2017’s Quest to find 1000 “True” Fans


So, I must have been living under a rock. A few weeks ago I heard of this concept of “1000 True Fans” for the first time.  (Detailed HERE.) The theory is that an artist can survive on 1000 true fans. While, for a self-publishing author who sells their novels for $0.99, this isn’t exactly true. I’m a nerd, here’s the math.

  • I can write 2 books per year and make royalties of $0.32 per book sold. So if each fan bought both books… that would be: 2 books x $0.32 x 1000 fans = $640 per year. Barely covers editing costs.
  • This is eye opening. Let’s say I charge $2.99 per book, that gives me royalties of about $2 each… so the math: 2 books x $2 x 1000 = $4000 per year. Still not enough to pay the mortgage.

The article says that 1000 true fans is not an absolute number. It changes per artist. So, for me to make a “living” at writing, I’d need more fans. Let’s do reverse math. Let’s assume, 30K per year is enough to live off of.

  • $30,000 / year divided by 2 books/year divided by $0.32 cents = approx. 47,000 fans
  • And at $2 profit per book would be 7500 fans – well, maybe that number’s more achievable.


This brings me back to the reason I write. I’m not claiming to be a brilliant writer, I just want to provide people with a little entertainment. (It’d be nice to cover my publishing costs, but when my hobby was triathlons, I spent WAY more money than writing.) It got me thinking. If I had 1000 true fans, I’d be happy forever knowing 1000 people were actually reading my stories. Hey, right now I’d be happy with 100 true fans.

So, for 2017… Follow me in my quest to achieve 1000 fans. Week-by-week, I’ll post my mission and the outcome.

After seeing this article on 1000 True Fans, I bumped into a free webinar by Mark Dawson (more programs HERE) titled, “30 Days to 100 Fans: Mailing Lists 101” that further inspired me.

This Week’s Mission: Per the webinar I attended, the first week’s goal is to simply go out and just ask people I know if they’d like to hear more about me – follow my journey – join my mailing list – however I feel like wording it. The goal is to ask 20 people this week and get their names and email address. I will be entering this data into the mailing list program I’m using. (MailChimp, you can see my blog on this HERE.) This week, I cannot ask through social media. Hint Hint — That’s for next week. 🙂 Downside to this: I’m an introvert. Deep breath, Joy. You can do it!

It’s not a perfect measure, but I’ll track my week-by-week progress using my mailing list subscriptions.

Current Subscriptions: 6 fans / 1000 true fans (And yes, you read that right. I only have 6 subscribers to my mailing list. Of those six, two are my husband and me.)

Ready, set, go! I’m off to find some fans. 🙂 Thanks for reading. (To find more posts in this series and to watch my progress, click HERE.)

Join me? Feel free to share your tips, I’ll need 52 ideas this year! Also, how many “true fans” do you have? They can be found anywhere: Blog follows, mailing list subscribers, Facebook and Twitter followers that are engaged.


    1. Yeah, we’ll see. I almost didn’t write this one, as I’m not sure how I feel about building a “fan base.” A little “sales-y” and “push-y” perhaps–not like me at all. But, I’m turning it into a game. Thanks for the comment!


  1. I don’t have a mailing list. I probably should but then I start stressing about it being one more thing I have to come up with content for, separate from my blog and my facebook. And I barely have time to write as it is. LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mailchimp will automatically send out your blog content in a monthly newsletter format. That way, no stress after you set it up. (Which, unfortunately is a time sucker!)

      Hmmm. Facebook. I haven’t figured out content for that yet. I’m heading over to yours bow to do a little stalking. 😉


  2. ah, joynell, once again you inspire me. I’ve read and reread the points on creating an email list, which agreeing with tahenryauthoress, I’ve resisted. as she cites, just one more thing and I don’t have time now to write 3 posts a week, which was a goal last year. I did set up my posts to go out to all my links–talk about overkill! however, I hope someone from each of those links reads. the goal for 1000 subscribers is a good one tho–I keep working on that. but your other goal–two books a year. WOW! I want to keep up with your progress on that as well. I wish you all the luck in the world this year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so sweet! Thank you, though I wasn’t trying to inspire. More like looking for some accountability. Three posts per week? Really? Wow, you’re inspiring me now. I try to get in one post per week and was thinking of upping it to two per week this year.

