The Definitive Guide to Building a Solid Fan Base for Authors

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There are about 600,000 to 1 million new books published in the US every year.

Do you know what this means for new authors?

A very slim chance of getting their work recognized!

An average book published in the US sells even less than 200 copies in a year and no more than 1,000 to 3,000 copies in its lifetime. Do you want your book to meet the same fate? Certainly not!

Writing a book is anything but easy. It takes numerous sleepless nights, nonstop brainstorming, multiple rewrites, social isolation for several weeks or months, and (often) an overdose of caffeine to create a book. You don’t want the work that you have put your heart and soul into creating to get lost in the overcrowded and highly competitive book industry.

What to Do to Get Your Work (Book) Noticed and Recognized?

The age-old advice that quality speaks for itself doesn’t work in the book industry (not now, at least). This is not to deny the importance of quality. However, the dynamics of the book industry are different.

While the quality of your work does matter, it’s simply not enough. No matter how amazing your writing style or contents are, they won’t serve any purpose if your book doesn’t get sold.

There’s plenty of advice available out there on how you can get your book its due share of recognition and appreciation, but nothing guarantees result. The only foolproof method to ensure that your book will be sold and appreciated is to build a solid fan base for yourself (your work).

How to Build a Strong Fan Base for Your Book(s)?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to building a fan base for yourself as an author:

1.      Know Your Greatest Fan

Don’t be surprised. We’re not talking about your real fans here; we’re referring to your ideal imaginary fan. Creating a buyer’s persona has long been standard practice in the business world. We recommend every author to do it as well.

Identify your ideal reader/fan and describe them. Give your fan a name and a background. Identify their age group, gender (if you believe it’s relevant), lifestyle, reading habits, and preferred place(s) to shop books from. Consider what could have possibly attracted that person to your book and why they had fallen in love with your work.

Once you have a detailed bio of your ideal or greatest fan, think about where and how you can find others like that person.

This small practice will give your marketing efforts a direction. It’s similar to identifying your target audience but much more focused and targeted.

2.     Outline Your Marketing Plan

Leave the financial and logistical aspects of marketing aside; for now, focus on identifying the best promotional techniques for your book.

The internet is flooded with tips and recommendations on which marketing techniques work the best for authors. As tempted as you may feel to follow as many (if not all) of those suggestions as possible, hold yourself back.  Don’t bring too much on your plate!

Again, the wise approach is to narrow your focus and choose a few tasks proven to be effective, and you’re able to pull off successfully. Don’t try your hands on things that you’re not capable of or have the skills and/or time to do properly. Hire a book writing service for them. Many book writing services also offer a range of book marketing services. Find one such reliable and reputable company and hand over the remaining tasks to them.

To help you guide through this process, here are some of the must-do things to promote your book:

  • Create the author’s website
  • Start a blog with a detailed blogging strategy
  • Build a mailing list and spread the word through emails
  • Get active on social media

3.     Make Yourself Known

While all the promotional techniques that we have listed in the previous section serve the same purpose, establishing a personal connection with your target audience and other writers is the best way to make yourself known in the book world. Engage with people on social media – start and participate in conversations, join online communities of writers and readers, answer people’s queries on platforms like Quora and Reddit, and join book clubs. All these practices will increase your visibility in the digital world, help you establish connections, and establish your authority, which will provide you a solid ground for introducing your book.

You can also use relevant hashtags to get discovered on social media.

4.     Read, Appreciate and Recommend Others’ Works

Read other authors, review their work (beware not to be too harsh), appreciate good work, and recommend books to your audience. This may appear to be a counteractive strategy, but it is a great way to grow your audience, build trust, and make people coming back to you.

5.     Avoid Blatant, In-Your-Face Self-Promotion

Building a fan base for yourself as an author is as much about staying away from wrong practices as it is about employing multiple tactics to spread the word. While there’s a whole list of don’ts, the most important thing that you should avoid doing at all costs is selfish, blatant, in-your-face self-promotion. It’s the worst thing you could do to yourself (and your career as an author).

Your goal is certainly to promote your book, but you should do it as naturally as possible. You are not looking to force people into buying your book; your goal is to make them naturally interested in your work. This will only be possible through human conversations that seem to flow naturally. You’ve to play smart in bringing the conversation to a point where you can introduce your book to your audience without making them run away.

Leverage the Power of a Loyal Fan Base to Make Your Book a Success

Did you know that Andy Weir, the author of the popular sci-fi novel The Martian, became the Amazon bestseller overnight (quite literally)? Not only this, but he also cracked a deal with The Crown Publishing Group and for a movie only within a week of publishing his book.

  • Do you know what made this incredible success possible?
  • His loyal fan base! (That he had built from blogging)
  • It all may seem like mere good luck, but it’s not. You can do it too!

Follow the above-mentioned guidelines to get started with building a fan base for your upcoming book. Please don’t wait for the book to be completed; start working on creating your fan base as soon as possible in the book-writing journey (it will also help you stay on track and complete the book on time). Take help from a reliable book writing service if you’re short on time or need professional advice on something.

The Definitive Guide to Building a Solid Fan Base for Authors

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