Hello, Fellow Publishers!

I’m a publisher.

I thought I was just an author doing some social marketing, but thanks to what I’m learning from Beth Hayden’s book Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest, my whole perspective on my writing career is changing. Yes, I write mystery and suspense novels, but in support of that endeavor, I need to be creating and presenting content online that is meaningful and valuable for my customers. I need to give my social media friends and visitors what they are looking for, or as Hayden explains on page 61 of her book, “You need to make sure that every piece of content you publish either solves a problem for your audiences, or entertains them – preferably both.”

That’s a big responsibility. Every piece of content. We’re talking about images, information, links, comments – anything you publish anywhere on the internet that has to do with your writing. It’s all part of your ‘company.’ The really exciting part of using Pinterest as part of your company is that it allows you to get creative with visual content, which, psychologists tell us, can evoke emotional responses in a viewer. The bottom line is that by publishing the right images, you can build enthusiasm and loyalty in your viewers, which will help sell your product (books).

Culling through whatever is already on Pinterest boards, however, is not the way to find the ‘right’ images for your viewers, Hayden points out, just as consistently using someone else’s words doesn’t make your work original. Instead, put together your own content. That doesn’t mean you have to take a hundred photos or hire a graphic artist. It means you have to collect compelling images that represent your unique brand. (Be very careful of image copyrights.)

Do you write historical romance? Pin beautiful images of the places where you set your stories, or sketches of period clothing, or the flowers of the region – anything that helps your reader connect to your book. Think of it as publishing a behind-the-scenes guide to your story.

Do you write motivational memoirs? You could pin pictures of famous people who have overcome hardship, or framed inspirational quotes, or maps that trace incredible journeys. Think of it as pulling together an illustrated companion piece to your book.

The possibilities are limited only by your time and imagination, but if you keep focused on your ‘company,’ it will help eliminate some of the time-draining wandering we all do when we get online; if you’re collecting images of old barnyards for an Amish board, it will be a lot easier to not get distracted by all those cute animal pictures that pop up in the blogosphere. (If all else fails, put a sticky note on your computer screen that reminds you “No puppies!”) Make your publishing goals as specific as possible, pin appealing and evocative images on your boards, and Pinterest can become a great billboard for your books on the global internet highway.

Enjoy your publishing!

What are some examples of images that you have been pinning lately? Do you have any creative ideas for pins besides those I mentioned above?

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8 thoughts on “Hello, Fellow Publishers!

    • Enjoy the ride, Laurel Ann! It seems for every idea I get with Pinterest, five more pop up before I finish the first task. It’s hard work to be a publisher.

  1. Thanks, Jan – this will help me immensely! I love Pinterest and social media, but I get sidetracked way too easily. My husband says I need blinders. 😉 But, your short and concise post will help me focus on what I’m supposed to be doing online. I think I’ll post it on a sticky note on my computer!

    • After I read the book, I went back and redid my Pinterest page, Amanda. I got rid of all the boards that were about me – recipes, places I’d like to go, cute puppies – to make my time more productive. I focused exclusively on what content I could offer viewers that promoted my brand. It’s making a world of difference in my time management. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I’m almost done reading this book, thanks to your recommendation (and Greg’s). I really appreciate you telling us about it. I thought it was going to be like those Dummies books that are way too complicated. This is easy and straighforward, and has lots of great tips.

    • I’m glad you’re getting through it, Lucille. I was happy to find it easy to understand, as well. I have a reputation in my home for being technologically challenged.

  3. Excellent read! I am working with a client this week to discuss the benefits of visually connecting to customers and making Pinterest your own instead of a messy and random collection of other people’s pins. Thank you! -elizabeth

  4. Using Pinterest has been a huge help for me in organizing certain aspects of my writing. I have boards labeled ‘people’ (to visualize characters), ‘travel’ (scene settings) and ’17th century England’ (my current historical fiction novel).

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