Behind every successful author is a dedicated group of fans. Let’s call it your author fan club.

This club may not include card-carrying membership with dues, name tags, or annual parties, but it does exist in some form or other. As an author, you need a faithful group of followers to ignite your book sales, show up at your events, and promote by word of mouth everything that comes off the press.

I do realize that when you start out, this fan club consists of your closest family members. They do come to your events, don’t they? No matter how small a fan club you have, the truth is, you do have one, and your task is to make it grow.

The easiest way to get started is to start collecting email addresses from your author website.

Of course, all that is much easier said than done.

Collecting email addresses from casual website visitors with nothing but “Sign up for Updates” is not going to happen unless you’re an A-list celebrity author.  We’re all overwhelmed with too much email clamoring for our attention already. Our mailboxes overflow every morning with stuff we know we should read, would like to read but simply don’t have time to read every day.

To entice people at a local event or website visitors to give you their email addresses you must give them an irresistible offer such as a free (downloadable) book, a sample, or a report they want to read.

Then you want to be in touch with them regularly via email.

Then, to keep your email subscribers from hitting the unsubscribe button after the initial fervor wears off you must commit to providing valuable ongoing content or they will drop like flies once the initial offer lands in their email box.

So how do you get your author fan club to take off and grow?

There are many offers out there that promise you a massive list in a short time but I’m not sure that works for most people. The only way I know that does work is to consistently provide something of value and to be as available and responsive to every fan as you can be.

It’s not easy but it pays off.

Share consistent content on your blog by writing helpful and informative articles. Link to other relevant websites and articles on your author blog. On Twitter, share both your blog’s and other people’s articles. You can do the same on your other social media accounts as well: Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, or LinkedIn.

It’s easy to be discouraged in the beginning when you realize that no one is listening. The way to get out of that mindset is to make creating content something that you actually enjoy doing! Don’t make it feel like work.

If you have fun sharing great pictures, if you think sharing tips, resources, and information with others brings a smile to your face and someone else, then you will keep doing it simply because you enjoy it. Keep providing this value for the few fans you have now, and in time you will be providing it for many, many more. To get a more detailed overview of how all this works, be sure to view the webinar “The One Way to Market Your Book” in the Authors Academy.