Have you ever wondered what Pinterest is, and how it works?
Well you’re in luck because today I have a special guest that has come to discuss ‘Using Pinterest as an Author.’
Please welcome fellow Chindi author, Helen Christmas, Chindi’s Author of the Week.
‘Using Pinterest as an Author’
Chindi Author of the Week, Helen Christmas, is excited to share her experiences using PINTEREST as an essential marketing tool for her books.
Helen began her British thriller mystery series, Same Face Different Place, in 2011, a saga that rolls across four decades. Depicting the setting and atmosphere behind each book was not only fun but created a lot of interest in her series.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pin board where you can pin images from other sites, linking back to the original source. Other users can re-pin the same images to their boards.
Where Instagram is about photo sharing, with Pinterest you can create a board with not just images but websites, music and videos.
Creating my first board
Beginnings, the first book of my series starts in London in 1972. The combination of a crime thriller and a tender love story, this is the story of two young people living on a knife edge as they strive to survive in a world of organised crime and corruption.
When I first discovered Pinterest, I was creating boards for recipes, home inspiration and gardening. But as soon as I realised that authors were using it to create boards for their fictional words, it gave me the idea to create a board for Beginnings. As well as depicting a slightly sinister atmosphere based on the criminal underworld of 1970s London, I thought it would be a great way of capturing the 70s nostalgia featured in the novel; the fashion, the people and the music.
Starting my board with such things as platform shoes, lava lamps and 1970s decor, I soon got into the flow. The prime minister of that year was Ted Heath, popular artists included David Bowie, T-Rex and the Rolling Stones. Next came the fashion where I found lovely black and white images depicting the people of the era, not to mention some bizarre outfits. I even found a 1972 image of NME magazine.
Some of the prominent landmarks in my book include Waterloo Station, the Grosvenor Hotel and Toynbee Hall. This is a place in East London where residents were involved in voluntary community work and in the context of my book, a place where characters, Eleanor and Jake, turn to for help.
Amazingly, another browser found my pin of Toynbee Hall and as someone who worked there in the 70s, he was intrigued and bought my book as a result.
To view the board created for Beginnings click here
The Later Boards
With the decades of the 70s, 80s and 90s featuring prominently in my series, I created a board for each book.
Book 2 ‘Visions’ 1984 – 1987
The board I created for Visions is packed with 80s nostalgia from politics under Margaret Thatcher, to a changing world of revolutionary fashion and advancing technology. Compared to my board for ‘Beginnings’ (where most of the photographs are black and white), this board explodes with colour. I even found a musical clip by Kraftwerk to illustrate a piece of chilling background music. Visions has a more rural setting and is a psychological thriller so the images are more serene.
To view the board created for Visions – Book 2 – click here
Book 3 ‘Pleasures’ 1987 – 1991
I had a lot of fun creating this board, which charges to the end of the 80s with reference to the 1987 Hurricane, swiftly followed by the Black Monday stock exchange crash. At the crux of this story is the advent of rave culture, something the younger generation are swept up in. Pleasures brings back an element of organised crime and drugs, so this is the board I feature on my website side panel because it captures the essence of the story and looks exciting.
This is another way you can use Pinterest; by showing a board on your website.
Book 4 ‘Retribution’ 1992 and beyond…
If you start at the bottom of Retribution and scroll up, it almost tells a story in pictures. I love the visual imagery for this board, which came from a variety of sources, including Pinterest itself (there is a handy search facility where you can look for exciting new pins.) With a rich cast of characters, Retribution covers many subjects including institutionalised child abuse, organised crime, anarchy, serving in the army and the war in Bosnia. There is a second part of this book which I have yet to create my next board for…
Pins from Retribution include sinister dark forests, images of Soho, my character, William as depicted by actor Josh Whitehouse and classic 90s movie, Pulp Fiction.
View Retribution board click here
Some useful facts about Pinterest
The majority of Pinterest’s users are female. These tend to be younger women, something authors should bear in mind if they write in a particular genre or have a specific audience they want to pitch to.
Pinterest is great for inspiration. Images of places, people, locations, history, and films have inspired many authors over the years and within minutes, you can create a board to accommodate images for your characters, settings and plot structures.
Another feature is the ability to follow the boards of other writers and publishers. Sharing their boards and allowing their pins to be re-pinned by others has much potential and is a handy tool for authors to promote their books.
For more tips on using Pinterest, check out this enlightening blog on
ALLI (Alliance of Independent Authors)
And finally, do check out my other boards for places of interest, cats, gardens, inspiration for the home as well as a cute board for cat lovers…
I hope you’ve enjoyed Helen’s article, ‘Using Pinterest as an Author,’ I know I’ have and found it very informative. I’m sure you’ll agree that Pinterest is a great tool. Thank you Helen for sharing it with us.
If you have any questions or comments, re the article, for Helen, please leave them at the end of this blog or via her social media links.
Helen Christmas lives on the south coast with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series ‘Same Face Different Place’ in 2011 and published her debut novel, ‘Beginnings’ in 2012. Visions was the second book of the series and published in 2013; a suspense novel which explores British culture and social history in the 80s as well as the most evil traits people are capable of. The 16th Century cottage in which Helen lives with her husband (restored in 1991) provided endless inspiration for Visions, along with some very special places in Sussex that she loves. Writing is something she fits around her family and social life. Helen is a self employed web designer and works from home with her husband, Peter. They enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a beautiful white cat, though Helen confesses to have dreamed up many of her storylines, whilst walking Barney around the nearby beach and park.
Where can you buy Helen’s books?
Where can you find Helen on Social Media?
One thought on “Guest Feature: Helen Christmas discusses ‘Pinterest as an Author’”