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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here’s another promotional tool that will drive you crazy. I just learned about Pinterest, where you pin up pictures online that relate to your book, your characters, the locations in your story, your vacation in New Guinea, your restaurant meals, or your life in general. This acts as an online pinboard that other folks can view. If someone spots a photo on my board they like, they can share it. You tell what the picture means and people comment on it. At least, this is my understanding so far.


But who owns the rights to the photos you post? What happens, for example, if I imagine a character looking like Richard Dean Anderson in Stargate: SG1? Can I just copy his photo off the Web? According to one person I asked, yes I can, if Pinterest attributes the source. In some cases, though, I’ve cut out photos from magazines of celebrities or people on society pages and scanned them into my computer because they look like my characters. Can I use these photos? I doubt it, because I don’t have the people’s permission. It seems safer to provide your own pictures.

This promises to be another time consuming promotional activity. I'd have to learn how to use the site, determine a theme for each board, and upload the photos. Do we really need more work to do? Or is this a great promotional opportunity we might be missing if we let it go? There’s always the pressure to jump on the next cart that wheels along. But hop on too many wagons, and you might fall off.

Oh, and you have to request an invitation to join this site. Then you register using your Facebook or Twitter account. This is what the site says:

How Pinterest Works
After you have created an Account (defined below) to become a Member of Pinterest, you may use the Services to create, view and follow visual collections. In order to create a visual collection, you may (i) upload images from your computer by selecting the "Add a Pin" section of the Site, (ii) use the Application to take and upload images, or (iii) install and use our "Pin It" browser toolbar to upload images, by following the instructions provided on the "About" section of the Site. Please note that your visual collections will be publicly viewable by all visitors to the Site and Application. In order to follow the visual collections of other Members, you may search for other visual collections via the Site and Application and select the option to "Follow" such Members.

Here are some tips, kindly shared by another author on one of my listserves:

So do any of you already participate in Pinterest? Or would you do it now that you’re aware of this site?


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