Now, on to today’s post. Have you ever thought about who will buy your books when they’re published? Your grandparents? Your best friend? While both are technically sales, they’re usually obligatory sales. They don’t necessarily reflect the quality of your writing or the marketability of your story. In fact, most people won’t buy a book right off the bat without knowing much about it. New authors can be in a quandary. They don’t have the literary presence of established authors, so they often don’t have a fan base. But books don’t sell unless an author has fans. So, you can’t expect sales for your first or second book unless you’ve put in the work to cultivate a fan base.
How do we do that? Well, think about what makes you buy a book. Among the reasons are:
- Knowing the author. Especially as a writer myself, I want to see other authors succeed, especially if I know them. The lessons? Make yourself known as an author, and don’t be afraid to tell your friends about about your stories. I’m not saying be annoying and always talk about yourself. But, at least for me, it’s sometimes hard to even say I’m writing a book. Your friends might not be interested. But you could be surprised, too: they may become your lifelong fans. Make connections, face-to-face and on the Internet. Let people know who you are.
- Recommendation from a friend. If you are friends with an author, promote their books for them. It’s an invaluable service to them, and they’ll probably be willing to return the service. Word-of-mouth is one of the biggest ways to generate interest.
- Internet hype. I’m far more likely to take a chance on a new author when I’ve heard good things about them everywhere. When you hear something about this book on every other blog you visit and it’s trending across social media sites, you know it must have some merit. The process of creating hype begins long before a book is released. But to utilize that process, you must have connections. Which brings me back to my first point. Make yourself known.
Have you thought about cultivating a fan base? How do you do it?