Mar 13 2009

Developing a Loyal Audience

Published by at 9:08 pm under Navel-Gazing,Superhero Nation

Here are some brief tips for stimulating visitor loyalty on your site.

1. Encouraging intelligent and civil comments has helped enormously. We did that by proofreading our comments and setting up review forums to give our guests a feeling of ownership.

2. Post consistently. Try to post at least something brief every day or two to remind your readers that you exist. If your creative juices are really pumping and you write five or ten posts, have your website release them one day at a time. That will help you stretch out your material.

3. Involve your readers in your content. Ask them what they want.

4. Be friendly with your readers! This is especially important for younger authors because our main advantage is that we’re easier for younger readers to relate to. In contrast, older authors pretty much destroy us in name recognition, credibility, polish, etc.

So why does loyalty matter? When you submit a novel proposal to an agent or publisher, your main objective is to show that your novel will sell.  One of the most important components of that is the quantity and quality of your audience.  Do you have many dedicated readers already?  How many?

Publishers are understandably skittish about betting tens of thousands of dollars on an unproven author.  Fortunately, Google Analytics can help you prove that you already have many dedicated readers through a blog or another website.   We’re most interested in the readers that come back again and again, because they’re most likely to buy your book.

Well, 9000 of our readers have visited 10+ times and 4500 readers have visited 50+ times.   If a publisher’s bar for success is to reach somewhere between five and ten thousand copies sold, my impression is that this proposal will be credible.  That’s very reassuring to me.  I’m submitting queries for the SN writing guide to literary agents this week.   Thanks for your support!

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Developing a Loyal Audience”

  1. Jaya Lakshmion 14 Mar 2009 at 7:04 am

    What if you’re only updated three times a week (for my webcomic)? Is it all right if I just post three times at maximum?

  2. B. Macon 14 Mar 2009 at 7:08 am

    Hmm. 3 times a week is about once every two days. I think it’s fine, especially because readers know that the average webcomic takes more time to put together than (say) a 300-word post on which superhero day jobs are the most common.

    Just be punctual.

  3. Sean Higginson 09 Dec 2010 at 1:25 pm

    How much do you need to pay for Google Analytics? Was signing up for account where the first page said “Sign up for free” and then later in the process it mentioned about minimal costs for types of services. I panicked and ran.

  4. B. Macon 09 Dec 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Analytics is free. I think what they offered you for money was an Adwords account.

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