How Authors Can Promote A Book Using Pinterest

If you were to stop by our house on an average Saturday morning, you would see our son playing Lego, Marcus catching up on his Twitter feed, and me devouring my Pinterest page. I don't know what it is about Saturday morning and Pinterest, but they go together like peanut butter and jelly for me. 

And I'm not alone with my slight obsession with Pinterest: 72.5 million people (71% of that number are women) flock to the site. What's even more impressive - "According to Pinterest, 93 percent of Pinners (male and female) shopped online in the past six months. Another look at Shopify’s study showed that people referred by Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to make purchase on e-commerce sites than users of other social networks, and they tend to spend twice as much as those referred by Facebook." (via SproutSocial


That's HUGE! When people use Pinterest, they are way more likely to buy what you're sharing with them. But here's the thing: most authors are not using Pinterest effectively to connect with their audience. When used correctly, Pinterest could expose your book and writing to a massive audience that might not otherwise see your content. But it has to be used correctly in order to see results. 

So how should authors use Pinterest?

Remember Pinterest is a lifestyle outlet

People use Pinterest to find the answer to a question, to be inspired, and to find ways to make life easier. You have to approach Pinterest asking yourself: How can my book connect with others from a lifestyle perspective? Non-fiction writers can use their "how to" content or instructions to create downloadable checklists or to share helpful information with infographics and images. Fiction writers can use it to share quotes or other information to expand on the story or character details. Maybe one of your characters is a cook and you could share one of their recipes. It's about getting creative and seeing how your book can fit into the social network. 

Think outside of your book 

Many author profiles I see on Pinterest are only focused on marketing and pushing their books rather than sharing outside interests and having genuine interactions with others. If people find what you pin interesting (other people's content as well as your own) like cooking, fashion, or decorating, they will follow your profile - even if it's not directly related to your books. Once they follow you they will see ALL of your boards - including the ones related to your books. If you're only sharing pins of your books and nothing else, you're missing the mark. 

Comment on pins and re-pin

The best way to connect with others on Pinterest is to comment on pins that they share. Don't just wait for people to comment on your pins - go out there and comment on their pins to start a conversation. Go to your feed and start sharing other pins as well. When someone sees that you shared their pin they are more likely follow you back. 

Use keywords 

If you want people to find what you pin, think of keywords that your content offers (i.e.: DIY, How to, Inspiration, Book Quotes, Storytelling, etc.) and add those terms to your pin descriptions. It's best to keep it focused on just two or three keywords. When someone uses those search terms, your pin will show up in their results. Your description is just as important as the image you use - it all helps people find and share your pins. 

Create boards not related to books

Just because you're an author doesn't mean you should limit your boards to books and book-related topics. This is a great way to connect with others on a more personal level. Create a cooking board, collect ideas for your kid's birthday party, hairstyles you'd like to try, books you want to read, and so on. It's a great way to let people into your personal world to see what you're interested in, and also for you to see what your readers are interested in as well. 

Use great images

People are drawn to pins that are visually stimulating. That doesn't mean it has to be overly complicated. If you are looking for an easy way to create great images for Pinterest, Adobe Spark is a great option. If you're stuck on what visuals to use, take a look around Pinterest to see what catches your eye and find inspiration there.  

Post consistently 

Like all social media outlets, you need to show up in order for it to be effective. But if you're like me, time can really get away from you on Pinterest! Set the timer for 10 minutes and pin what catches your eye. Build great boards and leave thoughtful comments. You can schedule posts on Buffer, which will help you share content on a regular basis. You don't even need to be tied to your computer to regularly share pins.

Pinterest works best for those whose audience is strongly female, though male users are increasing. It tends to lean towards a younger demographic (38% are 18-29 and 28% 30-49), though those in the 50+ age bracket are increasing as well. If you are considering adding Pinterest to your toolbox, I'd strongly advise you to play around with it to get a feel for how it works and make a decision from there. 

If you apply these tactics, you will see more activity and better results from your efforts. 

TAKE ACTION NOW: In the comments below, share with us your Pinterest question and we will be happy to help! Be sure to connect with us on Pinterest at