I wouldn't lose more of my valuable writing time by hanging out on another social media site.
Guess what I did today? Yep. I got sucked in. Pinterest has now gained my interest.
Many of my writer friends have been singing the praises of this social media system all along and I've certainly been aware of it. As a teacher, I've perused it a time or two looking for new ideas for my classroom. From learning how to create fairies in a jar to discovering some great lesson planning sites for early theatre education, Pinterest has really helped me in my day job.
But what about in writing? How can a site like this be of use?
If you are not familiar with what Pinterest is, let me lay it out for you. It's kind of like your own bulletin board or scrap book. You can create multiple boards and on each board you can post things related to that board's topic. For instance, maybe you're really into comic books. Create a board titled Comic Books. You would then post pictures of comic book covers or characters there.
The key is to think visually!
And that's where Pinterest can be really useful for a writer.
Authors spend a great deal of time working on describing setting, locations, character physicality, etc. With Pinterest, you can find pictures of those things and post them on boards for your readers to come look at.
Trust me. It takes the reading experience to a whole new level! Here are four ways an author can use Pinterest to promote their work to a reader. By the way, you can view how I've used these techniques at http://pinterest.com/maryannloesch/boards/
1. General book info. With Pinterest you can create a board that is specifically for your book. On the board you can post things related to the novel, such as, pictures of locations or pictures of specific things in the book. For example, my YA series takes place on the Louisiana bayou. I pinned pictures of the bayou to my board. Bayou Myth has lots of objects in it that are important to the story line. With that in mind, I made sure to pin pictures that represented those items. Medea's necklace, an antique compact mirror, and an owl broach play a central part in the book. I found some great examples of what those things look like and was able to put them on my Pinterest page for the Bayou Myth series. I think this is a great way for readers to connect with your work in a way that is visual and which will allow them to get an even better view of what the world is like that your characters live in.
2. Character traits. Character development is so important in our novels. If the reader doesn't relate to our hero/heroine, we're in trouble. Hopefully, that's not the case in your story though! Sometimes when I've finished reading something, I want a little more. That's where having a character page comes in handy. You can create a board on Pinterest devoted entirely to the things that your character enjoys and likes. You could even include things that may not have been in the novel, but help develop the character even more. The nice thing about a character page is that it doesn't necessarily have to be a public page. You can create a "secret" page which means only you can view it. If you're a writer who likes to research and gather materials before the writing process, this is a tool that can help spark your imagination.
3. Tease your audience about an upcoming book. Your new book is almost ready to publish, but you're still tweaking those last minute details. However, you're aware that it's important to start spreading the word about this new project. Create a page for the new book that offers only visual clues as to what the book might be about. This is a great way to entice your readers curiosity and keep them guessing about the content of the new book. You could even offer a giveaway contest to the person who correctly guesses the theme or subject of the book.
4. All about you. Create a board that represents all of your wonderful attributes and interests. Readers love to connect with authors in a personal way. Show your readers what's on your book shelf by pinning book covers of authors you love. Give them a glimpse of your dachshund obsession by letting them glimpse cute photos of your favorite dog breed. Maybe you're a fan of a particular brand of chocolate. Let the world know on Pinterest. Little things like this help a reader relate to you and maybe even remember you when your new book comes out!
So....what are you doing still reading this blog? Want to go to Pinterest? Look up on the left hand side of the blog and find the Pin It button. Pin All Things Writing to your board and get started on creating your own!