Do you have a fan club for your books?
Short term, it’s hard to create a fan club for one book, although I imagine it’s possible if you have enough buzz about your book release.
Long-term, it’s a brilliant idea. In fact, I’m in one fan club for a book series with high engagement.
There are over 600 members who post every single day, videos, memes, spoilers, favorite characters, quotes and more, all related to the book series.
It’s one of my favorite facebook groups because it is hands down hysterical. One thing to note, however, this series already has six books out with more coming soon.
The real question is, how you can you use the power of community to help build your empire online?
While I’m happy to report my fan club has grown, here are some ways you can get started.
Keep in mind though, while some people seem to experience overnight success, I’m a huge fan of slow growth.
If you start building a fan club and four months later, it’s not where you want it to be, have you given yourself enough time?
There’s often a gap in time, months and sometimes even years before an excellent book becomes something people rave about.
While I plan on having hundreds and eventually thousands of members in my fan club, here’s how I’m growing my fan club to increase readership and reviews.
Create a fan club for your #books, build reader loyalty and increase #bookreviews http://bit.ly/2sKmfRu
Write More Books
As a fiction author, my mission is to write entertaining stories with underlying truths and wake up calls to what is going on in the world. I firmly believe there is a grain of truth in everything.
One way to gain more fans and create more fanfare around your book is to do something simple, write another book. Why? The answer is twofold.
It gives your current readers and fans something to get excited about (they loved your first book, why wouldn’t they love the next one?).
It opens up on possibilities and inspires a wave of new fans.
Note: Even though I write fiction, this advice goes for fiction and nonfiction.
For some reason, people love to win giveaways, and I’m the same way. Offering exclusive incentives for your fan club is one way, but not the only way, to keep them engaged.
If you don’t know what to offer you fans, you can do one simple thing, ask them. My fans told me they like to win:
- Autographed paperbacks
- Amazon Gift Cards
- Kindle Unlimited Subscriptions
- Kindle ereaders
While a few of those are not in my budget (yet), I’m more than happy to provide incentives, however, it helps to have a book marketing budget.
My budget for my fan club is $20-$25 a month, and new giveaways unlock when certain milestones are achieved. For example, the next giveaway will be an autographed paperback of The Five Warriors, and it will unlock when there are 50 reviews of The Five Warriors on Amazon.
When I told the fan club about the 50 review challenge, they responded with emails and messages, asking how they could help. Now, every time they leave a review, they send me a message with the exciting news.
It’s hard to engage with fans if you aren’t around. I make it a priority to respond to fan mail and every single post or comment in the fan club within 24 hours.
Honestly, I can’t say that I’m a big fan of Facebook Groups (I deleted the first one I had), which is where my fan club is.
As the leader of the club, I have to be present and post in the group now and then.
If you’re stumped on what to share, here are some ideas:
- Your recent blog post could spark an entertaining conversation
- Pick a character of the week to post about
- Do a Facebook Live with bookish news
- Share fan art
- Shout out fans who left stellar reviews
- Talk about the book(s) you’re currently reading
- Ask for favorite quotes or characters
Bonus Tip: Make sure you pose a question at the end of each post instead of making a statement.
Don’t stress out about engagement
People have lives; they have other things to do aside from sitting around on social media all day. Honestly, I’m in 21 groups, only because I deleted myself out of at least 30 groups. While I do engage occasionally, I’m not always on, nor to I expect my fan club to be on all the time.
Fan clubs are all about entertainment and fun, not about keeping score. If you have a fan club, and you just have that one loyal fan who comments on everything, that’s one loyal fan who will buy your books, leave reviews, purchase book swag, and email you all the time. Don’t ignore them!
Fan clubs are exciting because you have a group of people raving about your work. I always feel encouraged to keep writing and humbled. When I started writing fantasy, back when I was twelve years old, I decided to write the story I wanted to read.
Note, my writing is very personal, and that’s intentional. I’m sure I could have a different income if I wrote what’s trending, what’s most popular with fans, and what’s more marketable online. However, I’m honored that other people in the world find my stories entertaining and want to read them!
If you don’t have a fan club, and you aren’t sure how to build one, I recommend starting with your email list. And if you don’t have an email list, read this: 5 Ways to Use Email Marketing to Sell More Books
Do you have a fan club for your books?