Most authors don’t mind a bit of hard work and appreciate that a necessary evil to writing is learning to promote themselves and their books effectively. The main frustration for many authors is where to start, and with so much advice and so many social media avenues to pursue, which is the best route to take to grow your fanbase? Catherine Dunn offers some sound advice on this specific issue in her May blog ‘How Can Authors Promote Their Books Online’.

Catherine states: ‘The most common mistake authors make is going in with a BUY MY BOOK message multiplied by a thousand – and nothing else.’ 

I think often authors struggle with ‘what to say’ as much as where to say it. This is where the art of ‘FANOLOGY’ comes into play.

There is one key message when it comes to fanology, and that is not about SELLING MORE BOOKS but always about gaining more FANS.

It’s all about rapport building online.

Here’s a quick summary of the principles of fanology:

  • Attract new fans
  • Keep existing fans interested and engaged
  • Commit to building your fanbase rather than trying to ‘sell’ your book
  • Make it easy for your fanbase to share information about you and your book

This is a whole new (and much easier) mindset for most people because many of us having been doing this for years on Facebook. Engaging with our friends and family, sharing memories and fun stuff, and staying connected. It’s no different with growing a strong fan base.

Why is this more important than a direct message about selling my book?

The reason why building a fanbase is so important is because they are your best team of sales people. If you look at all the online phenomenon recently, they all have amassed many fans. It then makes it so easy to sell a new product i.e. a book, as you already have a list of people ready and waiting to purchase. And, it gets better. They will then share with their network of friends and often if they are fans of a particular genre, they may well hang out on forums with other like-minded folk, who are already into the genre you are writing in.

This is pretty much how ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ became such a success. It began via a fanzine site and the author sharing her ideas. The momentum grew, and the results are now history!

Make no mistake this is a long-term strategy, and you need to be in it for the long haul.  There are no quick fixes to growing to your fan base, just good, honest communication with your readers and time spent nurturing online relationships. In this way, you will grow a loyal fan base.

Grow your fanbase and your sales will follow.

You want your fans to know, like and trust you enough to buy your books and tell others. A percentage will, in turn, become your marketing foot soldiers.

My next blog will share a few great habits you can get into that will help grow your fans. In the meantime feel free to download my e-book – Fanology: Create Fans. Sell Gail Powell – available on Kindle.


Gail Powell - Oodlebooks grow your fanbaseGail Powell is the Managing Director of a fan based author and book marketing website that helps fans find and engage with their favourite authors.

Authors can sign up and grow their fans using the easy-to-use BECOME A FAN application on the site: All authors also receive a free download copy of the ‘Fanology’ book.

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