Social Media for Writers #5: Pinterest

Posted on July 24, 2013

Social Media for Writers Pinterest, Pinterest for authorsThis week, the Social Media For Writers series moves beyond words. I’ve written about my experiences with Pinterest before, but I have to say that I have moved on a little from ‘why would I do this? I’m a words girl’.

For starters, I find that it’s an excellent place to store thoughts. I am working on a series of children’s novels, based around a theme, and I collect images and information about that theme over on a Pinterest board.

I also like to keep images of Redheads (because, really, can there ever be too many), writing quotes, book-related bits and pieces and, of course, my ever-popular ‘things I love but will never do’ board.

But today’s expert, the effervescent Peg Fitzpatrick, is a big believer in writers using Pinterest – and that it can help them sell books. Peg is one of the busiest people on the web – she writes, she is managing partner at 12 Most, she moderates/manages multiple G+ and Facebook communities, and she works with Guy Kawasaki on social media marketing strategy. You can read more about her here.

Social media for writers: Pinterest

Will Pinterest help me to sell books? How?

Peg Fitzpatrick: “Pinterest is a social media marketing tool. As an author, you want to load your social media tool box as full as possible without overwhelming you or causing stress while still reaching people. Pinterest is a discovery platform where people go to find, share and collect photos, blog posts, videos, you name it! Putting the word out about your book in a non-sales way helps people discover it, share it on their own Pinterest boards and yes, click to buy it.

How exactly do I set myself up to make the most of Pinterest as an author? What should I Pin?

PF: “I recommend at least ten boards on your Pinterest account. Set up something like this:

  • Board #1: About me (pins things you like that share your personality)
  • Board #2: Links to your social media accounts and website
  • Board #3: Your book/books
  • Board #4: Your blog/website articles
  • Board #5: Books you like
  • Board #6: Writing inspirations
  • Boards #7-10: Choose four topics that you like to create boards. Use the focus of your boards to help establish your brand and area of expertise.

Once you’ve built this foundation, you can add storyboards, character boards, location pinboards or any aspect of your writing that you would like to focus on that will entice your readers and get them interested in reading your book.

You want to let your followers get to know you as a person through your pins, Pinterest is not all business or sales. People will not be interested if you just push a sales message through your pins.

Pinterest is a visual channel so make sure that you pin colourful, interesting photos and add descriptions to each pin.”

Do I need huge numbers of friends/followers for it to work?

PF: “You don’t need huge numbers, interesting pins and people spread on Pinterest. The quantity of your following doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the people that you connect with. Your following will grow if you:

  1. Pin on a regular basis
  2. Pin interesting content with good visuals
  3. Share your pins on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ so people can find you.
Top three tips for making the most of Pinterest as an author
  1. “Connect with your readers on Pinterest by checking who repins your content and comment on their pins and follow them.
  2. Be consistent and pin a little every day (ten or fifteen minutes can work)
  3. Use your great writing skills and creativity to create fun pin descriptions that people will enjoy.”
Biggest mistakes authors can make with Pinterest

PF: “Not trying it! And as I mentioned, only pushing a sales or marketing pitch. Share your book and things that are related to your book but share 80 per cent other people’s content and 20 per cent your content.”

Three authors you think are using Pinterest well – and why

PF: “1. Amanda Patterson Great boards with interesting content. You don’t have to guess what she does, that’s a good thing!

2. Guy Kawasaki (disclosure I work with Guy and wrote a chapter in his latest book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur —How to Publish a Book about Pinterest) Guy uses Pinterest to showcase all the media created around APE (reviews, interviews, photos with fans, blog posts, everything APE is here) It also showcases Guy’s fun personality, love of Android and sharing of quirky content.

3. Joy Cho from Oh Joy! Joy is THE pinner. She has 14 million followers on Pinterest and her boards are amazing. She wrote a book called Blog Inc. and she shares tons of information on writing, blogging and pinning. She is one of the original pinners so following her and seeing how she pins, what she adds for descriptions etc. can be very helpful.”

Visit Peg at her website, or say hello on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest (of course!). She’s written more about how writers can use Pinterest here.


So You Want To Be a Writer bookAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait and you can find out more about me here and more about my online writing courses here.

