Monday, October 27, 2014

Pinterest Tips for Authors, Part 1

So excited to have former Alleycat, Sarah Forgrave with us today talking about PINTEREST!!
Welcome SARAH!
I've recently jumped headfirst into the world of Pinterest and love it so much that Pepper invited me to share my enthusiasm here on the Alley. To which I said, “Of course!” J

Pinterest can be a fantastic tool for authors to create a human connection to their friends, readers, and fellow writers.

As I started mining this topic, I had so much to share, I’ve decided to split it into two parts. This post will focus on ideas of what authors can pin to enhance their presence and brand. Next week, I’ll talk about specific ways you can connect with the people you hope to find on Pinterest.

So let’s dive in with What to Pin:

1)      Research – Many authors create boards for a specific topic they’re researching for their books, such as historical events or setting details. Pinterest can be a great way to store all those resources in one place.


2)      Storyboards – I’ve done this for my Guideposts story that just released and also for a full-length book I’ve recently finished. These boards can include character photos, setting photos, sayings that relate to the book, or any other items that give your readers an overall sense of the story and ignite their interest.


One example of how this can increase reader engagement: When I was reading my friend Jody Hedlund’s book, Unending Devotion, I wanted to really picture what the hero looked like. So I looked up her Pinterest board and found the photo she’d posted of an actor who resembled her hero. The detailed visual made me dive in and love the book all the more!


3)      Any topics related to your books and/or writing themes – For me, this might be organ donation, since the heroine of my latest book is a heart transplant recipient. Or I also pin a lot of health and fitness information and motivators. Both of these topics are found in my books and are also things I’m deeply invested in in real life. Historical writers might post beautiful flowing dresses that relate to the time period they write. (Laura Frantz is famous for this.)


4)      Anything else that interests you – Even if it doesn’t relate specifically to your book, enjoy all the fun that Pinterest has to offer. By pinning the things that interest you personally, it will make you more human to your readers. For instance, I love to pin recipes, inspirational quotes, travel photos, reading and writing quotes, mom tips and encouragement, and more. Any time we connect with others on an organic level, the stronger that connection will be.


5)      Secret Boards – These are found at the bottom of your profile page and are only visible to you, meaning they don’t show up in anyone’s Pinterest feed and no one can see them when they view your profile. They can be a great tool for writers. For instance, I like to find intriguing photos of people that would make great future characters. I’ve created secret boards for future heroes/heroines where I store all these photos for possible use later, when I would then pin them to their official storyboard. Some authors choose to create future hero/heroine boards and make them public. Neither way is right or wrong. It’s just up to you to decide if you want all your writer friends to steal that one amazing character from under your nose. J

Of course, these are all suggestions to spark ideas, not black-and-white do’s and don’ts. Take what resonates with you and feel free to skip the rest. The most important thing is to have fun and post what interests you.

Have you joined the wonderful world of Pinterest yet? Why or why not? What are your favorite things to pin?


Sarah Forgrave is a work-at-home mom who feels blessed to do what she loves – raise her two children while writing stories that inspire. Her work has been featured in Guideposts’ A Cup of Christmas Cheer, as well as the webzine Ungrind and the Pearl Girls™ book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith. When she’s not writing, she enjoys teaching fitness classes, shopping the produce section of her local grocery store, and hanging out with her family in their Midwest home. To connect with Sarah, you can find her online at her website, her Facebook page, and, of course, Pinterest.


Research photo by audfriday13/


Angie Dicken said...

As you know, you inspired me to start beefing up my Pinterest account with my author focus! It has been SO MUCH FUN!!!! And a little addictive. :) I LOVE this tool in social media and think you have some fabulous ideas here! Thanks for sharing!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

What a GREAT post, Sarah! I blame Sherrinda for getting me started on Pinterest. And I'm glad she did.

I loved your ideas here. I hadn't thought about adding pins that would relate to topics in my book. I guess it's time to create a board for the book I'm working on. Or is it better to wait till it's out there in the public world? ;)

Loved this today! I'm looking forward to Part 2. Thanks!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Angie, I'm so glad our chat at the conference inspired you! I'm loving all your pins lately! And I agree, it's more than a little addictive. :)

Sarah Forgrave said...

Jeanne - If you're not ready to make your storyboards public, that's the beauty of secret boards. You could always go that route, than you'll have a place to collect pins as you see them. And when the book goes "public," so can your Pinterest board. :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Great article! I use my Pinterest boards for all of the above! It makes writing my books more interesting when I can look at all the visual cues!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Susan - I agree! And when I return to work on a book after a break, it helps refresh my memory and interest too. :)

Pepper Basham said...

Oh gracious! I did not know about the secret boards!
Boy, oh boy, what a find!

Casey said...

I LOVE pinterest and Sarah, you have just given me more reasons to keep feeding my addiction. Any reason to justify it, right? Seriously, if I could lose all other social medias I would keep Pinterest and Twitter. Great to have you back today! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for sharing so much! any info about Pinterest is so helpful for me.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Pepper - A new secret weapon! Yay! :)

Casey - Oh yes, I could totally live on Pinterest alone. In fact, I've tried it a few times, but my kids always interrupt and ask for supper. Imagine that... ;)

Mary - So glad it was helpful!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Oh yeah, I'm Pinterest-addicted. LOVED this article! Great stuff, Sarah!

Anne Love said...

I'm totally Pinterested! I love Pinterest for the same reasons Sarah mentioned. It's a central place to find inspiration, meet others with the same "eye" for the world, and a great place to find my muse.