Using Pinterest as a Writer

Submissions Surgery this Saturday

Writing cleanly.

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
Back in 2015, two years after I returned to creative writing, I instigated several measures aimed at raising my profile as a writer—hopefully, to sell more books.

I created profiles on Twitter, Quora, and Reddit and Pinterest, began a writer's blog via Wordpress and created a Facebook business page.

I had doubts about how successful such social media postings would be, for there are millions of people doing so, including many, many writers. I subscribed to the notifications of about forty established and newbie authors, to see what they were saying. I swiftly became aware that many were struggling to fill the space, while there was an awful lot of repetition of publishing news. A few stood out—if someone was prepared to express an opinion, taking a stance with a sense of humour, I opened their newsletters with a sense of anticipation.

Pinterest is an entertaining site, with wonderful images pinned on 'boards', but I was bemused by how it could be used to help a writer publicise their books. I came across the suggestion of adding one's blog address to each 'pin', as a way of tempting users into checking you out; to make the pins more interesting, I added information about the image.

I put up a dozen boards featuring things that interest me, including art, nature, trees and wise words, including one board of my own eBooks. These pins were intended to drive readers to my blog—which has since mysteriously disappeared!

Paul Whybrow (pithywords)

I backed away from developing these social media profiles, for various reasons, including reticence about wanting to promote me as a person (why couldn't my writing do the talking?), ignorance of the process and irritation at the superficial level people communicate these days.

Recently, I've decided to return to self-publishing, so need to find ways of publicising my series of Cornish Detective novels. One interesting aspect of uploading eBooks to Smashwords and Amazon, that hooked my attention, is the use of what are called 'keywords', as a shorthand way of describing the plot.

Thus, my first novel in the series, Who Kills A Nudist?, would have tags of Nudism/ Murder/ Cornwall/ BDSM/ Supercars/ Smuggling/ Human Trafficking/ Firearms/ Organised Crime/ Surfing.

Such tags could also be used as the titles for boards on Pinterest, as discussed by Teagan Berry in these two articles:

Why Pinterest May Be The Greatest Website For Writers: Part 1

What Pinterest Can Offer You As a Writer

It makes sense to take advantage of people's interests via the boards, for if someone is interested in surfing in Cornwall, and is not averse to reading about kinky sex and murder, then they might seek out my eBook. :p

Do any of you have a presence on Pinterest?

Have you used your boards to promote your books?

Do you follow the Pinterest boards of any of your favourite authors?

What do you think of it as an idea?

Of all of the photographs I pinned on my Pinterest boards, this one has been the most repinned—which says something about people's need for optimistic images:

Interesting idea, I must admit, it hadn't occurred to me to use Pinterest for publishing my own writing.

Personally, I find Pinterest useful in two respects as a writer: one is for pinning helpful articles and websites relating to the craft and opportunities therein. The other is for pictures relating to proposed scenarios and characters, which at the moment I keep private as they're more to do with inspiration for my WIP. (As per my status update, I've recently been collecting interesting Playmobil diaramas. Go figure...)

I use it to post book covers and pictures I found that relate to my characters or their imagined homes.
I like this approach too. I think I will copy it shamelessly.
I don´t use it to promote my books, I use it to inspire myself when I write. My photos all have to do with what the setting looks like, what people might wear, what my characters my look like. I had never thought to use it as a promotional tool since i´m not too familiarize with the copyright laws and such. If anyone has any knowledge on that, let us know.
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Submissions Surgery this Saturday

Writing cleanly.