Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Pinterest and Publishing

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 know that marketing is one of the cornerstones to a book’s success and Pinterest is a great way to increase a book’s exposure to readers.  Pinterest is 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.

I know that young professionals often get the task of managing and marketing through social media dumped in their laps simply because young adults are expected to know how it works.  But if you really want to think outside the blue boxes of Facebook and Twitter, impress your boss by expanding your social media presence to sites like Pinterest.

The great thing for marketers and publicists is that 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.

Pinterest is primarily ahaven for DIY projects, recipes and decorating ideas, but 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.

As with the recipe, this means that if a reader sees the image of a book that looks interesting, they 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.

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 opportunity for authors to market their books to an even wider range of readers.  (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 books:

1. This might seem obvious, but 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).  In turn, when your Facebook friends or Twitter followers sign up for Pinterest, they will automatically follow you.  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.

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 interest your activity will generate.

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 boards as you want, and their topics can be broad (movies) or specific (Audrey Hepburn movies).  Make sure you have at least one board dedicated to books–but I warn against simply titling the board “Books.”  Something descriptive or interesting 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.  There’s non such thing as too many boards and it’s ok to have boards that aren’t related to books – this would only help draw in pinners with more diverse interests.

4. Make sure each pin of a book also includes a powerful 2-3 line description.  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 will create multiple pins of the same image, but there’s no harm in that – think of it as multiple ads.  This allows multiple opportunities for your book to be repinned and purchased from each source.

6. Make sure you’re tracking individual pins.  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, 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 here.

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