Pinterest for Authors
Pinterest is an enticing social media network for Authors. It’s visual and collaborative and offers a multitude of different opportunities to draw readers in. Whether you’ve written one book or ten you should be harnessing Pinterest’s full potential to create a level of engagement that markets and promotes your books without selling.
Like all other Social Media networks Pinterest is not all about the sell sell sell! It’s about creating relationships. It’s about building an audience.
As an author, if you’re not using Pinterest as a tool to form a closer connection between your audience and your books, you’re missing a easy marketing opportunity. No matter what topic or niche your book covers – fiction or non-fiction, Pinterest is a valuable social media platform for raising the level of engagement with your book and raise your profile as an author.
There isn’t one cookie-cutter approach that will work for all genres of books. Your audience is unique and you need to treat them as such, so today I’m going to start to uncover how Laura Frantz uses Pinterest to promote her historical fiction without selling. This summary with provide you with insights and ideas you can adopt and adjust to ensure your marketing approach really speaks to your audience.
Give your audience what they want, and they’ll keep coming back for more. Let’s get started.
Laura Frantz the Author
Laura Frantz Author Page Bio on Amazon.com “Award-winning author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage.”
Laura’s historical fiction provides a broad spectrum of opportunities for leveraging Pinterest to engage her readers. Of course she has the standard author boards showcasing each of her books, and these boards have a consistent look and feel to successfully brand them for her audience.
Just look at these boards…. It’s easy to image the type of books that Laura writes. The colours, text and images evoke a specific emotional connection and this level of consistency helps to establish her brand identity.
Her top row of Pinterest boards establishes the foundation of how Laura uses Pinterest to market her books and her brand, but this is just the tip of a successful iceberg. She uses a collection of boards to help draw the reader deeper into the stories she writes, and these help to strengthen and build a relationship between her reader and her books.
Pinterest Boards that are Dressed to Impress
Laura leverages the visual elegance of historical fashion by featuring a couple of Pinterest boards about clothes and style. Whether she describes a dress in exquisite detail or uses clothing as a backdrop for a scene, these boards help to provide the reader with context and a deeper understanding of the fashion and clothing worn during the era her books are set in.
Exquisite history … dress Pinterest Board
- This Pinterest board is a collection of dresses, under garments, shoes and hats through the ages. There are over twenty-seven thousand images pinned to this board, making it an enviable reference tool for anyone interested in historical fashion or even writing their own novel.
18th Century Style Pinterest Board
- The other fashion board focuses on 18th fashion, hair and accessories for both men and women. Anyone searching for “18th Century Style” will easily stumble across this board, as it’s #15 in Google search results.
These two boards show two different approaches for including a fashion board to illustrate the clothing worn in your book. (Watch out for my article on how Laura could optimise these boards to make them more discoverable.)
These boards suit a dual purpose. Not only do they provide you as the author with visual inspiration while writing your books, they allow the audience to get a deeper understanding and appreciation of the era. Whether your boards pique their interest in your books, or your books inspire them to follow your boards it doesn’t really matter. The key is to make that connection and use it to build a long term relationship between you and your reader.
Fashion and style are easy targets for your Pinterest boards. These topics are relevant no matter what era your writing niche covers, and you could even break the boards down into more specific topics e.g. shoes, hairstyles, outerwear, parasols etc.
Which leads us to consider other inanimate objects or activities featured in your fiction. They are all enticing fodder for an author’s Pinterest Boards. Here’s one of Laura’s boards that caught my eye:
Pinterest Boards that are On the Write Track
I’m old enough to remember times before email, where the primary mode of long distance communication was a handwritten letter.
In historical times letters played a key role in building and breaking up relationships, and in historical fiction these letters can be a pivotal element of the story line.
Laura has expertly incorporated the art of letter writing into her “Letters – a lost art” Pinterest board.
The images she’s pinned to the board evoke the timeless quality of letter writing and also help the audience to make a personal connection to an important letter they’ve written or received in their own life.
If you have pinpointed something in your book that can bridge the gap between your story and a personal experience, you’ve created a successful way to connect with your reader.
The focus topics you choose for your Pinterest boards can be a theme that runs through the story or just a pivotal or turning point in your fiction. This topic can be broad like letter writing, which includes the spectrum of people reading or writing letters, examples of letters or writing instruments and paper, or more vague deceptions locations that would make ideal letter writing spots.
It’s best to choose images that provide the gamut of both specific and vague visual triggers, so that the readers can rely on their imagination to interpret or build upon the images you provide.
Pinterest Boards to Make Yourself at Home
The final Pinterest board I’m including in today’s summary focuses on historical houses of the 18th and 19th century.
Laura’s Pinterest board includes sweeping views of the historic exteriors and close up interior views. These provide great points of reference during the writing process, but also pique the attention of the readers to visually discover the nuances of the architectural and interior design features of an era they may not be familiar with.
The more visual inspiration you can provide the greater the opportunity of them making a stronger emotional connection to your characters and plot line. In your books you’re building an imaginary world, and all of your Pinterest boards can help to propel your readers into imagining wearing the clothes or living in one of the historic homes you write about and pin to your boards.
Laura’s Historic House Pinterest board includes a broad range of images, but you could just as easily create specific boards that focus on one location, a specific building or room, or even an element within the room like a piece of furniture or typical objects from the era.
Here’s an example of an 18th Century Culinary and Table Board from another Pinterest user Lucinda Brant (imagine the possibilities of creating a similar 18th Century board – that can also attract 2,700 followers!):
#1 Pin Rule for Authors
When it comes to the element of the story you want to create a Pinterest board around, the world really is your oyster. The only rule you should follow is that your board is relevant to your story. The whole idea is to strengthen the connection between your book and your audience.
If you chose an element of the story that any member of your speed-reading audience could skip over and miss, you’re missing the opportunity to get your board to work for you, and your audience will fail to make the connection.
Long Tail on Pinterest
The beauty of Pinterest is that is has a long-tail. Whereas Twitter content is here today and gone tomorrow, and you’re encouraged to tweet the same content multiple times to make sure your audience gets to see it. On Pinterest you content will linger for a longer period of time, and there’s more opportunity for content to be repined into perpetuity.
Inspiring Readers with Pinterest
If you already create Pinterest boards to help with your writing process, then spruce them up and leverage them to incorporate into your book marketing efforts. They have the double benefit of inspiring you and engaging your audience.
More about Laura’s Pinterest Boards
Laura has a couple of other Pinterest boards that are great examples of how to use pins to market your book and engage your readers, and I’ll cover those in my next article.