4 Book Publishers Who Can Teach Your Business How To Use Pinterest

by Lisa Kalner Williams on Apr 16, 2012

Book publishers are often maligned for their hesitancy to move into the digital age.

But there are a few publishing companies making noteworthy inroads in online marketing through the emerging social media platform Pinterest.

Through follower interaction, emphasis on branding style, and busting the “myth” of the stodgy publishing house, the following four companies are dazzling both pinners and fellow marketers.

1. Vintage Books/Anchor Books

While Vintage does what a lot of other pinning publishers do — collecting book porn photos and witty quotations — it stands out by engaging in two-way conversations with its followers. Surprisingly, not many other publishers (or Pinterest brands, for that matter), have yet applied this key social media etiquette principle to Pinterest.

Vintage Anchor replies to Pinterest comments on everything from Jane Austen-inspired clothing to best drinks for book club nights.

2. Chronicle Books

Chronicle is well known for the importance it places on social media marketing. So it’s no surprise that the publisher hosted one of the very first Pinterest contests — way back in 2011.

To honor Pantone’s Color of the Year, Chronicle encouraged its followers to create their own “Tangerine Tango” pin board. The pinner with most creative (and accurately colored) pin board received a sweet prize pack, including many of Chronicle’s Pantone products.

Pinterest contests are growing in popularity and this contest celebrated color — a seemingly nonstop hot theme on pin boards — and also allowed for great cross traffic between its Pinterest account and its blog.

Chronicle has also used its Facebook page to drive traffic to Pinterest, as seen in this post about the staff’s “pinning party.”

3. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books

My former employer uses Pinterest to bring attention to their longstanding brand — but respects its community enough to subtly name its boards without being overly promotional.

For example, Houghton claims Virginia Woolf, C.S. Lewis, and Jonathan Safran Foer among its authors. But instead of labeling a board “Our Authors,” the company has curated a “Glamour Shots” board with black and white images of their most legendary writers.

To give pinners an insider’s view on how book cover designs come to life, Houghton created a Pinterest board to highlight the images that inspired the look of a recent publication.

4. Quercus Books

Through its boards and pins, this independent UK publisher gives followers a humanized look into bookmaking.

One of its boards features pets of its staff members. Another board showcases its ever expanding office space. (Being the UK publisher of the Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series no doubt helped this expansion).

The “Katie Piper Things Get Better” board gives followers an inspirational — and sometimes humorous– peek into the cover design and Amazon marketing that Quercus has done thus far on Piper’s upcoming autobiography.

It’s certainly too early for any company to master the art and science of Pinterest marketing, but these companies in the publishing space are making great strides toward that goal.

What do you think of these examples of publishers on Pinterest? What other book companies are worth following?

Image source: Shutterstock.com books and ipad

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Post Author

Lisa Kalner Williams is the founder of Sierra Tierra Marketing, a social media marketing company that provides social analysis, strategy, and instruction to writers, publishers, and educators. She provides social media news and tips to her fans on the

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

    Great article Lisa – I love how Scholastic use Pinterest too but I will check these out as well!  

  • http://twitter.com/sierratierra Lisa Kalner Williams

    Thanks for mentioning Scholastic, Donna. I once repinned a vintage issue of theirs with little Punky Brewster on the cover! 

    When you are able, let me know what you think of the other publishers’ work mentioned in this article.

  • http://natramm.wordpress.com/ Natalie Ramm

    Agree! I love following Vintage and Chronicle. Added Houghton Mifflin and Quercus to my pintrest feed. Thanks for the suggestions :)

  • http://twitter.com/sierratierra Lisa Kalner Williams

    Thanks for the feedback, Natalie. What other book publishers do you love seeing pins from?

  • http://att-uverse.webs.com/ Sharon thomas

    I have started using Pinterest for my business. I love reading and the four type of books that you have suggested comes handy to me. However this is the first time that I am coming across the Quercus books. Could you explain a little more on that?