What Is Your Pinterest?

By Rachel Thompson | Blog

Aug 09
What Is Your Pinterest? by Naomi Blackburn, BadRedheadMedia.com, @badredheadmedia, social media

Please welcome guest blogger Naomi Blackburn. Naomi is an excellent resource for authors on how to market our books. She writes frequently for bestelling author Terri Guiliano Long’s blog Naomi is founder of the Goodreads group Sisterhood of the Traveling Books, as well as the Nordic Noir group, dedicated to discussing Scandinavian mysteries. This year, Goodreads ranked her at # 11 on their top reviewer list, in both the U.S. and in the world (2011 rankings). As a reviewer, Naomi is brilliant, insightful, and, as she puts it, “brutally honest.”


What’s Your Pinterest? 

On July 11, 2012, Rachel had tweeted some astonishing figures. Pinterest had out rated ALL its competition social media outlets, except Facebook, in usage. Granted it was for only one month, but could this be an increasing trend? One thing we know for sure is that Pinterest is another avenue for authors to market their books, which costs NO MONEY! As a person who frequently is approached by authors as someone who they can bounce ideas off of, I am shocked by the number of authors who are unaware of how to use Pinterest to develop their novel’s brand and get some free marketing to boot!

So, my question is “How do you Pinterest?”  In regard to Pinterest, one has to be very careful in “spamming;” unlike other outlets, Pinterest frowns deeply on self-promotion and it violates their TOS!

I think a good jumping off point is describing what a brand is. The easiest way to think of a brand is “Who is your book?” and “What are some key descriptions of your book?” Think of your book as a person. What would be some adjectives you would use to describe it?

So, with those questions in mind, you are ready to move to the next steps in your Pinterest profile!

Your Pinterest Profile:

1)     Develop word/words that describe the answers to the questions above. Make a list of those words. For example, does your book have a cooking theme in it? Boards focusing on cooking are a must! How about a Southern setting? Then, focus on Southern themes cooking, scenery/photography, etc. One of the best examples I have seen of this is the writing duo of Cecilia Aubrey (http://pinterest.com/ceciliaaubrey/) and Chris Almeida (http://pinterest.com/calmeidaauthor/)  These ladies write romances together and one of Cecelia’s key boards focuses on, well, let’s just say “the romance dance!” But it works for her board and she currently has 230 followers. What I love most about these ladies’ boards is that they have really figured out excellent key words to describe who they are and have found wonderful pictures to meet those .

2)     Develop boards based on your key words. Next, to give variety and not look like you are spamming, what are some words that describe you? What are your hobbies? Make sure to develop boards for “your characteristics” as well!

3)     Don’t forget to do a board for your book!

4)     Be creative with the names of your boards! Have fun coming up with them. People are drawn to the unusual. Use your creative genius in the marketing of your book…not just in the writing!

5)     Have a blog; the same concepts apply with your blog! Here are two examples of authors who also have blogs ad have made their Pinterest profiles work for them. First, Terri G. Long, author of “In Leah’s Wake” and author of the blog Terri Guiliano Long (http://tglong.com/site/) and, of course, our host, Rachel! (Ed. note: aw, thank you.) While marketing her blog and companies, she lets followers have an insight into her processes.

Explore Your Creativity!

One thing I love most about Pinterest that I see with no other social media outlet with a “funness” for creativity. I have only been on it for a couple of months but I LOVE IT! Have fun with it and go crazy, but do it in a controlled craziness that will introduce Pinners to your book(s) and/or blog.

What is YOUR experience with Pinterest and what are your thoughts on my tips?

We welcome your comments below!


Naomi Blackburn holds an MBA and has worked in the field of business development, sales and consulting for 12 years. A former social worker, she has helped hundreds of clients meet their life goals. An avid reader and top Goodreads reviewer, she comes to the world of books from a reader/reviewer’s perspective. She strives to help authors achieve their goals by teaching them to think of themselves as CEO/entrepreneur of a small business and helping them negotiate the business side of selling books.

She can be reached at ABOOKANDAREVIEW@YAHOO.COM.




About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(6) comments

Sherry Roberts August 13, 2012

Great ideas, Naomi. I first started playing with Pinterest because it was a fun way to do mother-daughter bonding with my two daughters. (We even have a shared board called Success for all the recipes that we like.)

Then I started adding boards about my books. At http://pinterest.com/sherryroberts/ I have a board called Drawing on the Walls because the main character in Maud’s House is a blocked artist who draws on walls. I have a board called Bookhenge II because there is a Bookhenge I (an underground library in a town banning books) in my novel Book of Mercy.

I also have started a board for a mystery I am currently writing about a yoga teacher. The board is called Maya’s Firehouse, and I am using it to inventory neat ideas to use in my book but also give a flavor for the book.

So writers can use boards for current books or books to come (really early marketing).

    Rachel Thompson August 13, 2012

    Thanks for commenting, Sherry. I love how you’re using Pinterest — as bonding with your daughters — that’s awesome!

    Have you checked out Pinerly yet? It’s an invite only Pinterest share site — offers analytics on the campaigns you create and even has a bookmarklet to make sharing easier than ever. I joined about 3 months ago and just got in today! But it’s worth it for authors or anyone creating a product or service to sell to the public without being super ‘salesy’ about it.

Jenna Roads August 30, 2012

Hello Rachel,
My idea was kind of like that of Sherry. I am a new author whose first book is being edited.
I did a board about my book called “Under A Painted Sky” which is the title. I pinned onto this board things about my book. The setting which is Albuquerque and the places I talk about in the book. I pinned characters who I believe might play the roles of my characters. I put a ring that was mentioned in the story and you get the picture, at least that is what I was hoping to accomplish with the board. I just put in the description it was a vision of my book.
I am just starting out and doing many things wrong, but have learned many things from you. Thank you so much for what you do.
Warmest Regards

    Rachel Thompson August 30, 2012

    Hi Jenna — that sounds awesome! I love Pinterest because it IS such a visual media and many books really lend themselves to it easily.

    The only caution I give people is, as with other social sites, be wary of too much self promo. We’re all very sensitized to it at this point and want to see a good coverage of other ‘things’ besides us hawking our own book (not that you are! just a caution.)…

    I appreciate your ideas and feedback on Pinterest. There’s so many ways to curate it which makes it so much fun. x


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