What’s up with Pinterest? It is one of the fastest growing social media sites ever. Even as Chautona jumped on board early on, I’ve been reluctant to join yet another social media site, especially when I have a hard time finding time in my day just to write.
I truly didn’t get what it was all about: photo and video pinning…whoopee. I’m not really into that. I’m a writer; I like words. Unfortunately, as this site has grown, I’ve been forced to investigate its potential value to writers. I approached it from a very skeptical corner in a far room of my mind.
The first thing I realized in investigating Pinterest is that I have the whole writer-words thing wrong. Fiction writers, at least, are not about words so much as they are about creating worlds. While they use words to weave those worlds in the minds of their readers, those worlds are out there waiting to be painted.
And that gives us an exciting reason to use Pinterest as authors: bringing our settings and characters into full color.
Imagine the creative writing process—you see in your mind exactly what you are writing, but sometimes it’s indistinct, vague and foggy. Why not start a Pinterest story board for your work in progress? Seek out photos of the places you are writing about, especially if they are places you’ve never been. If you’re a sci-fi or fantasy writer, this can get really interesting.
Another opportunity (which I haven’t seen used yet) is as a set of full-color illustrations and photos for your book without going through the cost. QR codes are perfect little tools for print media. Have you ever thought of placing a small QR code at the beginning of your chapters or sections in your book linking to an appropriate board on Pinterest? It’s like having an illustrator for free.
Pinterest can offer a writer a lot of inspiration: for new stories and current plot lines. You can also do research and get others involved. For instance, I know absolutely nothing about guns; I can’t even picture in my mind what a Ruger might look like. I don’t even have any idea what kind of guns might be appropriate for my character to use. This is where you can get your contributors to help you out by pinning gun photos to a particular story board. As another example, if you are writing a period piece, collect photos of the appropriate clothing, homes, etc.
Then we come to the crux of the whole social media thing: shameless self-promotion. Ultimately, we always arrive at the “get more readers, sell more books” part of author marketing. You should obviously have a board for each of your book covers. You can take your work-in-progress storyboard and finalize it for the release of your latest novel. Keep what you want; unpin the rest. Additionally, Pinterest allows you to post videos, which makes it an ideal place to include your video trailers.
As with any writing network or media platform, it’s important to stay involved. You need to be active in the Pinterest community: commenting, pinning, liking and always finding new visuals to keep your own site fresh and interesting. Make sure to include your Pinterest link on your website to start getting noticed.