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Fan Love Overcomes Obscurity

Obscurity is a new indie author's worst problem. It's a perplexing issue but writers can use generosity to drive their author platform growth. One simple strategy can move an indie writer beyond obscurity. This proved itself repeatedly in my experience. During my marketing agency years, content marketing helped launch several businesses. Now it's building my readership, for free.

Why are believers who love your writing your greatest asset? Your fans want to help you because they love your writing. Give them your works while asking them to share. Even if your fan base is five people, friends plus family, that's like kindling.

 You need two things to transform cold obscurity into familiarity's warmth: avid readers who love your work and powerful ways for them to promote your writings. Unless, of course, you’re wealthy and famous, with excellent name recognition and credibility, and many fans eagerly awaiting your next book release. At that point, ads may make some sense. But ads will never work as well as your fans’ love for what you write. Especially during a writer's launch into obscurity, that black hole of despair.

So create fan love for your work plus an easy way for fans to share it. Then your writing will sell itself with your fans' help.

Do the following two things continually, for at least a year: as you build your author platform, maintain self-published books in commercial channels where they are purchased and also make a good selection of your works available free to fans who subscribe to your e-list. Your avid fans will market for you by giving away your books. They are your best asset for overcoming author obscurity because the most effective reader attractant is not hype, it's what your works bring readers — a reading experience that delights and informs them.

Avid fans promote books for you far better than reviews or listings or any sales platform you can connect with. They will light the fire that warms up your author platform and bank account. Your only cost is "lost revenue" that you would lose anyway if you remain obscure.

To get readers who want to give your content a try, offer a link to join your e-list on your author's website. Reward list members with access to your free content. Include all your best works. Ask list-members to share files you give them, free. Avid readers jump on this.

"Um," you say, "what about book pirates?" Consider them fans. Let them steal your books and offer them free on their pirate book site. The only provision for all recipients can be: "You must leave the work just as it is so it remains pure and it's obvious that I am the author." Many readers will still buy your books that are for sale legitimately as your platform starts growing.

You may change your policy at any time. Lack of permission to distribute your copyrighted content makes doing so a crime. Authors have ways to combat book piracy these days.

There’s an app for that.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Joseph Riden