Much Ado About Marketing

Courtesy of Majickal Graphics

I like New Year’s resolutions and setting goals. On New Year’s Day, while my husband and I recover from the previous night’s festivities, we watch football and I open the new desk calendar. It has become my tradition to sit with this calendar and copy, from the old one, the birthdays and other important events I will need to remember during the brand new year. I enjoy looking at some of the interesting things that I did during the past year. Then, I close the calendar and put it on the shelf with all the others I have saved. I am sentimental and not a little superstitious. Those who know and love me have used the appellation “hoarder”, affectionately.

Perhaps this is why I have gravitated to Pinterest. The collecting aspect of Pinterest interested me, a woman who has a climate controlled storage closet for thirty plus year’s worth of holiday decorations. (We found out quickly that in Florida one does not store blown glass ornaments in the attic. The paint melts.) The ability to store things, and not need more closet space appealed to the collector in me. As I developed my boards and became familiar with the site, however, I realized that Pinterest has the potential to be so much more.

Along with the new calendar I will, for the first time as an Indie author, be writing a formal marketing plan for 2013. I wrote these for years when I was in telecommunication sales. The big difference is that whatever ends up on the plan will have to be largely accomplished by—me. I don’t have a team of sales engineers or designers to help me realize my goals. There will be a few carefully chosen support people involved, but my marketing and promoting is almost entirely up to me. This is both scary and exciting.

Kat Brooks recently wrote a post about the basic social media platforms all writers should be on and you can read that post. I would like to add one to this list, and it is, no surprise, Pinterest. There are several posts here on IU about Pinterest, and I would suggest that you read them for details that I will not review in this post.

With regard to marketing on social media, I’m not sure that when an e-book sells we can definitively point to one place and say, “Eureka! I have found the key to advertising success!” This is why it is important to have a presence in a number of social media areas and to not advertise or promote in the same place all the time. What I like about Pinterest is that it allows you to show who you are to an unknown group of potential readers. It is a completely different network. It is not the writers you have known for many years, but a potentially important key to a more well-rounded social media presence. Please note the word potential. I have no definitive proof of beautifully curated, imaginative boards translating into sales. But, I will tell you about an experiment I ran on Pinterest.

If you look at my Pinterest profile you will see a board called, “Vampire Cocktail.” I created this board many months ago in anticipation of my new novel, “My Gentleman Vampire: The Undead Have Style.” My vamps drink fabulous cocktails and tango. I did not build this board in a day, a week, or even a month. It is a work in progress, as are the rest of the boards. Other than a brief update on my facebook page, I had not formally announced the book. I did, however, pin it on Pinterest with a brief statement that it was published. In 24 hours I sold ten copies. Some of the sales appear to be from a new group of readers, which I can tell by the “those who purchased this also bought” information on Amazon.

Before you rush to Pinterest to hastily throw together some boards, please consider this. These boards represent you, your interests, your hobbies, sense of humor, or maybe even your deeply held beliefs. Do not copy more than 5 or so pins from another pinner’s board in one visit. Do not copy a clever name of a board—make up your own. Show your individuality. Do check out my profile, follow me if you like, and watch how I pin. My board names are; Orchid Obsession, All Things Red, Black and White, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Let Them Eat Cake, My Style, Holy Handbag, Sublime Shoes, Tango With Me, and A Stylish Man’s Closet, to name a few.

Caveat: I really enjoy this sort of marketing. This is not everyone’s cup of tea. Many people will see it as a waste of time, but I beg to differ. It is exactly the things that make you interesting in a non-threatening, laid back way that sell your product. People buy from people they like, or at least from those they find fascinating. Are you interesting? Then, go to Pinterest and let your readers see why. Cheers!

Author: L. A. Lewandowski

Lois Lewandowski graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Political Science and French Literature. A passion for life lived well is reflected in her novels, Born to Die-The Montauk Murders, A Gourmet Demise, and My Gentleman Vampire, giving readers a glimpse into the world of the beau monde. Lois lives in Tampa, Florida. Learn more at her lifestyle blog, and her Amazon author page.

19 thoughts on “Much Ado About Marketing”

  1. Love this post, L.A.! And love your boards, too. I finally succumbed to Pinterest and now, when I can find time, I have so much fun with it. One of my favorite things to do is pin pictures of actors I’d choose to play the characters in a movie version of my books (as opposed to putting their mugs in a book trailer, which is a definite no-no). Several writer friends do this, as well– creating a vision board of sorts.

    Hey- a girl can dream, can’t she?

    1. Hello,
      I love the idea of posting good looking men!
      I recently read a post about how a marketer used a pic of Ryan Gosling to build his network. Fascinating stuff.
      I’m glad we are connected on Pinterest. I’ll have to look at your book boards the next time I’m on the site. 🙂

  2. Haven’t played around with Pinterest for a while, but it can be rather addictive for anyone who has a collector’s urge, as I’ve found out myself!

  3. I love the idea of pinterest, and you have awesome points that make me want to dive back in, but what have you found about the copyright issues? I know the terms of service holds users accountable for any photos they post that they don’t have direct rights to, and they say you have to pay to defend Pinterest as well. This terrified me right off the site. . . and I miss it.
    Do you only post original pictures of your own, or have you found the worry to be unfounded?
    I’d sincerely love to find my way back and play again.
    thanks for the great post too.


    1. Hi Frances,
      You are correct that Pinterest says they won’t take responsibility if you are sued for copyright infringement. I try to credit the artist or photographer on my pins, and will often ask for more info to give proper credit on pins without info.
      I have connected with a couple of artists who were thrilled for me to post their paintings with a link to their websites. If anyone ever objected to a pin, I would immediately take it down.
      I do load a lot of my own photos. I am finding the Pin It button featured lots of places. This makes pinning easy and safe–they have granted permission, right?
      I say go for it. Load your own unique photos, and pin those that you like that attribute a provenance.
      Check out my boards on the above link and Happy Pinning!

  4. You’re talking straight from my wheelhouse, only better. Great stuff.I love the Pinterest idea as well, but the fact that you sat down and planned, that’s the stuff of gold.

  5. Excellent post, Lois, and I checked out your Pinterest. It is in fact the first fully loaded Pinterest site I have looked at. It’s exquisite!

    I must admit that I have considered, with everything else that I do, that I don’t have time for another social media thingy; however, I do believe you have you piqued my interest, Lois. Now I guess I’ll have to find the time, somehow, to venture into Pinterest.

    1. T.D.,
      Thanks for the compliment on my boards. I enjoy improving them every chance I get.
      Your storytelling lends itself quite naturally to a board on Scottish fables, Scottish heroes, Martial Arts, etc.
      Btw, my friend is going to pick up your book. He was very interested in your story. 🙂

  6. One thing, Lois. If you add a cover of your book to Pinterest and, in the comments section, add a dollar value (e.g. $3.99), it shows up on on the upper lefthand corner of the cover of your book. Another advantage is that when people search in the ‘Gifts’ tab, your book will show up, as well.

    1. Thanks for the tip.
      I like the idea of it showing up in gifts. I have seen an increase in traffic to my blog and to my Amazon Author page without putting a price on the pin. I’ll investigate your suggestion. 🙂

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