Friday, August 1, 2014

Do You Have Any Fans Yet?

A couple of quick notes: first, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I recently changed my Blogger username to Rachelle O’Neil. I love the name Bluebelle, but I chose to change to my penname before my audience gets any larger. This way, my Internet presence will be consistent across the board. And, speaking of Internet presence, I’m now on Twitter! I haven’t decided if it’s a good fit for me yet, but I’m checking it out! You can find me here.

Now, on to today’s post. Have you ever thought about who will buyTilting tower of books with attribution 2 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Now, I don’t believe you should go about all of your interactions as if they were just an indifferent business proposition. No, be genuine. People love honesty and realness. And that will endear you to them much more than always shoving your book news down their throats. Help other authors up without ulterior motives. Don’t make everything about you. But remember to take advantage of your opportunities. Fans don’t usually crop up overnight. They take effort to find and to keep. Learn to use social media in a way that benefits you and others. And make sure your quality is top-notch. Then you’ll be on your way to success.

Have you thought about cultivating a fan base? How do you do it?


  1. Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Rcubed! It's been my pen name for a while, but I decided the time had come for me to officially adopt it on Blogger. :D

  2. Yeah, when I started gaining a bit of online presence I changed my usernames everywhere, so I wouldn't get known by a name i wasn't much into. I think your pen name is great! I think you're right that the best bet for new authors getting readers is through networking ^_^ Good advice!

    If I ever did decide I reallly wanted to make it as an author, I would probably go about it similar to what I do now...try to get known a little bit in the writing community by creating content that other writers will share. Basically exponential growth through social media is a great approach methinks.

    1. Thank you, Laura! I'm glad you like the name and the advice. :) As for exponential growth, you're exactly right! It will take time, but,eventually, hopefully, our audience will grow. Thanks for commenting!


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