Sunday, 26 August 2012

Pinterest: A Powerful Tool For Authors?

Dazzling or distracting?

No one could ever accuse me of being an early adopter of social media. I'd heard of Pinterest but I didn't have much of an idea about it until I read a tweet today which made me take a closer look.

To cut a long story short, I had put aside this Sunday afternoon to do some writing, but after opening an account on Pinterest that did not happen. Instead I spent the whole afternoon creating boards for each of my books and also for my WIP. You can take a look at them here.

I love this site for so many reasons. As a visual person I get a lot of inspiration from images and this site is brimming with amazing pictures. Since I started writing I've always made Powerpoint presentations with photos of characters and settings, so this is really no different from what I've been doing anyway, but it's more exciting when you can share it.

I was surprised to discover that Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site ever.  I can understand the attraction, but part of me worries that I'll now spend hours trawling through images when I could be writing. I really don't need anymore distractions. I also read somewhere that it's a bad idea to put pictures of your characters on your book cover because it robs the reader of the chance to use their imagination. Are sites like Pinterest and also book trailers doing readers a disservice by providing the images of characters and settings for them? Is this site just another exampe of image and spectacle superseding content?

It's difficult to tell what social media trends are going to catch on and which ones will fizzle out and die. From the very brief research I've done on Pinterest so far it seems like it could become an excellent tool for communication and collaboration between readers and authors. This is the direction I see publishing heading in, and I believe online fanfiction communities are the precursors of this.

What do you think of Pinterest? Is it a powerful tool for authors and readers or just another distraction?

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