There is a business side to every venture and this is what most talented people forget. You might be William Shakespeare reincarnated, or a love child of George Orwell and J.K Rowling, but if you cannot get people to read your work, your talent is all useless. So while writing, editing and marketing your work is one half of your job, the other half is getting people to read your work. Here are five unconventional ways to build a fan base.

1. Let your Accessories speak:

Have you ever met anyone who tries to slip what he does in every little conversation you have with him? You are talking about politics and the next thing is “well, I once wrote about politics…” You start talking football and he goes, “I was meant to go to a game but had to write my book…” This is a pretty annoying strategy and might make people avoid having conversations with you. So what’s the way out? Accessories. Imagine having lots of cool shirts that have cool inscriptions telling people what you do? It can have something like “I am a psychotic writer.” If you wear these shirts to events or movies or any gathering, it speaks to people about what you do and can make them bring up the topic of what you do first. “Your shirt says you write..?” They might ask. “Yes,” you could reply, “I write lots of fiction, are you into fiction?” See? It has reduced the pressure of you trying to slip in what you do into every conversation.

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2. Create Popularity for yourself:

People tend to follow those with a high number of followers. It might sound ironic but the best way to gain popularity is to gain popularity. There was an experiment in a mall where people pretended to recognize a normal guy as a popular member of a band that didn’t really exist and people automatically wanted an autograph. You can try this same experiment but this time, you have to be you. Start acting like you are already a big deal – but remember, in this age of internet and social media, you need to back it up because lots of people will google your name. Make sure you have a considerable amount of following because people will naturally follow those who have a high number of following on social media platforms even without knowing what that person has to offer.

3. Business Cards and Post Cards:

Nope! This is more than just sharing your cards on the streets. This is a more targeted way to reach your target market. Think of where you can find lots of readers like the library. You can also go one step further by placing your cards between books that are in your genre section. This means you are basically offering people more of what they like. Make sure you include your social media handles and websites so they can see what you have to offer.

4. Media Help:

Let’s get this straight. Writing to your local media (TV and Newspaper) to help publicize your book is all good, but chances are, they would not care unless it relates to something that benefits the media house. So, you can leverage on a trending topic like rape, racism, extremism, etc. If your book covers any of these topics, then chances are that they will take a second look at it.

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5. Give! Give! Give some more:

There is a positive correlation between the number of books you give out for free and the number of books an author eventually sells. You can donate your books to charity, a religious house or even libraries and schools. But books are not the only thing you can give. You can also give your time, volunteer at a library, give other writers advice, give free short write-ups on your website or even those accessories we talked about in point 1. This act communicates Authenticity, Honesty and Integrity which are the hallmark of a good writer and can help you build a massive following.


Samuel Ejedegba