[Note: This post was written by guest contributor Beth Hayden, a social media expert and author of Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest.]
Pinterest may be the hottest ticket in town these days — but what are the best ways to use it to promote your book? How can you create targeted, effective Pinterest campaigns, so pinning doesn’t turn into a time-wasting social media sinkhole?
First things first — for a primer on what Pinterest is and how to begin leveraging it as an author, read this great post by BookBaby’s own Chris Robley.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, I’m going to share a little secret about Pinterest marketing for authors. Here’s the trick: When you market yourself and your books on Pinterest, you must take every opportunity to drive users back to your Amazon, the iBookstore, or Barnes & Noble sales pages so people can quickly and easily buy your book.
You can put links to your book’s sales pages in the description field for pins or pinboards, and in your Pinterest profile.
If you don’t consistently do this, you will likely be wasting a lot of time on Pinterest. Your pins and boards won’t lead to sales, and you won’t see great results from your pinning efforts.
Pinterest is really fun and can be great for building an author presence, but when you’re marketing your book, you need to keep your eyes on the prize — and that prize is book sales!
That said, here are 7 creative ways for you to market yourself as an author:
1. Create your author pinboard.
Use Pinterest to tell your story as an author. Tell your followers and readers who you are, where you came from, and how you came to be a writer. Give them a glimpse into your world, allow them to get to know you and let them discover what’s important to you.
2. Pin pictures of readers with your book.
Consider holding a contest in which you challenge readers to take snapshots of themselves in far-flung places with your book. Then give a prize for the most remote (or most random!) location.
3. Create a dedicated board for each of your books.
Use those boards to pin:
- The websites or Pinterest profiles of all of the people, events or organizations you mention in your book. Check out how I did this on the dedicated Pinterest board (http://pinterest.com/bethhayden/the-pinfluence-book/) for my new book Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest.
- Updates to your story — post updates about your book’s characters, people, animals, organizations, companies, and so forth. Nicholas Kristof does a great job with this on the Pinterest board for his book, Half the Sky.
- Praise and reviews — when people write reviews of your book on their websites or blogs, make sure to pin them!
4. Link to all your awesome launch content and book freebies.
Do you have guest posts you’re doing in support of your launch? Do you have free e-books or e-courses you’re giving away? Make sure to link to all that great content on your Pinterest boards.
You might consider having an entire board dedicated to free resources and articles. When you do this, remember to drive people to get on your mailing list via website opt-in forms and landing pages, so you can begin the process of converting people from browsers into buyers.
5. Pin images (and videos) from your in-person book signings and talks.
Use your book signings, conferences and other speaking engagements as an opportunity to take photos and create videos that you can use on your Pinterest boards. Make sure to feature lots of readers and fans in the photos, and then use the @ sign in your pin descriptions to tag those people (tagging in Pinterest works similarly to Facebook.)
6. Create a board for book recommendations.
Talk about what you’re currently reading and the books that you recommend for further research and information on your book topic. Update this board often, so people have lots of recommendations from which to choose their next book!
7. Be a trusted content curator.
Your job on Pinterest is to gather and display awesome content in your niche — and that makes you a curator. Select the best images, resources and ideas on the Web about your topic –– then pin that great content on your pinboards. If your book is about wine, for example, you can pin wine news and articles, new wine announcements, wine recommendations — any content that your target audience of wine lovers will enjoy.
This is a great practice no matter what the subject of your book is — and it doesn’t matter if you’re a fiction or non-fiction author. Your goal is be the go-to expert in your field, and content curation on Pinterest can help you become that!
Hopefully these suggestions have sparked some ideas for ways you can market your book using this hot new social media tool.
And as you explore new Pinterest marketing ideas, make sure to drive your Pinterest followers back to your Amazon, iBook or Barnes & Noble sales pages — so they can quickly and easily buy your book!
Beth Hayden is a social media expert and author of Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest. To learn more about how to get more Pinterest followers and how to convert pinners into buyers, download her free Pinterest e-course.