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Friday, November 7, 2014

Pinterest for Writers Tutorial - Part 3: Enhance Your Novel Release Party Using Pinterest

Welcome to the Fire Star Press blog for the third Pinterest Tutorial for Writers - Part 3: Enhance Your Novel Release Party Using Pinterest

If you missed the first two Pinterest tutorials for writers, you may find them by clicking on the following name of the tutorial which will link you to the original post:

1.  Part 1: Set Up Your Accounts, Boards and Start Pinning (Prairie Rose Publications blog)

2.  Part 2: ManageYour Writer’s Boards and Pins (Prairie Rose Publications blog)

Many writers have conducted successful release parties over the years and have a system that works for them. Facebook has proven very effective as a venue for conducting an online release party. Also, blog posts offering descriptions, excerpts, buy links and prizes such as a free copy of the book are another option. I will discuss that more on the last tutorial. Among the options available, whether you are using Facebook, a blog or another form of online promotional communication, is that you can use Pinterest images and links to enhance your book release party. For this tutorial, I am focusing on the release parties often held on Facebook

The value of Pinterest is in the visual appeal or clarification that comes with viewing an image. Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Let those pictures help you sell your written words

I assure you that I am not the one who came up with the idea of creating boards for each novel, and using the pins on a novel board in a release party. I am taking what I've learned from others, adding a few organizational tips of my own and passing it along.

I became sold on this idea after attending a few book release parties on Facebook that I felt were effective because they shared images that related to their books. For example, while reading a particular novel, from the description of one of the dresses, I thought I could visualize that dress in my mind. It didn’t stick in my memory. I later saw the Pinterest pin of the dress on which this description was based. It made the dress more memorable. The author also shared the image of this dress as part of her release party. It sparked interest in the book and the character who wore the gown. I don’t remember all the clothing described in all the many novels I have read recently. But, I remember that dress, the novel it came from and the name of the author because I SAW THE PICTURE OF THE DRESS.

The number of images from Pinterest you use depends on how long your release party...or your portion of a joint promotional event...will last. It also depends on your individual style. It is better to have more images prepared to share than what you think you will want or need. On the day of the release party, you can always pick and choose based on the interest and the flow of attendee comments.

Figure 1
Assuming you are writing fiction, here are some aspects or elements of your novel to keep in mind as you first gather pins on Pinterest and then choose which ones to share with your potential readers at your release party. Select the ones you think will spark the most interest:

1. Setting
Do you have a picture of the locality in which your story takes place? The countryside? A town? A building? A room? Add a Pinterest image along with a brief description. (See Figure 1) You can use the description you added to your pin at the time you pinned it on your public board. Or, you can compose a brief description for your release party and, if you choose, add it to your pin later. As with all your images from Pinterest, you may want to also include a link to your Pinterest novel board so your release party attendees can easily find your pins.
Figure 2

2. Characters - Did you use an image of a person you found on Pinterest on which you based the description of one of your characters? Share it at your release party. If not, how about an item of clothing or a clothing accessory for one of your characters? Share the image along with a brief comment about how or why it relates to your book.(See Figure 2)
Figure 3

3.  Plot
Do you have any Pinterest pins that describe some aspect of the plot or storyline? How about an unfamiliar vehicle, piece of equipment or plant--anything that is involved in moving the story forward? Share the picture, especially if it is unusual, hard to describe or unique in some way. Include a description of how it relates to the storyline of your novel. (See Figure 3)

 Have you written a blog post or other internet article with pictures and research information that support your novel? You can put the link for the article directly into your comments box. Or, after you have pinned that article to Pinterest (directions on how to do that will be included in the next tutorial), you can show the Pinterest pin of the image that corresponds to that blog post along with the link to your Pinterest site. That way, your party attendees know they can always go to your Pinterest novel board to find that blog post. (See Figure 4)
Figure 4

There is also a concept well-known among sales people often expressed as W.I.I.F.M.? That acronym stands for “What’s In It For Me?” Some release party attendees just like to chat, but others hope to get something out of taking the time and making the effort to attend your book release party. Some hope to win a free copy of the featured book or another prize you may offer. Not everyone can win those prizes. However, you can satisfy the WIIFM? desire for everyone who attends by offering something that all attendees may use if they so choose.

To satisfy WIIFM?, some writers add links to special music or a You-Tube video for entertainment. Other writers share recipes either by posting a link to a favorite recipe on an internet site or by copying and pasting one of their own recipes into a comment box.

Another option is to share one of the recipes you have pinned to your novel board on Pinterest, especially if it relates to your book.

Along with the image, you can add the link to your board so party attendees can easily find the pin for the recipe. From there they can click through to the source with the complete recipe. If they choose to not print out or save the recipe to their computer at the time of the party, they know they can always go to your Pinterest board and find it. (See Figure 5)

Figure 5

Figure 6

Same thing with how-to tutorials. Do you possibly have seamstresses, quilters or craftsmen among your party attendees? Offer them a picture of a pin with a DIY (do it yourself) project which has a link to the online location where they can find directions for that project. This is especially effective if the project relates to your novel, such as this tote bag that Jennie in Family Secrets used to carry her digital recorder and questions for an oral interview with her Grandpa Mike. (See Figure 6)



With a little advance planning, you can keep everything organized and accessible the day of your release party.

Figure 7

 1. Set up a folder for your images and script for the release party. I put my release party folder, clearly labeled, on my computer desktop so it was easy to find. (See Figure 7) Once the party was over, I moved it to my My Documents folder. 

Figure 8

2.  Select the Pinterest images you want to use for your release party and put a copy of them in your release party folder. You can also add digital images from your own collection and add them to your Pinterest board after the release party.

