Friday, March 28, 2014

Pin Power: Using Pinterest for World Building & Promotions by Mary Rosenblum

Morgan says: Mary Rosenblum attended our presentation at the NIWA Symposium. I had a long chat with her and was absolutely struck by her passion for helping new authors. As a multi-published author in science fiction and mystery, Mary has personally dealt with the challenges of being a professional and successful 'mid-list' author. Now she is sharing her knowledge via her website and blog: The New Writers Interface.The blog post below was the inspiration for me including Pinterest in my 'World Building on the Run' workshop and Mary was kind enough to give us permission to repost it here. Enjoy!

Mary Rosenblum says:
Okay, many of you have heard me push Pinterest over and over again as a potentially powerful promotional tool in your author's tool-kit. The problem is finding the right way to use it and many authors hang back, not sure just what they can do to connect readers to their stories through this so-very-visual medium.

What can Pinterest do for you? It can put the title of your book and you, the author, in front of a lot of people who want to repin your images or simply gaze at them, and you connect them directly to your website. No, they won't all be readers and only some of the readers may be interested in the type of books you write, but Pinterest gets a LOT of traffic, so that 'some' can translate into a lot of new fans…who may, in turn, rave about your cool book and pictures in their blogs, on their FB pages, and so on. Viral marketing, remember?

It's simply another effective way to spread the word about your story, your characters, and bring people to your website.
Humeira Kazmione of my clients, is working on her second book, a marvelous romantic romp set in today's Pakistan and rich with local color. Humi is Pakistani, after all, and she grew up there! So the realism is lush. And the book was a natural for Pinterest! Bless her for giving in to my nagging and putting up some boards there. This is a marvelous example of how to use Pinterest effectively she has many boards that feature pictures of people, outfits, customs, and locations that are found in the book. Readers of the book can enjoy seeing the people, places, and lush costumes that are described in the book, and people who view the 'pins' will find their way to her website to find out more about Zaed, Sophie, and this very rich and fun romantic read.

What about your book will work on Pinterest? Use your imagination! If it's a family memoir of Great Grandma's journey to the US as an indentured Irish servant, why not pin pictures of the Irish village she came from, or that region at least, Irish pubs, city scenes, maybe historical photos of old Ellis Island. You can find all kinds of images online to pin on Pinterest and it gives you a place to let people know about that book. Your fantasy with the wolf-companion offers the opportunity to post wolf pictures, rich forest scenes that could be the setting for the book, pictures of people who might be the main characters, and so on.

Not every book has an easy visual connection that makes Pinerest a natural, but many do. That seaside village your stories take place in? Why not post pictures of one that's the 'spitting image' of what you imagine, rustic pubs that remind you of the restaurant the main character visits often. Some authors post 'character boards' including an image that works as the main character and other images of people who are important to this person in the story.

Remember that you don't want to spread yourself too thin in the promotional world. If you start posting on Pinterest, work the platform, follow other boards, repin other's pins. Be sociable and make connections. Remember the cocktail party rule on social media: You don't walk into a cocktail party and shout 'buy my book'! You chat first and then mention that book! But it is easier, on Pinterest, to send a polite and acceptable 'buy my book' message from the get-go, since your pictures tell that story for you. No shouting required, a simple link to your website will do.

Remember…a picture is worth a thousand words!

Or even sixty or eighty thousand!
Morgan says: Be sure to 'close the loop.' Include links to your Pinterest boards on your website as extra content for your readers! Your fans that have already found you will enjoy your boards, too.

Mary Rosenblum
After a two-decade career as a self-supporting Science Fiction and Mystery author with New York publishers and a writing teacher, she started working one on one with new authors to help them publish and promote their books successfully. Bringing her years of New York experience to the table as the Literary Midwife at the New Writers Interface, she helps authors succeed in today's brave new publishing world, from first draft through publication and promotion.

Both her Mary Rosenblum and Mary Freeman books can be purchased here. 

Help with promotion. You’re an author. You probably have a website and/or a blog. You’re probably on Facebook and Twitter. You probably send out an e-newsletter. (If you’re not doing any of these things, why not?) Once you’ve finalized a book signing, tell everyone about it! Help the bookstore spread the word. It’s your book, and nobody can talk about it better than you can!

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