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1,000 True Fans -- Who Needs 'Em Anyway -- Guest Post by Mysti Parker

Posted by Matt Posner on June 19, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Hi Mysti, and welcome back to School of the Ages. For those just visiting, Mysti and I have been visiting each other's websites for over a year. And she will be contributing to my upcoming book, How to Write Dialogue. And in celebration of fruitful co-promotion, past, present, and future, I am now giving her a faculty position. Mysti is now the official School of the Ages Elf Emulator. It brings a stipend of ... of... well, sorry, there's no salary. But you can use the title anywhere you want.

Without further ado, over to Mysti Parker:

 

1,000 True Fans—Who Needs ‘Em Anyway?

 

In case you hadn’t noticed, that title is dripping with sarcasm, because if you are trying to sell ANY product, you need fans. This is especially true of any sort of artist, whether it be painter, musician, or writer.

 

I’d never heard of the 1,000 True Fans concept until a friend of ours asked another friend about marketing ideas, and he sent along this blog article, entitled ‘1,000 True Fans’ from author Kevin Kelly’s website: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php

 

He defines a “True Fan” as … “someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”

 

The rest of the article got a little technical in sounding like a pyramid scheme, but I understood and agreed with the gist of it. In order for you to succeed in a business, you have to cultivate a following. But, I admit to being disgruntled because nothing in the article told me how to DO that.

 

Over the past couple years, I’ve discovered there are probably as many books, websites, seminars, and webinars about how to write and market fiction as there are books of fiction themselves. And while I’ve found some good ideas in those guides, I’ve also discovered the key to making it work lies in an idiom older than fiction:

 

If you want something done, you gotta do it yourself.

 

Sure, I’d love to have someone else do my marketing so I can sit and write all day. Agented authors are lucky to have someone who will schedule their events and send out advertisements. Yet, the agented authors I’ve come to know over the past several months still work hard to connect with their readers. They don’t just sit like statues and sign books without so much as a “Hi, what’s your name?” They chat with readers one-on-one via book fairs, signings, conventions, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Agents can’t do that for them. And I’m realizing that’s a good thing.

 

I’ve never been considered an extrovert, and spending the last ten years as a full-time mom has made me, shall we say, socially inept. But starting last year, I’ve been attending as many book signings and other writer-ly events as possible. Before each event, I go through a period of anxiety and become quite certain that I’ll be hiding under the table before it’s all over.

 

Surprisingly, like I discovered last Friday night, at Karen’s Book Barn, in LaGrange, KY, connecting with people face-to-face is not only beneficial to gaining those 1,000 True Fans, but can be really fun! Readers like to see the face behind the name on the book cover. I really enjoyed chatting with each person who stopped at my table, whether they’ll ever be a fan of my work or not. Or perhaps it was the novelty of talking to adults for a change. Whatever the case, I had a great time.

 

So, keep an eye out for a short chick with elf ears the next time you’re at a book fair or book store. Even if I don’t assimilate you into my 1,000 True Fan club, I just might talk your socks off.

 

Serenya’s Song

Tallenmere Book Two

by Mysti Parker

 

In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, no one ever said love was easy...

 

Serenya Crowe may be a half-elf commoner, but she's no ordinary woman. With the ability to interpret dreams, and a birth defect that forces her to wear gloves, she’s endured small-town gossip and the cruelty of her husband, Sebastian, The Earl of Summerwind. All she's ever wanted is to live a quiet life and raise a family. When she meets the new stranger in town, her world and her heart, are turned upside down.

 

Wood-elf Jayden Ravenwing is an ex-secret agent who wants nothing more than to forget matters of the heart. He left the bustle of Leogard and his failed marriage to make a fresh start in Summerwind. He never planned to fall in love again, especially with the enchanting Serenya Crowe.

 

When a strange portal opens on the Crowe property at the edge of town, Jayden is thrown into an investigation, knowing that if he fails, Serenya and everyone in Summerwind may die.

 

Together, he and Serenya must overcome an ancient evil, and their own inner demons, to save Summerwind and find the love they've always dreamed of.

 

Author Bio:

Mysti Parker is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger’s Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and is the first in a fantasy romance series. Mysti reviews speculative fiction for SQ Magazine and is the proud writer of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award.

