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Monday, October 20, 2014

Pinterest for Writers Tutorial - Part 2: Manage Your Writer’s Boards and Pins

Welcome back for Part 2 of my tutorial on how you can use Pinterest to enhance your work as a writer. If you missed Part 1: Set Up YourAccounts, Your Boards and Start Pinning, you can click here and read that. Also, the schedule for the rest of the tutorials is at the end of this blog.

fig. 1
fig. 2

Since Part 1 of this tutorial that was published five days ago, Pinterest has changed the design of their name and photo banner or heading. (fig. 1) It has all the functions the old one did, except it now makes it easier for us to find business help information. (See yellow highlight and fig. 2)



fig. 4
You can create research boards to help you gather images and information for your writing projects. Depending on the nature of the board, you can create them as either a public board or a secret board. For example, I have several fashion boards broken down by decade covering only those years in which I plan to write that are public so anyone who follows Zina Abbott Books has access to those images. (See fig. 3) . I keep these boards public so anyone who follows Zina Abbott Books has access to those images.

I have other boards I create as secret boards (sometimes called private boards). (See fig. 4) In them I collect images and information specific to a particular series or novel. Here are some of my secret boards. The boards underlined in red are for book series. The boards highlighted in yellow are individual novels. The boards that are not marked are general research boards. For myself, I use all caps for the book titles.

The following are some examples of some of the other research pins I store in my secret boards. 

fig. 5
1.  For Armitage, the second novel planned for the Golden Oaks series, one of my characters taught at a Southern military academy for boys prior to the Civil War. I still need to decide which one. I placed this pin (fig. 5) in my ARMITAGE - Private board, not so much for the image, but for the accompanying details. That pin may never go on any of my public boards for Zina Abbott Books. (I keep it pinned on my American Civil War board under Robyn Echols.)
fig. 6

Other research pins I might put in a secret board are images on which I might base a character or locality description. For Armitage, I selected this pin for consideration as a descriptive tool for one of my Armitage family members. (Fig. 6)
fig. 7

I create both public and private/secret boards for the same novels and/or novel series. A portion of the drop-down menu for Zina Abbott Books looks like this. (fig. 7)      

fig. 8

When I create a board, I make sure that in the description box I write the details of what will be included. In a board for a particular novel. I detail the book title (in capital letters) and my name as the author. If I know the publisher and the publication date, even if only the month and year, I may include that, too. That little lock icon means a board is secret board. (fig. 8)
fig. 9

fig. 10

When I decided to write the short Christmas story, I created a private research board. Note the basic details in the description. Even though this story is set in 1873, when I set the board up, I put it in the Film, Music & Books category instead of History. (fig. 9)

For one thing, not all of the images I pinned on that board were historical in nature. (fig. 10)

This is what my private A CHRISTMAS PROMISE research board looked like once I filled it with pins. (fig. 11)

fig. 11

Once I sold that story, I could change these research pins into promotional pins by adding the publication information to the board description. I could have done one of two things.

1.  I could have gone into the edit feature, updated the description and changed the entire board to a public boardHowever, this would not have put those pins into the current feed for either the pinners who are following my boards or for those who are perusing the Pinterest master Film, Music & Books database.

2.  What I chose to do was to create a second public board. (fig.12)  Once I did that, I had two boards, one public that was empty of pins, and one secret that looked like this. (fig 13)
fig. 13

Fig. 12

For some of the pins, particularly those on which I already had updated information on the novel, I transferred them from my private board to my public board using the Edit feature. However, for most of the pins, I wanted my followers and other pinners to see them and be exposed to my book at the time I transfer them to my public board. In order to get them into the current Pinterest feed, I pinned the images (complete with updated details I added in the description) to the new public board.

If you compare the two boards, you can see that some of the pins on my secret board were not placed on my public board.


To change an existing secret board to a public board, edit the board by changing the title (remove Private) and changing it from secret to public. click on the red Save Changes button. (see fig. 14)
fig. 15

You will end up with one public board. All your pins that were on your secret board will remain when the board becomes a public board. You will no longer have a secret board by that name. the disadvantage to this is that the pins will not go into the Pinterest feed to be looked at by followers.

