Using Pinterest for research bookmarks, and an update

First off, I have to thank Emily Witt for a recent post of hers which I read. It was primarily about music for characters, but she also went into using Pinterest for images for book projects. I’ve been hearing for a long time about how Pinterest is yet another great social media site where authors can reach out to their readers. All I could think was, “Oh, no, another social media site where I’ll be expected to spend way too much time reaching out to my readers.” AKA, another time sink.

I’m pretty good these days about not wasting too much time with social media (maybe too good), but when I saw the images Emily had collected for her WIPs, a light went off in my head. I collect oodles and oodles of bookmarks for the research I do on my books and stories, which then get buried in oodles and oodles of other bookmarks in a big long list of URLs and page names. So for the sake of experiment, while I was working on the last revision pass for Island of Glass, every time there was something I wanted to look up on the internet, I would pin an image to my board for the project. I haven’t done much searching for images that fit my characters yet, like Emily suggested, but I can see where Pinterest would also be very good for that as well. Right now, I’m just thrilled with the visuals for my research links.

I finished another revision pass of Island of Glass yesterday and sent it off to my niece today. For my next project, I’m returning to Book III of The Pendragon Chronicles, A Wasted Land. After printing out the jumble of scenes and notes I wrote in March, I made a Pinterest Board for that project as well and started adding maps and images. I love having all those images in one place! If anyone had told me a week ago that I would become an enthusiastic Pinterest user, I would have thought they were crazy. 🙂

And the way I’m using it now, it isn’t really much of a time sink at all. If I’m researching something anyway, and the article I’m reading has a cool photo or map, I just add it to the appropriate board.

Besides returning to A Wasted Land, I will probably also soon be tackling another publication project of my collaborations with Jay Lake, if I could only decide which! I’m also considering taking an incident from Shadow of Stone, the story of Gawain and Ragnell, and publishing it as a short story, making it permanently free as a kind of advertisement for the novels of the Pendragon Chronicles. I’m a bit worried that it might piss off readers who don’t read the description (I certainly intend to make it very clear that this is NOT new material). But I originally wrote that episode thinking I could try to publish it as a short story in traditional markets to drum up interest for the books. What do you guys think? Would that be ok? Or should I just finally write another Arthurian short story for the same purpose?

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4 thoughts on “Using Pinterest for research bookmarks, and an update”

  1. Pinterest isn’t a social media site for me. It’s where I find new recipes and things to do with my kids. Completely personal. That’s why I never thought of using it like you are. Definitely have to consider that for one of my next two projects (that I’ll start in fall).

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