 

Links:

Email: [email protected]

Unwritten:  http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @MystiParker

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mysti-Parker/103786449704221 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4625596.Mysti_Parker

A Ranger’s Tale:

Melange Books http://www.melange-books.com/authors/mystiparker/parkerarangerstale.html

 

, Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/A-Rangers-Tale-Tallenmere-ebook/dp/B004XJ5EI2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1340140999&sr=8-2&keywords=mysti+parker+ranger%27s+tale

 

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rangers-tale-misty-parker/1100347994?ean=9781612351209

 

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/107976

 

 

Serenya’s Song:

 

Melange Books: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/mystiparker/serenyassong.html

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Serenyas-Song-Tallenmere-ebook/dp/B00870LYIC/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1

 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/serenyas-song-mysti-parker/1110154888?ean=9781612353791

 

This stop scheduled by Bewitching Book Tours.

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14 Comments

Reply Mysti Parker
8:07 AM on June 20, 2012 
Wow! I'm so flattered to be an elf emulator! If I get promoted, will that make me elf ambassador? :) Thanks so much for letting this elf invade your blog space again!
Reply J. Andrew Jansen
8:30 AM on June 20, 2012 
Hiya, Mysti!

Congratz on the new... er... job. I'd seen the 1000 true fan write up about a year ago and have made it a cornerstone of my marketing plan once I get my story written. For a numbers guy like me, it makes perfect sense. The challenge will be, of course, that I'm not exactly an extrovert either. Should prove interesting.

Are you going to be at Dragon * Con this year? I wouldn't expect a booth, but maybe just to hang out? Let me know, as I will be there all four days.

--j--
Reply TJ
8:33 AM on June 20, 2012 
Mysti, Elf Emulator, nice title. I would negotiate the salary a bit though. Great posting again. I have never heard this topic before and just realized I have a lot of work to do. So far my fan base include my girls, and dog Betsy, who admittedly argues with me at times about my writing. Thank you for posting this. I enjoyed reading it and learned something new. *looking in the crowd for a pointed ear author* hehe

TJ
Reply Steph
8:34 AM on June 20, 2012 
Yay! Dropped by here too. Well, Mysti, I am your fan. :) So, whatever happens, at least you've got me :D
Reply Jack Eason
8:46 AM on June 20, 2012 
Another great article from the 'short chick' lol :)
Reply Jenny Twist
10:47 AM on June 20, 2012 
! am a true fan, Where can I get the Tshirt and the mug?
Reply Leona Pence
12:09 PM on June 20, 2012 
Thanks for the article, Mysti. I'm a true fan, ready for the mug and a cute hat.
Reply Lindsey
1:46 PM on June 20, 2012 
Mysti Parker true fans unite! Unfortunately I don't have a t-shirt yet. :( Where can I get one?
Reply Mysti Parker
8:11 PM on June 20, 2012 
J. Andrew Jansen says...
Hiya, Mysti!

Congratz on the new... er... job. I'd seen the 1000 true fan write up about a year ago and have made it a cornerstone of my marketing plan once I get my story written. For a numbers guy like me, it makes perfect sense. The challenge will be, of course, that I'm not exactly an extrovert either. Should prove interesting.

Are you going to be at Dragon * Con this year? I wouldn't expect a booth, but maybe just to hang out? Let me know, as I will be there all four days.

--j--


Oh! I hadn't even thought about Dragon Con! Where is it? I'm going to Fandom Fest in Louisville next week. Should prove interesting, considering Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies will be there!
Reply Mysti Parker
8:25 PM on June 20, 2012 
You guys are the best groupies! I can't seem to reply to each post for some reason.

@Leona and Lindsey: I actually DO have some t-shirts and tote bags made. No mugs yet. I'm giving the t-shirts and bags away as door prizes at my signings. :)
Reply Mysti Parker
8:35 PM on June 20, 2012 
Jenny Twist says...
! am a true fan, Where can I get the Tshirt and the mug?


Oh, and Jenny wanted one too! Hopefully when I'm famous enough, you'll see my merchandise in your local book stores and conventions. :) Just don't hold your breath.
Reply judy
10:30 PM on June 20, 2012 
It's the novelty of talking to adults and lots more, really, Enjoyed reading this - would love to meet you face-to-face some day
Reply Vaishali Jain
5:37 AM on June 21, 2012 
This is awesome, Mysti. Great article! I'm learning from you. :)

VJ
Reply Mysti Parker
8:10 AM on June 21, 2012 
Thanks so much Judy and VJ! I'd love to meet you BOTH in person someday. I've been lucky to meet two writer friends I'd only known online earlier this month, so it could happen :)