Every writer needs avid supporters to help get the word out about his or her books
When it comes to marketing our book we need a group of loyal followers. They are apt to buy our books and will be excited to tell others about them. We need a platform.
Most writers cringe at the word platform. That’s probably why some people use other words. One person says tribe and another prefers community, while others say, street team. I prefer the word fans, which is short for fanatic.Yes, we all need fervent followers who are committed to our writing, our work, and us. But how do we find them?
Model What We Seek: To have a fan, we need to be a fan. Think about it. Look to serve instead of being served. Give without expectation. If they reciprocate that is a bonus, and we have found a new fan.
Share Freely: We need to give to our fans. This might be our time and attention. It might be personal messages via email, Facebook, and Twitter. We can offer them a nice discount on our book or even share advance copies for free.
Avoid Insincerity: No one likes a sleaze. Don’t become the used car salesperson of books. Avoid high-pressure tactics, false pretenses, and artificially limited time offers. We should avoid doing to others what we hate being done to us. It’s that simple. And if we are to error, lean towards humility.
Thank Profusely: We need to show our appreciation. We can do this with words and gestures. We salute them: privately and publically. We let them know how much we appreciate them.
Reward Generously: We can recognize our fans in the acknowledgment section of our book. We can mention them on social media. We can let them read our next book before anyone else. How about sending them an autographed copy with a personal note?
Many book promotion gurus claim we only need a thousand ardent fans for a successful book launch. Though that’s a lot, it feels attainable. However, I’ve heard success stories from authors who only have a couple hundred. And I listened to a podcast interview of one successful author admit she focuses on about forty true fans. She lavishes them with attention, and they propel most of her releases into best-seller lists, and she makes a full-time living from her book sales. Finding forty followers is doable.
Cultivating fans is all about being nice. Everyone can do that—and every author should.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.