“Just Write!” at Village Books

Village Books & Paper Dreams in Bellingham, WA, has a very vibrant writing community, and they wanted a way to reach that particular audience. So in January, they launched Just Write! eNews.

“In our first Just Write! we promoted a (first ever) Writing Group Meet, Greet & Match Up in March, and more than 40 people showed up,” says Amy Blackwood, digital marketing coordinator for the store, “perhaps because the first drink was on us, but we like to think it was their passion for writing.”

Because of the enthusiastic response, Village Books added five new writing groups to their calendar, and rejuvenated a few existing ones.

Blackwood says they also use Just Write! to educate the writing community about their regular ongoing offerings, like classes at their community college partners, writing conferences, open mic night, publishing tools, and their consignment program.

The eNews also features a “300 Words – Paragraph Prompt” – which Blackwood included for one simple reason. “It’s fun! In writing, we often get caught up in deadlines and pressures and meeting the needs of others, so I wanted us to return to our roots and take 20 minutes to free-flow write on a completely random topic. A brain breather, if you will. I hope it is a way for people to let go of expectations and allow creativity to just happen. To write for the sake of writing. As an added bonus, writers can submit their prompted paragraph to be published on our blog, along with their own blog link or website (if they have one and desire to do so).”

Blackwood says they chose the email format because of efficient targeting. “It reaches a very specific group of interested people in an efficient manner. We also use Facebook and Twitter, along with promotions on our website.”

To read some results from recent 300 Words – Paragraph Prompts, visit Village Books blog here.



Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay