Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pinterest for Writers—Marketing

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict

Today we’re talking about the dreaded “M” word. No, not marriage—marketing! Specifically, how writers can use Pinterest to market their books.

Pinterest pulls together two critical things writers need: an interested audience and a place to share your book. The trick is to create boards that appeal to your readers. Then, include pins featuring your book with a link to where they can buy it.

You already have a feel for what your readers like. Now, it’s time to put that knowledge to work in your marketing. Here are three board types with plenty of examples to get you started.

Type #1: Interest Boards
Last month we talked about using secret Pinterest boards for researching your book. Now, it’s time to make those boards public. Whatever interesting areas you probed to write your book can be used to attract an audience for your book.

For example, if your book deals with Amish characters, have public boards on your Pinterest page for all things Amish. You could have boards entitled Amish Recipes, Amish Home Life, Amish Games, or Amish Woodworking Plans. Any area you’ve researched or that simply interests you is a potential audience gathering goldmine.

Not into the Amish life? That’s okay. Here are some examples of interest boards for specific genres:
  • Historical Books: Boards on period dress, etiquette, food, hobbies, historical events, or daily life.
  • Romance: Boards on romantic date ideas, ways to say I love you, great ways to propose, wedding ideas, anniversary ideas, or Valentine’s Day meals.
  • Science Fiction: Boards on the science that inspired the book; Boards of cool things in science or coming in science; Boards of famous scientists and inventors.
  • Self Help: Think about the struggles of your audience. Create boards that help people with those struggles. Board topics could include things like Fighting Depression, Tips for Helping Someone with Depression, Taking Back Your Marriage, Daily Devotions for Dads, etc.

Examples of boards that can work for any type of fiction book:
  • Interesting facts about the locations for your book.
  • Travel tips and cool things to do when visiting the locations of your book.
  • Your favorite books by other authors in your genre; Tip: Put why you love this book in the pin description.
  • Boards of great books in your genre for book clubs; Tip: Put what makes this book great for book clubs or how your book club responded to it in the pin description.
  • Humor regarding your genre.

Pinterest Examples for Inspiration

Type #2: Character/Series Boards
Readers love seeing into the writer’s life, and they love learning more about their favorite characters. Consider having a board for each of the important characters in your book, or a board showing an entire series. Ideas for pins include showing the characters’ clothes, hobby interests, music choices, unusual work tools, or hometowns.

Pinterest Examples for Inspiration

Type #3: Quote Boards
Every book has some great one-liners or keen life wisdom. Pull insightful or funny quotes from your book and create a board of shareable quote memes.

Board Tip #1: Some publishing houses already ask their authors to create and share memes about their books on Facebook and Twitter. These build interest before the book’s release. Why not capture these in a quote board on your Pinterest page and gain additional potential shares?

Board Tip # 2: Two great, free online tools for adding text to pictures include PicMonkey and Canva. Note: Both of these sites have paid versions, but you can create an account and use the basic tools for free.

Pinterest Examples for Inspiration
Below are three contrasting styles of quote memes all from a book series by Ransom Riggs. One is simply a picture of a line of text in the book. The other two are memes with quotes readers liked.

If you need additional instructions for creating memes, check out this article: Step-by-Step Instructions for Adding Text to Images by Edie Melson.

Here’s one last bit of Pinterest Inspiration:
Quotes by Writers on Writing – This is a large collection of inspirational writing quotes. Use a few of these to encourage yourself as you work on your Pinterest marketing project.

What things do you do to market yourself on Pinterest? Share your ideas in the comments below!


Cynthia Owens is The Efficiency Addict, a technical trainer helping writers, speakers and small business owners work more effectively. She runs www.TheEfficiencyAddict.com, which specializes in computer training, business organization, career development and event coordination. 

Connect with Cynthia on Twitter and Pinterest.


  1. Great advice. And I plan to take it once I finish the book I'm working on. Do you know where to get royalty free photos of actors?

    1. Patricia, I don't know of any place to get royalty-free photos of actors. One word of caution, you don't want to do anything that implies endorsement of your work without the actor's approval. If you'd like, send me a note describing your marketing idea via the contact page on my website. I may be able to suggest some alternate options.

  2. Hi Cynthia, I loved the blog post and I think that all of these are great tips for marketing on Pinterest. I noticed that you mentioned Canva and PicMonkey for adding text to images. Another great tool I would recommend is Snappa which does the same thing and is very simple to use!

    And Patricia, if you were looking for a royalty free stock image site, I would recommend Stocksnap!


  3. Cynthia, this is so timely. I was trying to explain to my husband how an author can use Pinterest. I had no clue where to begin. I'm bookmarking this. Can't wait to start this for my WIP. Thank you so much for making this so easy to understand and to carry out.