Sunday, September 20, 2009

1,000 True Fans

by Marsha Ward

In my perusal of Twitter links, I ran across a reference to 1,000 True Friends, and decided to find out where it came from and what it could mean for me.

I tracked it down to an original post called "1,000 True Fans" on The Technium, written by Kevin Kelly, an "original thinker," blogger, and technology writer. I'm sure he is many other things, as we all are, but let's just call him what I already have, for the sack of brevity.

Kelly asserts that a creator--such as an artist, musician, or author, among others who create works of art--needs to acquire and maintain only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

He defines a True Fan as one who will purchase anything and everything you produce. If your 1,000 True Fans each spend an average of $100 a year on your work, your income will amount to $100,000 a year. Minus your expenses and taxes, that's a living for most folks.

Nice!

I probably spend $1,000 to $1,500 a year on books. I don't think the average person does that, but I hope some of my readers would spend some of their book money on my novels.

But do I have anywhere near 1,000 True Fans?

Let's see. As I write this I have 559 Facebook friends, 161 Fans on my FB Fan Page, 223 Followers on Twitter, and 69 Friends on Goodreads (although I'm sure a lot of those are duplicates), so, in theory, I'm nearing the 1,000 goal. But here's a question: Are they True Fans by definition? Do they each buy $100 worth of my product each year?

Well, no. Not all the friends I've mentioned above care that I write novels. Some are chums from long-ago school days. Some are extended family members I barely know. Some are friends or relatives of my friends. Besides that, I don't have $100 worth of product to sell to my True Fans, even if they each paid into my wild fantasy of making a living from writing. I have much work to do to create product for fans, and to make alternative and derivitive works available to my True Fans.

Kelly mentions that once you've found your 1,000 True Fans, you need to nurture them. You have to maintain direct contact with them. Technology makes this possible. Tweets and blogs and emails and Facebook help a great deal.

I still have a long way to go to achieve a fandom of 1,000 True Fans, but I hope I'm on my way.

Oh, and did you know WD-40 can be used to untangle jewelry chains?

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the WD-40 hint. 1000 True Fans is an interesting consept and something to truley look forward to, but I think I would need 3500 to 4000. If I was able to publish a book a year, then I could probably make the $100,000. I am looking into ebooks right now. I have a self help book just about completed about Alzheimber's and think this would be the book to get my feet wet in this arena. If that works out well, that could be a great avenue to supplement the income. Thanks for this blog.

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  2. OH Marsha Marsha Marsha what a great post. Why not 1,000 true fans...I certainly spend lots of money on books a year...why not on good and true friends. I could spend a 100 bucks that way in a year and feel great about it. Now the secret is finding those 1,000 true fans...any ideas out there? and Cindy good luck on the ebook.

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  3. Great post. Certainly something to think about.

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  4. Very interesting concept, Marsha! Thanks for the handy hint, too. And..I am doing my best to introduce some true fans to your books! hugs~

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