      Thanks for the comment!


  3. Good for you, setting a great goal for 2017!

    I looked at the link and the author says that you need to find a way to sell $100 to each of those 1,000 fans. Well, that leaves most of us out.

    However, writers can certainly sell several different books, and when readers like your work, they will tell friends and word of mouth is the key to successful campaigns. Imagine if you had 1000 fans and they all posted on their social media about your book. Then you would be a #1 selling author. That’s the goal for me – find readers and friends that will cross promote and spread the word.

    So my goal is to find 100 people that will cross-promote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, when you do the real numbers for a writer, it seems impossible. So…if you made $4 per fan (not $100 like the article) you’d need 25 times the number of fans (or 25,000). My mailing list will never get that big! But, 100 or 1000 people reading something I wrote would still be wonderful.

      Hmmm… The cross-promotion goal is fantastic. I don’t really understand that whole thing, as I just participated in my first even last week and am still learning. I’m going to add that to my “to-do” blog post list. Thanks for the idea!


      1. I will cross promote with *almost any author. If you follow me on twitter @MaryBlowers, I will follow you back and retweet you if i can tell you are an author on your profile. It would be great if you retweet me too. You can DM me to remind me but I do check followers and follow back several times a week.
        *The “almost” means I don’t want to retweet erotica, extreme violence, or occult material. Thanks.


  4. I love your blog for the uniqueness it adds to my Reader. I really love reading about these new things. Count me as one of your fans. 🙂 Also, how do I add myself to your mailing list?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I saw your sign up. Thank you! I’ve read the sooner you can build your mailing list the better, but the problem is when you don’t have anything published, it’s hard to entice people to sign up. Have a great day!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve probably been under the same rock…I hadn’t heard about the thousand fans thing either! 😛 Good luck with your goals; they’re awesome! It’s also a great idea to split it into weekly goals; that’s much more achievable. Good luck! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One way to measure this is your reader turnover. How many who read your first book read your second. Least, this applies to writing in a series. Maybe not so much for stand alones? Just another noob bloviating like I know, feel free to ignore me! OR if I’m wrong point it out! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How do you measure reader turnover? Just by number of 2nd books sold vs 1st? (I REALLY need to get a second book in a series written. I’m having people ask for it.)

      And you’re not wrong! Well, even if you were, I’d never know.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I measured the turnover by pure sales. How many sales of book one versus book two. However, with 99c book sales (book one was at first) readers tend to buy it but not always read it right away. Some of my book one sales are literally sitting on a Kindle somewhere waiting…. lonely. As for my being right or wrong, I stole most of what I know from other helpful and more successful authors in my genre!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Urgh! There’s not enough hours in a day to read and listen to all the podcasts I want to learn from. If only I didn’t need to work…or have kids…or a husband. Hmmm…

          I have your first novel sitting LONELY in my “to read when I get Kindle Unlimited in February” list on Amazon. Right now, I’m trying to read through all the ones I paid for already.

          Seriously though, thanks again.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ll let you know when I’m done with it. It’ll be a little while though. Oh, and if you do read my book and try to discuss it with your wife, she won’t know what you’re talking about. She read my vampire/angel book I’m publishing in March. Her comments were very helpful with my revisions. The one you have is my sci-fi/thriller/mystery book. Maybe someday I can focus enough to write another book in each sequel, but my brain can’t commit to one story that long.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. You made a comment, so I say, you’re more computer savvy than you give yourself credit for! I think there are buttons on the bottom of the post to share on facebook, etc? I’ve never done that though. I’m happy you found me!


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