Pinterest: New Social Media Platform for Authors

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Have you tried Pinterest yet?

I am just working with it for the first time. It’s a new social media platform which allows you to PIN an image onto a bulletin board. A user can create, name and manage as many bulletin boards as you like. The emphasis here is on the graphic qualities of information, on images.

Here’s a good beginner’s guide to Pinterest that details how to get invited, signed on and more. Because others have done great tutorials, I won’t get into the details here.

Instead, I’ll discusss what good is Pinterest to authors?

You have to get with the terminology here. You don’t post, you Pin. You can Like, that didn’t change from Facebook. But instead of share, You RePin.

One problem with Pinterest is that you must post the image somewhere else first, and that somewhere cannot be Facebook. That means you need a Flikr account or a blog or other photo sharing service. Once posted there, you can PIN the image to your bulletin board. Before you get started with Pinterest, decide where you’ll post images and get that account set up first.

Then, be sure to get Pinterest’s bookmarklet which adds a PIN IT button to your browser’s toolbar. Makes it slick and easy to Pin. Just navigate to the image where ever it resides on the internt, click on PIN IT and you’re there.

What to Pin

Think visual.

  • Think Book Covers. The obvious tie-in is book covers, the most visual aspect of our work.
  • Think Visual Promotions. For my latest book, WISDOM, THE MIDWAY ALBATROSS: Surviving the Japanese Tsunami and other Disasters for over 60 Years, the illustrator provided a series of creative coloring pages for Draw a Bird Day on April 8, 2012. We advertised the free coloring pages on librarian, teacher and writer’s listservs; we created a Facebook Event Page. Then, we asked people to send us links to images to PIN to the Draw a Bird Day Pinterest bulletin board. Results: 87 people attended the Facebook Event, 168 people followed the Pinterest Bulletin Board (29 Likes, 11 Repins), 120 downloads of the creative coloring pages. Not bad.
  • What to RePin

    Anything that interests you visually. But you want to do Repinning, it’s how you participate in this social media community. Take a few odd moments to browse and repin each day. You’ll find lots to look at, believe me.

    Children’s Book Week Covers That I Covet

    Who to Follow

    When you sign up, Pinterest asks you about your interest and you are automatically signed up to follow a couple hundred people. They seed your ground for you.

    You can follow either a person, which means you’ll see every board they Pin onto. Or, you can follow just a board, which means you’ll only see Pins onto that one specific board.

    Editors:
    Kathy Dawson, Penguin Putnam
    Agents:
    Jill Cocoran
    Other Authors:

    Why Do Pinterest?

    Finding your audience. Social media is an ongoing search for your audience. Where do your readers hang out? Have you found them on Facebook or on some listserv? Stay there! But if you’re looking for more connections, think about what Boards you could create and maintain that might interest your readers. Try it out and see if your audience might be migrating to this visual social media.

    Just getting started? REpin some of these great bird drawings!

    Please suggest others to follow in the comments, including your own Pinterest site.

    4 Comments
    • Cheryl Rainfield
      April 9, 2012

      I love Pinterest, Darcy! I’ve been using it since I saw it mentioned on Twitter months back. I use it to pin about my own books–the book covers, also teacher’s guides, bonus and free materials, my YouTube videos and speeches, etc–as well as children’s & YA books I love, libraries, book inspired art, and much, much more. I love finding new great material, and seeing everything visually and being able to follow through to the links. I’m at: http://pinterest.com/cherylrainfield/ Thanks for listing other authors; it was great! I followed boards on all of them.

    • Darcy Pattison
      April 9, 2012

      Cheryl:
      I added you to the list above. I didn’t know you could PIN videos. I’m still so new at this. I’ll have to do that one, too!

      Darcy

    • Greg Pincus
      April 9, 2012

      I was just writing about a related topic today – where traffic comes from – and mentioned that one key upshot of Pinterest is that if you write a post that has no images, it really can’t be “pinned” to a Pinterest board. In other words, it’s invisible there. So, besides an image making a post “look better” on your blog, it also allows pinning and repinning. Just another thing to think of….

    • Darcy Pattison
      April 10, 2012

      Greg: Exactly right.
      But not just ANY photo works, because Pinterest is all about the visual impact.
      It does change the playing field!

      Darcy