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Monday, March 23, 2015

Are You Using Pinterest Right as a Writer?

I love Pinterest. I love it for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to storyboarding and working on a new ideas, I find it’s beyond helpful.

It’s also a powerful marketing tool, the Pinterest storyboard. It’s a way to reach readers who use that medium and get them interested in your story. A well-developed storyboard could be the thing that ultimately causes your reader to become interested in your story.

I know there are a dozen or more stories I am dying to get my hands on because of the storyboard the writer has for them. But, there are also plenty of stories I would probably never read because of their board.


I’m glad you asked!!

Here’s a few tips for things you should never do in a Pinterest storyboarding that will help draw readers in and make your boards more appealing:

  • Don’t Wait Until You’re Ready to Publish to Do This

This one isn’t necessarily a way to make your board more appealing, but it will certainly make your book so. Instead of creating a board when you are finally ready to share your masterpiece with the world, start now. Drum up interest so when you are ready you will have many buyers lined up already.

There are plenty of boards I follow whose book I would buy in an instant if I saw a pin to buy the book. But, if I saw the option to buy when I first discovered the board, I might not be as inclined to buy the book.

You want to drum up readers now, get people interested and talking about your idea. Get them excited so that when you are ready to publish, people will be eager to buy your book.

  • Don't Forget to Check Your Descriptions

The worst thing you can do in a storyboard is forget to check your descriptions before you pin something. People are looking at the board to see what your story is about and it is by far better to have no descriptions than someone else's. If it's a piece of art and the description is crediting the author, it's considerate to keep that there. But, otherwise, take it out. It bogs down the board and confuses the readers. Which is something you don't want.

  • Don’t Just Include Pictures of Actors Who Look Like Your Character

So many times when I look at a board, it’s just a bunch of modern day snapshots of famous actors and the caption is simply a name that I presume is the character’s. This doesn’t give the reader any idea of what your story is about, it just tells them who you would cast if they ever make a movie of your book.

Which they won’t if you can’t get people interested in it.

It’s okay to include a few pictures like that. It gives people a feel for what the character looks like and who they are. But, if you want to pique people’s interest, you need to include more than that.

  • Don’t Post Major Spoilers

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scrolling through a storyboard that I really like and I come across a caption that reads something like “At the end, when Brian dies.”

Which means I haven’t even read a word of your story, but I now know Brian dies at the end. And, from your board, I know the gist of who Brian is and I like him. But, since I know he dies when I start reading your book that will always be in the back of my mind. Which will either cause me to put down the book because I like him too much to know he’s going to die or it will cause me to become emotionally detached because I know what’s going to happen.

Either way, it’s not good for your book. And, the emotional scene you’ve got planned goes downhill and doesn’t pack anywhere near the punch you want it to. Because you spoiled it for your readers.

If you want to save a bunch of pins that remind you of spoilers, secret boards are great for that.

  • Don’t Post a Bunch of Research Stuff

Have you ever been looking at a board and really loving it and then bam! you come across a chunk of pins that are all links to research sites? If you’re looking for research sites, it’s awesome, but if you’re looking for information about the story, it’s boring to scroll through all the pins about fashion in the 1880’s or western slang.

Or, even worse, your reader might get distracted with these sites and forget they were even looking at a storyboard. Which is bad for you, as a writer.

If you want to save research pins, I would recommend creating a separate board just for those sorts of pins. That way, if someone is looking for those sorts of pins, they can scroll through your board. But, your readers won’t have them interrupt their browsing.

  • Don’t Leave the Description Section Blank

The description section is there for a reason. I am more likely to browse a storyboard with a description because it helps give me context as to what the story is about. And, I know it’s something I’m interested in.

If you’re scared of your idea being stolen, you don’t have to put a lot. Just enough for your reader to understand what’s going on. Even if you just put a high concept (i.e. Greek Mythology Meets Modern Day High School or Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone) then whoever is browsing your board gets an idea of what’s going on.

Or, you can post a short synopsis if you like. Try to be mysterious and intriguing. Don’t explain your story, drop hints about it. Don’t tell the reader what they’re in for, pique their interest. Draw them in.

For example, which sounds better to you?

Death and Karma meet at a conference and butt heads. When they’re forced to work together sparks fly because of their opposite personalities.
He was the picture of ultimate neutrality. He did not decide when people would die, he merely carried out the sentence. She was a judger of men, divining thoughts and intentions. They were never meant to fall in love.

  • Don’t Keep Your Work Hidden Away

It’s really good to share your writing with people. You could have the best idea ever but if people don’t know if you can write, then why would they want to buy your book? Draw your readers in with some of your best lines and quotes from your story. Make sure they’re good ones that represent the book and also show off your talent. They don’t have to be long- even just one of two sentence- but it will give the reader a feel for your writing style.

Writers are oftentimes scared of sharing any tiny piece of their writing online because it might get stolen. Most people who pin things, I’ve come to realize, don’t even pay attention to the caption when they pin it, so your little snippet of writing could be pinned all throughout cyberspace and no one would ever know the quote came from you.

You can always add your name at the end of the quote. Some people even add a little copyright symbol which you can get by holding the alt key and pressing 0169 on the side number pad of your computer.

Or, if that’s not your thing, Pinstamatic is a great resource. You can go to the text section and punch in your quote and then add your name at the bottom. No one can remove it that way and people are more likely to repin it that way. You can even link it back to your blog or website once it’s pinned. Just go to the “edit pin” option and change out the pin source to your site. And then every time the pin is clicked on it will link back to you.

  • Don’t Leave Your Cover Photo the Same

If you don’t know how to change to cover photo of your boards, it’s really simple- go to your profile, pick the board you want to change the cover on, click the “edit” button underneath the board, and click “change cover.” Then pick the picture you want and you’re done.

It’s really important to do this because this is the first impression people will have of your book. The cover photo is by default the first thing you pin. And, that doesn’t always represent your book the best or sometimes the picture’s too big to fit into the cover properly and it gets cropped or cut off.

Once you’ve worked on your board some, make sure you go back and change the cover. Pick the picture of quote that best represents your book. And, keep in mind that color scheme also plays a part in the picture. If you’re book is light and upbeat, pick something colorful. Don’t pick the quote that’s white lettering on a black background because people will get a more serious impression of your book.

And there you have it! Some easy measures to take to make your board more appealing to readers. Now all that’s left is for you to actually get the book finished so you can share it with the world! :D

How about you? Do you have any good tips or tricks you use to make your boards more appealing and marketing worthy?

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