Authors can successfully promote their books on Pinterest and use Pinterest to build an author platform.
It will take time and you will need to develop a pinning and repinning strategy to keep your pins fresh and visible.
You can use Pinterest to inspire you readers and find new readers as you build your author brand with Pinterest.
If you do Pinterest right you can become an authority in your genre while providing value, and get Pinners to buy your books.
Your Pinterest account should reflect a combination of who you are as an author as well as what your audience finds compelling. It's key for you to understand who your readers are.
Before you start marketing with Pinterest you should know the following:
- Who are your readers?
- What do they search for?
- What interests you share with your readers?
- What connects you to your readers outside of your book?
- Your readers interests, likes and dislikes
- Your Pinterest objective and strategy
Here are 7+ Steps to Pinterest Author Marketing:
Pinterest Marketing Series
Read more to learn how to use Pinterest to increase traffic, subscribers and sales:
1. Create Your Pinterest Author Profile
Start with a business account on Pinterest. You can get access to analytics and insights, as well as take advantage of features such as promoted pins and buyable pins.
Use your own name and a professional photo that you use across all platforms. Make brand consistency a priority when using social media, it makes it easier it is for your audience to recognize and connect with you.
Use keywords in your profile relevent to your writing. This is not the place to add your professional bio but words that readers will use to find and connect with you. Include
- What genre you write
- Books you’re currently working on (past bestsellers)
- Book related interests
Add your author website URL (it’s important to verify your website on Pinterest).
For more details on how to set up your Pinterest Account read Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing.
2. Create Your Pinterest Author Boards
For the best author Pinterest boards you really know who your ideal readers are. What are they searching for? What are they pinning?
Spend time defining your ideal readers and then do your research. Know their wants, needs and interests.
What does your reader want?
What are they searching for? Remember Pinterest is a visual search engine.
Start with the experts and influencers. Identify other authors in your genre, follow them on Pinterest, and get a sense for what they’re doing and what's working. Learn (not copy) from enough pages to get the creative juices flowing.
You also want to create boards that allow readers to get to know you: your interests, favourite books, preferred genres, book recommendations and writing tips you’ve picked up along the way.
When you create your Pinterest board make sure it has a cohesive theme and that the images you pin follow that theme. So if your theme is “Plotting Ideas,” “Character Inspiration,” or “Writing Quotes,” the pins on that board should all connect to that central topic.
Here are 5 boards that a great for authors to get your started:
- Quote board: Pinterest loves quotes. A board with fun and/or inspirational quotes can increase your reach.
- Humor: a board full of outrageously funny photos and angry cat meme’s can do wonders for fan engagement.
- Genre specific board
- Favourite reading spaces board: reading nooks, libraries, coffee shops, and book stores
- Book recommendation board: include your favorite books, to be read, currently reading and book reviews
- Favorite authors: you can do separate boards for each author
- Book’s characters, the location/setting of your novel, and other concepts that you can pull from your book that might relate to your reader’s interests.
- Video gallery board of top book trailers
Use PinGroupie to find group boards to participate in and promote your book. Interact with group boards (with other authors and readers) that can keep you in relevant conversation about your work and interests.
3. Pinterest Author Book Board
This seems like a no-brainer but a lot of authors neglect this step. Create a board for each book.
- You can post the cover.
- Cover runner ups that just didn't make the cut.
- Start pre-marketing with the writing process and behind the scenes view of you writing and marketing the book. You can include workspace, manuscript, pictures of the research and editing process.
- You can post the synopsis, excerpt, quotes, back cover and more.
- Tips from your book.
- Post a video of you unboxing your book.
- You can also post pictures promoting book events and speaking engagements as well as photos from the events.
- Fiction authors could include Settings/Costumes/Historical Facts/Character Sketches/Plot Lines/Deleted Scenes this can be the same book board or separate boards especially if you have created a book series. Have fun with this and get creative.
4. Start Promoting Your Book on Pinterest
- Share covers from your upcoming books as early as possible for early promotion
- Build anticipation and buzz about your book launch by ‘leaking’ information out to your followers with teasers, sneak peaks, and other news about your upcoming book launch.
- Post book jackets with links to book pages
- Book reviews and testimonials
- Book interviews, speaking engagements. and podcasts
- Book readings
- Book Opt-in like a free chapter. Grow your email list by creating a graphic with an incentive (updates/free ebook/manifesto) and link to your sign up page.
