The Best Writing Tool You Aren’t Using

Filed in Author Inspirations, Marketing Your Book by on March 18, 2016 8 Comments


Everyone knows about a certain digital pinboard, known as the procrastinator’s best friend, the party planner’s go-to inspiration, and the foodie’s favorite recipe archive. But, as a writer, have you ever thought about how you can use Pinterest to develop your scene descriptions, hone your style, and actually see your characters take shape? Here are just some of the ways to use Pinterest for authors.

 1. Online Inspiration Board

From characters to settings, there is no better way to write with powerful sensory detail than to be looking right at your inspiration. Think about creating boards for your protagonist, antagonist, and even other main characters so you can develop them as round, multi-dimensional people. What is their style? What clothes do they wear? Is their abode a warm, bohemian cottage on a hill or a high-end penthouse outfitted with cold stainless steel? Create boards for settings and pin different vantage points, bird’s-eye views, and other images that will give you, and your readers, a unique perspective of the scene.

2. Book Cover Ideas

Conveying the design in your head to the graphic designers can be difficult for both parties, but having a visual to point to changes everything. From font to imagery to general formatting, finding concrete examples will make sure the design process is easier for everyone—and that you end up with the look you want.

3. Theme and Topic Starters

Pinterest is absolutely loaded with quotes and images that are perfectly suited to spark your next great writing idea. Build a board with any interesting, provocative, or stimulating quotes or images you find. Whether you use it for daily writing exercise or it unfolds into your next novel, you can surely find inspiration on the thousands of Pinterest boards dedicated to meaningful ideas, photography, and illustrations from all over the world.

4. Writer Admiration

Keep a board dedicated to writers whose styles you love. You can include their work and notable quotes, or anything that reminds you of them. Delve into their lives; figure out what motivates them and what signifies their style. Creating an author study will help you discover your own preferences and apply them to your writing.

5. Marketing Your Book

If you have a blog and don’t have a Pinterest account, you need to get pinning. Creating your own images and pinning them isn’t difficult, and it immediately gives you a huge audience who just might follow that picture back to your blog and—who knows—buy your book. Need ideas on what to pin other than your own blog pictures? Create a board with titles that have similar writing styles, themes, and genres as your book and point out that if they like these, they will love your work. Pin writing or lifestyle quotes that resonate with you and relate to the topics you frequently write about. Think about who your reader is and pin for them.

Remember your pinning etiquette: make sure that you are giving credit where it is due for all images you use.

Take some time to look through Pinterest for more ideas and find some fellow writers to follow. Network, connect, and have fun with your pinboards—and then start writing, armed with your new tools of inspiration.

Ready to start pinning? Give us a follow and join our Community Boards on Pinterest, to pin with other authors and our professional editors!

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Comments (8)

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  1. avatar Rebecca says:

    Do you mean Pinterest is more helpful than Instagram as far as authors & book promotions are concerned?

    • Hi Rebecca!

      That probably depends on the type of book you have: if you have “quotable quotes” that would make for great inspirational pins, or if your book is DIY or a cookbook, then Pinterest and Instagram are equally important!

      Otherwise, Pinterest might be more helpful during the writing process (to help you creatively, while also creating a place for you to meet readers early-on), while Instagram could prove helpful both during the writing process AND once the book is out. There are a lot of Instagram book clubs, where readers chat exclusively through their apps about books, but don’t meet in person. You can still share quotes from your book there, pictures of your finished book when it arrives, pics from events, etc.! Pay attention to hashtags on Instagram–they’re great for helping you get discovered. Hope this helps!

  2. avatar RuthER says:

    This is a terrific article. Thanks so much! I especially liked #1, creating a board that your character would make. By the way, I pinned your article to Pinterest 🙂

  3. avatar Erwin says:

    Is there an example I can check out on Pinterest ?

  4. avatar Casandra Belcher Tripp says:

    Greetings, I started using Pinterest a year ago and I love it. I even have a secret board to help me Pin my writing prompts. It is a great tool to inspire and store.

    Thanks for the article.

    You are appreciated.

  5. avatar Sheila says:

    Thanks for broadening my horizons and opening my eyes to new opportunities. In your opinion would you make the board public? Including what you’re working on? Thanks so much 🙂

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