Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Pin is Worth a Thousand Words

I just discovered Pinterest and I am totally hooked!

So what is Pinterest?  It’s a social media site where users primarily share images rather than text like on Facebook and Twitter.  Every Pinterest user has a set of virtual bulletin boards where they can electronically pin images.  When you first sign up, you are provided with a set of themed bulletin boards to get you started, but you can totally customize your set of boards by renaming them, adding new ones, and deleting ones you don’t want.  They even start you off with a set of people to follow based on your interests.

The nice thing about Pinterest is that each image links back to the site the image was pinned from.  I try to pin pictures that are from websites rather than places like Tumblr, so that the image owner is credited and the information about the image is passed on, too.  When I click on an image, I want to find out more about it and I assume my followers do, too.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I started up.  As an author, I had gone into this with the idea of pinning images of my books and hoping to reach new readers that way. When I went into Pinterest and was presented with a wide array of images, however, I soon became totally absorbed in clicking on images that captivated my attention.  There were pictures of beautiful places, inspiring or funny quotations, fancy cocktails (like cake batter martinis-yum!), fun party treats (like vodka soaked gummy bears and cupcakes that look like tea cups), healthy (and not so healthy, but yummy) recipes, fashion (I love the dress that looks like a Monarch butterfly), useful tips for the house—and yes, there were book covers, too.

I set up boards for my books—a different board for my contemporary erotic books, for my other erotic books (futuristic, fantasy, shorter fiction, etc.) and my steamy (rather than erotic) romances.  I also set up a page for special offers I have available.  Since I have a lot of friends who write books, I started a board with books by my friends (like Julianne MacLean, Sharon Page, Vanessa Kelly, and new author, Coreene Callahan) and I’m still building that board.

It was fun watching the repins start, and soon people started following me.   Someone started repinning my book covers.  Every repin and every new follower was exciting.  I started looking around at other author’s boards.  Some authors set up boards for the research they’re doing on books, which seems like a great idea.  (I haven’t done that yet.)

Once I was all set up, I let myself just enjoy being on Pinterest and following what interests me.  I’m a little surprised to find that I seemed to focus on fingernails and polish.  I’ve always been a bit funky when it comes to nails and hair.  When my oldest son was in Kindergarten I started dying my hair fuscia, than later purple, sometimes blue, and more recently, vivid red.  (My son is just graduating from university now, so you can see I’ve been doing that for a while.)  I’ve always tended to play around with different nail colours.  It used to be really hard to find colours like blue in nail polish, and even black, but I’d manage and I’d use several colours or layers (especially with glitter).
On Pinterest, I noticed some nice pictures of nails and I repinned them, then explored the boards they were pinned from.  I kept finding more and more beautiful nails, and fabulous nail polishes.  The great thing about Pinterest is that the pictures link to the original site where they’re posted, so I wound up on blogs where I explored even more pictures and how-to videos and retail sources.
Okay, so now I have to worry that I might be going overboard, but it’s fun and I find it’s feeding my creative side, which is always good.  Also, I found that the pictures of nails I pinned started being repinned a lot!  One went to over 40 pins within an hour.  Clearly, other people like pretty nails, too!

The pictures I’ve included here are some of my most repinned pictures.  The first three are from (I really love her blog!), the fourth is from (she has some great how-to videos), and the last is from

Now I’m toying with the idea of doing a manicure to match each of my books and posting them on a board on Pinterest.  I had hoped to have one ready for my new story, Virtual Love, which was released a few days ago, but things went awry.  So feel free to follow me on Pinterest to see what I come up with!

And speaking about virtual boards, what if you could live out your fantasies in virtual reality?  That’s what my story, Virtual Love is about.  (Okay, I had to get a reference to my new story in here somehow!)

Control is what Jerette seeks when she enters virtual reality … until she is pursued by a mysterious stranger who infiltrates her sessions, turning her deepest desires into reality.

I had a hard time deciding whether to publish this as Opal Carew or under my pseudonym, Amber Carew, which I use for my stories that are not erotic.  In the end, I chose Amber because although it is very steamy, it’s not quite as explicit as my Opal stories.

For those of you on Pinterest, please share with us what you like to follow, what types of things you typically repin, and maybe what kind of boards you’ve set up.  If you aren’t on Pinterest, what do you think you’d be most likely to repin?

One lucky person who leaves a comment will win a free copy of Virtual Love (ebook).  Also, I am giving away an on-line jigsaw puzzle featuring the Virtual Love cover to everyone who leaves a comment.  (Bonus: when you complete the puzzle, you get a code for 50% off the cover price of Virtual Love at  After you respond, please send me your email and the username you used for your comment to OpalCarewFreeStuff @ with the subject: “March Totebags Blog”.)

If you’d like to follow me on Pinterest, click here: 
Thanks for reading,

Links for pictures:

Cake batter martini

Teacup cupcake
Butterfly dress
Nails – black with green rays
Black with two-tone flowers
Black and blue – matte finish
Black with silver starburst
Black, red, white

***Opal's winner for the copy of Virtual Love is Vanessa D!!  Congratulations!  Please email your mailing info to  Thank you!!***


VanessaD said...

I love pinterest and I am one of your followers. It is definitely addicting and full of awesome ideas. I repin lots of different things.. Places I'd Love to Visit, things that remind me of when I was little, things that remind me of home (i live in Florida but I'm from NYC), Fashion/Make-up/Hairstyles/Nail Polish ideas, Books, Food, Craft and decorating ideas, Dream home ideas and ideas for if I ever

ev said...

I've had my boards for a while, but am still working on building them. I head there and find myself going to others stuff and following the links, then realize I didn't do anything. LOL Especially recipes. Which lead me to AHHHH!!!!!

I just wish facebook would make it so we could pin directly from there, but they haven't. boogers.

Chrisbails said...

I must of missed this post. I have not joined Pinterest yet. I have had some requests sent and people telling me. I have enough stuff to check everyday, that I don't need another.