It’s Who Follows You, Not How Many by Stacy-Deanne

Stacy-DeanneYou know what I’m talking about. How many authors do you see scrambling to gather online supporters like their lives depend on it? It’s a waste of time to focus on “how many” and not “who”. The amount of followers you have mean jack squat when it comes to book sales. Instead authors should focus more on who they reach because word of mouth depends on it.

The truth is that it does not matter how many Facebook and Google Plus friends or Twitter followers you have. IT DOES NOT MATTER. Nine times out of ten the amount of people who follow or friend you will not buy your book. It might be hard to hear but it’s true.

Authors are confusing expanding their readership with expanding their FB and Twitter following. What is more important, gathering real fans who will read your book and follow your career or stacking up the names of strangers just to say you have 10,000 fans on your FB page? How many of those 10,000 fans even remember they are members of your page let alone visit it within the year?

I’m guessing not many.

Now it’s cool to add anyone you want if you just wanna be their friends and interact with them. But if you’re gathering people for the sake of selling books only, you are in for a rude awakening. It takes a lot more than sending out friend requests and Twitter invites to make someone interested in your book.

You: So who the heck do I target then?

Stacy: True followers and true friends.

Let me break it down.

So You Got 30,000 Twitter Followers? And?

So you got 30,000 followers on your Twitter! Good for you. That is an accomplishment. Yet you had a book signing last week and not one of your “followers” showed up.

Ouch. That one stung didn’t it? Don’t feel bad because it happens more often than you think.

You gotta accept the fact that whether you have 30 followers or 30,000 that does not mean that any of them will buy your book or care about it.  Please. If only it was that easy. You think all those people actually go to your links or pay attention to your book tweets?

Sorry to bust your bubble but unless you’re famous or the latest Internet sensation I doubt that anything close to half of 30,000 people even pay your tweets any attention.

I know the truth hurts but that’s how the Krispy Kreme crumbles.

You’re Not the Twitter Rock Star You Think You Are:

You do realize Twitter is a melting pot of authors and literary professionals don’t you? There are gazillions of authors hocking their books on Twitter. You have to first make followers care about you before you expect them to care about your books. This takes interaction and participation on your part. And even then it won’t be 30,000 that care. You’re lucky if you can get 100 people on Twitter to pay your book tweets any real attention let alone actually buy the darn thing.

The little fish often gets lost in the big sea.

Wouldn’t you rather have a list of 100 people who will actually buy your books than a list of 30,000 who won’t?

Earth to Writer: People Are Lying to You:

Yep let that sink in for a minute. While social networking you might run into many who claim they will buy your book and can’t wait to read it. Most of these “supporters” will not buy it and neither do they intend to. That’s just the doggone truth. It’s something polite folks tell authors because they don’t wanna hurt our feelings when we’re slaving to promote our books.

Pay attention to folks who actually bought the book and read it. Anyone can say they will right? We all say a lot of things we don’t mean sometimes. I admit I’ve lied and told a few authors I would get their books and yes I had no intentions of getting them when I said that.

Sue me.

Too many authors bank on what folks say they are gonna do when they need to concentrate on readers who have actually proven their support by reading your book.

The Amount of Friends and Followers Mean More to You Than Anyone Else:

This touches on the insecurity of a lot of authors. This reminds me of the people back in high school who had to always be with the popular kids or else they didn’t feel important. Some authors treat social networking like a popularity contest. Well let me tell you that the amount of people on your lists does not make you popular nor does it impress anyone but you.

Let me share a secret. Most of the folks on your lists don’t even know who you are.

This is why it’s so hard to attract readers on social networks. You’re competing against so many other things for someone’s attention.

How many of these people on your list actually look at your profile page? Do you ever wonder if any of them ever check out your website? Do they like the type of books you write? Heck do they even read?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions than most likely your friends don’t know the answers when it comes to you as well. Nor do they care.

You have to make them care and honey it’s easier shooting a bumble bee with a rifle.

That’s the hard part. A chimpanzee can send out friend requests but can he be engaging enough to make someone wanna look into him further or buy his book?

Better yet, what would make someone be interested in the chimp compared to the giraffe? The giraffe is out there pumping her book as hard as the chimp. But does either of them spark interest within the jungle of all the other animals who are hocking their books?

