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It's great to see authors promoting their own books and then helping others do the same. It's also fantastic to be in a community that supports each other. Aggie and I connected when I first joined Twitter in Feb 2009 and we have encouraged each other since then online, so it was great to finally speak to her!
Aggie Villanueva is a best-selling novelist, non-fiction author and critically acclaimed photographic artist as well as running popular blog, Visual Arts Junction. She has just launched the VAJ Buzz Club based on her own experience of promoting her book to #2 on Kindle in God's Word category.
In this podcast, you will learn:
- How Aggie was published by Thomas Nelson back in the 1980s, then how she freelanced as well as organising writer's conferences. She now runs Visual Arts Junction which is mainly for writers and it's where Aggie shares her information on promotion that she has learned by doing.
- How publishing has changed since Aggie started writing. There are so many options these days, including blending the models like traditional publishing and self-publishing. Aggie used Lulu for print, Amazon DTP for Kindle and Smashwords for other ebooks.
- How Aggie got into the Top 10 for Kindle in 3 categories. Her top tip for Amazon and B&N for rankings – submit to all the categories you can. You have a better chance in a smaller category than in “Fiction” or generalist categories. Do't overlook categorising it correctly (just as important as keywords and metatags on blogs).
- About the VAJ Buzz Club. It is group promotion, but NOT the “buy everyone's books to become a bestseller” hyped view. It uses mostly social media to promote. For people who don't want to do promotion themselves, Aggie also offers Promotion a la Carte. She is working on Carolyn Howard-Johnson's launch right now.
- Developing a faithful following on social media. You can judge this by the amount of RTs – check out RetweetRank.com for your ranking. You can also use SocialOOmph to set up revolving tweets so they are automatically posted every few days. Check out Aggie's post on this. Tweet appropriately. She also mentions Ping.fm as a way to synch your social networks (you don't need to post everything multiple times!)
- Social media is about giving and about being useful. People will know if you are not sincere and generous. Hardcore marketers are noticed quickly! You make contacts, learn things and you can also sell, but only by building an audience that is interested in what else you are tweeting about. Aggie also mentions Hootsuite.com as a great resource for learning Twitter.
- Here is the SocialNomics video that has recently been re-released about the prevalence of social media.
- On Aggie's creative art, and how she manages creativity (and sanity) in the midst of technology. Capturing a moment, make that moment come alive with the viewer. This is the same with writing.