Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words"

Hmm. As a novelist, I’m not sure I like this old saw. However, it would seem we are becoming an even more visually-oriented society than ever before. And that’s saying something!

Authors know to use Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media sites, but
a relatively new kid on the block is Pinterest. Think of a virtual bulletin board you have divided into categories. You find pictures that fit your categories and “repin” them to your boards. For some odd reason, people search out your boards and “follow” them, like having “friends” on Facebook.

Pinterest launched as a closed, invitation-only beta site in March 2010. From it’s initial 5K users, after only nine months the site had 10K users. Time magazine, in August 2011 listed Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” article. In December of that year, Pinterest became one to the ten biggest social network sites. By July 2013 the site had 70 million users world-wide.

That’s quite a potential audience for authors.

I heard about authors using Pinterest from someone in one of my Facebook affinity groups. She described how she used the boards to post pictures of her books and to promote the books of others. I was intrigued and checked it out.

This particular networking site doesn’t require nearly the same amount of energy as other social networking sites I use. Pinterest is more similar to my relatively-static website than the ever-changing blogs I write. I don’t actively seek followers, but they find me. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

To promote the author side of me, I have storyboards for the two books published (one in 2013; one in 2014) as well as a nascent story board for my current WIPs. I posted pictures of people who look like my characters. I posted pictures of important places, events, and objects in the books. Of course I have my book cover for Streetwalker and just posted the cover for Mission Impastable.

Additionally I have boards related to my books. For Mission Impastable, I have a board on “Food Porn” (luscious pictures of food) and “Kitchen Gadgets”. For Streetwalker, I posted a board for "Sex Toys" and "Carrie's Beauty Secrets". Without any effort, advertising, or soliciting, I have 117 followers. Just think what I could get if I promoted the boards!

It was fun to put my book concepts into pictorial form. It’s actually another sort of summarizing or synopsizing your ideas. Try it for fun! You might get hooked like the other 70 million folks using Pinterest.

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