Social Media

Pinterest for Authors: Cool People & Boards to Follow

Not long ago, I wrote an article about Pinterest but never really got into the nitty gritty because I was new to the platform and had no clue what to do on there. Recently, I’ve been finding it easier and more fun to use than Facebook or Twitter. There aren’t that many annoying restraints or constant algorithm changes—yet! Also, I can save time on all my social media accounts by sharing interesting pins to Facebook, Google or Instagram, sites that all favor images.

So let’s start today by using the search engine to find cool people and boards.

Search Terms That Could be Useful

In a Pinterest search you will find several search options which can confuse some people. There’s a small almost unnoticable tab that you can click on where a list of  all of the most popular subjects on Pinterest pop up. Pinterest 2For the sake of this post, we’re just going to go to Film, Music & Books where you’ll find this: Pinterest Basic Search As you can see there are a whole lot of irrelevant non-book related things that were pulled up from this search.  However, you can narrow that search by typing something more specific like: Book Lovers. 

When you do that you will be presented with the All Pins tab as well as the, Your Pins, Pinners and finally, Boards. If you’re looking for something or someone specific, Pinners or Boards are what you want to choose.  Also, if you look toward the top of the page you’ll see several other tabs relating to the words (topic) you have searched. Pinterest Search Techniques If you’re not careful, you can spend hours on Pinterest as I sometimes find myself doing.  So here are a few search terms that will speed up your search.

Tip: You can sign up for Pinterest’s own blog which gives tips and tricks on how to navigate the site.

Boards with Writing Tips

If you’re constantly looking to improve your craft or even looking to challenge yourself as a writer, then Pinterest has you covered. Here are a few boards with everything from character development tips to jokes about writing.

  • ~Writer~  is a board by Sian Rickett’s who pins good tips and half a million other pinners agree!
  •  To Write Characters by Rowena Murillo, has several interesting boards for authors filled with solid tips on the psychology of characters.
  • Writing Tips from Hazell Longuet, has everything from grammar to productivity.
  • Character Personality Traits is a board by yours truly, where I post about personality traits and psychological disorders.
  • Write ✏️✏️✏️ D.i.a.n.a. G.u.n.d.e.l.a.c.h. has tips and jokes.

Boards with Publishing Tips

What indie author doesn’t need marketing advice these days? Here are a few boards for those of you looking for some resources.

  • Author Resources is another board by yours truly and it’s filled with everything from free books on self-publishing, to lists of book reviewers and advertisers.
  • Self-Publishing 101 is a board by Self Pub Nation and is for newbies, naturally.
  •  Book Promotion and Publicity by Your Writer Platform also has awesome pins about promotion and publishing.
  • How to Sell More Books a board from Penny Sansevieri, from the Author Marketing Experts Inc. has everything you’ve ever wanted to know about DIY Publishing.

Quotes & Funny Stuff

Want to post something inspiring or funny to your readers but have nothing to say? Then try seeking out quotes and jokes, they’re everywhere on Pinterest and some of them are unique.

Some Familiar Brands

Yes, companies feel just as pressured as we are to keep up appearances on social media.

Being True to Thyself

Like your books and website, your social media presence should be used as a business card, letting people know who you are, while your posts (pins) should show them what you can do.  This is 20% of social media, the other 80% is sharing, commenting and connecting.  Social media is not about collecting followers or faking engagement.  No one benefits from that.  When the marketing experts talk about building an author platform, they mean building a reputation.  Social media is a great place where you can be you and show the world what you’re all about.  This quote from the late Dr. Seuss says it all:

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writing

Okay, So I Was Wrong About Pinterest: An Author’s Guide to Using Pinterest

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Image via Pixabay

Recently, I had to eat crow when it came to Pinterest. Though I never said anything publicly, I did once joke (privately) about how Pinterest was social media for people who couldn’t read. However, on June 18, that all changed when I was graced with a repin by a Pinterest power user. From that one user, I got almost 150 new visitors to my blog, as well as 5 new subscribers in just a few hours. The last time I’ve seen results like that it was from StumbleUpon.

But I’ve been wrong before remember, when I talked trash about Wattpad last year until I learned how to dominate that site? Honestly, I don’t mind being wrong, however, I do mind staying that way. When I realized there was something to Pinterest, I had to investigate and of course, share what I’ve learned with you.

Do SEO & Hashtags Matter?

Yes, Pinterest is heavily focused on all things visual, but they also have an algorithm that favors certain keywords.  However the jury is out, when it comes to hashtags, not everyone agrees that hashtags even matter.  That’s because recently, Pinterest changed their algorithm so that certain hashtags aren’t searchable.

The Pinterest experts suggest that in order to get repinned you must have a good photo with key words in it as well as keywords in the description!  Notice how it isn’t as simple as post and run?

Meeting the Pinterest Superstars

As with Facebook and Twitter, there are power players that you should know about. In fact, it would wise to befriend these people so that you can enlist them in your Pinterest army. Pinterest itself makes it real easy to find power users.

As if that weren’t enough, there are also Pinterest boards that authors should be aware of. Here’s a list of “Bookish Pinterest Boards” via Book Riot.  Some boards are public like this one, which means you can post on their boards but only if your pin is relevant to the board.

