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Book Marketing in 10 Steps with Pinterest

March 10, 2021

This post contains affiliate links from products and services I find valuable. If you click through and make a purchase, I'll make a small commission, which comes at no cost to you. This supports my small business. Learn more here. 

After writing the 7 Day Pinterest Plan, I wasn’t sure how book marketing worked with Pinterest. Isn’t it funny how you can know a platform, but be unsure of how to use it for a specific niche? Well, that was me. I certainly knew how to use Pinterest for other niches, but book marketing seemed different. My book is on Amazon and being sold specifically using self-publishing. I didn’t know if using Pinterest would actually work for a book when all I had was a few images of the product.

7 day pinterest plan

I know that Pinterest can be used for e-commerce, so why not book marketing?

Most people say you need to have an author’s page to begin marketing your book. That’s all well and good, but I have a website dedicated to a niche topic and didn’t want to create a separate website just for my books. So I had to approach everything a little differently. If you are just starting out, it’s a good idea to get a website as an author, but if you have a business website, I’ll show you how to market your book with that.

1) Set up your business account on Pinterest & Apply for Rich Pins

To set up your business account, you can create a personal account, or just set up a business account. You need to visit Pinterest and follow the prompts. For a detailed tutorial, watch my videos:

Setting up the business account

Claiming your website

You’ll also need to set up Rich Pins as this gives you more of a push on Pinterest. Rich Pins consist of metadata that tells Pinterest where your pins are coming from and also updates anytime you update a post or product item. So if you change the price of a product, the Rich Pin will update too. Cool, huh? If you have a business account, you’ll definitely need to do this step. Don’t worry, I got you covered!

Apply for Rich Pins

2) Optimize your profile

To really stand out as an author, you’ll need a headshot. Don’t even think about using a logo or a photo of your dog. Even a smartphone can work. If you use the “portrait” settings, you can come out with a nice-looking photo that can be used on Pinterest and even on your website. You can even remove the background.

iphone photos
Credit: Apple Support

When setting up your display name on your profile, use your author name. But hold up…what if you have a business name on your account? I decided to use both. My author name is first, then my business name, and then some keywords (I’ll get to that in a minute). I’m not sure if that is what others are doing, but it’s what I’m doing because people are going to be searching my name when I get all famous and stuff (haha). The reality is that some people are going to search by your business name if they read your blog and know you there and some will know you by the books you’ve written. So why not use both?

The username is tricky. I opted for my author name @michellebuckdesigns. My name was already taken and initially, I was teaching design. I don’t want to change it now, so I’m not going to sweat it. But if you are just beginning, it’s a good idea to think of something you will use long-term.

Pinterest Settings

In the “about your profile” area, this is where you can add details about your books or yourself. I used both a bit about my business and what I teach and information about my book. You have 160 characters, so try to use most of them. I also added a link here and shortened it using bit.ly.

3) Create relevant boards

If you have a Pinterest account already dedicated to your business, you will have to be creative with your boards. I didn’t want to create another Pinterest account just for my books, so instead, I created boards. Honestly, my niche is broad to some degree. It can include different industries, but I also wanted to focus on the author niche, so I tried to create interest for both Pinterest and being an author.

You can create boards about self-publishing, genres, or other book-related topics. Or create boards related to the books you sell. If you are writing memoirs, create boards about your favorite selections in this genre. You will pin your content to these boards, so try to use boards that your book and sales pages can fit into.

4) Create content & pins

The most important thing you can do is to create a board specifically around your book. Use this board for things like character sketches, inspirations, plot lines, or detailed explanations. If you are writing non-fiction, you could include book covers or teaser images, book recommendations (leading to a book recommendation of yours), excerpts from your book, or even reviews or chapter samples. Be creative here. If you have a blog, think about creating some posts around your book as well and creating several pins for each post. Remember that any content you have can be turned into a pin image!

In addition to creating pins for your content, you need to use keyword research, stand-out headlines, and alt tags to really push your pins to the top on Pinterest.

5) Manual Pinning

When you create a set of pins for your content, always manually pin it to the most relevant board first. This means saving it to a board that makes the most sense. The first set of pins are considered “fresh pins” while anything saved after that is considered a repin.

You want the first set of pins to go to a relevant board so that Pinterest understands what the pin is about, who it’s trying to help, and more. That doesn’t mean repins don’t matter at all; it just means that the first pin is pretty important so pin it to a board that will help your rank and helps visitors find it. Some people pin their pins to their blog board first, but this isn’t necessarily the most relevant board.

