Back in 2015, two years after I returned to creative writing, I instigated several measures aimed at raising my profile as a writer—hopefully, to sell more books.
I created profiles on Twitter, Quora, and Reddit and Pinterest and began a writer’s blog via WordPress and created a Facebook business page.
I had doubts about how successful such social media postings would be, for there are hundreds of thousands of people doing so, including many, many writers. I subscribed to the notifications of about twenty established and newbie authors, to see what they were saying. I swiftly became aware that many were struggling to fill the space, while there was an awful lot of repetition of publishing news. If someone was prepared to express an opinion, taking a stance with a sense of humour, I opened their newsletters with a sense of anticipation.
Pinterest is an entertaining site, with wonderful images pinned on ‘boards’, but I was bemused by how it could be used to help a writer publicise their books. I came across the suggestion of adding one’s blog address to each ‘pin’, as a way of tempting users into checking you out; to make the pins more interesting, I added information about the image.
I put up a dozen boards featuring things that interest me, including art, nature, trees and wise words, including one board of my own ebooks. These pins were intended to drive readers to my blog—which has since mysteriously disappeared!
I backed away from developing these various social media profiles, for various reasons, including reticence about wanting to promote me as a person (why couldn’t my writing do the talking?), ignorance of the process and irritation at the superficial level people communicate these days.
Recently, I’ve decided to return to self-publishing, so need to find ways of publicising my series of Cornish Detective novels. One interesting aspect of uploading ebooks to Smashwords and Amazon, that hooked my attention is the use of what are called ‘keywords’ as a shorthand way of describing the plot.
Thus, my first novel in the series, Who Kills A Nudist?, would have tags of Nudism/ Murder/ Cornwall/ BDSM/ Supercars/ Smuggling/ Human Trafficking/ Firearms/ Organised Crime/ Surfing
It makes sense to take advantage of people’s interests via the boards, for if someone is interested in surfing in Cornwall, and is not averse to reading about kinky sex and murder, then they might seek out my ebook.
Do any of you have a presence on Pinterest?
Have you used your boards to promote your books?
What do you think of it as an idea?
Of all the photographs I pinned on my Pinterest boards, this one has been the most repinned—which says something about people’s need for optimistic images: