Writing For Change Conference, How to Build a Fan Base, with Karly Caserza

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2019-09-17
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"I cannot emphasize enough that you need to engage; it's social media, not here-take-this-content-and-then-I'm-going-to-turn-the-other-way media."

--Karly Caserza, @KarlyCaserza, Associate Agent at Fuse Literary Agency


At the Writing For Change writers conference, put on by the San Francisco Writers Conference, one of the panels covered the topic of How to Build a Fan Base. Below are Karly's top three tips on building your fan base, and some action items for each tip to get you started. You should listen to Karly, she is very smart. Every time I speak with her I learn something.

Please note, when I bring information back from conferences, I deliberately withhold some information. I do that both because I can only write so fast in my little notebook, and also because if you want all of the information, you should come see us at the conferences.


Tips From Karly On Building Your Fan Base

  1. Understand your brand
    • This can be the genre that you're writing in, the age group, or even the people you may be promoting or writing for.
    • Provide content that gives value to that community.
    • Provide content that allows others to get to know who you are (what you stand for, what your values are) and also content that will pique their interest.
    • Just be you, share your personality, what who you are as a brand and a person.
  2. Engage your community
    • I cannot emphasize enough that you need to engage; it's SOCIAL media, not here-take-this-content-and-then-I'm-going-to-turn-the-other-way media.
    • Someone has taken the time to read your content out of the hundreds they come across that day. Think of how much content you come across every day. If someone takes the time to interact with you, engage. Respond back. Give them a "hello" or "how are you" a like on their own content, or even retweet something of theirs which resonates with you and might resonate with your community.
  3. Capitalize on the information available to you about the publishing industry
    • Follow agents on social media who represent your genre, look at what they're hungry for, see what they're reading, listen to what they are saying, and make a connection. There was an author on twitter who interacted with a lot of my posts on Twitter, and I recognized her instantly when she came to the San Francisco Writers Conference. Make the connection.
    • Follow publishing experts on social media (keynote speakers, presenters, moderators at conferences) you'll gain a better understanding of the industry that way. What's trending, what's overdone.
    • Know that this industry is constantly evolving, so use their expertise to your advantage

-- Karly Caserza, September 14th, 2019, Writing For Change Conference, San Francisco, California


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