Today’s post is, above all other things, an expression of thanks to you for coming when duty called. A couple of weeks back I asked you to sign up to Jukepop Serials and caste votes for my story, Werekynd. The response I got from you all was truly awesome. I started out as the 115th on the Jukepop author rankings, with a mere 15 votes. As of writing I’m now in 4th place with 390 votes. My wildest long-hot-shower-induced fantasies could not have dared hope for such a result. Even better, over 300 of those votes were gained in the first 24 hours.
The long and the short of it is that you’re all just too good to me. But as the voting furore dies down I find myself intrigued by my own happy success. Galvanising people to interact with your work, whether it’s voting, reading or buying, is the raison d’être behind the commercial author. Aspiring as I am to such heady heights, this whole undertaking has been a fascinating opportunity to ‘test the waters’ of my potential readership.
From the outset my goal was to spread the word and generate as large a readership for Werekynd as possible. From what I could discern there were two types of people I could call upon – those who were almost certain to vote provided I gave them the information on how to do so, and those who occupied a greyer area who may or may not vote if they have the time. The former, the ‘certains,’ consisted of my family, close friends and a good number of those who follow this blog and my twitter. The latter, the ‘uncertains,’ consisted of my large but often silent list of friends on Facebook as well as the denizens of a number of writing and fanfiction forums which I only rarely frequented.
A two-pronged approach was devised, whereby I used this blog, email and a small barrage of twitter messages to get the certains onboard. The crux of the operation, however, revolved around a Facebook event I wrote up, detailing what I was up to and how everyone could help. 115 people were invited. As of right now 47 are ‘attending’/have voted. That’s a far larger number than I expected, and represents the crucial swing of a number of uncertains to certains. From what I can gather this was caused by good old-fashioned hype – as mentioned the vast majority of votes came in the first 24 hours. People heard about it, saw it in their newsfeeds, noticed friends were attending it, shared it. The result was that about 2/3 of my final vote tally was due to Facebook friends unleashing the social networking powa.
Without the Facebook drive the vote push wouldn’t really have been a success, but the backup provided by bloggers, forum users and the twitterati was what shoved me head-first into Jukepop’s top 10 spot. Using both aspects in a timed, concerted, big-favour-asking drive really opened my eyes to the power of marketing. It’s a lesson I’m planning to repeat next month, though after that I rather fancy I’ll have pushed my luck far enough for the time being.
A final note – the upsurge of support from just about everyone really was a humbling experience. In an effort to repay the great debt of kindness I owe to all of you who voted, I donated £10 of my projected Jukepop cash award to the CLIC Sargent charity for children with cancer. I can understand why J. K. Rowling is such a philanthropist. Getting paid for doing something I enjoy so much just seems wrong. Thankfully, paid or not, if it wasn’t for you lot, I wouldn’t be where I am today.