- It’s super easy to add a price to a pinnable image of your book. When pinning your image, add your description with the link to your sales page (Amazon, B&N, Kobo or your site) within the description box and then add a price, beginning with a dollar sign. You will see the price appear in the upper left corner of your image. An added bonus? Your book will now also show up in Pinterest’s gift section!
Always include a link that leads users directly to your book’s purchase page, along with a photo of your book cover once it is finalized and a one-line blurb that describes the book.
You can use Pinterest to help you find and connect with other authors, book bloggers and #bookstagramers who might like to do a joint launch or cross promote your new book.
5. Host Book Promotions on Pinterest
Host a contest or giveaway on Pinterest.
- Create buzz and interest by planning and holding a contest on Pinterest. You can get a ton of ideas and inspiration by scrolling through other contests being held on Pinterest.
- There are lots of examples of “pin it to win it” or sweepstakes style contests on Pinterest. Your requirements for participation might include following you on Pinterest, including your contest related hash tag in the description, pinning (of course) and a visit to your website to sign up. Spend some time learning to develop a great Pinterest contest.
- Important note: you are responsible to follow Pinterest’s contest guidelines as well as comply with all legal requirements or laws in your area. For a successful contest, carefully read Pinterest’s promotion and marketing section in their Brand Guidelines.
- Do a search in Pinterest for ‘book giveaways’ to get some ideas on how other authors and book bloggers are using this marketing tool on Pinterest.
6. Pinnable Content for Authors
For consistency and to build momentum on Pinterest try to pin 5-25 times a day across all of your boards. Use a scheduler like Tailwind to save time.
In addition to posting your latest book you also want to post and share other book related content. Make sure to always credit the original poster of the items you pin.
- Your book pins - Add pins on your book reviews, testimonials, interviews, podcasts, book readings, interviews and speaking engagements.
- Character inspirations (including but not limited to outfits, foods, or music that your characters might wear, eat, listen to, etc.)
- Book lists (if your book is on a list of “must read books” or “books to add to your TBR pile,” add it to a board!)
- Bookshelves (yours or repins of bookshelves you love)
- Quotes (can be your own quotes or quotes that speak to you about reading or writing)
- Lifestyle book images (your books + coffee, your books + readers, your books in a cozy setting)
- Resources: links to your favourite authors, sites where readers can go for more information on your genre or topic, free ebook websites, book blogger/reviewer sites, writing tips/hacks, research and other facts, freelance resources and literary news.
- Educational: cater to the Learner - those that are eager to learn with infographics, tutorials, checklists, lessons, FAQ’s and how-to’s.
- Behind-the-scenes and sneak peaks: pin genre specific tidbits, upcoming book launches (including yours), and insight into your writing process.
- Reader love (find photos of your readers with your books and pin them—making sure to add credit/link to wherever the original post is from)
- Always include a call to action. Don’t forget to tell people what you want them to do next with a call to action. Include your URL within the pin description and tell your audience to visit your website for more or to buy the book.
7. Pinterest Book Advertising
Many authors jump straight to paid advertising with ads on Pinterest. However, you should set up your book board first which will allow you to draw an organic audience who is already interested in your book.
Every Pinterest Ad Campaign starts with a Clearly defined Objective.
- What do you want this advertisement to achieve?
- What exactly are you paying Pinterest to do for you?
The objective you select will determine bidding rates and the ad formats available to you, so it is essential to be very clear about the specific results you are looking for when you create the ad.
Best Pinterest Ad Campaigns for Authors
The objective is to drive traffic to a particular page URL, as measured by % Click Through rate.
This is the ideal option for authors writing in any genre and niche.
You can drive traffic to:
- A landing page where you offer ideal readers a free gift, also known as a reader magnet or lead magnet, It has to be compelling and something that they would love when they subscribe to your mailing list.
- A popular blog post on your website where you have a content upgrade which the reader can receive when they join your mailing list.
- A book sales page. This could be a link directly to an online book store, or the book page on your website. These types of ads are particularly useful around a book launch promotion and many authors offer discounts on the first books in a long-running series.
Build Awareness Campaigns
The objective is to build brand awareness, as measured by % Engagement rate.