The Time You Pin Matters Tremendously

Just like with any social media site, you need to be most active when your audience and the power users are online, otherwise, what’s the point?  If you haven’t noticed, Pinterest buries old content further and further down the timeline with newer, fresher content like Twitter.

From what I’ve noticed, my best results have been around the late afternoon and evening hours. It makes sense, people are most active online after school and work.  You can even schedule your pins using sites like; Hootsuite, Viraltag, and GoPixel.

Authors Who Would Benefit From Being on Pinterest

Pinterest’s audience consists predominately of women, at 68% and of those women 50% are parents. Their ages range anywhere from 25- 44 but keep in mind, some of them are teachers, librarians as well as authors. If you’re a man don’t worry, this isn’t an anti-male site.  For example, I know of a male author on Pinterest who writes about mobsters as well as crime and he not only pins his books, but also articles about famous mobsters.  His account is well set out and you won’t catch him pinning things that don’t exemplify his personality or his work.  Same goes for Orna Ross author and founder of The Alliance of Independent Authors she also has an awesome account as well.

Tip: Don’t just use your boards to promote yourself, create one or two to help to promote others. I did so here with my board, “A Few Authors I Know” and another called, “Stories on Wattpad.” Even if you don’t have a large following, people will appreciate the effort and will reciprocate. This is how you build a loyal following on any social media site.

Short Cuts: Building Your Following Quickly

It was only a matter of time before people starting looking for ways to increase their following numbers and there is one website that caters to just that.  Hat tip to Hazel Longuet and her site “The Novel Experience” for the awesome Pinterest hack.  Viralwoot is a website that is similar to Twiends and ILikeTraffic where you pay for seeds and those people collecting seeds repin one of your pins.  It’s almost like cheating the system but not quite.  Those people who get free seeds can then use them to promote their own pins and yes, they can unpin or unfollow you quickly, it’s not unheard of with sites like this.

Well I hope I gave you a few ideas for using Pinterest to promote your book. I also hope I showed you not to knock a site until you’ve actually tried it.  I’ve opened the comments section if you want to share a link to your Pinterest account please feel free.

Marketing, Social Media

How Indie Authors Can Steal Social Media Techniques of the Rich & Famous

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Image via Pixabay

I’ll admit it, social media used to kick my butt, with the constant platform changes, to the shifting of audiences from one site to another, it’s hard to keep up. I’m a YA and romance author so I have to be everywhere because teens will only congregate on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Meanwhile, women (who like romance) are crazy about Pinterest and Facebook. Can you say #SocialMediaBurnout?

But recently, I had an epiphany when I read this article about how one publishing company was using a Tumblr page to promote a new book release. I took a long hard look at the page and saw where I was going wrong. You see, the publishing company turned a Tumblr site into a website, complete with email opt-in form and even an about me section a.k.a. The Creator tab.

Tumblr Epiphany

Genius right? But it doesn’t end there, I looked at George Takei’s Facebook page and saw the same thing.

George Takei

His page has freebies (Takei Swag) for his fans, cool huh?

Why Customizing Tabs Helps Tell Your Story

It’s no secret that Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are poorly designed which complicates things. As a book marketers we need to make things easy to read and understand. Yeah, that’s YOUR job unless you can farm that kind of stuff out. If not, here are a few tips I’ve learned from the big guys.

Book Pages: When it comes to creating a page for your book, don’t settle for the default layout when setting up a page. Use that space to tell your story, if you’re setting up a site for a book, create tabs for characters, freebies and an about the author section.

Author Pages: Same goes for the author page, don’t settle for the plain default layout. Try to customize it with both a book and an about me section. I did this on Pinterest and Tumblr recently.

It’s been proven time and time again that people won’t leave a particular social media platform to visit websites. So you are going to have to present yourself and your work to them on their preferred turf. Well, as much as the site will allow. You can do this by creating tabs/boards on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

The most important things that should be on your social media account:

• An About Me Section (unlike the Facebook one that no one can see).
• The link to your email opt-in form. (You are collecting emails, right?)
• Information on where to buy your books.
• Freebies or swag (if you have any)
• Requests for things like; beta readers, reviews, shares or even a street team.

Free Facebook Tabs

Of course Facebook doesn’t make things easy so many of us have to resort to a third party app. But don’t worry, there are free services that you can use. (Not affiliated)
1. Page Modo
2. Décor
3. TabFusion

In Parting…

Is it vital that we put our best foot forward on social media? I think so. If you’re going to have a page, why not have a cool one. Social media is only 50% what you post, and 50% presentation.

I’m not going to get into the effectiveness of social because nobody really knows what works anymore. With the algorithms changing at least once a year, and all the platform “improvements,” there are no real experts except those who are succeeding at social media and those people are usually celebrities and artists.

writing

Writerly Advice & Laughs

While cruising Pinterest, I found some helpful advice for writers as well as humor only we would understand.  So enjoy these pins and let them humor, inspire and enlighten you.

 

 

 

Source: flikr.com via Rachel on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

If you want, you can join me on Pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/rachelrueben/