Why Authors Need 1,000 Fans

1,000 fans

I first read about the notion of artists needing 1,000 fans to be successful a few years ago. I stumbled upon it on Seth Godin’s blog, and then went to the source, Kevin Kelly, to read more.

As I begin to market my YA novel One Night I have been thinking about this idea a lot of late.  Mr. Kelly theorizes that for any creative person to be successful – his definition of success is to generate a livable income – they only need 1,000 devoted fans. Not 10,000 or 1 million, but 1,000.

Kelly goes on to define “devoted” as purchasing your work without thinking about it. When I think about the authors I’m fans of, the number of authors whose books I will purchase without question is very small. There are far more authors whose books I’ll purchase if they are on sale or who I will always check out from the library.

I know my novel isn’t for everyone. Some YA readers prefer fantasy or romance; others prefer edgier contemporary stories. But the people who do understand my work have been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic. My task is to find more of those people.

For me, 10,000 fans seems impossible, but finding 1,000: I am up to the challenge.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


  1. If you have a secret strategy to find fans, please feel free to share, I’m all ears 😀
    1000 is a big challenge. As you said, most people are fickle, and if some authors do attain some die hard fans, they usually take years to do it. But little by little, I’m sure you’ll get there. Good luck!

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