One Thousand True Fans.
The other week an amazing artist who I’m proud to say is also a friend of mine, Jon Klassen, told me about this article he came across about having 1000 true fans. The article is written by Kevin Kelly and is super interesting. It made me think quite a bit about what it might take to be able to publish graphic novels and make a living at it.
The idea is, if you can somehow accumulate 1000 true fans who bought everything you made then you could potentially make enough money to have your hobby be your source of income. If every true fan bought the two books(imaginary at this point) I released every year and the books were $25 then that would get me a whopping $50,000 a year. But that doesn’t count the people who are just fans who might buy a book randomly or the books I sell at conventions. We are just talking about TRUE FANS who follow everything I do and buy everything I sell.
The idea seems like it makes sense. There was also a follow up article where he tried to find someone who had 1000 true fans who made a living off them. Well, basically he couldn’t find anyone who meet his criteria, yet. Between the articles and the comments I was left with one big question:
If someone were to get 1000 true fans then why wouldn’t the appeal of their product chain react and reach thousands more? In other words, just maintaining 1000 true fans might be a strange middle ground between being a no-name, selling 100 copies to your friends and the rare indie fans who like your niche and someone who has mass audience appeal. If my work could wrangle in 1000 fans, why couldn’t I get 10,000 or more.
Anyway, here’s the article: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php
Now, I’d like to do a little experiment on this blog with this post. This experiment may take 20 years to complete but here goes.
If you are a TRUE FAN (see link for specifics) of my work then PLEASE leave a comment below saying you are a TRUE FAN. I know, I know. I’m totally shooting myself in the foot here because I might have 2 partial fans and it will be totally obvious when nobody posts a comment. But with all fear of failure aside, if three years down the road someone becomes a TRUE FAN and reads all this back log of junk and posts a comment here then I will really know for sure that they are a true fans for digging so hard through my blog. If I ever reach 1000 then I’ll email Kevin Kelly and tell him the good news if I am supporting myself at that time with my fan base.
Here is my only rule. Don’t comment twice so it’s easy for me to see the true number. If you comment twice then I will have to delete one of them, sorry. True fans wouldn’t though because they would have read all my rules. ha
So…are you a true fan? Well then, what are you waiting for? Make a comment!