Thursday, September 12, 2013

Marketing Your Book with Pinterest

Last night at the St. Louis Publishers Association's monthly meeting, Danelle Brown gave an excellent presentation on why Pinterest is important for authors. Pinterest gives authors the opportunity to engage with their readers (and potential readers) in a way that is unique from other social media avenues. If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, there are a number of videos available online. Essentially it is a way for you to bookmark photos of things on the web that are of interest to you, keeping them organized on boards where you "pin" the photos. Other people can then re-pin something that you put on your board, just like you can re-pin photos from the boards of others.

So why should you care? Pinterest is the fastest growing segment of social media, growing faster than Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Chances are, your readers or potential readers are hanging out on Pinterest. You do not want to be blatantly self-promoting on Pinterest. The general social media rule of posting 20% promotional topics versus 80% non-promotional applies for this social media venue as well as the others. But one of the cool things about Pinterest is that each "pin" has a link that will direct the viewer back to the original place on the Internet that the photo, video or article came from. Let's say that your book is set in England and so one of your blog posts contained photos of England and a bit about the setting for the story. When you pin the England photos onto one of your Pinterest boards, the viewers will be directed back to your blog. It may be the first time that they have heard about you and your book.

Here is a screen shot of my Pinterest page. Note that my profile displays my publishing company name, the fact that I have written three books, and my web page so people can learn more about me if they so desire.

Kim Wolterman on Pinterest
While I have enjoyed my time on Pinterest, I have to admit that I have not done as much as I should have with regards to promoting my books. One of the things that Danelle recommended is to check out the Pinterest accounts of other authors, so that is something that I plan to do. Plus I just learned of another reason to become more active on this social media venue. Actually there are 70 million of them. That is how many users Pinterest had in July of 2013. Some of them may be looking for me and my books.

Friday, September 6, 2013

How Much to Write?

Margie Rizzo & Betty Heinzelman
One week from today I will be heading off on my genealogy trip to Germany and Switzerland. One of the things I have been working on the past few days is putting together a couple of photo books on my ancestors to give to the research centers over there. I will be printing off my family tree for them, but wanted to make something special as well. I have been struggling with how much to write in the books since language may be a barrier. I have settled upon using photos of documents and people to mostly fill the pages. I wish I had some additional family photos to use, but I have to work with the ones that have been left to me by my parents. The book for Switzerland is finished and being processed, and I want to get the one for Germany wrapped up today to make sure I get it in time to take with me. I hope that the people over there will be as interested in the family members who left everything they knew as we are in the ones who stayed behind.