Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pinterest for (Author) Dummies

by Amber Argyle

What is it? 

Pinterest is a social sharing site where you post links and pictures. The whole idea is like pinning a virtual picture (called a “pin”) to a corkboard (called a “board”). The site itself is super simple to navigate. See a picture you like? Hoover your mouse over it and a red “Pin it” button will appear on the top left of the picture.   Simple click the picture to add it to your boards.

Want to add a pin of your own? Simply hit the + button on the top right of your screen. A drop down menu will appear. You can either upload a pin from your computer or add one from a website by copying the address and pasting it. Pictures will appear in the search results. Click on the one you want to use.

Keeping it Organized 

Boards are how you keep all your pictures (Pins) organized. As an author, I suggest you have a board with inspiration for each of your series. Add pins of the setting, actors to play your characters, a playlist, cover ideas, research, etc.

You’ll find as you do this that this is a great way to keep all your inspiration for your book in one place (no more drawers full of printouts or “bookmarked pages” that you can’t remember what’s on them). Not only that, but your fans will love seeing all the images that inspired you.

So here’s a list of my author Pinterest boards:
  • Witch Song Series (Insert Series Title) I have one of these for each of my series
  • Cover Inspiration
  • Amber Argyle Books (all of your books)
  • Setting (for future reference)
  • Character Ideas
  • Marketing (for pinning marketing ideas)
  • Writing Research (For all those awesome articles that you can never find when you need them)

Finding Pins

Besides just a regular search, you can either follow a board (I follow many Fantasy art boards) or a person. Those boards then show up on my home page. If you click on an amazing pin, you can see who pinned it and what board they pinned it to. You can either follow the person (I follow friends) or the board (I'm not usually interested in EVERYTHING that pinner pins). 

 Finding Cover Art

No really. I found this piece on Pinterest and went searching for the cover artist for my last two books. I used to use sites like DeviantArt to search for artists, but that involves HOURS of scrolling through thousands of images (many of which aren't relevant or that good). On Pinterest, people have already sifted through the chaff and found the brilliant pieces.  Also, their search is much better and doesn't involve pop ups. 

If you can find a relevant board (one that follows stock images, for instance), you can spend a few minutes going through some of the best art around. It isn’t usually that hard to find an artist's name from there.

I found color combinations, fonts, character poses, clothing, background, etc. All from Pinterest.


I’ve could spend hours going through pictures of beautiful, exotic places. These images inspire the settings for my fantasy novels. If you don’t write fantasy, it’s a great way to “see” the place (say, Chicago) you want to describe without the price of a plane ticket.

I also Pin helpful posts for future reference. Some examples would be “Natural Treatments for Wounds”, “Character Guides”, “KDP Select Free Promo Resources”, etc. 


You’d be surprised how many ideas you can get for your characters simply by looking at pictures. For instance, I saw a picture of a girl with white tattoos (something I didn’t even know existed) that I’m totally using in one of my future books. 

Share what you love!

Things that have nothing to do with being an author, but everything to do with being you! I have boards for food (I make recipes from Pinterest at least every two weeks), my dream home, my style, the holidays, kids, hair, storage, cleaners, etc. It's a great way to share common interests (and find a crapload of honeydo projects). 

Handy tricks

Want to take Pinterest to a whole new level? Here's some further reading.

Did you know Dauntless Authors is on Pinterest? Follow us here.
Follow us as individuals here:

Amber Argyle
Megg Jensen
Erica Cameron
Wendy Knight
RaShelle Workman
Jolene Perry
Donna K Weaver
Angela Corbette 
Ali Cross
Elle Strauss

Happy pinning!


Cindy M Hogan said...

Great post. Excited to start using Pinterest for so many things

Donna Hosie said...

Thank you, Amber. I'm a Pinterest newbie.

Amber L Argyle said...

It's so easy and super addictive. Proceed with caution! ;)

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