3 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest Guilt Free


I should probably confess this right now.

I’m smitten with Pinterest.

I avoided it for a few months but then I feel prey to the pinning site. If Twitter is public text messaging, think of Pinterest as a public personal pinboard.

After joining the site, I believe that every author should be on Pinterest. I’m not alone. Gini Dietrich wrote a compelling piece on three ways you can use Pinterest for business. Gini is a marketing genius who is highly respected in her field. Bloggers from every sphere are writing about the new opportunities Pinterest is providing.

Here’s why you as an author should be on Pinterest:

1. Inspiration

Book Inspiration

Are you working on a novel? Are you populating a world? Get inspired.

Find the house that your main character lives in and put it on a  board. That’s what I do on my Book|Places board. There are something about the pictures on the board that speak to me.  I know that a scene from one of my stories will fit into those pictures.

How do you populate your worlds? Where do you get your inspiration?

2. Directing Traffic

Traffic Directing Pinterest Board

My friend Ashley writes Domestic Imperfection, a DIY blog. She regularly shares photos from her blog to Pinterest.  Her design photos get repinned hundreds of time. Every time that happens, her blog is introduced to a new set of people. By using Google Analytics, Ashley has been able to track where her viewers come from. A large chunk of her viewers come from Pinterest. So she keeps using the site. It’s a great strategy that is paying off.

How can you use Pinterest to direct traffic to your site?

Tweetables –

  • Oh @Pinterest, how I love you…and now my readers will too. – Click to Tweet
  • You’ll see me on @Pinterest more often. Don’t worry, it’s writing related. I promise. – Click to Tweet


3. Sharing Character Details

Horse Lover Pinterest Board

Nicole is an author who writes historical novels that feature horses. By having a board dedicated to the horses that populate her books, she’s giving readers the opportunity to connect with her stories in a deeper way. She also wrote a great blog post on why authors should use Pinterest.

What if you created a board for your main character? What makes them unique? Put it on a board and share it with your readers.

There’s a Board For Everyone

Populate the world you are creating. Collect character pieces from all over the internet and share them in one place. Post your board to Facebook. Let your readers visualize your world and encourage them to get creative and build their own fan boards. Then encourage them to share those boards on your fan page.

What kind of boards do you create? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Author Media can help you create a social media strategy that will help you maximize your impact while minimizing your time. Ask us how. 


27 Responses to 3 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest Guilt Free

  1. MJones February 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    I joined Pinterest for personal reasons and quickly lost interest in it. I have no sense of style whatsoever, so I only pinned dirty, sarcastic jokes that I didn’t want to look at later, so I’d delete them. I deleted my account and thought I’d never be back, but then I started planning my novel.

    I was gathering information, fleshing out my characters, and I thought… man, I need one place I can put pictures of things. I need something visual… HEY! Pinterest!

    So I begged an invite and was back in action! It took a few long nights,”hard work” of finding fashions and decorations and cars and homes and pinning them to each character board. Looking at lists of things people in X area like and listing them out and pinning examples.

    But now when I go to my pin boards, I have a nice visual reminder of things I’ve decided about my characters. And now I don’t have to watch for hazel eyes in chapter 2 and brown eyes in chapter 27.

    • Caitlin Muir February 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      That’s exactly how you should be using Pinterest! Great job using it for your novel’s development.

  2. virtual home business February 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    The ‘law of attraction’ if you’re familiar with that, really says it all …you attract what you think.

    • Caitlin Muir February 9, 2012 at 8:43 am #


  3. Ashley February 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    I just ran across this post after seeing incoming traffic from it on google analytics. Speak of the devil, lol. Thanks for the shout out! I do love me some Pinterest, and it’s loving me back :)

    • Caitlin Muir February 9, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      Glad you liked it, Ashley! You were one of the first people to tip me off to Pinterest!

  4. Peter DeHaan February 8, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Wow! This is interesting, but… after blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, I will be out of time way before I get to Pinterest.

    • Caitlin Muir February 9, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      It’s all a matter of finding what’s the best investment of time for YOU.