6) Scheduling Pins Using Tailwind

After manually pinning, schedule your pins to Tailwind. Save your pins to other relevant boards–up to 8 boards is a good number. But don’t just pin them all at once. Use intervals. I suggest using 7 days between each of your pins. If you have 5 different pin images, use different start dates for each one. For example, Pin A would be saved first on March 1 and then every 7 days. Pin B would be saved on March 2 and then every 7 days. On March 3 and 4, Pin C and D would be saved to the first board and then they’d be scheduled to save 7 days out from that. (Note: The image below uses a 4-day interval, but use this concept for your 7-day intervals.)

A fresh pins calendar
One way to Pin Fresh Pins

Intervals allow Pinterest to see your pins in a good light. Scheduling the pins to go out all at once makes for a bad user experience for your visitors. No one wants to see their feed loaded with the same pin or even similar pins. Spreading them out makes you appear less spammy but also gives your pins a better chance at being discovered.

7) Share on Tailwind Tribes

After your pins have gone out, wait a day or two and then go into your Tailwind Insights–>Pin Inspector. Filter the results so that you only see pins from the current week (or whenever you first saved your set of pins).  Find the pins you saved and then click on “Add to Communities”.

Be sure to only schedule 3 a day for each Community. Most of the Communities on Tailwind don’t want you saving more than 3 pins each day and they also want you sharing other content from other pinners. Be sure to follow the guidelines for each one, but overall, Communities can help share your pins with other people and make them discoverable in search.

save to tailwind communities button

8) Look at your analytics

After a month or two, visit Pinterest and view your analytics. Filter the results by your pins and then see which pins and boards are performing the best. Do they need more time to gain traction? Are you seeing a lot of repins but not a lot of clicks?

If you aren’t getting the results, consider the content for that pin. Is the sales page attractive or distracting? Does it offer enough information? Is there a call to action? Optimize the page for the very best results.

If that isn’t the problem, the pin might be the problem. Are you using keywords? Does the image attract or repel? Does it stand out in the feed? If the pin is a bust, then try A/B Testing pins and then getting better pins out there for your audience.

Even crappy-looking pins can work. And oftentimes when you look at your analytics, you’ll see a pin that is doing well. Try to pinpoint why this pin might be working. You might want to do more testing on this pin and make more variations of the pin to see why your audience is loving it. If the pin works, create more pins similar to that pin and see how they do. If it’s attracting subscribers, then it’s doing the job!

To take it further, run an ad on that pin for 30 days. Everyone says Pinterest is inexpensive to run ads, but what I’ve read is that you should be setting a budget of anywhere from $10 a day to $50 a day. This isn’t exactly inexpensive. If you run an ad at $10 a day, that’s $300. So if you are going to run ads, make sure your audience loves the pin first. A/B test your pins to really solidify that it works and then make sure your ad is optimized for your audience.

9) Follow Other Authors in your niche

Some authors just don’t use Pinterest. I’ve followed a lot of authors that have Pinterest pages and they don’t use them for their books except for maybe a pin or two. They have thousands of followers, but not enough clicks and saves of their book pins. It’s interesting to me how few authors are using the platform to promote their books.

Still, try to follow authors and see what they are doing with their boards, pins, and content. You might learn how to write your sale page better or find a blurb you really enjoy. If you are lucky, you might get to collab on group boards or find a post and comment on it which might lead to a relationship. Even if you simply use it for research, following authors is a good idea to help you get better at your craft.

10) Make it easy for people to share

Use the Pinterest bookmarklet so that others can share your pins from your website. You can also use Tasty Pins, which allows you to hide pins in the content but when the visitor shares it to Pinterest, they have several pins to choose from and they all have keyword-rich descriptions and titles that you’ve set up. Include share buttons on your blog posts and products. Offer a freebie if the person shares your content with Growth Tools. Make it easy and fun for people to share the love.

These tips should help you get a head start on marketing your book with Pinterest. Did I miss any? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Download the FREE TEMPLATES!

Grab a free set of Pinterest templates made in Canva! You only need the free version to use and you can create a variety of Pinterest pins with this mix and match set. 

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About the Author

Pinterest graphic designer and digital strategist for business owners and change-makers who want to be seen and heard.

Michelle Buck

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