How to Recognize Your Fan Base

Emma in Save-On with Chasing Down the Night - Guenette photo

I read somewhere that a solid base of a thousand fans is the tipping point for an indie author. That number of readers who are committed to buying the author’s next book, talking up an author’s work and recommending said author to friends and family will push sales and name recognition to a level where things start to snowball.

But how does one evaluate this fan base? It isn’t about sales because people often download books and never read them. It can’t be determined from the number of followers on various social media platforms because much of this type of engagement is people looking for reciprocal action. No judgement, here – just reality.

Self-publishing sign - Google imageIn my experience, fans are counted through engagement. My fans take the time to let me know they love my work. This post is a tribute to those people. They really seem to love the Crater Lake characters and they keep on asking for more. I’m not at the one thousand mark yet. Winning people over and generating true engagement is something that builds, slowly but surely, over time. This is what makes self-publishing a marathon and not a sprint.

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking down the sidewalk of a nearby town. A store door burst open and a woman came running out. She stopped me by saying, “I know you.” I smiled and stuck out my hand. She went on, “I’ve read all your books.” Then she pulled me into a tight hug as she said, “Thank you so much for writing those books.” Stepping back, I could only stare at her in amazement. My first brush with being recognized solely on the basis of my writing was a surprising thrill.

As I said, fans keep asking for more. A case in point is a recent comment on this blog supporting Malestrom, my work-in-progress (a non-Crater Lake book) but ending with a plea for more from Crater Lake.

3-D Box Set - Crater Lake Series

Trilogy number one? Time will tell. Ideas are definitely percolating for book number four.

My daughter had an interesting conversation with her stepsister the other day. Amber had just finished reading Chasing Down the Night and she asked, “Has your mom told you if Justin and Lisa-Marie ever get together?”

Kristen replied, “Even if she did, are you sure you would want to know?”

Matt, Kristen’s husband, laughed and piped in with, “I heard she’s going to kill Justin in the next book.” Amber jumped up in alarm. (No spoiler alerts here – that joking son-in-law heard no such thing from me!) I do cherish the emotional attachment readers have with my characters.

I can’t even describe the fun I had watching my niece, Chelsea, read Chasing Down the Night. There was only one rule – every time she laughed or gasped, she had to say why. It felt like I was attending a weeklong book club. When she got to the end, she gave a heavy sigh and said, “It’s like a summer holiday coming to an end. You wait and wait for it then it’s over before you want it to be and you have to wait a whole year for another one.”

Silver's Book Review capture

Colleen Chesebro, who blogs over at Sliver Threads recently wrote a review for the box set of the first three novels. Her wrap up is well-worth bragging about. Please check it out by following the above link to her blog.

She topped off her thoughtful review and blog feature with this response to my thanks.

“Francis, I have read many books, but few touch me as much as these three did. I simply loved the characters and their journeys. I do want to know how they survive the winters on Crater Lake. I wish you continued success and look forward to your future books. I was honored to read the Crater Lake Series. Thank you.”

I know my fans because they let me know how they feel about my work. More than anything else, that type of sharing makes writing a thrilling and worthwhile endeavour.

Brit at the beach - Guenette photo

Brit making you an offer you can’t refuse – read my grandma’s books. You won’t regret it!

24 comments on “How to Recognize Your Fan Base

  1. Silver Threading says:

    You are a fabulous author! I loved this post so much. 💗💗💗 P.S. Please keep writing!

    • I can’t seem to help it – the writing, that is. I just read an interesting little article that cites research to support the fact that writing can actually improve one’s physical and mental health. Who needs more motivation that that? Again, many thanks for your supportive review.

  2. It must be an amazing feeling to have someone gush about your book! I’m glad to hear things are going so well. Thank you for the advice here, too. 🙂

  3. smilecalm says:

    beautifully boxed!
    fans might have
    bumper stickers 🙂

  4. What a great post. I think I’d faint with glee if a fan ran up and hugged me. It is a slow and steady process. I’ll keep hoping for that day. Congratulations on your success! 🙂

    • Many thanks for your well wishes. I will publish my fourth book this fall and am in year three of my five year plan. Fingers crossed and all of that. It is a slow process but one that is rewarding on so multiple levels.

  5. You really do have amazing characters Francis. If they have more to say, then let them speak I say!! Congratulations fine lady.

  6. noelleg44 says:

    I hope to be you one day! Great post – we need role models!

    • Many thanks for such a kind response. I’ve said this before and it bears repeating – what I love about the blog world is the opportunity for helping one another through the sharing of experiences and stories.

  7. Behind the Story says:

    Great post, Francis. How wonderful to be recognized for your writing!

  8. Roy McCarthy says:

    A nice feeling indeed to be recognised as a writer. I had a lady approach me the other day who said ‘Excuse me, are you the writer?’ Turned out her book club had chosen ‘Tess’ as their book of the month. Quite a little victory which made my day.

    • I love that – are you the writer? In singular. Now, I know Jersey is small but … What a thrill to have your book chosen for a book club. I can imagine that made your day. Congratulations.

  9. Great post, Francis! This article answered a few questions I had about recognizing your fan base. Thank you for that. I wish you continued success. 😀

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