Just came across a very interesting article, titled 1000 True Fans. A very interesting read.
The short version of it goes thus; You don’t need to produce a mega-blockbuster to be successful and make a living. It would be nice, but they are in the tiny minority.
If you can just garner 1000 True Fans, then you can make a living. By True Fans, they mean the type who will travel long distances to hear your next song, buy all your books, all the caps and mugs and calenders that are merchandise. Seek out autographed copies of your work. The type of people who will spend a day’s wage per year on you.
Of course, if you do the maths, you can see 1000 is more than you would need – and that doesn’t count lesser fans who buy the occasional item.
This is certainly something I’d like to aim for, though I’m currently about, oh, 1000 True Fans short. I’d be quite happy with a couple of hundred in reality
I visit a few communities where the 1000 True Fans effect is a reality – webcomics for the most part – and though I didn’t have a name to give the phenomenon, they certainly gave me the inspiration to give it a go myself.
Of course, my art skills are rather on the mediocre side, so I had to fall back on the written word. My hope is, eventually, to make more and more stories available, to expand on the website, maybe get some forums going – to hopefully be a good enough writer to attract a small community of True Fans to interact with. In this day and age, with the ‘net and all the resources now available, it is much easier to do.
It may just be a pipe dream in the end, but a nice one, and one that I think is at least worth pursuing. But there is a lot of work ahead before that day…