Thursday, June 10, 2010

Group Promotional Power

Bestselling novelist, non fiction author, and critically acclaimed photographic artist, Aggie Villanueva is joining us today. Published in her twenties, Aggie found local writers’ groups, the Mid-America Fellowship of Christian Writers three-day conference, taught at nationwide writing conferences, and published numerous writing newsletters for various organizations.

In 2009, she began the Visual Arts Junction blog, which in the same year was voted #5 at Predators & Editors in the category “Writers’ Resource, Information & News Source.” Now, under the Visual Arts Junction umbrella, Aggie has launched the VAJ Buzz Club – a club where members combine their individual marketing power, and much more, to create the ultimate BUZZ to launch each other’s books, products, seminars, contests, etc.

She’s here today to tell us about this new venture and the success members are having under her tutelage.

Welcome Aggie Villanueva.

VAJ Buzz Club: Group Promotion Power

The Author’s Promo Problem

As soon as that first book is published writers learn that we can no longer just sit back and sign books at events created for us. We are expected to be branders, professional bloggers, promoters, advertisers, event organizers, search engine optimizers, and the list seems endless. But I’d wager from what I hear that most writers hate promoting their books most of all.

Professional promotion companies are everywhere online, and they usually do a great job of it. But who can afford them? Obviously some can, but most writers are like me. There is no such thing for me as an advertising budget. There is barely an anything budget. Realistically we all know we will have to spend something for promotion, and ultimately it will cost our precious time too. But we’d rather be writing than overwhelmed in the marketing world we know nothing about. Even should we learn the basics, how do we get a list to promote to that is large enough to be effective?

Let’s Buzz Social Media Together

I propose blitzing social media with our book launches together.

Social media is THE marketing arena. Did you know that “1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.” July 30, 2009, Socialnomics. And that “Generation Y and Z consider e-mail pass√©. In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen.”

This year, 2010, Generation Y outnumbers Baby Boomers, and 96% of them have joined a social network, with FB and twitter still leading the pack. Social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web. If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 4th largest.

But the goal isn’t just banding together to launch to thousands of followers in our own niche, but to faithful followers in our own niche. What’s the difference? Followers become faithful when we offer them value, when we really care about them, not just selling our books. That’s when books sell.

For instance, I’ve relationship with my 8,300 twitter followers. How do I know? 99.7 percentile of my tweets are retweeted by them. One reason for this is because if you added all my tweets together, just the ones that offers writing and related tips, you’d have a couple of books. And this is just one way to create connections with them.

Let’s combine our social media reach. Social media made mass marketing available free to all. But it’s still a numbers game. Not just numbers for number’s sake, but numbers within the exact niche we want to reach; writing and writing related social media contacts. So, we join forces to combine our faithful followers.

The Solution

Most writers I know don’t have time, or the inclination to dig into the study of promotion and marketing. Fortunately this study overlaps with the resource materials I write for my blog subscribers at Visual Arts Junction. And I have a history of organizational/promotional experience.

Working to promote my novel and Visual Arts Junction blog, is where I realized how hard it is to do alone. There is more than safety in numbers, there is power in numbers; promotional power plus affordability.

After working for a full year to promote my novel, Rightfully Mine: God’s Equal Rights Amendment, finally in April, 2010 the book not only made the top #100 on Amazon (best seller status) in three categories for both for print and electronic version, it made #2 in two categories, and #8 in another. I took this screen shot to prove it to myself!

I began wondering, if I made this happen for my own novel, imagine how much further we could go as a group of authors committed to about an hour per launch to promote each other’s book/product/event.

So I’ve combined the tried and tested structure I’ve learned with some of my new ideas to create an innovative group launch club that costs a tiny fraction of what promotional companies charge. The VAJ Buzz Club is born, and it offers both free supporting membership and paid launch memberships. For full details (We are NOT a buy-each-others’-book-to-become-a-best-seller-club.)

With our combined social media followers and email lists alone, we create a niche buzz like we couldn’t dream of on our own. Already our combined numbers are over 44,000.

This innovative structure means you don’t have to learn a new marketing career after all. But still, you are THE BUZZ. Check it out.

For those who aren’t interested in helping with the launches of others, we also offer Promotion √° la Carte, Here you aren’t forced into bundles including services you may not need right now. You can pick and choose from our promotional service menu.

Stop by anytime to see how you would like to be THE BUZZ.

Thank you, Aggie!

If you’d like to know more about The VAJ Buzz Club, you can email Aggie ( or visit the Club website.

I’d like to hear from all of you on this idea. Are you already part of a promotion group? Would you consider something like this - either joining or starting your own?


  1. I recently joined Visual Arts Junction and now I'm glad I did. Need to take the time to explore the site further.

  2. I could've used this for my series!!

  3. Banding together is an old concept, but it's being applied to this new world.

    Incidentally, while all of you are here meeting Aggie, I'm over on The Blood-Red Pencil. Zip over if you have time.

  4. There is such strength in numbers. If I were promoting a book, I'd definitely consider this.

  5. Very true, Joanne. It's an old concept applied to new technology!

  6. Wonderful idea. Thanks, Helen. I'm zipping over now...

  7. Sounds like a great idea! I'll check out the site. Thanks :)

    BTW, Helen, I already read the article on Blood REd Pencil. Good stuff. I have some technical questions about I can never get my pic to post in the follower feed. Do you know how to do that?

  8. Jenn, I found you. You're listed as a Follower of The Blood-Red Pencil. You must have joined a while ago. I scrolled through the followers and found you about 15 pages deep. And your picture is showing.

  9. What a great idea. I think the concept of a blending together media really makes sense, especially now. Thanks, Helen and Aggie.

  10. I'm going to check this out. Promotion is time consuming but so necessary. And Aggie is right. I dread doing it.

  11. Since I love to speak and read in public, the actual doing of the promotion doesn't bother me - it's the planning and calling and mailing and figuring out what to do that's intimidates me.

  12. The pub house I work for as and editor and also pub most of my books through now, All Things That Matter Press, is a great organization in that they/we do lots of cross-promo and help-each other out promotion things, really cool.

  13. Please forgive me all! I got tied up and as much as I wanted to be here earlier, I coudln't. Thankx for all the great comments.

    Alex, I'm honored you are subscribing to VAJ. Let me know if you need anything.

    L. Diane Wolfe, what series is that? I'd like to hear more about it.

    Helen is absolutely right. I don't think businesses or artists would be as far as we've all come if banding together were't always the way of it! Let's keep it up. We're in this together!

    Thank you Joanne. I believe in our group strength too!

    Jenn, hope to you see you there.

    You're welcome, Tali. As Helen says, the old concepts work!

    Susan, you're not alone in your dread. It's field-wide, I believe.

    I agree, Helen. Just setting up interviews and reviews take weeks of our time. But the actual doing the interviews is great fun.

    Hey Old Silly, I totally agree. Cross promotion is great for everyone involved, and a great plus is making so many wonderful friends.

  14. So glad you could stop by, Aggie. Welcome!

  15. I am the poorer for missing most of the day. Thank you again for having me as a guest, Helen. You are a wonderful host, and your readers so attentive. I couldn't have enjoyed this more.

  16. I'm late for the party, but this is great! Aggie, I'm heading over to check this out. Thank you Helen, for being so cool.

  17. Hi Simon. That's great. See you there! If you need anything else, just ask.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...