Lord of Columbia Series

The Story of Columbia

Free Book Promotion Ideas: How I’m Using Pinterest to Promote Lord of Columbia

Lord of Columbia Pinterest

Promoting and marketing a book or in my case a book series can be an expensive endeavor. The greatest book promotion and book marketing services can be expensive, with a price tag easily reaching hundreds if not thousands. While advertising and marketing are great and should be done, if one is just starting out with a limited budget it can be, well, quite difficult. This is especially true if an author is barely making ends meet with side hustles and seasonal work to get by. To counter this, we need to find as many free book promotion ideas as possible that will help us indies gain exposure, especially in our early days.

I already went over one free promotional tactic I used in last week’s article regarding my free book giveaways to my first 200 email subscribers.

So, I’m now going to share my own experience today with a website that has garnered my plenty of traffic on this blog’s sister site, My Freedom Flame. Pinterest was my latest discovery in November 2018 and I’ve since never looked back, sharing each and every blog post I’ve written since November on Pinterest and I continue to do so.

What Drew Me to Pinterest?

Pinterest is great for creating a teaser for your book, which I decided to do for my own. You can create a board, save visual pins to the board that are relevant to your books, and bam, you have a little photo montage of what your book is about.

Pinterest is also one of the fastest growing social media platforms and more and more bloggers are turning to the social media site for their own business endeavors.

You can also create your own images on say, Canva, for instance and save these images to Pinterest. You can also, obviously, save your own images to the site from your phone. These days, one would be crazy NOT to start a Pinterest board.

 

Example One: Swords of Destiny

Swords of Destiny Pinterest

So I created a Pinterest board for Swords of Destiny, and a second one for Missing in Columbia. I want to take you through descriptions of saved pins that tell the story in chronological order without giving away the plot.

At the end of this section, I’ll share a link to the board so you can view it for yourself, especially if my descriptions make absolutely zero sense.

And remember, these boards should act as a TEASER, so don’t give away characters or character fates. Plant the idea of mystery in the reader’s mind.

That said, let’s roll.

One: Book Cover

Two: Silver-hilted Sword

Three: Forest

Four: Werewolf

Five: Battle

Six: Destroyed City

Seven: Luke Skywalker dueling Darth Vader

Eight: Another Destroyed City

Nine: Spirit World Quote

Ten: Spirit Threshold

Eleven: Ocean Sunset

Twelve: Female Resting in an Ocean

Thirteen: Life Quote Regarding Healing

Fourteen: Quote Regarding Death

Fifteen: Quote Regarding BiPolar Disorder

I’m definitely giving away the dark tone that captures Swords of Destiny, a deep contrast from the Harry Potter type of tone seen in Northern Knights, where one is introduced to a world of magic, fantasy, and always the uncertainty of an incoming attack from the enemy.

Swords of Destiny’s board is dark and many of what I came across are depressing.

Go ahead and see the visual here: Swords of Destiny Pinterest Board

Contrast Swords of Destiny’s board from Northern Knights’ board here: Northern Knights Pinterest Board

 

Example Two: Missing in Columbia

Missing in Columbia Pinterest

Let’s go to Missing in Columbia, which unlike its two predecessors forges its own tone.

One: Let’s start with the cover.

Two: Fighter Jets

Three: Endless Forest

Four: Trickster Gnome

Five: Golden Sword

Six: Pearl Sword

Seven: Kissing Couple

Eight: Pentacle featuring the five Stoicheions (Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Spirit)

Nine: Pentacle explaining the five Stoicheions

Ten: Tank

Eleven: Destruction

Twelve: Country Scene

Thirteen: Couple bearing a King and Queen cap

Fourteen: Fantasy Architecture Gates

Fifteen: Motivational Quote

Obviously, Missing in Columbia is the gateway between Trilogy I and Trilogy II. It is the bridge, and one of my pins symbolizes this bridge. There’s also foreshadowing involved as well, especially since the kissing couple strongly resembles two main characters. The golden and pearl swords also imply importance of supernatural ability.

Like Swords of Destiny, all my pins relate to the most important scenes in the story, but the tone is more of a mixture between light and dark, with motivation as well, in contrast to the innocence of Northern Knights and the doom and gloom in Swords of Destiny.

Take a look at the board here: Missing in Columbia’s Pinterest Board

 

Conclusion

You can also track your pin’s impressions plus your profile’s monthly viewers, where mine has seen between 1.5k and as many as 7.5k, depending on my frequency. Your engagement and saved pins will also be tracked, so you’ll have a clear visual on how well your board performs.

