delicious, you can pin it to your own food-themed board so that when you are ready to cook you will be able to easily find the recipe.
As with the recipe, this means that if you see an image of a book that looks interesting, you can click on the image and be linked back to an online bookstore or the author’s website to find more information about the book. Don’t worry, this does not mean the book is being based solely on its cover because each pin comes with a description. This description could simply be the book’s title and author, or it could be a short description of the book.
Pinterest is primarily an haven for DIY projects, recipes and decorating ideas, but it really has something for everyone and holds great opportunity for readers and authors. Pinterest has an entire category for Film, Music and Books, which makes it a great place for readers to find their next book and for authors to market their book.
You may be thinking, “But doesn’t GoodReads do basically the same the same thing, just in a way that’s concentrated only on books?” GoodReads does provide a way for readers to share their favorite books and create a bookshelf of books they have read and want to read. The difference is that GoodReads recently reached 6 million members, whereas Pinterest averages 4 million unique visitors per day and just under 25 million users per month. This means the opportunity for a book to be seen, clicked on and purchased through Pinterest is much greater than with GoodReads and therefore an even better for authors to market their books. (Though I would still suggest using GoodReads, too. There is no such thing as too much exposure!)
Here are some tips for authors and publishers using Pinterest to market book:
1. Get as many followers as possible. Gaining followers on Pinterest is easier than on most social websites. You can use your Facebook or Twitter login to get started. When you sign up through either Facebook or Twitter, you automatically follow all of your Facebook friends or Twitter followers who have Pinterest. (I suggest signing up with whichever network you have more friends/followers). If you have 500 Facebook friends and 150 of them have Pinterest accounts, you will automatically follow these 150 people. You can unfollow them of course, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The more people you follow, the more pins you will be exposed to because the pins in your feed are the repins of the people you follow. In turn, when your Facebook friends or Twitter followers sign up for Pinterest, they will automatically follow you.
2. Pin, pin, and pin some more. The best way to gain more followers and get your pin repinned, is to pin often. The more interesting and intriguing items you pin, the more people will want to follow you to see your pins.
3. Create a board (or several) just for books. Boards are used to organize pins by category. For example, you might have a board for travel, a board for cooking, and a board for art. You can have as many as you want and the topic can be broad (movies) or specific (i.e. Audrey Hepburn movies). Make sure you have at least one board dedicated to books. The title of the board shouldn’t just be “Books.” Make it something descriptive or interesting that will attract attention – something like “Books I’m Dying to Read” or “The Best Books.” You can even have boards for different genres or separate boards for books you have read and books you want to read.
4. Make sure each pin of a book includes a powerful 2-3 description of the book. Pinterest users will judge your book by its cover, so give them a second way to judge it. Write a short, descriptive, intriguing synopsis that will interest pinners in your book.
5. Pin your book from every website on which it appears. You can pin images from just about any website (except Facebook), so whether your book is on Amazon, your own website, Barnesandnoble.com, buybooksontheweb.com, GoodReads, or anywhere else, pin it from each source. This allows multiple opportunities for your book to be repinned and purchased from each source.
6. Track pins of your book. You can see how many times, by whom, and onto which board a pin of your book has been liked or repinned. It’s very satisfying to see that your book has been liked 14 times and repinned 36 times onto boards with names like “Book I Want to Read.” That’s when you know that your efforts are paying off and you are reaching readers.
This may seem a bit intimidating and technical, but I promise that Pinterest is fun and very easy to use. Pinterest is a great way for authors to get their book out there and a great way for readers to find their next favorite title. Learn all of the basics about Pinterest by clicking here.
Lindsey Huckabee is an Author Advocate for Infinity Publishing. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina where she studied English and Advertising. In her free time, she loves to read and needlepoint.