If you wish to keep your secret board but also have a public board, create a new public board. Keep the description in the Description box as Films, Music & Books category. (fig. 15)


In case you accidentally pin an image in the wrong board, it is important to know how to get it to the correct board. You can do so without repinning the image. You can also use this feature to transfer pins from a secret board to a public board without repinning.
fig. 16

In this example, I have a Civil War image I accidentally pinned in my general History board. (fig. 16) Here is how to fix it. Click on the heading of the board on which it is pinned, which in this case is the History board. (fig. 16)

fig. 17

On the History board, locate the pin you want to move or edit. (fig. 17)

fig. 18

Hover the cursor over the image until the task buttons appear. Click on the white pencil button (yellow highlight) (fig. 18)

The pin is set in the board named History. (yellow highlight) (fig. 19)

fig. 19

fig. 20

Change the name of the board to American Civil War and click on the red Save Changes button. (fig. 20)

Now the pin is on the correct board. (fig. 21)

fig. 21
Be aware that you can edit a pin from a secret board to a public board, but you cannot edit a pin from a public board to a secret board.
For example, when I started gathering images for my novel, Family Secrets, I did not know about secret boards. I dumped all manner of pins such as the Vietnam War, war protestors, clothing, the war in Afghanistan, etc. that I thought might apply to my novel into my public FAMILY SECRETS board. 

The board was designated as a Film, Music & Books board. Those Vietnam War images, without anything in the description to tie them to the novel looked like they should have been pinned on a History board. Then there were the images about the war in Afghanistan (Everything or Other) and the red boots (Women’s Fashions) worn by Jennie’s friend, Kaylee. At least until I was ready to have them on my novel board with title and author in the description plus an explanation why they applied to that novel, they should not have ended up on the Pinterest master Film, Music & Books database.

fig. 22

The damage was done for those earlier pins. But, to make them more effective for promoting my novel, I decided to transfer many of those pins to one of my private boards. When I am ready to add a description  in order to promote the publication of this novel, I will pin them back on my public FAMILY SECRETS board.

Because I could not use the edit feature to get those pins from a public board to a private board, I had to pin them. First, I hovered my cursor over the image until the task buttons appeared at the top. then I clicked on the red Pin It button. (fig. 22)

fig. 23

On the Pick a board screen, I changed the board from the public FAMILY SECRETS board to one of my private boards. In this case, because I was so close to the publication date for Family Secrets, I did not create a new secret board for the novel. I chose to pin this image to the secret board for the Golden Oaks series. I clicked on the red Pin It button to pin it to the Golden Oaks Series - Private board. (fig. 23) That same pin was then on two boards, one public and one secret.

fig. 24
Next I went back to that pin of the red boots on the FAMILY SECRETS public board.. To remove the pin, I hovered my cursor over the image until the task buttons appeared at the top. Then I clicked on the white button with the pencil icon. (fig. 24)

In the Edit Pin screen, I clicked on the white Delete button. (fig. 25) that removed that pin from the public FAMILY SECRETS board.

fig. 25


fig. 26
Select a pin you wish to pin from your secret board to your public board. As an example, here is an original pin with the original description and source that was in my A Christmas Promise private board. (fig. 26) To add a description to a pin, hover your cursor over the image and click on the white button with the pencil icon.
fig. 27

In the description box in the Edit Pin window, I left the original description. After it, I wrote some details that tied this image to my story, including the title, author and scheduled publication date. (fig. 27)

Pinterest will only allow you to use 500 characters (including spaces) in the description, so choose your words carefully. When finished, click on the red Save Changes button.

This is what the pin looks like after editing the description. (fig. 28, left) You can also add the description when you re-pin a pin from your secret board to your public board. Hover your cursor over the image again and click on the red Pin It button. Select your public board for your novel. (fig. 28, right)
fig. 28

