In my last post entitled Cultivating Fans, I used author John Locke's example of starting with 25 fans you can count on for a sale and building from there. In the post, I said my goal was to have 100 such fans or frans, as I call you guys because hopefully you're more than fans, you're friends.
Because of several RTs and a posting by good fran, Donna at Girl Who Reads, that post has received almost 300 views, which is a lot for me in a week. Anyway, that post got me thinking about the power of 25. Look at the Twitter word-of-mouth photo above.
One person talking about your book can really multiply. If you know me, you know I like putting my money where my mouth is. So, I've come up with a great idea that I want to share with you. I have decided to start a group. Not so much a fan club as a fran club. I am calling my new group The 25. If you decide to latch onto this idea, terrific, but call your group something else. Okay?
I want to prove the power of 25. I want to identify 25 frans who will buy my books. I no longer want to assume I have 25 people who will buy my books. I want to know I have 25 people because they have joined the group and are committed. I hope some of you reading this will become members of The 25. Here's what I am asking of you.
* That you buy 1 ecopy of my latest book
* That you purchase that copy on the day I ask
* That if you enjoy the book you evangelise it to at least 1 person
* That you sign up for my newsletter (with exclusives just for The 25)
* That you spread kindness, without being asked, to other authors and bloggers
And that's it. I ask 5 things of you. Just five things. My ebooks generally sell for between &2.99-$5.99. I publish 1-2 books a year. That's a yearly financial burden of $9 dollars for joining The 25. If you all purchase my book on the same day (Nook or Kindle) my ranking will drop (That's a good thing). If my ranking drops low enough I will make a list. If I make a list others may see my book and want to buy it. You see how this works? There's power in numbers--even a number as low as 25.
When you tweet to me add the hashtag #twofive. Why? Because pretty soon others on Twitter are going to ask about the hashtag and we can direct them to this post. And who knows, maybe others will join The 25.
Why comment? Because as my friend Donna pointed out in a post last week, I want to start a dialogue, and I can't if you don't respond to my posts or tweets. Don't just read them and enjoy or hate them. Let's talk. We should feel like we're in this together, that 25 is just a number, but that we're larger than that.
Okay, so what's in it for you:
* If you're an author, I will buy your books. If you're a blogger and you need me to participate in some other way, just let me know. And if you're neither author nor blogger, you need to tell me what you'd like from me. I hope it's not a pony. I cannot accommodate that.
* I will follow you, and tweet you, and at times sing your praises.
* You will get exclusives on contests and free stuff
* You can become one of my trusted beta readers and get fee autographed copies of my books
* Most importantly, I will be there for you, just as you are there for me.
Anyway, that's my idea of how to build a following, a community. My community is selfish. It's built around me, my work and my goals. I'm not trying to pull the wool over any one's eyes here by pretending this is for you. But you--everyone of you can do the same thing. Start your own community around your own selfish desires, but make sure part of your mission is to help others in achieving their goals. It's the easiest way to get people to help you. And the bonus is: it makes you feel really good, trust me on that.
That's the idea. if it works for you--steal it. If you'd like to join The 25, email me at email@example.com. I do not plan to stop at 25 members. I'd love to get to 1000 or more. I won't be asking anything from you now, but like Vito Corleone in The Godfather, I will be calling upon you some time on the future for a... favor.
And it would be nice if some of you left a comment here. Even if you don't like what I'm saying here, comment anyway, and let me know.
If you want to improve sales and get more dedicated viewers to your blog, start with 25 frans and build a community of frans online. That's the way I see it.
** 1/2/15 I still need a few more beta readers for my latest work. If you'd like to be a beta join The 25 now.
**10/24/14 Update. Shortly, I will be looking for beta readers for my latest work. If you'd like to be a beta, join The 25 now.