3 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Book

Happy to welcome Jill Bennett today to discuss Pinterest, a social media platform that is quite versatile when it comes to functionality for both writing and marketing. The added benefit is that not only can Pinterest help writers plan novels and reach a readership, by nature it is a cornucopia of creativity, full of inspiration for new writing projects as well. I would love to hear about the ways you use pinterest in the comments!
pinterestPinterest is an image-based social media platform. Small businesses that focus on fashion, food, crafts and decorating ideas have thrived on its online community. However, this doesn’t mean the rest of the business world can’t fit in this platform, because there are countless ways to use images to reflect a business’ products and services, and in your case, your book.

1. Reach out to Book Fans

You may think that Pinterest is just for wedding planners, brides and decoration aficionados, but there are several groups of Pinterest users that you will surely be interested in: readers, writers and aspiring authors. Book fans and other authors abound in Pinterest. They have pins and boards dedicated to photos of their favorite books, book recommendations, grandiose libraries and bookshelves, quotes from authors, writing tips and so much more.

So, this brings me to my next point. Use Pinterest for link building.

2. Drive Traffic to Your Website

pin 2Pinterest’s platform is delivered as a personal bulletin board. You are free to create boards to organize your images, and you pin images to these boards the same way you would pin a photo to a corkboard. So, to advertise your book, you could create a board for photos of your book, and then pin your cover image to that board. You could also create a board for quotes, and then creatively design quote pictures to pin on that board. The possibilities are endless.

An amazing thing about Pinterest is that you can link your photos so that when someone clicks on your pin, they are automatically redirected to your website. This means instant traffic to your site.

Be careful when uploading a photo from your computer because Pinterest won’t automatically prompt you to insert a link. Follow these instructions to make sure your website will enjoy all that Pinterest link juice.

Uploading a Pin

Step 1: Log in to your Pinterest account and click the plus sign at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Step 2: Choose “Upload a Pin” and select an image from your computer.

Step 3: Pick a board for that pin and include an accurate description.

Step 4: Click “Pin it”.

Step 5: View the image you just pinned either by clicking “See it now” on the page that appears after hitting the “Pin it” button or by navigating to the board where you pinned the image.

Step 6: Click the Edit button at the top of the image and insert your desired link into the “Source” field. Choose “Save Changes” and you’re done.

Pin from a Website

Step 1: Log in to your Pinterest account and click the plus sign at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Step 2: Choose “Pin from a website” and enter the link of the page where the image is located.

Step 3: Select the photo you want to pin from the list of images Pinterest extracts from that page.

Step 4: Pick a board for that pin and include an accurate description.

Step 5: Click “Pin it”.

Note: This method will make Pinterest automatically insert a link to the image’s source page, so there’s no need to manually insert the link like when uploading a pin. Make sure to enter the link to the page, not the image’s permalink. Otherwise, Pinterest will just open the image file in a new browser tab.

The “Pin It” Button

Pinterest has a browser extension for Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. When you have this button installed, you can pin images from almost any website with one click. The extension eliminates the need to upload an image or insert a link.

Install the “Pin It” button compatible to your browser to make pinning easier. Simply move your mouse to an image on any webpage and click the “Pin It” button that appears on the picture.

Important: Regarding citing sources, Pinterest will automatically place the pin’s original location when you use the “Pin It” button.

3. Get Repins and Likes to Boost Author Brand

You can pin images that personally interests you, but this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get noticed. You know that your Pinterest campaign is successful when other users like and repin your images. Many blogs and articles will tell you dozens of ways to get repins, but the most important tactic is to pin what your followers and target audience will love and find valuable.

Here are pin ideas for authors:

  • A list of your books
  • Cover photos of your books
  • Promotions and events you’re doing
  • Images that visually represent or display your book’s themes, tone and mood
  • Photos of your writing inspirations
  • Writing tips
  • Stunning book covers by other authors
  • Pictures of books and bookshelves
  • Motivational quotes

You can also add a personal touch to your Pinterest by adding boards for your personal interests, such as recipe, DIY and fashion boards.

Here are more tips to supercharge your Pinterest marketing.

  1. Choose the right words for the description.

Using keywords in the description will help make your pins visible on Pinterest’s search results pages. If you have a young adult fiction book, for example, make sure to place “young adult” in the description.

  1. Turn article headlines into images.

pin 3Since Pinterest is heavily image-based, it’s hard to make texts in the description section to stand out, which is why the best alternative is to put the text in the image itself. Take a look at these pins by media company BuzzFeed.

To get your website content noticed, create effective headlines and turn them into images. How-to articles are particularly popular on the social media site. Don’t forget to include a link to the webpage.

