Guest Post: Debbie Gonzales What’s With the Buzz About Pinterest & Promoting Kidlit?

By Debbie Gonzales

Pinterest is so, so, so much more than a quick reference for great recipes or DIY projects. The marketing potential on this dynamic platform is phenomenal! Studies show that Pinterest is the largest website traffic driver in the world. Thoughtfully crafted content has the potential of becoming 80 percent more viral than on any other social media platform.

When it comes to Twitter, Pinterest is three times more effective in establishing connections and building relationships. Yet, currently, the kidlit industry lacks a vibrant representation on the platform. We need to change that. I am eager to show you how.

To raise visibility on Pinterest, a marketer must nurture three variables – content, consistency, and community. Like a sturdy three-legged stool, each element supports the other. Fresh, relative, audience-centric content is the foundation of a successful platform – authentic messaging that is unique to your brand and intriguing to your audience.

Pinterest users come to the platform looking for something specific in mind. Because of this, literary pinners must shift focus from impressing and entertaining their readers to discovering ways to solve a problem or to meet a need. By consistently showing up with engaging content designed to educate, inspire, and motivate others, a savvy Pinterest marketer is destined to build a loyal following, one that frequents their website on a consistent basis.

I know this to be true. I’ve done it. You can, too.


I discovered the power of Pinterest in early 2018 while working on the pre-publication marketing campaign for my debut nonfiction picture book, Girls With Guts: The  Road To Breaking Barriers And Bashing Records, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Charlesbridge, 2019).

I wanted to try news ways to promote the book, so I studied the strategic principles and tools of relationship marketing. Along with tons of social media hacks, I learned about the community fostering effects of the e-newsletter, how podcasting exponentially magnifies messaging, and about the robust marketing potential of Pinterest.

I figured out how to launch the e-newsletter and podcast on my own and hired a professional to manage my Pinterest platform. I’m so glad I did. My Pinterest specialist has now become my mentor. Under her tutelage, I’ve become even more astonished by the platform’s potential than ever before. There is a learning curve involved in establishing and maintaining a Pinterest platform, one that is well worth the effort to master. Especially now, in these uncertain times, when traditional modes of relationship marketing such as school visits and book festival signings are out of reach.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Author Tami Lewis Brown is new to using Pinterest as a marketing tool and here’s what she has to say about the experience:

“Pinterest is a visual encyclopedia of ideas and can offer all kinds of different experiences, depending on your needs and interests. Parents, teachers, and other adults already use Pinterest as a resource for everything from popsicle recipes to anti-bullying techniques to bulletin board ideas. I write nonfiction picture books, and I love how Pinterest allows me to tap into that, to offer tie-ins, to build awareness and to promote interest in other books that young readers should know about.

“I have two new books, Perkin’s Perfect Purple, co-written with Debbie Loren Dunn, illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Oct. 6, 2020)  and Art Is Life, illustrated by Keith Negley (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Dec. 1, 2020)  coming out this fall. and it would be challenging (to say the least) to get the word out without Pinterest.”

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Like Tami, I’d like to invite you to consider how you might promote your work on Pinterest. Explore creative ways to connect with your audience. I’ll be sharing a couple more posts to help you do just that.

Until then, take some time to examine Tami’s Pinterest platform then ask yourself the following questions (Take notes, if you’d like. They could become in useful as you apply the information presented in the upcoming blog posts):

  • Instead of merely showcasing your book cover and purchasing information, are there ways you might encourage more engagement with your topic and, perhaps, yourself?
  • List ways you might be able to educate your audience about your topic or services you offer.
  • Is there an inspirational way to create content founded on your messaging that might encourage, uplift, or simply brighten someone’s day?
  • Consider ways to keep your branding solid but your message fun and fresh.

Your response to these statements can become the foundation for the first leg of your Pinterest stool – content!

Then, by consistently posting pins crafted with your audience’s needs in mind you, too, can slowly-but-surely build a vibrant community on your engaging Pinterest marketing platform.

You’re off to a great start!

Cynsational Notes

Next up: Debbie discusses personal versus business Pinterest accounts.

Debbie Gonzales is an author, a career educator, and a Pinterest marketing specialist. Being passionate about the marketing potential of Pinterest, Deb delights in leading on-line or in-person workshops, managing client platforms, and coaching Pinterest users in one-on-one sessions.

She has created and established the Guides by Deb website, a free resource consisting of over 300 standards-aligned teacher guides crafted for some of the finest kidlit books in the industry.

Deb is the author of Girls With Guts: The  Road To Breaking Barriers And Bashing Records. She earned her MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Visit Cynthia Leitich Smith on Pinterest.