1000 True Fans

Back to Job One: Write More Words

My first book launch is (mostly) over. It was highly successful and highly educational, a crazy whirlwind of 18-hour days and emotional highs and strategy and enthusiasm and screenshots. Now it’s time to get back to the real work and joy of being a writer: writing.

Launch Highlights

The Stone and the Song: A Fairy TaleThe launch of The Stone and the Song was a test run in preparation for upcoming full-length novel launches. For a first release and a short work, I was surprised and pleased with how well it did:

  • Nearly 100 pre-orders
  • 4 days on the Top 20 Amazon Best Seller list in Fairy Tales
  • Broke the top 10k in Amazon paid rankings
  • Really lovely response in early customer reviews

Above all, I’m incredibly grateful for the massive enthusiasm shown by my friends, acquantances, long-lost friends, friends-of-friends, and new readers throughout this launch. I was blown away by all of your kind words, word-of-mouth, and eager purchases. Thank you to everyone who was involved!

Back to Work

Pre-order and launch was a really intense couple of weeks. I put in many hours beyond the day job working on final formatting, marketing copy, promotion, and infrastructure. I indulged in the urge to obsessively refresh my stats—hey, you only get one debut book launch, right?—and record and celebrate and angst and adjust things. I allowed myself to get fully sucked into the experience, and I learned a ton.

And then, like waking up, I realized all of it had been a week or two out of my life, and the Big Climactic Launch Day is actually the beginning of my book’s life in the world, not the end. I’ve stopped obsessively refreshing—it’s going to be a little while before Amazon recommendations and new organic sales start kicking in, even if that happens. And I’m ready to move on.

This was fun, but it’s all in the service of a bigger goal: a life spent writing. Now that the bulk of the work on Stone & Song is done, I’m finding it’s oddly pleasing to let it go and get back to business on the next big thing. Today’s goal is 1,000 words on Frobisher and, if I can swing it, uploading the next chunk of The Dream World Collective for free reading on Patreon. I really enjoy the strategy and the friends and the energy of a launch, but I love the writing.
Cheers!
Ben
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1,000 True Fans in 150 Words

If you want to make a living from your art, you should be familiar with this.

1,000 True Fans: Artists can make a living by connecting with 1,000 true fans who spend $100/year on their creations. No need for runaway blockbuster success. Thanks, internet!

The Problem With 1,000 True Fans: But really, who’s going to spend $100 a year every year even on a favorite artist? And even if they did, how much of that money goes to the artist in practice?

5000 Fans: You can also do it with 5,000 fans who spend $20/year on you. And 5,000 still isn’t that many.

The Reality of Depending on True Fans: But it’s still pretty tricky to find and keep that many true fans.

The Case Against 1000 True Fans: Plus (as of 2008) not many people seem to be doing this successfully.

Write. Publish. Repeat.: But (as of 2014) these guys are and they can help you, too.

Cheers!

—Ben