In every book marketing article I've ever read, they discuss social media platforms. The number one suggestion is to avoid getting overwhelmed by trying to run your book marketing on ALL the platforms. Pick two or three that come most naturally to you and use those. For me, Facebook is number one. I like words, and Facebook lets me use lots of words. Pinterest is second. I technically have a Twitter and Instagram, but if you want to hear from me those aren't the platforms to follow me on.
Facebook and Pinterest are relatively easy for me to use, I enjoy using them as part of my every day life, and there wasn't a big learning curve for me. I'm still getting used to some of the features for advertising, something you can utilize on both Facebook and Pinterest platforms. In this blog post I'm focusing on using Pinterest to generate ideas, to outline and plot your story, to develop characters, and even to edit and publish books.
Having a Pinterest Board or Section for different stories, characters, and/or topics related to writing helps keep me organized and gives me the perfect place to browse when I'm in need of inspiration specific to my story. It also gives me great images to use (with credit given where known, of course) for promotion, marketing, or just random tid-bits for my biggest fans. It's fun for fans to see what images or bits of lore inspire the stories they love, so definitely take the time to pin things that help you write your novel. You may end up needing it some day!
A Crash-Course on using Pinterest
I'm from the generation of computer-users who learned on a big, clunky box that didn't even have the internet. The very first story I ever wrote was painstakingly typed out in an ancient version of Word and saved to a floppy disk, as there were no such things as USBs or "the cloud". So I get it if social media doesn't come naturally to you as breathing, like it seems to be for the generations that are cutting teeth on Ipads and Smartphones. For those who consider themselves tech-challenged or just like having things explained to them in language a five-year-old could understand, these step-by--steps to using Pinterest are for you:
There is also a search function at the top of the page. Use keywords for topics or images that come to your mind when you think of your story and see what comes up. Pin what you like, scroll past what you don't.
Recommended Boards for Authors
I've been using Pinterest for about four years to write my books, but only got really into it in the past year or so. Now I have a section on my "Stories" board for every project I start, even if I'm not sure it will go anywhere. Pinterest, plus the miracle of Google Docs, enables me to outline my stories and generate plot and character ideas on the fly.
Click any of the boards below to be see how I organize my boards and what sorts of things I pin.
Avoiding the Social Media Time-Suck
Most social media is a massive time-suck. Have you ever caught yourself doing the "Facebook Scroll"? Pinterest can be the same way...or it can be an incredibly valuable tool. Here are some practical tips for making your pinning as productive as possible, so you can get back to doing what you do best: writing!
1. Set a Timer
Possibly the most common and most effective advice out there, setting a timer can help by reminding you of your commitment to being productive. If you want to generate ideas for your story, great! Set a timer for 15, 20, 30 minutes and scroll away.
2. While you're Waiting
Waiting for a friend? Pull up Pinterest. At the doctor? Start scrolling. Using otherwise empty or otherwise potentially wasted time just feeling frustrated for a productive purpose (like getting ideas for your main character's personality, or finding inspiration for a setting for a certain scene in your book) can make one feel incredibly accomplished. Bonus: it's impossible to get carried away doing this, since once your appointment (or friend) arrives, you're socially obligated to put your phone down.
3. Set up Boards and Categories (or Sections) Beforehand
Use one of your first Pinterest sessions for a particular story to set up some boards and sections within those boards. You'll need pins to get started, so just pin one or two things to each. This will help you quickly categorize things as you see them. And since some of Pinterest's features are less easily used on-the-go versus at home on your computer, it will be less frustrating and you'll have all of your pins in the right place from the start.
Seriously, USE THE SECTIONS FEATURE. This is SUPER helpful for making your Pinterest list easier to navigate, apposed to having a board for each story (which is how I used to do it...seriously don't recommend that way).
I love using Pinterest to keep my ideas organized. How do you use Pinterest? Link to your Pinterest account in the comments below so we can see how you do it!
We're all writers, we're all moms, writing our way through the "brambles" of life and our stories.