Chances are, if you have spent any amount of time on the Internet in the last three months, you've read the buzz about Pinterest, a new content sharing service that allows members to pin images to virtual bulletin boards. Pinterest has said that their mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting."
Crafters, hobbyists, and DIYers have dropped to their knees in reverence for the site, which allows them to learn more about their passions. Want to learn how to reupholster your Grandma's chaise? Pinterest will teach you. Need to find a recipe for Jalapeño Corn Chowder? Pinterest. Trying to figure out a more humane way of simulating fireflies in a jar? Pinterest!!!
If you read my piece Confessions of a Seasonal Crafter you know that I am not the most artsy-crafty person. So, when my friend Megan sent me an invitation to join Pinterest, I didn't immediately click "accept."
Then, one rainy day, I sat around pondering (It's one of my favorite rainy day activities - besides reading and munching), and I got to thinking about the various ways Pinterest could be used to help develop a writer's career.
I joined Pinterest and have been madly pinning and promoting ever since!
Today, I want to share some of my Pinterest Tips with my writer friends.
Pinterest for Research
Pinterest for Brainstorming
I have a board called Inspiration for Writing to which I pin any image that stirs my imagination - castle ruins, misty gardens, eighteenth century manor homes, fencing stances, handsome men. Writers can use Pinterest to collect the visual stimuli that fosters creativity.
Pinterest for Motivation
Writing can be a brutal business. Feeling a bit bruised? Head to Pinterest for a little healing motivation. There are thousands of inspirational quotes about writing pinnned to Pinterest. Here's one of my favorites:
Pinterest for Networking
Pinterest allows a person to connect with others who share their passions. It's no secret, I love Eighteenth Century France. Pinterest has allowed me to connect with hundreds of people around the world who also nurture a fanaticism for that time period.
Pinterest for Marketing
I use Pinterest to market my writing. How? Simple!
First, I create boards about my novels and my passions, then I fill the boards with pins from my blogs. For instance, one of my boards is J'adore 18th Century France. Using the handy Pin It! toolbar tool, I pin all of the images from my blog pieces to my boards. Yesterday, I wrote a piece about Marie Antoinette and Smallpox. I pinned the images from that piece to my J'adore 18th Century France board.
Next, I pasted a brief description of the blog post/article into the pin description box:
18th Century painting of a child receiving a smallpox inoculation. Smallpox took the lives of many throughout the 18th Century - from peasant to king. After developing a splitting headache and fever, Louis XV died of the disease in 1774. After Louis XV's death, Marie Antoinette urged Louis XVI to become inoculated. Learn more about 18th Century France by reading my blog or follow me on Twitter @18thCFranceFinally, I link all images back to my blog Titillating Tidbits About the Life and Times of Marie Antoinette.
I know what you are saying, "But Leah, what if I don't have two blogs and Twitter accounts to promote?"
No problem! You can still use Pinterest to market your books and articles. Create boards that allow you to link to your works (Possible Board Title: Books I Have Written, Images That Inspired My Novel).
I have a board titled Scenes From My Novel, Silence in the Mist. I pinned images that evoke scenes from the novel and images that inspired my writing. This allows my readers to see what I saw when I created my fictional world.
I post brief descriptions of the images as they relate to my novel. For instance, for the above image I wrote: This is a uniform that was once worn by a French Revolutionary Guard. In my novel, Silence in the Mist, guards wearing just such a uniform - including the bonnet rouge - taunt my heroine before she is brutally tortured by the villain, General Lazare Hoche.
I hope this piece has encouraged you to use Pinterest to market your book and spark your creativity. If you think of new ways to use the site, share them here, won't you?
**Suggestion for the overly-modest: If you don't feel comfortable promoting your own books on Pinterest, why not ask a friend to start one? You can also start a board and choose the option that allows multiple people to pin things on it. Then, ask other writer friends to join and post their favorite books.