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Pinterest and You

I’m a visual person. I learn, imagine, and write visually. So it might come as no surprise that I love to whittle away time on Pinterest. Of course that might just be an oxymoron, as I don’t have much time to whittle.

The images and photography I have seen on Pinterest are amazing, breath-taking, heart-wrenching, useful, arousing, and inspiring.

But Pinterest is another social media site. And like all social media sites, there are opportunities for authors to market themselves.

Here are a few tips for making Pinterest work for you.

 

Indentify yourself! Fill out the About Me section. Don’t forget to add links!

Mine reads:

Author of dark, steamy, and adventuresome historical romance.

www.jbrayweber.com

Visitors to my page will discover who I am and where to find out more.

 

Optimize driving traffic to your page by using keywords and board categorization.

Ex: Board Title: Pirates

Categorization: Film, Music, Books

This narrows down searches, making it easier to find images. Go one step further and use keywords for individual pictures.

 

Title and describe boards to segment your target market and/or audience.Pinterest_Logo

Ex: Romantic Suspense, Fashion, Holiday Ideas, Recipes, Books on Writing Craft, Movies That Inspire Me, etc.

These different boards likely have different audiences. Take it further and describe the boards.

Ex: Board Title: Gothic, Steampunk, and Fantasy

Description: Images encouraging the fanciful illusions of my paranormal muse.

 

Pin imagery that reflects you, your personality, and your brand.

 

Use boards to your advantage – generate storyboards for WIPs, create boards dedicated to each of your books, add music videos that inspired books or characters, develop boards of your favorite authors; the possibilities are endless.

 

Link book covers to your website or directly to buy sites like Amazon. Back link pins to your website or blog.

 

Use Pinterest widgets on your blog and website. Find various, nifty widgets at the Pinterest Goodies page.

 

Engage – repin, like, comment, respond, and follow. It’s a social media golden rule.

 

Welcome and Encourage comments – Ask users a question or comment about your pin to generate interest.

Ex: Tell me what you think about this book cover?

 

Cross promote using social media integration. Pinterest has made it easy to like, tweet, and share pins. Plus, it is a great way to build an audience.

 

rf getty camera pushpinsPin what’s trending. The reasoning? More exposure, of course.

 

Quality over quantity – don’t pin for the sake of pinning. Oh, it’s easy to do. Pinning can be quite addictive. But as authors, this goes back to what defines you and your brand. Besides, I’m quite sure there is not a Pinterest Anonymous group available…yet.

 

Collaborate with others  – create (or join) boards that allow other users to upload to, as well. These boards might include Great Romance Novels, Paranormal Books, Author Blogs, Books I Love, etc. The options are infinite.

 

Think out of the box – from your blog, website, or other social media sites, hold scavenger hunt, a best photo caption contest (be sure it’s your photo or a royalty free photo), or other fun method to bring and engage with fans to your Pinterest page.

 

Practice general social media etiquette – Avoid blatant self promotion, always be polite, and credit the sources.

 

Visit Often!  It’s all about exposure and engagement!

 

Want to connect with Rubies on Pinterest? Check out these Pinterest-Loving Rubies!

 

Jennifer Bray-Weber  http://pinterest.com/jbrayweber/

Anne Marie Becker  http://pinterest.com/annemariebecker/

Jeannie Lin  http://pinterest.com/jeanniexlin/

Dianna Layne   http://pinterest.com/dianalaynebooks/

Laurie Kellogg http://pinterest.com/kellogglaurie/

Vanessa Barneveld http://pinterest.com/discordandrhyme/

Elizabeth Essex http://pinterest.com/elizabethessex/

Lindsey Brookes http://pinterest.com/lindseybrookes/jimmie-joe-johnson-manwhore/

Autumn Jordan  http://pinterest.com/autumnjordon/ 

Hope Ramsay http://pinterest.com/hoperamsay/

Cate Rowan http://pinterest.com/caterowan/

Louisa Cornell http://pinterest.com/louisacornell/

Darynda Jones http://pinterest.com/darynda/

 

Do you Pinterest? Got Pinterest tips you’d like to share? How about Pinterest questions? Let me hear from you!

Note: Portions of this blog originally appeared on MuseTracks.

 

Ruby Release: Kiss That Frog (+ why I changed my cover art…)

When magic happens, don’t get in the way.

That was my mantra last month during Camp NaNoWriMo. I’d had every intention of working on The Soul of Magic, a book that’s been in the works at various stages (and titles) since 2001. Soul is the chronological link between my two full-length novels, so I’ve been feeling urgency (and guilt) about it not being done and published. And yet, two other characters elbowed their way to the front of the queue. Okay, three characters. No, two. Hmm. Does it count if one character is actually two—one human, and one not so much?

Cover of Kiss That Frog

Actually, that’s pretty much my heroine’s question. Poor Sofia. She’s a cynical LA artist who must reluctantly pet-sit for her young niece’s frog—and then discovers magic in the terrarium.

See, there’s that magic again. Because there I was, hastily trying to write things down so I could get back to Soul, when Sofia’s story merged with that of a Regency-prince-turned-cursed-frog, Alexander, to become the novella Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale. (You can nab Frog today at Amazon, ARe, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, and soon at Apple.)

That’s when I learned not to stand in the way when a story is eager to get out. There are plenty of times when writing is hard, and I almost made NaNo harder by getting obstinate and trying to stick to My Original Plan. I’m a perfectionist and I want things to be Just So. And I want to be in charge of my muse. Or I at least want her to listen to me.

But you know what? When a story comes to you without a struggle, let it. Climb aboard and ride the creative process for all it’s worth. Because then getting to The End is sheer joy. And what writer doesn’t love that?

It’s a funny thing, but it almost feels like the Universe is celebrating the magic with me. It’s been a fun month, with The Romance Reviews giving a great review and a Top Pick award to The Source of Magic, plus brand new covers for all three books in my Alaia Chronicles fantasy romance series. Oh, and I joined Pinterest! (Come follow me. :) )

Speaking of covers, here’s a before-and-after. Let me make it clear that I loved the original covers of Kismet’s Kiss and The Source of Magic. I was particularly proud of Source because I did it myself, and I would have loved to keep both covers. The problem was that they just didn’t look like part of the same series. With the related short story Swords and Scimitars, I did my best to make the cover resemble Source, but then Kiss became the odd one out. See for yourself:

Original Cover of Kismet's Kiss Original cover of The Source of Magic 2nd cover of Swords and Scimitars

 And now the new covers:

New cover for Kismet's Kiss New cover for The Source of Magic New cover for Swords and Scimitars

To me, the unique flavor of each book got toned down a bit (waaaah), yet now the series is visually branded, even at the tiny thumbnail size Amazon uses in its “also bought” lists. Plus I was able to include the series name on each cover. I look forward to finding out whether the cover changes help. (And if they don’t, the beauty is that I’m an indie—I can always switch back or shift to something else. :) )

So that’s been my magical month. Your turn: what’s your favorite memory of story magic? I’m giving away two e-copies of Kiss That Frog to non-Ruby commenters, so let us know!

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