Using Pinterest to Market Your Books

pinterestAre you familiar with Pinterest? If so, you may think of Pinterest as a place for art, photos, crafts and jewelry but you might be surprised to find how valuable it can be for gaining a loyal following and selling books.


Fun fact: 93% of Pinners have shopped online in the last six months. Why? Because it is so easy. You can set up a pin to link directly to your “buy now” page. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


Pinterest was created to be an online scrapbook of favorite items. It is a place where you can share travel pictures, artwork, crafts, ideas for redecorating, your wedding ideas and more. It is easy to use and completely visual and as we know – people love pictures. And since the site is social, it is easy to share your favorite images and search to find other people with similar ideas and taste.


So how does this help market your book? Well, a couple of years ago the executives of Pinterest realized that marketing professionals were trying to figure out how to grab the attention of the fastest growing audience on the web. So they added some additional features like business pages, easy links back and forth between websites and reporting to help you determine your traffic.

All that being said, the audience continues to grow on Pinterest and your book needs to be there.

Before you get started, let’s review the vocabulary:

Board:  You set up your account with a variety of Boards. Each board is a different focus. If you were a jewelry designer you might have a board for earrings, one for bracelets, etc. As an author, you might set up your Boards to represent your characters, locations, props, weapons, and even a board featuring the authors that have inspired you.

This is an example of a Pin

This is an example of a Pin

Pin: Each picture “pinned” to a board, is call a pin. Thing of your bulletin board and the thumb tacks you use. Used as a noun, the pins are what you stick up on the board. Used as a verb, it is the action of putting the picture on your board.

Pinner: That would be you – the person pinning a pin on a board.

As with all other social sites you will have likes, followers and Pinners you are following.

Ready? Let’s get started. First – this site, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, constantly changes the layout and process so search for the most current “how to” articles to help you set up your page. But the strategy behind using Pinterest remains the same and so following are techniques for using Pinterest to market your self-published books.

  1. Board strategy: Create individual boards:
    1. Your books
    2. Pictures that represent your characters
    3. Location pictures
    4. Props or weapons
    5. Inspirational quotes
    6. Favorite authors
    7. Tips on writing
  2. Boards “how to”: When you create the board remember the following:
    1. Name the board with a specific key word(s)
    2. Include a description of the board that tells the viewer more than just “this is a board about books.” Include your keywords.
    3. Pin pictures from your own collection and repin images from others on Pinterest that are focused on the theme of that board.
    4. Upload pictures from your computer and include a key word rich description
    5. If it is a pin of one of your books, include the price in the description
    6. Make sure you include a link back to your website or a place they can buy your book
  3. Search Pinterest for other pins
    1. Type a phrase in the search bar that corresponds to one of your boards
      1. Find Pins, Boards and/or People
      2. Look for Pins (images) that complement your board without being a direct competition.
        1. Click PIN
        2. Select the appropriate board
        3. Add to the description or not
        4. Go back to the original image and leave a comment. (most people miss this step and it puts your name in front of the Pinner and will hopefully increase traffic to your page.)
  4. Pin from the Web.
    1. When you find an image, infographic, article or video that you like – consider pinning it to one of your boards. Most will have Pin option.
    2. If an article does not have the Pin option:
      1. copy the URL
      2. Go into your Pinterest account and select Add a Pin
      3. Select From URL
      4. Paste the URL into the box and continue as normal
  5. Find Friends
    1. Increase traffic to your boards by first following others.
    2. If you set up your account through Twitter/Facebook – Pinterest will connect with your accounts and seek out people you current follow in social media that are also on Pinterest. (Go to Settings – Find Friends)
    3. If you set up your account with an email – manually search for people using the search bar.

Five Pin Ideas from Entrepreneur Academy:

  1.  These are incredibly popular and frequently repined. Create your own for free:
  2. People love a list of things to do, a list of great books, a list of top Twitter accounts to follow – create a list that corresponds with your business. Save the list as an image and pin to your page.
  3. Instruction pins have a higher CTR (click through rate) than most pins. Think of a DIY tutorial that you can provide for your readers.
  4. Pins with Text (MEME). This is simply a picture with words. You’ll find these frequently on Facebook. To create a Meme visit:
  5. If you have videos on YouTube, these make great pins that are frequently repined:
    1. Find the video on YouTube.
    2. Click on the share button
    3. Find the social media icons – if Pinterest isn’t visible – click on the arrow or “more” options to find the P.
    4. Click on the P for Pinterest and select the appropriate board (you may want to create a special Video board)

Bottom Line: Remember that the best way to market your book is to be visible where your potential readers hang out. Pinterest has an ever growing population and their members are loyal and like to buy! Why not spend some time researching Pinterest and see what other authors are doing and then give it a try!