Why Create a Fan Base?

Concert CrowdA Loyal Fan Base is an Indie Author’s Best Friend

Indie Authors Need to Build a Fan Base
If you’ve visited here before, you know I’ve spent a lot of time lately talking to, for and about indie-authors. It’s hard for me not to, since I’m smack in the middle of the indie revolution myself with a Readers Favorite Gold Medal-Winning novel – Reichold Street.

But I’m not here today to promote my book. I wanted to follow-up on some of my earlier posts, like I promised I would. “Yeah, right,” I can almost hear you saying, “who does he think he’s kidding, an indie author always needs to promote himself.”

Duly noted.

A Dedicated Media Page
However, as I mentioned in my post “I Need a What?” back on March 14, 2013, one of the most important things an indie author can do for himself (or herself; there’ll be no chauvinism here) is to create a dedicated media page.

At the same time, I confessed to you that I didn’t have one myself (bummer).

Well, that little faux pas has been corrected. A few days ago I launched the media page dedicated to my novel, REICHOLD STREET. Now all I have to do is simply sit back and wait for the media inquiries to come in, right?

No … although I certainly wish it was so (sigh). Wishing, after all, is so much easier than doing.

But it isn’t going to happen without some rigorous promotional effort (ain’t nothin’ comes easy, my grandmammy used to say) … no, wait, that wasn’t Granny … that was an old Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric.

Doesn’t matter. You get what I mean. I still gotta work at it.

You have my permission to take a moment to actually listen to “Nothing Comes Easy” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s a great song.

Collect Email Addresses
The following month, on April 24, 2013, in “Six Indie Author Mistakes”, I talked about how a great many indie authors avoid collecting e-mail addresses because they think having readers and followers on their social media is enough … and I confessed to being guilty of THAT avoidance, too.

Well, I still think not collecting e-mail addresses is one of the biggest mistakes an indie author can make. I won’t reiterate the reasons (I assume you’ve gone back to re-read the post link, right?). Suffice it to say I’ve done something about that, too.

I’ve decided to use Mailchimp for my first foray into email address collection. When it came to decision time, I picked them over some other equally interesting providers.

You want to know why, of course. They are an excellent service and I could give you a lot of mumbo-jumbo reasoning about it now but, quite honestly, I picked them because MailChimp is free for lists of up to 2,000 subscribers.

Being an indie author, and not an über-rich John Grisholm, J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, free works really well for me.

I don’t have the first email to send to followers just yet … I thought it might be a good idea to wait until I had something specific to promote or, better yet, to give away.

“Giveaway? What will you give away?” I just heard you ask. Part of myself, actually. No, not in a literal sense, as in arms or legs or spleens (although I am in the National Bone Marrow Registry), but in an intellectual property sense.

I’ve received some fascinating reviews for REICHOLD STREET. Just take a look at a few:


    Five Stars!
    ~ Reviewed by Lorraine Carey for Readers Favorite
    … a master of the art of character development. You can hear each voice clearly in this extremely moving account during the turbulent 1960’s. Some walk away with fame; a few never survive the haunting essence of this place.

    Five Stars!
    ~ Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite
    Herron’s characters come to life on the pages and march straight into the hearts of readers in this character-driven plot. It’s easy to recommend this book.

    Five Stars!
    ~ Reviewed by Jean Brickell for Readers Favorite
    I was fascinated by this enthralling book. The boys of Reichold Street each have story to tell….

    Five Stars!
    ~ Reviewed by Top Book Reviewers.com
    … a must-read for people of all ages. Herron has created an intense depth of emotion that connects all the characters. Reichold Street is an indie novel you want everyone to hear about … truly amazing.


What does all that have to do with any of this? Try to overlook the brash (again) self-promotion, and notice the common thread.

See it?

Character Development
Since so many reviewers seem to think it’s something I’m good at, I thought I might share my thoughts on how I achieve it.

To that end, I’m writing a CREATING BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS document to share my not-so-secret secrets (20+ pages, so far, and growing) that I will share with you, absolutely free, in my next post. When you see it next time, you’ll just list your email address to receive your copy.

Hope you enjoy it!

As always, comments are welcome (and appreciated).

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6 Responses to “Why Create a Fan Base?”

  1. James Sloan Says:

    Ron saw a news piece on CBS morning news today about a metro Detroit couple who were on the ropes financially…both teachers n ending up writing 20 E/books in 6 months….rashida wilder ???… Self published n just reached #1 on amazon n have sold over 1 million ebooks…. Apparently their financial issues are over!!!

    So take heart n keep writing… Apparently they were able to create a buzz on Internet blogs which drove their sales

    Good luck… Jes

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) Says:

    Slowly but surely I’ve been working on all of the above. I view learning how to promote my collection of short stories as practice for when I finally get my novel done. MailChimp was so overwhelming at first. Now that I’m on my fifth newsletter, I think I finally have the bulk of formatting and how to run a campaign figured out, but never say never. BTW I’m adding you to my RSS reader instead of following via WordPress, but I’ll glad fork over my email address!


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