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 Or check out So You Want To Be A Writer (the book), where my co-author Valerie Khoo and I have distilled the best tips from hundreds of author and industry expert interviews. Find out more and buy it here.


  1. Lisa

    Wow! Love the new Chateau Alison! Very classy. Just a quick question-do we need to re-sign up for your newsletter or did Kelly import those contacts over too? I am assuming she did. Anyway, looks great and hurry up with that freelancing e-book! Also I have never thought of using Pinterest this way-wonderful tips.

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks Lisa! No, you’re all good on the newsletter – no change to proceedings there. And I’m writing the ebook as fast as I can, promise!

  2. Raj Shankar

    Simple and executable thoughts. As an author i have a lot to take away from this article. Thanks for sharing them. I hope to continue reading on your site in the future as my continue to write and publish further.

  3. Louise

    Great blog on using pinterest!!! I’ve been using it, while trying to learn it with a traumatic brain injury, so it’s been a bit of a challenge. Great idea to connect it with twitter and FB too!!! Plus it’s a fantastically fun tool!!! This article makes managing all the SMedia sites more fun!!! Thanks again!!!

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks Louise – and good luck!

  4. Emily

    Happy housewarming! Looks great.

    I can’t keep up with my current uses of social media, so won’t be adding Pinterest. Yet. I’m sure the day will come and I’ll be clicking back here for the how-tos! Thanks for hosting this series.

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks Emily! I think the key with social media is one step at a time…

  5. Kate @ My Dear Angel

    Love the new home!

    I remember when Pinterest first started I read on their site that it was not to be used for self promotion, and I have been surprised how much it is used to self promote. Thanks to this post, I did a little research, and I now know they have changed their policies. Pin away, they say! Yay! I may not have ever realised had I not read this, so thanks.

    • Allison Tait

      Glad we helped Kate!

  6. Carli

    That was really informative, thanks (and I’m glad I can keep pinning Mark Ruffalo!)

    Love the new look too. Nice work Kelly 🙂

    • Allison Tait

      I love Mark Ruffalo. Pin away, I say!

  7. Martine@themodernparent

    Love the new look too!
    I haven’t used pinterest for a while as I found I was having to churn through lots of crappy stuff to find the good stuff. I hadn’t really thought about using it this way so will definitely go and check out these ‘pinners’ and look at it in a whole new way.

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks Martine. Yes, I think if you take a strategic approach, Pinterest is a whole different world.

  8. Krissy

    Really loving the new site design – great job ladies!
    I’m a Pinterest fan for sure. I use it as a place to promote my blog and for character inspiration. I’m a visual person and I’ve found that it helps me to write more descriptively. It’s addictive though! 😀

    • Allison Tait

      It sure is! But it’s also a great spot for visual inspiration, as you say.

  9. The Wholefood Mama

    Love your new space Allison. It is no easy feat finding a web designer who ‘gets you’, often when bloggers make a big design leap the blog feels so different that it doesn’t feel like the same blog anymore you have avoided this. Congratulations!

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks Nikki! It’s a tricky process, but I was lucky to have a steady guiding designer hand with me. 🙂

  10. Peg Fitzpatrick

    Hello Allison,

    Thank you so much for inviting me for an interview on your beautiful new blog. I love it!

    • Allison Tait

      Thank you Peg! And thank you SO much for your generous answers. I think we’ve all learned A LOT!

  11. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)

    Firstly, your new home is lovely Al, congratulations.
    As for pinterest, I had never thought of utlising it this way, but it makes sense. My only problem is getting side tracked at all the beautiful pins. It is such a cunning time suck!

      • Allison Tait

        I hear you on the time suck – that’s one reason I stay away…

  12. Lisa Schofield

    I love your new look Al, clever Kelly, clever Allison! And I had never thought of pinterest for anything other than finding pics for fuelling the pipe dream that one day my 1980’s bathrooms will enter the new millennium. So much to do, thanks for putting all these fab writerly ideas on my radar!

    • Allison Tait

      Thanks so much Lisa! I’m really thrilled with how it’s all turned out. And, yes, so many things to think about with social media…


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