Using Pinterest to Promote Your Visibility and Sales

I’ve launched a Pinterest site ( for my Ross Carley mysteries and cyberthrillers. In this blog, I tell you why, and give you hints for establishing and managing your own site. I also discuss selecting Pinterest boards to put on your site – how to choose the subjects that attract readers. Then I share hints for managing the boards you’ve put on Pinterest, which includes integrating them into your other social media such as your website.

I write novels in the murder mystery and cyberthriller genres, so I selected Pinterest board subjects that reflect that. I want to promote my own books, of course, but also point readers to other authors in my genres that I’m especially excited about.

In my research, I read a great deal about cybercriminals, cybercrimes, the dark net, and nasty malware that is dealt with by, and among, three-letter agencies. Then there’s international cyber-espionage. All of this scares the hell out of me. I want to provide links to resources that will scare my readers, too.

After considering and discarding various Pinterest board topics, I chose four:

  • Great mysteries and cyberthrillers. I include my own books here, of course, but also those in my genres by my favorite authors such as Reece Hirsch and Ray Daniel.
  • Resources for writers of mysteries and cyberthrillers. Here I feature books on writing that have been especially helpful to me. (My latest addition is Ben Percy’s Thrill Me.)
  • Cybercrime and cyberterrorism nonfiction that will scare you. This includes nonfiction accounts of malware and cybercriminals, and of our own three-letter agencies, that keep me up at night – and writing! (The Shadow Factory by Bamford is the latest addition. It’s the history of NSA leading up to 911.)
  • On-location photos from Ross Carley books. These are photos of locations of scenes in my books, or locations/buildings/etc. that “inspired” something in one of my books. My protagonist Wolf Ruger’s office is in the Indianapolis area known as Broad Ripple. My Pinterest On-Location board has a photo of the building where his office is located. His favorite coffee shop, Java Joe’s, is located under his office (it’s actually a Starbucks).

Shari Stauch ( was the inspiration and driving force behind my getting on Pinterest. The four categories were partly her idea and partly mine, except for the on-location photos…Shari suggested that, and I’m having a ball with it.

Shari taught me a couple of things about Pinterest (or I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it):

First: To the extent feasible, point all your pins back to your own website. When creating a Pinterest pin, there’s an option to just click on an item such as a book cover and then, when you add it to one of your Pinterest boards, it carries the URL along with it so if someone clicks on it, it takes them to the website where you found it. Interesting, but not profitable for you. (You may still want or have to (legal reasons) do this sometimes, and I do.)  Instead, whenever you can, save it as a JPG file on your computer, then upload it as a pin and designate your own website as the URL. Bingo…they click on it and you have ’em.

Second: Regardless of your genre, Shari highly recommends a board with the real-life locations from your novels or stories, or at least locations that inspired the locations in your books.  Examples: I drove around the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood where one of my characters lived in Formula Murder. I found the perfect house, modified the draft description I’d written, and it became Liz Phillips’ house. Also, my readers can see where Wolf Ruger’s office is located, and out-of-towners can see the Athenaeum, a German-American landmark with the Rathskeller Restaurant, where at least one scene takes place in each of my books.

I’m having fun taking the on-location photos while collecting ideas for future books.

Visit my Pinterest site at:


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