Pinspiration: How Writers (and Self-Publishers) Can Write Better Books with Pinterest

Pinterest has nearly 19 million unique visitors per month and, while its growth seems to be tapering, the two-year-old social network isn’t losing any influence on the World Wide Web. Authors, especially self-publishing authors who rely on their fan bases as inspiration for their books, are finding new and interesting ways to use the image bookmarking site. While, in its early days, Pinterest was often laughed at as the mommy blogger’s recipe book, it’s now become the designer’s brainstorm board, the blogger’s marketing playground, and – for authors – an inspirational playground.

So, what ways can we, as writers, draw on Pinterest to do more than while away the hours when we should be pounding the keys?

Bring Your Characters to Life      

You don’t just need to SEARCH Pinterest to find inspiration, you can use it to catalog your inspiration. Bring your characters to life by finding and pinning photos of people, outfits, places, and more that “fit” the character in your mind.

Create pinboards like these to ignite you imagination. Find the perfect retro style for the quirky lead in your modern-day time traveling adventure. Create a whimsical world of tree houses for your children’s fantasy novel. Or equip the honorable king with appropriate armor in your fantasy epic.

Capture the Perfect Moment

Let’s say you’re writing a romance and you want to capture the moment when your leads finally kiss. Take a second a do a Pinterest search for kisses. You’ll find, not just single images, but entire pinboards full of inspirational images to draw from.

Pinterest can inspire while keeping your story rooted in real-world action. Describe the most powerful elements of your story with on-point details.

Paint a Brighter Picture

Is your story set in a specific time or place? Pin it. Use the images, stories, and links to add depth to your world. The words are your canvas. Add unlimited colors to your palette through the ease of a single Pinterest search.

Find the grand landscapes of New Zealand. Search out the festive Christmas markets of Europe. Discover the beauty of the Great Plains.

And then watch your story unfold in a richer landscape.

Collect Books that Excite You

Yeah, you probably have a GoodReads account, but there’s more to a book than catalog info and reviews. If you’re a self-publishing author, there’s great value in collecting and bookmarking breathtaking examples of what you want to see in your own work: There’s cover art that draws the eye. There’s a photograph that piques your interest. There’s a font that encapsulates your lead’s emotions.

Compile pins into boards with your favorite books. Create a board of books you need to read. Catalog your favorite cover art. Use these tools to craft a beautiful self-published book that is inspired by you peers, but in a class of its own.

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How do you use Pinterest to spice up your writing process? Have you found it helpful in the self-publishing process? What are your favorite pinboards? Share in the comments!



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