But don’t stop there. Share your boards across social media platforms and of course, blog about them as well, especially as your book or book series blog gains steam.

Sharing is Caring!

38 Comments

  1. I have really enjoyed reading your article. Pinterest is the best place to pin your boards on the thing that your really have a true passion about. I have really say a truth that Pinterest is the place to leave little teaser to get other to bit. And of course with the books that you have it will make anyone want to get the books. I have enjoyed that way you use Pinterest!

    • Todd Matthews

      May 6, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Hi, Claudia, Pinterest can do what other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram to an extent, can’t. And yes, you can really augment interest in your passion via Pinterest, and in my case, tease my reading audience on both current and upcoming releases. 

  2. Using Pinterest to promote your work is actually something I had not considered. It didn’t seem to fit in with my ideas for effective marketing. I am pleasantly surprised to find myself corrected.

    I joined Pinterest a while ago, but I have not done much with it. It kind of confuses me. Looks like I will have to figure it out.

    Thanks for the info!

    • Todd Matthews

      May 6, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Hi, Gwendolyn, I actually felt the same until I came across an article on Joanna Penn’s blog where she stated she links her book’s Pinterest ideas in the back matter of her work. That got me thinking about creating a teaser, and here I am, correcting myself as well! 

      Pinterest is VERY confusing when one initially embarks on it but it makes more sense in time. I suggest playing around with it in your free time and going from there. It will get easier but yes, I was just as confused. 

  3. Bobby O'Neill

    May 6, 2019 at 2:03 am

    This is a must read for anybody trying to self publish! In fact, I bet you could use this advise to promote a lot of art, not just books! Clearly it’s been working for you if you’ve gotten so many views on your pins.

    I wonder if there are other platforms you could use to promote a book for free? Or other places you could do giveaways and that sort of thing? Do you use social media like facebook or instagram, or do you think those wouldn’t work as well for promoting a book?

    • Todd Matthews

      May 6, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      Hi, Bobby. On Pinterest, you can promote any type of art, from paintings to even things like carpentry or sculpting. In the digital age, Pinterest is the one social media an artist must have along with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in that they’re essentially getting free promotion with each pin. And since Pinterest links visuals to websites, anyone who saves a pin that you create, especially if it’s your own work, now has a backlink to your site. You just can’t beat that. 

      There are numerous free promo platforms out there but none are brilliant. However, I’d say the best way to promote a book for free is to have a blog and link it to a Facebook page, Twitter page, LinkedIn page, Reddit, Goodreads, and Amazon Author Central. Now, you have visibility. I’ve also endorsed places like Medium to do the same as well, and even build some credibility on Quora, as you can link your blog to it as well. 

  4. Hi again, Todd! I see you’re still hard at work with Lords Of Columbia, way to keep on pushing out quality products!

    My fiancée is also a Pinterest fanatic, she has about 22,500 followers on her account, and it has been interesting to watch how fast her following grew. I think Pinterest is a great way to get your name out there, without a bunch of overblown sales tactics. Plus, it’s pretty easy to get the people that like your stuff on Pinterest to switch over and check out your other social media and websites, which makes it that much easier to get copies of your books into their hands.

    I’m always impressed by the effort you’re putting forth, keep it up! Pretty soon, we’ll start seeing these books on the shelves of every major bookseller in the country!

    Great success to you, and have a wonderful day!

    Bobby

    • Todd Matthews

      May 6, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Hi, Bobby. Yes, Pinterest is indeed a platform where one can grow a fast following. What really drew me to it was the potential one has to get their name and product out into the mainstream. I mean, you’re literally linking your blog to images, many of which I created myself via Canva, and bam, traffic, following, goals reached. You just can’t beat Pinterest these days. 

  5. Thanks for this walkthrough of how I can use Pinterest to promote my products. I like the use of elements of the book without giving away the story. I also realise that it is important to respond to subscribers in order to keep their interest, especially since it is a series that can grow to include many volumes. I am already familiar with Canva and will use your methods to get my business going. Thanks very much !!!

    • Todd Matthews

      May 6, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Big welcome, JJ. And yes, I wanted to hint my readers on both story elements while giving fellow writers stumbling across my page a decent walkthrough on how to really use Pinterest to their greatest advantage. My biggest advice? Blog like crazy, and you’ll be rewarded. I also like how you mentioned Canva, and it’s another platform I urge all bloggers to master, especially those like me who are in the business of creating their own products line, because we’re talking thirteen volumes in Lord of Columbia alone. 

  6. That is what struggles me is to catch people’s interest. Although I am not promoting books on Pinterest, I will certainly take these to heart and try to apply them into my pins. I do believe pictures are the eye-catcher, but I am not skilled in editing pictures and make them into covers, although I think you are doing it brilliantly

    Pinterest is actually the only platform I promote on my website. I should, however, use other platforms like facebook and twitter. I think that Pinterest is one of the best to promote anything you want. 

    • Todd Matthews

      May 6, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      Confession time for Todd! My Lord of Columbia covers are actually designed by professional graphic artists. But, my Neo Skyehawk covers are designed by me, though I do plan on, when I have enough Skyehawk novelettes up and running, to create a collection e-book which will contain a professional cover. 

  7. These are some great ideas for creating effective pins for pinterest to generate traffic. If you are trying to promote books then it seems you want to give an overall image for each book or chapter and then tell them what they can expect when they read the book. What has been your most successful pin that you have posted on pinterest and what was the image for it?

    • Todd Matthews

      May 7, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      I think you’re right in that aspect, Jon, in that you want to use your pins to give the reader a visual on what to expect in your work. I like using my pins for hinting the reader on what is to come in the books without spoiling the plot, of course. 

  8. This is great Todd, I have a Pinterest account but lately, I noticed that my view number is decreasing and I am asking myself why when I pin regularly every day? I heard that Pinterest is a great source of targeted traffic and I would like to get more viewers and of course pins.

    • Todd Matthews

      May 7, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Pinterest is a fantastic source of traffic, but I’d be more likely to pin every other day, as everyday pinning might drive others away, especially if one uses the more is better approach, which rarely works. I would pin every other day at most, if not pin once or twice a week. It’ll keep your followers and those who engage with you raring for more. 

  9. Thank you so much for your advice about pinning. I used to be on pinterest all the time, so I know how cool it is. I don’t know why I stopped. I was also trying to promote as well, but got discouraged by my competition. But I’m learning now, not to worry about it. To actually learn from it. I’ll check out pinterest again thanks!

    • Todd Matthews

      May 7, 2019 at 2:24 pm

      Never get discouraged by the competition, Buffy. I’ve always stated for every product out there, there’s a viewing audience ready to purchase it. Even though we may compete in saturated markets (as I do), always set a uniqueness to your product and you’ll find that even the most saturated markets contain small niche markets. If you expose yourself to that market, they will find you. 

  10. Great idea in using Pinterest to promote your books Todd as Pinterest is like a powerhouse for free traffic especially for those that are just starting out and cannot depend on Google to send people to their blogs. I make use of Pinterest and although there is still a lot I don’t understand about the platform but with the little experience I have, I have been able to send some traffic to my blog through Pinterest. 

    It is definitely a good idea doing this Todd and I am sure that you are already seeing the huge benefit of Pinterest.

    • Todd Matthews

      May 7, 2019 at 2:25 pm

      Hi, Jay, I like what you pointed out about Google. It will take time for Google to index your work, especially if it’s brand new and to be honest, Facebook and Twitter shares only last so long before they’re lost to time. Pinterest, however, is made of boards and those boards never really fade to the wayside, which is another reason Pinterest is the darkhorse king of social media sharing. 

  11. This is an incredibly great idea for marketers engaged in seeking new audiences for their products or affiliate connections. I see just how pinning a few quality pictures can produce an enormous amount of viewers. If you are getting that kind of response to your boards then it sounds like Pinterest is the social media channel that I have been looking for.

    How long did it take to receive over 1.5k impressions to one of your boards? I am assuming that you are able to set up a link to your website in order to capture interested audiences in your book. I will have to dig deeper into Pinterest as a marketing channel for my endeavors. I thank you for this review since it has opened my eyes to the possibilities.

    • Todd Matthews

      May 7, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Yes, I was astounded when I reached the 7.5k mark a few months back. Literally astounded. It didn’t take me long at all to get over 1.5k impressions. And yes, always click the ‘Save from Site’ option after clicking ‘Create a Pin.’ It’s confusing at first, but trust me, it really works wonders. 

  12. After you shared your experience with Pinterest, I am going back and work on it asap. I don’t know why I just don’t get Pinterest. I tried creating my own pin, it was confusing and ended having too many pins on the same topic. I have been utilizing Canva as well, at the moment is just for my youtube thumbnail. Congrats on your viewers!! Will start Pinterest now!

    • Todd Matthews

      May 7, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Pinterest is beyond confusing when one begins; it took me months to understand and master it, but I’d recommend logging onto Canva and creating unique images for your blog posts, then when you go to upload onto Pinterest, use your created photos in your blog. Click create a pin, then choose the ‘Save from Site’ option, and your created pics will pop up along with a link to your site. It’ll work wonders. 

  13. Marlinda Davis

    May 7, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Hey Todd! I really appreciate this guide about free promotion ideas on Pinterest. I also write books under a pen name and one thing I struggle with is promoting it. With so many other great writers in my niche, sometimes it’s hard to really stand out. One question though, do you think I should create a separate Pinterest account for my books or use my personal one?

    • Todd Matthews

      May 8, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Hi, Marlinda, you’re going to see some more articles like this in the future! And I get it; it’s not easy to stand out these days, but the reason why many authors fail to earn a full-time living on their work is due to lack of promotion. I’d use a separate one for your books if I were you, unless your personal one is already in your niche. 

  14. Hi Todd,

    I post most of my blogs to pinterest but didn’t think to add much in the way of any description or titles to the photos in the way that you have explained in your article.

    I will have to rethink the best ways of using pinterest. It is a great visual media, as you have shown here with your books, and as you say it is a good marketing tool that is free..

    I wish you continued success.

    Louise

    • Todd Matthews

      May 8, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Hi, Louise, it’s definitely a steal to use Pinterest and it’s so underrated, much in the same way LinkedIn is as well. While Pinterest is an image site, some users will still benefit from description, so you always want to keep that in mind. I also like the fact you can save pins from other users, and each time this happens the user is notified, bringing you even greater exposure. 

  15. I love Pinterest as well for so many reasons but I can see how promoting or teasing for a book or series of books would work well through them.  I think you’ve done a fine job of grabbing my attention and will do so for many other’s checking out your series board.  

    • Todd Matthews

      May 8, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks, Amanda, and you’re right. Pinterest can go beyond teasing and promoting much more than just books. It can tease photography, artwork, anything, really, as long as the user uses the platform properly. 

  16. I’ve always know pinterest is an excellent way to get some free traffic, but I’ve always struggled with how to exactly go about it because I don’t want to sound pushy as I’m genuinely trying to help people with my own website.

    I can definitely see how you can use Pinterest to “tease” the books and series you have, and I’m going to try to figure out how to model my posts after that.

    One question is there a way to make it so images on my website can be pinned? That would be really neat and since you have some experience I figured I’d ask.

    Again thanks for the ideas and hopefully I can figure this out 🙂

    • Todd Matthews

      May 8, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Hi, Josh, for each article I share on Pinterest I simply use a description and sometimes even a question to entice readers. Oftentimes, I’ll just copy my keyword description and maybe another sentence or two and leave it at that. I agree that it’s important not to sound like a salesperson, as it can be a massive turnoff. 

      Yes, you want to create the pin, then click ‘Save from site.’ Just copy and paste your site’s URL into the box and you’re good to go.

  17. Thanks Todd for giving an inspiration about marketing a book. Can Pinterest work for book with minimal illustration / design too? Also, my target readers are both male and female. I’ve heard that Pinterest users are mostly females, so will this also effective for males or should I find other channel to promote my book? Thank you in advance for your explanation

    • Todd Matthews

      May 8, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      Pinterest can, and yes, I’ve heard the same, but there are always males on Pinterest as well, just in a smaller demographic. To target men, I’d look for places online they tend to hang out in accordance to some of the themes and plot elements in your book.

      For Northern Knights, there’s a heavy political and sports background. In fact the entire subplot is a sport, so if I were to talk about my book at places in the cyber universe regarding sports and politics, my male audience is targeted. So far, more of my readers are female, so for me I can’t go wrong with Pinterest. 

  18. Pinterest is becoming more and more potent nowadays. There are people that use it to sell anything without even having a blog or website! You did an excellent choice using it to create a teaser for your book. I started exploiting it to promote my work but I couldn’t figure out how. With the help of your promotion ideas, I think I will have to give it a try. Thank you!

    • Pinterest is! For us writers, it can make the perfect teasers for all our works. I think it’s all about teasing the audience to generate some interest on what is to come.

  19. That’s genius Todd!

    With so many social media platforms to promote, one can easily overlook Pinterest. I used to share a lot on Pinterest but when I focus too much on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I tend to forget the other platforms like Pinterest – So awesome to know you’re on it too! Congrats on the 7.5k viewers, you inspire me to get on it again and get to work. 

     You’re probably the most transparent author I’ve ever met, love how you keep updating everything to us small readers. Best of luck on the Lord of Columbia series and thanks so much for sharing this! 😀

    • Todd Matthews

      May 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      I think Pinterest is very easily overlooked due to the fact it can be confusing for first-time users. However, once mastered it can definitely be a fantastic marketing tool. It’ll take one’s website traffic to new levels after some time, too! 

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