Or, you can hover over the image and click on the pencil button to reach the Edit Pin window and change the name of board from your secret board to your public board. (fig. 28, right)


fig. 29

If you do not set a particular pin as a board cover, the largest image that shows at the top of your board, it will change as you add pins. You can change your board cover so the pin that is the most descriptive of the contents of the board stays on top. To change or set your board cover, hover your cursor over the large image until the Change Cover button appears.  (fig. 29)

fig. 30


fig. 31
Click on the Change Cover button to reach the Change Board Cover screen. You can use the forward and back arrows to navigate between all the images on the board. You can also position the view box up and down to select the section of the pin you wish to be seen as your cover. After you have made your selection, click on the Save Changes button. (fig. 30)
Your new image will show at the top of your board as your cover. The other pins below will shift as you add new pins, but the cover will remain in place. (fig. 31)

fig. 32

You can create your own pins by uploading images from your documents files on your computer. To do so, click on the title or header of the board on which you want to pin your image. (fig. 32)

fig. 33

On the open board, click on Add a Pin. (fig. 33)

fig. 34

In the Add a Pin from window, click on Your computer. (fig. 34)

fig. 35
In the Upload an image right from your computer! window, click on the Choose Image button.

fig. 36

Search the images in either your documents or pictures folders  on your computer and select the image you want to pin in the board. (fig. 36)

Select the image and add it to your board as a pin. Be sure to tell what the pin is about and give your source in the description. (fig. 37)
fig. 37


The same copyright laws that apply to written works also apply to images. However, before you upload your personal images to your public Pinterest boards, keep in mind that most pinners ignore copyright issues. Even with a copyright statement in the picture, like I did for this image (fig. 38), your photo will become fair game to anyone who pins it to one of their boards.
fig. 38

For one thing, another pinner can remove the copyright notice from the description. If you use your photo editing program to put your copyright notice somewhere on the image itself before you upload it as a pin, unless you emblazon it across the middle which would effectively ruin the picture, it can be trimmed off by another pinner’s photo editing program. REALITY: Expect other pinners to use your images on their blog posts and other projects without requesting permission from you or giving you photo credit.

Pin your own images selectively. Accept the fact that you can consider them in the public domain once you pin them on a Pinterest public board.


This is number two of four tutorials on how to use Pinterest to help you as a writer. If you have not already done so, please sign up to follow both the Priairie Rose Publications blog and the blog for its imprint, the Fire Star Press  ( so you can catch them all. 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
     Part 2: Manage Your Writer’s Boards and Pins

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 is a fairly new “rose” who is writing historical novels under the pen name, Zina Abbott. Her novel, FAMILY SECRETS, will be published by Fire Star Press, an imprint of Prairie Rose Publications. It is scheduled to be released the last week in October, 2014. Her short historical western romance, A CHRISTMAS PROMISE, is scheduled for publication by Prairie Rose Publications in December 2014.


  1. My head is spinning, but thank you for continuing this series. I've always loved learning and this is not exception. You do make it much easier to understand. Doris

    1. Thank you, Doris. It was my goal to make it easier for others. Much of this I learned through trial and error, and had to go back over things several times until I learned it. I'm still learning.

      Robyn Echols writing as Zina Abbott

  2. This is so great! A keeper, for sure. I've already started using Pinterest, etc., for marketing, but your ideas here far exceed whatever I have thought about doing. Thank you! I think I'll print this off and keep it by my computer.

    1. Thank you, Gail. I'm glad you have found it helpful. When I get finished with the series, I plan to do the same thing so I don't forget what I have learned.

      Robyn Echols writing as Zina Abbott

  3. I started on Pinterest about a year ago, then became more series after a few months, and have grown to love the site. I'm still trying to find the best ways to use it. I've read it's a good spot for readers to discover new books. :-) as well as a great place to store your research. Your advice and comments are the best I've seen. Really wonderful! Thansk so much!

  4. I followed you over here to get the rest of the info about Pinterest. Thank you for all this information.

  5. Hi, I'm here from FB. I'm wondering why my little flower thing (the thing you click on to get that dropdown menu in the first photo) doesn't show the same options as what you're showing. My account is a personal one, set up some time ago before you started this tutorial. Is that why?

  6. I took your advice about using Pinterest as a story board for working on a new WIP and it has great benefits. Not only does it inspire me to get a collection of pictures related to my story line, but I have followers who get interested in them. I also like that I can write bits and pieces of the story in the box below the picture just to increase interest from my followers and focus my thoughts on the particulars of the story.
    Great tips, Robyn!

  7. Attention all Pinterest users…here is a fantastic opportunity that I have just discovered. This company is willing to pay good money to people who know how to pin on Pinterest.

    If you have a Pinterest account and know how you use it, then this could be your lucky day. Get the full story here: