Pinterest is an amazing tool for authors but only if used regularly. Unfortunately, pinning can be a major time waster and may gobble up the precious minutes you should be … writing!

One way to get around this is to schedule your pins a week at a time.

There are programs available that will allow you to schedule your pins. The bad news is that the ones I could find are all subscription based, starting at $10.00 a month and going up to $100 for noncommercial users. While that might be affordable for some, it may not be for authors on a limited budget.

The bottom line behind scheduling is planning. Remember the old adage: for every hour you spend in planning you save three in work time. If you take an hour a week to plan your pins, you can then pop in the pins every evening in just three minutes.

The best time for pinning is in the evening hours after 8:00 p.m. EST. So that’s your first tip. Plan your pinning time to fit into that period.

Here are the guerilla steps to becoming an amazing pinner!

1.  Create a list of pins, keywords, and #hashwords to use with pins.

2. Make a list of the different kinds of pins that you want to pin.

3. Create a spreadsheet or simple Word document.

4. Find the pins (your own) or repins and copy the link for each one. Put in your spreadsheet. Fill in the keyword and description for each pin.

Schedule a time every day between 8 pm – 1 am and pin one to five pins during this time. If you have done all the work ahead of time—collecting pins, keywords and composing description—it will take you no more than three minutes to pin.

While this is not as fun as having a program that does it automatically for you it gets the job done. If you set up a system, you will get the same results as paying for a subscription-based program.

Remember, even with a subscription program you still have to put in the time to find pins, keywords, and write descriptions. So, though you don’t have the convenience of having them sent out automatically, by making the process easy you are more likely to pin on a daily basis and get the same results as a paid subscription.

To learn about real book marketing strategies and to get a jump start on your marketing, check out the Authors Academy.