Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pinterest 101 For Authors by Carrie Turansky

Carrie Turansky has some wonderful Pinterest boards and shares her insight into using them as an author. -- Sandy

Carrie: Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world. It’s now number three behind Facebook and Twitter. So it makes sense for authors to learn the basics and take advantage of Pinterest to connect with readers and promote their books and author brand.

So what is Pinterest? It’s a visual discovery tool that people use to collect, organize, and share ideas for projects and interests. People create and share collections (called boards) of images (called pins). Any time you find an image on the web that you like, you can pin that image to one of your boards to save, view later, or share with others. You can also download images from your computer to Pinterest, but the first method is better because it links back to the place you found the image.

How can authors use Pinterest? Kimberley Grabas, author of Your Writer Platform Blog says, “Your goal should be to teach, entertain and inspire your audience on Pinterest. In return, Pinterest will grant you the ability to increase awareness of your author brand, drive more relevant traffic to your website, and increase your book sales.”

People head to Pinterest to find solutions, get ideas, and be inspired. Plus pinners are buyers….so authors can use Pinterest as a marketing tool. But like all social media, it’s important to avoid too much self-promotion. Pinterest is a quieter platform where you are mainly sharing images and connecting with readers who share similar interests.

Here are some specific ideas for authors. Create boards for each of your books and feature the cover, characters, setting, clothing, and events that happen in the story. Link those images back to your website and blog to help readers connect with you and purchase your books. These boards can be a great help to the artists who designs your covers. Here’s a link to my next book, The Daughter of Highland Hall: http://www.pinterest.com/carrieturansky/daughter-of-highland-hall/

Since I write historical novels I have boards for different time periods with clothing, cars, people, and events from those eras. Those boards are a good place to keep images that link back to research articles. Authors who do this exceptionally well are Lori Benton and Laura Frantz. Check out their book boards! http://www.pinterest.com/lorilbenton/

My current series is set in the same era as Downton Abbey, and one of my marketing goals is to reach out to fans of that show. So I have a board for Downton Abbey and another for Highclere Castle, where Downton is filmed. Those are my two most popular boards with the highest number of repins. They have helped me connect with many Downton Fans and introduce them to my books.
http://www.pinterest.com/carrieturansky/highclere-castle-downton-abbey/

You can pin images from your blog posts or author email newsletters and link people back to your website. Pin images that lead readers to 5-star reviews and blog interviews. When it’s time for a cover reveal, launch week, or a special promotion, pin those images and share them with those who follow you on Pinterest.

You can also create boards that allow you to share your interests with others on Pinterest. I have boards for Tea Time, English Country Gardens, People I admire, Favorite Authors, Romance, Books Worth Reading, Favorite Recipes, To Your Good Health, Childhood Memories, Kids, Favorite Movies, Doors, Christmas, Favorite Verses and Quotes, Places I’d Like to Go, Scotland, England. These kind of boards give readers a taste of who you are and offer added value. Here’s a link to my boards: http://www.pinterest.com/carrieturansky/

I have a background in art and I’m a very visual person. I’ve always collected photos for my characters and settings, so when I discovered Pinterest…it was love at first sight! For me, it’s a great way to take a break, relax, and see some beautiful images . . . as well as build connections with readers.   

For a great step by step tutorial on how to set up a Pinterest account, get started, and use Pinterest visit: http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/use-pinterest-to-market-book-and-author-brand/


Have you set up Pinterest boards for your books or WIPs? How do you use Pinterest for marketing?

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Carrie Turansky has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of more than a dozen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty-five years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and four grandchildren. Carrie leads the women’s ministry at her church, and when she’s not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family.  Carrie loves to connect with reading friends through her website, 

www.carrieturansky.com and through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

17 comments:

  1. I'm on Pinterest and one thing that concerns me: I choose most of my character photos from magazines. What about for rights to posting those? How do you find out you're okay to post them?

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  2. Ooooh, I LOVE Pinterest! Not just for connecting with readers, but also to relax and unwind in the evenings. Hubby and I have also used it to research DIY projects. And I see you are a #Heartie, too! Just followed your board. Thanks for sharing, Carrie!

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  3. Hi Ane, that's a good question. I always link back to the source on the web where I found the image rather than download it off my desktop. That way anyone can follow the embeded link in each image and find the source. Most people who post images online want you to share them and link back to their websites.

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  4. Hi Dora, I agree! I enjoy time on Pinterest as a way to relax, soak up some beauty, and be inspired. I have boards for everal colors, Scripture verses, garden and travel…all those are just for fun and relaxation. My To Your Good Health board is a collection of healthy eating recipes and tips. That's a helpful one too. Happy Pinning!

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  5. I love Pinterest and it's actually a great way for readers to find YOU. They will naturally look up pics of the era they enjoy, and if you happen to be writing in it and have a lot of pics of it...they might follow you and even buy your books. But it's such a fun thing to have visuals accessible anytime you need them. I used to collect magazine pages/pics, but it's so much handier to have everything in one place. Great post and shared, Carrie! I know your boards are great and I've enjoyed those Downton Abbey pins!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Heather. You have some great book/story boards.

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  6. Thanks Heather! I've enjoyed viewing your boards too! Thanks for sharing the post.

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  7. I'm a visual person and a fan of Pinterest too! I use boards to link back to blog posts and reviews on my website. I also have boards for books I want to read, favorite movies, etc. I've found it helpful to use boards for research pertaining to my novels--like fashion and lifestyle during that time. Those boards do tend to generate some interest. I also create boards for each book with pics that were inspirations for characters and story lines. One board is devoted to self-publishing, and I link to articles pertaining to book covers, marketing, how to use Goodreads, etc.

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    1. Those are excellent ideas, Dawn. I'm going over to check out your Pinterest boards. : )

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  8. I have a few hidden boards for books that are currently in my agent's hands. My hope is to one day make them public! I could get lost on Pinterest so I wait until my book is written to let myself play there:) Well, mostly. I do pick out my character faces so I can sneak peeks at them as I write!

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    1. Hi Susan, Printerest can pull you in, so I agree that's it's wise to make sure you evaluate how much time you are spending there and not let it crowd out other important things.

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  9. I love Pinterest, http://www.pinterest.com/sallychambers22/pins/ and was wondering how to best use it to share relevant images about my upcoming novel release. This post has helped me to sort out how I need to go about it, especially how to set up a specific board for the book. Thanks, Carrie.

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    1. Hi Sally, so glad the post was helpful for you! I will be sure to take a look at your boards. Happy Pinning!

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  10. Carrie, HUGE thanks for the shout-out about the joy of Pinterest! I saw your smiling face and this link on Pinterest just now and repinned with pleasure! I was reluctant to dive into Pinterest 2 years ago when an artist friend invited me over. But it's been the best thing I've invested in as far as social media. Beautifully rich and inspiring and I've connected with all sorts of interesting people! Thanks again - and happy pinning!

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    1. Thanks for the repinning, Laura. You have some amazing boards! :)

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    2. You're most welcome, Laura! I've been inspired by your boards…they are great reflections of your novels. I've made some good connections with readers through Pinterest, especially those who are Downton Abbey fans. So it's been great for me. Keep pinning! : )

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    3. Sandra, I'd love to look you up over there! I still can't figure out who I'm following and who I'm not but would love to follow you. Thanks for your very gracious words!

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