If you are working hard to build an author platform and want to share your work and your author brand with as many viewers as possible, you can create pins which could link back, for example, to your website, Amazon author page, blog posts, guest posts and articles, to anything which builds awareness of who you are and what you are writing.
Purchasing a brand awareness ad is building up long term traffic of followers, and could take several weeks to gain traction, so the return on investment will clearly take longer than a direct traffic ad.
There are also Video Awareness Campaigns to drive impressions for your video, as measured by % Engagement rate and Promoted App Pin Campaigns to drive installs for your app as measured by % Click Through rate that you can also choose from.
Build Targeted Pinterest Ads to Sell Your Book
To reach the perfect reader for your book, you need to have the right targeting.
With over 454 billion Pinterest users you want to make sure the right eyes can see your ads. You can narrow down who sees your ad and make it as specific as possible to reach your ideal reader.
Gender - This will depend completely on what you are writing and who your target reader is. Chic-lit with a divorced, middle aged, workaholic female lead would probably appeal more to women like her.
Location - Pinterest Ads are only available in Specific Countries.
At the time of writing Pinterest ads are only available in 32 countries. Your ads will only be show to residents of those countries. There is no doubt that Pinterest ads will expand to more markets but be aware of the current limitations.
Some books are very local to a specific county or area.
I always set the language to English and tell Pinterest to run my ads on all devices.
Audience interests - Interest targeting lets you reach Pinners based on boards that they’ve created, pins they’ve engaged with and other things that they care about.
There are several thousand interest topics available, so to make it easier you can search all the interest categories to find the best match for keywords and phrases which precisely define what kind of book or offer you want to promote.
Keyword Targeting - Use the power of the Pinterest search engine to find your ideal readers.
Now you can harness that power to create another layer of targeting for your ad with specific keywords and keywords phrases.
Pinterest makes this easy by offering you a complete search function – and giving you the monthly search data numbers for each search term, so that you can use the most popular keywords in your ad.
Set a Budget and Date for Your Pinterest Ad
Your budget can be daily or a lifetime budget.
At this point Pinterest will suggest a maximum cost for a strong bid for your ad. This will be based on the keywords, interests, locations, languages, devices and genders that you’ve specified. It's also based on what other advertisers are bidding in order to reach similar people. Note that it is only a suggestion – and it is the maximum you can expect to spend. In reality, you will probably pay a lot less than the maximum.
Think about the objective of your ad, cost of your book and your profit before you place your budget. Always be realistic. You can bid a lot less.
You will also decide when you want the ad to begin and end. Pinterest Ads do take several days to build up traction, so you need some patience. Allow the ad to run for at least 5 days if not longer before making changes.
Select the Pins for Your Pinterest Ad
The pin you want to promote must be already created and pinned to one of your public Pinterest boards.
Check that the pin is linked to the correct URL and all the details are correct.
Then press Launch! Pinterest will do the rest!
BONUS 1: Use Pinterest for Book Research
Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration and conduct book research.
Pinterest is a gold mine for market research! Use Pinterest Analytics to get to know you followers. What are the demographics (age, sex, location) of your current followers? What boards and brands are they following? What are they interested in and what do they want to learn about?
Use the Pinterest search feature to do a keyword or topic search. You can further refine your search by choosing pins, boards or pinners.
BONUS 2: Get Your Author Website Pinterest Ready
Use Pinterest to funnel readers from Pinterest to your author website, blog, and other social media platforms.
Ensure that every post includes Pinnable images and attach a ‘Save’ button to your website so that the content can be pinned to boards on Pinterest.
BONUS 3: Pinterest Engagement in 15 Minutes a Day
Many authors and Empowerpreneurs quickly get discouraged with Pinterest because they don't see follower growth as quickly as they do on other social media platforms. A good thing about Pinterest is that follower count does not determine your reach. Some authors may have a low follower number but it does not compare to reach, engagement and sales. This makes Pinterest a unique social media platform in that followers does not determine reach.
In addition to a visual search engine Pinterest is still a social platform and you are able to interact with other Pinterest users and build a community that adds value.
You can also gain attention by adding meaningful comments and liking other people’s pins.
Here you have it 7 10 Pinterest Tips to marketing your book on Pinterest. Learn to drive traffic with Pinterest for authors.