Livia King Blackburne: Using Pinterest as a Reader, Writer, and Author
First, congratulations to Sam for winning the Near Witch Giveaway.
Second, MIT graduation was last Friday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in it. In the grand tradition of doctoral dissertations, my defense has been moved back a few months. I’m now shooting for the end of summer. My next few months will be split between dissertation writing and revisions of Midnight Thief, so blogwise, I’ll still be scarce for a while.
But even when time is scarce, there’s always time for another social network! I’ve been checking out Pinterest recently (Here I am!), trying to see if I should integrate it into my social media strategy (Oh, who am I kidding? I just like the pretty pictures.). I thought I’d share some of the ways that it might be useful for book people: specifically readers, pre-published writers, and published writers.
1. Book recommendations
I keep a partial list of books I read in my goodreads account, but I’ve also started a gallery of books I recommend. It’s always fun to pimp books and browse my friends’ galleries.
2. Scene setting and character inspiration
Many people post travel pictures on Pinterest, and these are a fantasy author’s godsend, especially if you’re like me and lazy when it comes to setting. I have a gallery of interesting landscapes and buildings that I can browse what I’m trying to think of a story. I’ve also started a gallery of people that might inspire characters. I’ve also started a board for Midnight Thief, and it’s actually been useful for revising. For example, I’ve been trying to ramp up the romance between two characters, and surprisingly, it got SO MUCH EASIER after I posted this picture as a model for the guy.
3. Writing prompts
There are lots of quirky pictures on twitter as well, and I’m keeping a file of them to use as writing prompts.
4. Communicating your vision to your publishing team.
When I showed my Midnight Thief board to Laura from my editorial team, she mentioned that it would be helpful when they start cover discussions. I imagine that this would also work for indie authors when hiring freelance designers.
So far I’ve only covered point of inspiration. Are there ways in which Pinterest can be used to build your social media platform? Some ideas for those.
5. Publicizing your blog
Much ado has been made about Pinterest’s value in driving web traffic. It really depends on the kind of site you have. This blog, for example, doesn’t really translate into pictures well. However, I also have a politically incorrect humor blog, and quotes from their have translated well to Pinterest. So it really depends on your content.
Beyond that, I’ve been trying to brainstorm ways to use interest once you have a book out. I can’t really do this yet, but some ideas I’ve had were:
6. Post pictures of readers with your book in the wild
Jody Hedland has a gallery of readers in bookstores on the sidebar of her blog. I think Richelle Mead also had a facebook gallery of readers with books in front of international landmarks. Pinterest would be an easy way to post these pictures.
If you’re lucky enough to inspire fan art, like Cinda Williams Chima, you could also post these in a gallery.
So does seem like Pinterest has its uses. As to whether it would sell books in any significant quantity, I’m not sure. At least with ideas listed above, Pinterest seems more like a way to interact with an existing fan base than a way to get new readers (with the exception of publicizing blog posts). When you post pictures of your book, it does show up on the main Pinterest feed for a bit, but unless it gets re-pinned, I don’t think it would catch that many eyeballs.
But what you think?Have you joined Pinterest? Do you think is useful for authors?
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