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Thought I'd share this. Very important thesis every author/artist/creator should read and understand. This was, and has been, very helpful to me in building my platform and understanding how to be better at marketing/sales. You will enjoy this.

http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.
 
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Jim, thanks for posting. I think often indies get caught up on quantity instead of quality.

People are often amazed that I know within +/- 10% how much money I will make on a given title from month to month. But I know this because I have that solid core of fans that have been with me for almost a decade. In business, there is an old saying that 90% of your revenue comes from 10% of your customers.

The thing is, you can make money in all sorts of ways. There is no one "right way" to get sales. But the difference is when you cultivate that core group of fans, they will follow you regardless of what happens elsewhere. When Amazon screwed up the port of my titles from Mobipocket to KDP and my titles were unavailable for two weeks, it was barely a blip because I was able to just redirect people to other sites. For a lot of authors, if their books were down for only two days they would be freaking out because of lost visibility on Amazon. Cultivating that core group insulates you from problems caused by things outside of your control.
 

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vrabinec said:
Shoot, I thought a true fan was one of those chicks that comes to the book signing and throws her bra at you.
Yes, that too, and men will throw you their underwear.
 

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It's all fun and games until someone looses an
elastic band
.
 

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PamelaKelley said:
Vrabinec,

Do you have any books out? Am curious about what you write because I really enjoy the humor in your posts!
Not yet. My first'll be out this summer. I write sci-fi, but I try to throw in some humor. Unfortunately, half my humor is a cover for my own stupidity. You know, act like a buffoon enough, and when you say stupid things, everyone assumes you're screwing around.
 

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vrabinec said:
Not yet. My first'll be out this summer. I write sci-fi, but I try to throw in some humor. Unfortunately, half my humor is a cover for my own stupidity. You know, act like a buffoon enough, and when you say stupid things, everyone assumes you're screwing around.
Excellent strategy.
 

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When I first saw the title, 1000 true fans, I thought, hang on - that philosophy has been around for years - that guy is ripping off someone else. I remembered Seth Godin talking about that article. Then I clicked on the link and saw the date :)

Producing a quality product that can inspire true fans is a great philosophy :) :)
 

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That helps to put thing in perspective, breaking it down and making it seem do-able for the average author when they look at attracting one new reader a day for three years. Great post. Thanks for sharing.  :)
 

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Yeah, this is an old article but worth the reread now and again. I'm about 10% of the way there. This is the article that convinced me to try. When you put it in context--about 600 million people in North America and the UK alone--1,000 is not an unattainable number. It takes quality, time and persistence.
 

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These articles always sound good in theory. Then you factor in how many of those 1000 people already downloaded your book when you gave it away for free, and they're waiting for you to do the same with your next book, because thy watch you and know your every move, etc...And the number's probably closer to 10,000.
 

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Sorry, don't buy it... :(
Just doesn't add up. No way one can make a living out of 1000 "fans." But we can dream, can't we?
 

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Gabriela Popa said:
Sorry, don't buy it... :(
Just doesn't add up. No way one can make a living out of 1000 "fans." But we can dream, can't we?
Make a living from just those 1000 fans, no. (Unless your name is Elle Casey and can churn out a s***flake-load of quality writing in small amounts of time. But then she has more than 1000 fans.)

I think of those 1000 fans as the base. The cheering section. Imagine: you release a book, your 1000 true fans immediately go out and buy it, which affects your ranking quite a bit. If the book is halfway decent, you're going to sell a lot more than just 1000 books on your way back down the charts. So while you don't make a living directly off those fans, they enable you to do so.

Next on my list: get 1000 100 fans. a fan.
 

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Gabriela Popa said:
Sorry, don't buy it... :(
Just doesn't add up. No way one can make a living out of 1000 "fans." But we can dream, can't we?
If you had 1000 die hard fans and you let them know about a new release through your mailing list and they all bought it the first day, you'd hit the Amazon top 100. From there, that kind of exposure would make you quite a living.
 
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