Have More Fun With Your Social Media: Pinterest by Catharine Bramkamp

Have more fun with Your Social MediaLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Catharine Bramkamp as she shares with us “Have More Fun With Your Social Media: Pinterest!” Enjoy!


Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. For an author the very first social media channel for your book is Facebook.  The second best way to be found (both you and your book) is through Twitter, but Twitter can be overwhelming as well as time consuming.  The next best social media channel for authors is Pinterest.

Pinterest is helpful for authors because it’s an easy way to be found. Pinterest is also more fun and less work than Twitter, certainly not as overwhelming.

Pinterest is populated by women.  80% of Pinterest users are female. Coincidentally 80% of book readers are also women.  Score!

Pinterest is aspirational. Pinners are searching either for information like Fabulous Cupcake Decorations that Look like Tiny Yellow Minons or Best Around the World Trips, Fashions I Love But Can’t Fit Into, and  Jewelry I’ll Never Actually Buy.

More importantly, Pinterest is about happy discoveries.  How would a woman discover your book?  Is the book set in a time she likes?  Victorian? Renaissance?  Modern?  What about the country?  If she searches #spain, will she find your book right there next to photos of the Alhambra?  If she searches #minion cupcakes, will your book come up under #yellow?

Pinterest discover is based on the hashtag, just as with Twitter.

To begin, use the right # to find pins and boards that interest you. After a few days, start to notice hashtag accuracy.   What appears when you search #onething then #another?  Experiment.

As you experiment, populate your boards.

Pinterest is like shopping, and increasingly it is shopping.  Hashtag your interests and scroll through the offerings.   Look at the photos, and think, Ooooh, shiny! That shiny object goes to one of your boards.

Pinterest is about being yourself.  You are not just pinning posts with links to buy your book. You’re creating boards filled with things that interest you, giving a viewer a visual overview of you, your personality, what you find interesting and what you love.

And your books are of course, part of that.

Boards featuring links and opt-ins based on your books should be scattered throughout re-pins and discoveries. You cannot build a Pinterest account or even a single board that is only about your book and how to buy your book.  Even if your build it, no one will come.  Your books need to be part of a whole; they are part of who you are, tiny houses, wild shoe fashion and big diamond rings and all.  The goal of Pinterest is for one thing to lead to another.

Pin for you:

Hit edit before you pin anything and make a comment.  The more the pin is useful, the further it will go in the re-pinned world, which is the goal.  So even if you are pinning something that originated from some else, add a comment, it will help.

Evaluate the pins. Click on the visit or read on pins before you post. I always research pins before posting them on behalf of my clients. Sometimes I’m more lazy on my own boards and think, oh, a kitten writing with a quill pen, how cute.  Onto the crazy writer board it goes.

Share the love.  Pin and link the books and classes of other authors either because their work is relevant to yours or because they are clients or because they are friends.  Think of what you value and reflect that in your pins and what you do.

Check out the boards of authors who are writing in the same field or genre as yourself, what are they pinning?  What looks popular?  What hashtags do they use and what are popular?

Popular pins tend to be useful (those info graphics, time lines, things you should know, ten best places to visit in Barcelona) or emotional (the damn cats, humor, poignancy about life, etc).  I’m a humor fan and often publish helpful information on writing (my job) and travel (my passion).  You can cover both.

Pin for your books:

Pins of your book should link to your web site or to a specific landing page.  Another easy link is directly to the Amazon page for your book. Make it easy for someone to buy your book (or sign up for your newsletter or class).

Another idea is to link your book cover directly to its Amazon page.

You want to make sure your own original pins are tagged with your own original web site/landing page/amazon URL

What to pin for your book.

Create a board for every one of your book titles.

Within that board is your book cover with a link to buy.

Additionally you can pin photos of:

Place – where is your story set? What does the house/town/lake look like?  Find close -enough places and pin them.

Characters. Post photos of famous (or infamous) people who resemble your characters, or who are like your characters.

Scenes – are there famous scenes or stills that are like the scenes in your book?

Time and styles – What are the styles in the book? When is the book set? Pin examples of fashions and street scenes. Pin articles relevant to the history of the place the book is set in.  Place photos or illustrations of the time (here you’ll need to take some of your research and share on your boards).

When you create your boards – describe them using key words.  You book title, the Genre of the book.   Use those hashtags, but only about three per post.

Are there ideal times for pins? Yes. But to start, you may want to just make the effort and call it a day.  Pinning can take about 20 minutes a day, three times a week.

Follow other boards. If you like a few of the pins on a board, follow it. You’ll get notifications through your email when that person pins.  And you will begin to get pins you’ll like. This will make your life suddenly much easier and serve as a trigger for you to plunge back into Pinterest and pin a few more pins.

Update your site:  You can remove boards that no longer serve. You can build up boards to reflect something you just discovered.  You can do anything you’d like.

Sell!  Can you sell through Pinterest? Yes you can. And it’s pretty easy, check into the Pinterest “buy” button and see if your book/class qualifies.

Advertise; Pinterest ads and boosts operate similarly to Facebook boosts and ads.  You can create campaigns to promote a class, your book signing date, your book launch.

Pinterest is very mobile friendly. Waiting for your lunch date?  Pin to a few boards.  Stuck in the airport?  Pin.  Need a quick break?  Pin. Standing in line?  Pin.

Now you know why we are all glued to our phones.  So of course the next blog I write will be all about why we need to turn off our phones and look up.  There may even be a Pinterest board on what to do when you’re not pinning.



Catharine Bramkamp, author

Catharine Bramkamp is the co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast that focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach, Chief Storytelling Officer, and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, and The Future Girls series. She holds two degrees in English, and is an adjunct university professor. After fracturing her wrist, she has figured out there is very little she is able to do with one hand tied behind her back.

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  • Traci Bold says:

    I’ve been on Pinterest for a few years now and last fall, just started using it as a writing tool. I was surprised there are so many authors, agents and editors on it.

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