  1. Use hashtags.

Hashtags will increase your pins’ exposure, but don’t go overboard with them. Two to three should be enough.

  1. Make use of trending topics.

You could tie your author brand’s message with a trending topic and post images based on that.

  1. Share your pins on Facebook and Twitter.

Be careful when doing this because Facebook and Twitter users tend to be fussy over people who overshare on social media.

  1. Repin other people’s content.

On most social media sites, people tend to reciprocate the love they receive from other users. Like and repin other people’s content, and they will return the favor. Of course, if you follow hundreds of accounts, it’s going to be hard to catch their pins on your feed.

  1. Join a community board.

This is great especially if you’re new to the site and don’t have many followers yet. By joining a group board, your pins will be visible to followers of that board. That means you expose your content to people outside of your own Pinterest circle. You have to be invited by a group member to be part of a community board.

To be invited, follow a group board, repin their pins and follow the group’s creator. Befriend the creator of the group by liking and leaving comments on their posts. They will most likely notice you and see you as a possible good contributor for the shared board.

  1. Increase your follower base.

Start by following other people. Most of them will follow you back. Follow people who may be interested in your pins so that you will actually get likes and repins. Check out their boards to see their interests.

Pinterest could become one of your most powerful marketing tools. Use it to grow your audience and drive website traffic.

Jill Bennett is a Book Marketing Specialist at LitFire Publishing, a self-publishing company based in Atlanta, Georgia.For the past six years, she’s been working with several self-publishing authors in terms of book marketing, publicity and distribution.


HOW DO YOU USE PINTEREST TO MARKET? Let us know in the comments!


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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[…] I’m pretty bad at this. All my blog posts have images. I should just share them on Pinterest but I don’t. I need to get better at that. Also, when I post images on Flickr and DeviantArt, I should share them on Pinterest as well. 3 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Book […]

Jude Thompson
3 years ago

Fabulous information – and I haven’t finished reading it all yet!


[…] Once you get over that excitement, there are benefits for businesses. Like any other form of social media, Pinterest allows you to use the network it creates to reach your target audience. This post explains how authors can use Pinterest for book promotion. […]


[…] week I wrote a response to a post by Angela Ackerman entitled, 3 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Book. This week, I thought I’d discuss making pins from your cover and what that takes as a […]

:Donna Marie
5 years ago

I’m on Pinterest, but never really use it. Only recently to find recipes. I REALLY need to get a handle on it at some point. Thanks for this! Bookmarking it 🙂


[…] Read the full article here: 3 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Book […]

Susanne Dietze
5 years ago

This was a huge help to me. I took notes, as I’ve been trying to start making image headlines for my blog posts. Thank you!

5 years ago

I love the idea about turning article headlines into images. Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas, Jill :).


[…] I read a post by Angela Ackerman entitled, 3 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Book. In it she discussed strategies to better use Pinterest that got me thinking. I thought I’d share […]

Mark Tilbury
5 years ago

Hi Jill,

I’m soon to publish my first book and decided that Pinterest could help me reach more potential readers. I’ve created a number of boards including author quotes, my favourite authors, favourite fictional characters and fiction based where I live – as my book is based around here (Oxfordshire, UK.)

My aim is to show what my inspirations are and what is to come in my books through the use of related imagery. I’m slowing attracting followers and it’s a part of social media that I really enjoy using. I didn’t know about using hashtags on it, so thanks especially for that line!



Jill Bennett
Jill Bennett
5 years ago
Reply to  Mark Tilbury

Hi Mark,

I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Pinterest has so much marketing potential. Here’s additional info about Pinterest hashtags: you can use them to track your pins. By inserting a unique hashtag in the description, it’ll be super easy to monitor your pins and measure their traction in the search results.


Jill Bennett
Jill Bennett
5 years ago
Reply to  Mark Tilbury

Thank you for reading the post Mark.

Read more tips about #Hashtag from Quicksprout.


Roland Clarke
5 years ago

Very useful – so Pinned it for reference 😉

Jill Bennett
Jill Bennett
5 years ago
Reply to  Roland Clarke

Hope you learned a lot from it.

Karen Lynne Klink
5 years ago

This is a great post. I’ve been using Pinterest for a couple years to post pics based on my novel, but never thought of all these other marketing ideas.

Thanks so much.

Jill Bennett
Jill Bennett
5 years ago

Thanks Karen!

Jarm Del Boccio
5 years ago

Very helpful advice, Jill! I’m bookmarking this one.

Jill Bennett
Jill Bennett
5 years ago

Thank you for sharing the love, Jarm!