Decide on the order in which you want to present them at your party. As part of the image name, put a number in the front so that they are organized in presentation order in your folder. (See Figure 8)

3.  Open a Word document and create a script. Set up your script however it makes sense and is comfortable for you. I set my margins to narrow and made three columns to a page.

For each image you use, type a number on the word document. From your release party folder, insert the thumbnail of the numbered picture that corresponds with the typed number on the script. Next, type a short description for that image. You can use part or all of the description you already added to the pin when you placed it on your Pinterest novel board. Or, you can write up a description and add it to your pin after the party.(See Figure 9)

On the day of the release party, you can add an image to a Facebook comment box and then, from your script, copy and paste the description that goes with it. If you decide on the day of the party to reword your comment, no problem. The script merely gives you something with which to work.

Once you have completed your script, save the Word document to the release party folder so everything stays together.
Figure 9
4.  The day of the release party, Have three things open on your computer before the event starts:
     a.  Facebook - Go to the page on which the event will be held
     b.  The release party folder with the images
     c.  The script on the Word document .

Along with participating in the discussion, responding to questions or “liking” comments, you can keep your release party moving by pulling Pinterest images from your release party folder and descriptions from your script. Based on the flow of response from attendees, use as many or as few images and descriptions as you feel will enhance your event.

In the end, leave a link to the Pinterest board you created for your novel on your release party site, either in a post pinned to the top or in a comment box. Invite your party attendees to follow not only the board for the novel you are promoting, but all of your writing boards. The more your readers see as well as read about your books, the greater the chance they will become enthused about what you have to offer and be motivated to buy your books.

The Fire Star Press imprint of Prairie Rose Publications was created as a publishing company devoted to publishing contemporary, futuristic, paranormal and fantasy works of all lengths. For those who are not familiar with what has already been published by Fire Star Press, we are featuring the eight works currently available in a little post-release presentation. You can click on each title to be directed to the Fire Star Press website for a complete description, an excerpt and purchase links.

THE WISHING TREE by Cheryl Pierson

Will a special tree–a wishing tree–contain enough magic to fulfill all their Christmas desires?


From Vietnam to Afghanistan, how many secrets can one family keep?

WHITE CHRISTMAS by Cheryl Pierson

A firefighter--an ER nurse--and holiday sparks!


A generous demon gets the surprise of his “life” when the human he tries to help on Halloween shows him the meaning of The Darker Side of Goodness.

A HEART FOR A HEART by Cheryl Pierson

Home safe from Iraq only to face a war for his heart.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER by Cheryl Pierson

A gypsy fortune teller predicts a new love with a big surprise for Fireman Gage Ross and Cindy Taylor, two people who have both sworn to remain single ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

SWEET DANGER by Cheryl Pierson

Love and Bullets at First Sight.

CAST AWAY HEART by Sarah J. McNeal

An abandoned piano, rejected. Love and hope....

If you have not already done so, please sign up to follow the Fire Star Press blog in order to be notified of new releases and receive blog posts written by the Fire Star Press publishers and guest authors.

As stated in the beginning, this is number three of four tutorials on how to use Pinterest to help you as a writer. For the last tutorial, we will see you back on the Prairie Rose Publications blog. 

Those tutorials that are past are linked below. Here is the schedule:

1.  Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Prairie Rose Publications blog

2.  Monday, October 20, 2014 - Prairie Rose Publications blog

3.  Friday, November 7, 2014 - Fire Star Press blog
     Part 3: Enhance Your Novel Release Party Using Pinterest

4.  Monday, November 17, 2014 - Prairie Rose Publications blog
     Part 4: Add Pinterest to Your Blog and Website

Robyn Echols writes using the pen name, Zina Abbott. Her novel, FAMILY SECRETS, has been published by Fire Star Press and is now available. Her short historical western romance, A CHRISTMAS PROMISE, was recently published by Prairie Rose Publications.

Pinterest board for FAMILY SECRETS by Zina Abbott

Pinterest board for A CHRISTMAS PROMISE by Zina Abbott


  1. Thanks.for all the great advice and ideas, Robyn!

    1. Glad you enjoyed my ideas on how to use Pinterest, Tracy. I'm more than a little late in responding to posts, but I want you to know I appreciate your feedback. The more I learn about Pinterest and what I can do with it, the better I like it. Robyn aka Zina Abbott

  2. Since I am a Pinteresr addict, I had to trace over here and see what you had to say about using Pintetest for promotion of a new release. What a clever idea to pin pictures of places, objects, people that are associated with a new release.
    I'm so glad I came over and read your blog, Robyn. I may have to copy it to use as reference later, too. Now all those hours I spend browsing on Pintetest can be put to good use at last.
    All the very best to you.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I appreciate knowing these ideas I have shared are helpful. The more helpful ways I find for using Pinterest, the better I like it.

      Robyn aka Zina Abbott

  3. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to impart your experience and wisdom. A gift to all of us. Doris

  4. Robyn....What a fabulous idea. This was a great post. Appreciate your thoughts and advice!

    1. Thank you, Penny. I'm sorry I took so long to respond -- still not used to checking for comments and I got distracted with other projects. Like I said, I mostly took what I learned from others and passed it along. I'm happy to know it was helpful.

      Robyn aka Zina Abbott

  5. are amazing. I can't believe anyone can be so well-organized. This is marvelous. It's going to require some study from me to be able to implement. Thank you so much for putting this all together so we can see how it's done!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I appreciate the opportunity to share this information on the PRP and FSP blogs. I hope they are as helpful to others as it has been helpful and informative to me as I learned about and organized this information so I could present it to others.