Patrick Lenton is an author and digital marketing professional. He has worked for Momentum Books, the digital-first imprint of Pan Macmillan, and now runs Town Crier, a digital marketing and social media consultancy for authors.
So authors can’t make any money from self-publishing, can they?
Very not true – as long as authors treat self-publishing like a business, there’s actually a greater chance of making money than through traditional publishing – after all, you don’t have to share the returns with a publisher or agent. I recently interviewed a bunch of self published authors who might not be J.K. Rowling level of successful, but they are making a living, which is super successful.
What’s the theory of 1000 true fans?
The 1000 True Fans theory is about finding the people who are going to be your biggest supporters, rather than just casual readers, and making sure your ‘marketing’ is geared at keeping those excellent people around. It’s about not trying to cater for the entire world as a potential market, but rather focusing on the right people.
What’s your top tip for getting started with digital self-promotion?
There are two important things you have to do – be consistent and be genuine. Consistency means that you’re spending time online – doesn’t need to be all day, every day, but it also doesn’t mean one week of frenzied use a month and then silence. And genuine means not trying to sell your book, but instead communicating and having fun with people online who might be interested in your work.
Hear more of Patrick’s tips at his upcoming seminar, Digital Marketing Essentials for Authors: Tuesday 19 July, 6:30-9:30pm at the NSW Writers’ Centre.