Pinning Interest in Pinterest

In a recent discussion about promotion for writers, someone asked what the benefit of Pinterest would be for authors.

I answered: I’m not a fan of Pinterest, so I can’t really tell you the benefits. I do know authors post all sorts of things related to their books, things they are interested in, quotes, whatever. The truth is, though, that anything you do on the internet helps get you noticed, which is a good thing. The secret is to do what is fun for you. Me, I prefer blogging, with a bit of Facebooking. I mostly use Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and Linkedin to post blog links. I also used to be a major presence on a couple of now defunct social networking sites that I enjoyed.

Sherrie Hansen does a lot with Pinterest. Maybe she can help answer your question. Sherrie? Sherrie? Any thoughts about Pinterest?

I’ve known author Sherrie Hansen for several years now (online only so far), and she is someone I have grown to admire tremendously. By day, Sherrie operates the Blue Belle Inn B&B & Tea House and tries to be a good pastor’s wife. By night, she writes. I don’t know how she ever manages to do anything else, but she also keeps up with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and probably all the other networking sites, too. And she posts a perfect blog every month for the Second Wind Publishing blog. She uses many lovely photos, tells a bit about her life and how it intersects with her novels, and ends with an inspiring message. Can’t get much better than that! Question Marks and Other Things That Make You Think by Sherrie Hansen is her most recent post. Check it out.

Sherrie kindly posted the following response to my question:

I agree with Pat completely when she said, “Do what is fun for you.” I love Pinterest and think of it as a big file cabinet with color-coded folders for fun things – except that I don’t have to dig through a bunch of papers when I want to go back and find what I need.

One fun way to use Pinterest is to make a folder for each of your books and use them like a story board – pictures of people who look like your characters, links to the location where your story takes places, sites you’ve used for research, clothes of the period or style your characters would wear, basically whatever you want handy when you’re working on your book, and whatever gets you in the mood to write or helps you to visualize people and places important to the story. I’ve also tagged the style of font and photos I want to use on the cover.

On a personal note, I use Pinterest to pin things that I like – songs I want to learn so I can play them with my music group, ideas of things to make with my nieces and nephew, places I’ve traveled to or want to see one day when I’m rich, recipes to use in my tea house or at church events, garden and landscape ideas, and of course, my love of rainbows. If nobody ever sees them but me, that’s fine, because I like using it to organize the things that are important to me and to keep track of things I don’t want to forget about. If someone looks at my pin and thinks – I have a lot in common with this person, or hey, we like almost all the same things, or wow – this lady has great taste, and wants to give my books a try, that’s wonderful. And I have had that happen.

When you pin things, you can click a box to have them shared simultaneously on Twitter and or Facebook. The general rule for social media is to post 80% personal posts so that you are building relationships (which is what social media is all about), and no more than 20% business posts designed to promote yourself or your books. When it comes to sharing personal things or what’s going on in my head, or the bigger scope of my world, it’s a lot easier to quickly pin something than it is to stop and try to think of something clever to say about my day. Both are windows to your personality. Both are important… but it’s nice to have variety – and pictures for those of us who are visual learners and relaters.


Thank you, Sherrie. You’ve even got me interested in playing around with my still mostly empty Pinterest site.


Sherrie Hansen writes romance. Her novels, Shy Violet (coming soon), Blue Belle, Wild Rose, Thistle Down, Love Notes, Night & Day, Stormy Weather, Water Lily & Merry Go Round are available from

8 Responses to “Pinning Interest in Pinterest”

  1. Sherrie Hansen Says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Belle Books… a Blog by Sherrie Hansen and commented:
    Thanks for the mention, Pat! I appreciate your kind words.

  2. Sherrie Hansen Says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Pat. I’m becoming increasingly aware of what a visual learner / processor I am. Pinterest feeds into my tendencies perfectly!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I meant what I said, Sherrie.

      I wonder if Instagram would work better for me. I don’t know much about that site, either, but I did enjoy some of the gather groups, such as your rainbow photo group and the altering photos groups.

  3. katsheridan Says:

    I love, love Pinterest. I’m a total junkie. I have several book related boards, and a board for my copy writing business, but most of my boards are just fun stuff, decorating and recipes. It can be a time sink, but I find it relaxing and enjoyable, and it makes it soooo much easier to find that obscure piece of info I need for a story!

  4. Coco Ihle Says:

    Thanks, I think, Pat, for including Sherrie’s answer to your Pinterest question. The only problem is I’m hooked now and I am spending way too much time on it! 🙂

  5. amcarmichael13 Says:

    I purposely didn’t download Pinterest or set up an account when it first came out because I knew it’d end up being a major time suck for me. Now that I’ve taken the plunge–well I find I like Twitter better. I can’t commit to Instagram either. Maybe I’m on social media overload but I find that when you Actually enjoy one forum you should invest the majority of your time there. I’d be interested in Hearing more tips about Pinterest, but for now it’s kind of just existing for me.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      The thing that seemed so weird to me about Pinterest was that you weren’t supposed to pin the things you owned the copyright to, so you had to pin things you didn’t own the copyright right to, which made the whole thing suspect in my mind. But it might be fun to play around with it. As Kat suggested, maybe use it as a way to save things I’m interested in. Whatever that is.

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