  5. Richard F. Sands February 9, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    Thank you for your big help. You just shared such a huge information for the readers including me. Thanks a lot.

    • Caitlin Muir February 9, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      Glad I could help! Have you built your boards already?

  6. jayne February 9, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    is pinterest free? do we have to pay if we using it? :(

    • Caitlin Muir February 9, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      That’s a great question, Jayne.

      Pinterest is free. You don’t have to worry about paying to get on the site.

      • jayne February 10, 2012 at 4:44 am #

        ok cool…thank you ya..x0x0

  7. Nancy Cohen February 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Nice idea about pinning photos related to story, but what about rights to those photos? Do we need to obtain them from royalty free sites? We can’t just copy someone’s celebrity photo, for example, or an actor’s pix we think looks like our hero. Can we?

    • Caitlin Muir February 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      You can get them from the source. For instance, if you go to the Ralph Lauren pinboards and find you hero, when you repin that picture, it will automatically show that you repinned from the RL boards.

      If you “grab” a pin from the RL website, Pinterest will automatically insert RL as the web address. You’re always pointing people back to the original source.

      If you were to download a picture from the RL site and then upload it as a new pin, you would need to cite RL as the source of the photo.

      Does this help?

      • Nancy Cohen February 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

        What if I want to use the photo of an actor as he appeared in a certain show? Are you saying that if I copy his photo and paste it on my board, it’ll show the credit of where it originated? I would go to websites, not other pinboards.

        • Caitlin Muir February 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

          It should.

          You can always check and make sure when you click “edit pin.” You’ll be able to change the url that the pin points to.

          • Nancy Cohen February 11, 2012 at 5:18 am #

            Thanks for your responses. I have to study this further and appreciate your tips.

  8. Kelly February 18, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Thank you for this. I’ve seen so much fuss lately over Pinterest but I had no idea how it was supposed to be useful in any way to me until I read this. Now I am considering giving it a try.

    • Caitlin Muir February 20, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Let us know how it works for you!

  9. Dixie-Ann February 20, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    I was only just tweeting about your #1 tip a few days ago. I had a feeling I wouldn’t be the first person to think of it. I found a picture of a guy who reminds me a lot of what my hero looks like, and I wanted to put that picture up somewhere. Will post that and others. Your other tips are excellent too. Thanks for this. Will share this post on Twitter.

    • Caitlin Muir February 20, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Thank you, Dixie-Ann! Happy pinning!

  10. Jodi Lea Stewart February 28, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    I really enjoy Pinterest. It serves as a great melting pot of links for research, favorite blogs and recipes. However, has anyone read the terms and conditions? You should. Check this out: http://www.virtualmoxie.com/2012/02/why-pinterest-is-no-longer-of-great-interest.html

    • Makiko May 21, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Jessica, your creations are bueatiful! I loved the way you recapped 2010. Oh, I am so glad that you will be blogging with Scrap Tiffany. That is awesome. I visited there today and really enjoyed your blog. Loved what you created with the Copic markers. Looking forward to visiting with you again. Happy New Year!!

  11. Stacey Mccarley April 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Starting with people in mind is a great way to develop concepts relevant to individuals, and not just percentages!

  12. Michelle Grogan April 26, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    What a great post!! I am on Pinterest at the moment and I have some boards going but hadn’t figured out a way to use it as an author – but these ideas are great!! I can’t wait to get started maximizing Pinterest for me and my readers!

    Thanks for the advice!!

  13. Nancy O'Neill April 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    My first book in my children’s series will be released next month. I am going to set up a Pinterest account but I’m not sure if I should set it up specifically with the book series name (Guess What Books) or if the account should be in my name so that the boards include personal topics as well and just have a board for my Guess What Books.

    Some of the things I’ve read online say to set it up in the business or books name so it helps with branding.

    What are you thoughts on how an author should set up the account? Keep in mind that I only
    have one book almost out and the 2nd book in the series will be released in October. I appreciate feedback from anyone.