The one who does will walk away with readers.

Recognize and Value True Supporters:

Actions speak louder than words. When someone takes the time to help you spread the word about your book without you asking, you know they are a true supporter.

They do things to help you because they enjoy your work and want you to succeed. They aren’t the ones expecting favors in return or kissing up to you in hopes they can get a free copy of your book or writing advice. They aren’t the ones making an excuse as to why they can’t get your book every time you see them. Supporters are those that truly care and it’s a blessing for any author to have them.

So stop looking at people as objects to collect. Believe me you don’t wanna collect everybody.

It’s about quality, not quantity.


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12 thoughts on “It’s Who Follows You, Not How Many by Stacy-Deanne

  1. piinnkkii

    This article should be called, “Wake up, Dummy.” lol. It’s very true what you’re saying though. It also goes to show these authors don’t care about readers. Bombarding us with promos and following us, just to get us to follow them and then unfollowing us. Pisses me off.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Deatri Post author

    I have told authors this so many times it’s ridiculous. Why do you want a million “likes” “friends” “followers” who are there just to build your numbers on how many “likes”, “friends”, and “followers” you have instead of trying to build your numbers on people who will purchase your titles and spread the word about them?

  3. wadeinpublishing

    When I was chasing the agents in the hope of finding someone to publish my awesome, waiting to be bestsellers, having the big numbers in the social networks was a recommendation. More like a requirement. They talked about checking your name in Google, how having a big following was one of the keys to even get an agent to think about looking at your works. They made it seem like a dire necessity and a ‘must have’ for your writing resume. Of course we know differently.

  4. Tracy

    Very good article, but it’s like preaching to the choir. The thing that annoys me is when authors request me as a friend and I have had absolutely no interaction with them. I fell into this trap when I first joined FB, but it didn’t take long for me to start deleting some of them. And then there are the ones that don’t realize you’re an author and as soon as you post something about a book you’ve read, they pounce. If authors did more research before publishing they would already know these things. I have a page for my book and literary postings. I invited the people from my friends list to join, and left it up to them. The people who have joined since, I know are interested in the page content, but still may or may not purchase a book.

  5. stacydeanne

    Glad you all enjoyed it! Unfortunately there are tons of authors who don’t seem to understand the real deal when it comes to this. Like I mentioned you should add folks if you really want to but not just because you think it will sell books. No way. You’re setting yourself up for failure.

    I don’t even send out friend requests anymore unless it’s people I know. People I don’t know send me requests at this point.

    1. N. L. Armitage

      I have to admit that I’m better at networking face to face than with people I don’t know online, in part because I’m slow to trust until a person shows their true face, and in part because I’m shy to ask people to pay attention to what I am doing, even if it’s something I know they will like. Every other aspect of getting my work together hasn’t been as difficult as even the idea of networking. It’s, in fact, something that I’ve been shying away from thus far. I’m someone who has had a FB for many years but whose friends list is still under 100 because I don’t like to (and in fact, don’t) add people that I don’t know. I just hope that I am fortunate enough to find the right people who believe in my work enough to truly support it. I have many good friends who are readers, so that’s a start.

      Oh, and I’ve commented on here a few times before but I did not introduce myself. Nice to meet everyone! (^_^) My friend referred me to this site and I’ve found so much that has been helpful.

  6. Shelia Goss

    Stacy,so true. One thing I noticed too that authors make the mistake of promoting their books to other authors. Big mistake. It would be better to promote to READERS that are not authors. If the author promotes in the readers groups verses the author group, we will still see their book ad (because authors read too).

  7. Krystol Diggs

    I love this article!! Stacy, you spoke the I’d rather have loyal readers then loyal fakers ANY day. I agree with Shelia, a lot of authors target authors and not readers. I’m just learning to find readers and not authors! It’s not cool to swamp people with, ” Buy my book, or post the amazon link of everyone’s page. I agree only your true readers and fans will follow you no matter what. I recently switched to screenwriting and some people are proud of my transition and others just don’t care. But I guess it’s loyalty before royalty, get it? Royalty?? LOL. I love this article and will definitely be sharing this one.

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