The Self-Published Author’s Guide to Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest is a surprisingly handy social media platform for self-published authors. Here, we explore why, as well as some handy tips to get you started.

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Social media offers a vast world of options for marketing your self-published book, and is growing in popularity every year. While that can mean there are new tools and methods to reach potential readers, the growth in popularity also means more competition. 

Unless you have big bucks to spend on a full-blown marketing agency, you’re gonna have to learn to get creative with your marketing so your author brand and self-published book stand out. 

Luckily, there are tons of tips and tricks to help you accomplish this. 

Each social media platform has its own special tricks to help you better market yourself, so it’s better to take your social media strategy step by step. Today, we’ll focus on Pinterest. 

Pinterest is a surprisingly handy social media platform for self-published authors. Here, we’ll explore why, as well as some tips to get you started. 

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media platform that allows for people to “bookmark” things that interest them. Whether it’s a new outfit, an herb garden or, you guessed it: books, Pinterest has a vast array of content to sort through.

Users scroll through content based on their interests. Once they find something that inspires them, they can “pin” it to a thematic board, and/or share it on other platforms. 

They can also share their own ideas. Like other social media platforms, Pinterest allows you to follow and be followed. Pins can be shared and liked. 

Pinterest has been used as a marketing tool since 2010, when their beta launch gained them 10,000 users in under 9 months. They’ve been going strong ever since, with around 322 million users today

How Does Pinterest Help Self-Published Authors?

Pinterest’s algorithms are based on people’s behaviors and interests. So not only do users get content that’s right up their alley, but it makes it easier for self-published authors to find audiences that fit within their niche. 

The perks of Pinterest go even farther than simply helping self-published authors gain visibility with their target audiences, although that factor alone is incredibly useful. 

Other perks include:

  • Funneling new readers to your author site
  • Allowing potential readers to get to know you better by showing off your interests on your personal boards
  • Sharing your book covers as teasers for upcoming book releases
  • Showing off your author brand
  • Communicating directly with readers and potential readers, forming a sense of community
  • Using pins to grow your mailing list by adding prompts to sign up

Tips to Use Pinterest Marketing 

Now that we’ve cleared up the importance of Pinterest marketing for self-published authors, we can dive into the nitty gritty. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started on the right foot. 

1. Use a Business Account

Using a business account instead of the normal user account is completely free, and gives you a lot of marketing opportunities for your book that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

You’ll get detailed analytics to help you determine who’s looking at your pins, and which ones are creating the most engagement.

You also get the opportunity to share more expansive content regular users aren’t able to. This includes customizable profile tabs to help create a more comprehensive profile, video posts, and ads. 

2. Create a Board Specifically for Your Book

Tell the story of your book, its unique features, and the process you went through while creating it on a book-specific Pinterest board. 

On your book board, include entertaining and eye-catching content that relates directly to it. This can include:

  • The cover image
  • Personal blogs about your writing process
  • Sources of inspiration
  • Reviews and articles about your book
  • Release and event updates
  • Photos and tips from your book release
  • Images that relate to the setting

Author Lucinda Brant’s works take place in the Georgian era. She does a great job giving you an idea of the mood of her novel by creating Pinterest boards that display the art, fashion and other details of that time-period.

She also has boards dedicated to her books themselves, that include the covers and descriptions.

Let yourself get creative, and think about what you’d be seeking from an author as a reader.

3. Link Pins to Your Personal Website

Your author site is a crucial part of your lead funnel — the path that potential readers take from their initial interest to buying your book. It’s the epicenter of your author branding, and provides easy access to your content. 

As we touched on earlier, one of the perks to using Pinterest as a self-published author is that it’s a great opportunity to guide people to your author site. 

To do so, link your pins to your author site content (blogs, videos, book pages, event pages, etc.).

After you pin your pin, click edit. In the edit screen, there will be a box marked “link.” Add a link to your website in this box, and whenever people click your pin they’ll be redirected right to your author site. 

Author Meg Waite Clayton does a great job of both creating Pinterest boards specifically for and about her book and making sure each pin on her board links directly to her site. 

Here, she has an attractive image of the book cover, and when someone clicks the image or text it leads straight to her author site. 

4. Use Relevant Keywords

Like any other social media site or search engine, Pinterest uses keywords to help users navigate content based on their interests.

Using relevant keywords can help you better insert yourself in an interest niche, therefore becoming visible with people who would enjoy your book and relate to your author brand.

To find the right keywords for you, you’ll first have to have a good idea of the audience you’re targeting. 

We’ll use a nonfiction book about the extinction of dinosaurs as an example. Who would be searching for information on dinosaur extinction? What else do they enjoy? What websites do they frequent?

Next, begin a search based on your niche. For the same book, you would type “dinosaur extinction” in the search bar. 

As you type in the query, the search bar will show a list of trending searches and keywords related to what you typed. 

Take note of these popular searches, and find ways to incorporate the keywords into your profile, board and pins.

Rick Riordan, author of the popular young adult series “Percy Jackson” includes the word “author” in his Pinterest name. His board titles have popular keywords aimed at young adults who would enjoy his niche, such as: “Demigods,” “Fashion” and “Fan Art.”

Pinterest is useful for more than just craft plans and dream weddings. Turns out, it’s also an incredible handy tool for self-published authors to market their brand and their books!

After a simple profile set-up, some good content and these pro tips for Pinterest marketing, you’re on your way to building your online community and gaining dedicated readers.

Once you’re on a roll with your Pinterest strategy, why not use the leverage to help you build a community on Instagram, too? 

Continue building a solid social media strategy with the do’s and dont’s of Instagram for self-published authors »

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

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