How I Launched My Discord Channel

Story-weaver Publishing
New Degree Press
Published in
7 min readNov 10, 2021


A blank notepad sits on a wood desk with a title of How I launched my discord channel

“What the heck is Discord?”

I’ve heard that a lot since creating one, and honestly, I’m not surprised. Unless you’re a gamer or have been involved in book launch teams, you’ve probably never heard of Discord.

So what is it exactly? Discord is a server-based chat that allows you to create different chat rooms centered on your book/community. Built with gamers in mind, many authors have moved their online communities of “Super Fans” to Discord. It’s free to use — no member or message limits.

This was one reason I found it appealing, but we’ll get to that. Let’s talk about the “why” before we get to the “how”.

Why I Wanted A Discord

I first discovered Discord through a fellow author friend of mine who was using it for her book launch team to co-ordinate social media posts and provide a place to have fun and discuss the book. Obviously, as an aspiring author at the time, I thought this was an amazing idea and plugged the idea away for future use.

Post-launch of her book, she opened up a ton of other chat rooms based on themes around the book, world-building, maps, character photos, etc. They themed each around what I just mentioned, thus allowing us readers/fans to dig into all the aspects of her writing. Seeing this develop over time, I knew this would be something I would want to have for my own fans.

Here’s a little tip: Great artists steal.

Not content, mind you, but concepts. Everyone seems to be afraid of taking inspiration from other people because they fear they will “look just like them.” Ya. Kind of the point. You see what works (concept), apply it (application), and your flare (your creativity) to make it your own.

When my book launched, I hadn’t built a channel because of the amount of effort I knew it would take to get it where I wanted it. It would take planning and time. However, in February 2021, Facebook squashed the reach of Facebook Pages, forcing you to pay to reach your own audience, and I was having none of that. (For more on how to continue maximizing Facebook, check out this helpful article.)

I quickly realized I needed to get my followers off social media to a place I had more direct control over.

Why is that important and why should you be doing it? The answer is obvious: social media companies don’t care about you, nor have any interest in what you do unless it makes them money. The articles above show that clear enough, which means you need to get your audience and fans off social media as much as possible in order to stay in better communication with them.

This is quite the undertaking, as you have to get them invested in “yet another thing” (i.e. wherever the heck you are). That could be an email/text message newsletter, a website membership area, or a Discord channel. You have to make it easy for them to join. Will everyone do it? No. Should you still do it? Yes.

Thus, I got to work building my Discord channel in order to connect with my audience more.

How I Did It

The first thing I did was head to YouTube to find some tutorials on how to start up a channel and create something people would enjoy. After watching a couple, I felt much better about getting it going and realizing it wouldn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would. Besides the tutorials, I looked at how other Discord channels I am a part of were set up, what rules they have in place, what bots they had, how they broke up their chat rooms, and gave out roles to people.

While not rocket science by any means, it was important to me to look into how to do this right so I could provide my readers with the best experience possible.

I first set up the main channel, got the logo in place, plus the description, then went about adding channels. Your typical chat channels will look something like this:

  • Admin channel (this is where you have your threads where people may not post)
  • Welcome
  • Rules
  • Role explanations (if you provide this; geared more toward fiction)
  • Announcements
  • Admin room (only moderators)
  • General channel
  • General chat (this is the main meeting space for people to meet and talk about anything and everything under the sun)
  • Spoiler talk (this is more for authors of fiction who want to provide a place for their angsty readers to vent)

You could stop right there and provide tons of fun for your fans, but you can get even more detailed. For instance, I have channels for world-building info, updates on books, character art, and a voice channel where I can hop on and talk with people. The options are limitless.

Who It’s For

This one took me a while to figure out. I have a newsletter, social media accounts, a YouTube channel, so why bother with this? Who would use it? Then it hit me: Super Fans. These are the people who are die-hard about your book, regardless of what it is, and they want to interact with you more and get more of what you offer.

Here’s how I break it down:


  • Made up of super fans
  • They get first dibs on everything new I’m working on and doing because I interact with them almost daily
  • They get to help me decide on things
  • They get special roles in the server

Social Media:

  • These people are followers who are interested, but not always super fans.
  • They get everything after the Discord fans do
  • Updated less often (bi-weekly usually)
  • Less interaction


  • These are the passive followers who you never see and rarely interact
  • Updated last about everything because it’s email
  • Fewer opportunities to help decide on things

There is some crossover between all of them, of course. Super fans are spread across all three, but they don’t care hearing about things more than once as they know it’s simply how it works. So don’t worry if you end up having something similar happen with your audience.

Launching the Channel

When I first launched my Discord, my aim was first letting everyone already following me know about it. I emailed people and posted on social media, but my goal was not “GET ALL THE PEOPLES” to my Discord, as I only want the people who will be active. Every Super Fan moved over and everyone else stayed right where I expected them to.

When people joined, a bot I set up welcomed them, and then they were free to explore the server and interact as much or as little as they wanted.

The first couple of weeks were super busy as new people joined the server and started talking with each other about the book, checking out the channels, and what I put there. Sometimes it’s super quiet (people do have lives outside of talking about my book), and other times it turns into beautiful chaos with people talking or anguishing over things. These swings usually happen when I’m quiet and not as active on there, so you need to remember that YOU should be the most active member of the server. If you engage, so will they.

What does this look like? Here are some examples of what I do:

  • Post and wish them a good morning and see how they are doing
  • Asking questions (“what do you think of this new character?”, “What creature should I add to my world?”, etc.)
  • Talking spoilers in specific threads
  • Sharing with them different special events, promos, merch, etc.

What’s Next

I’ve learned a lot since launching the server, and I’m still learning and thinking about how I can better engage my Super Fans. At some point, I will upgrade to the premium version so I can “gamify” the server and make it so those who are more active win fun perks, such as signed copies, merch, etc.

I also have plans to build a “street team”. Basically, it is a core group of people who will share my content on social media consistently, thus boosting my online presence. This ultimately will help me get more books into the hands of potential Super Fans who will then assimilate like the Borg and I shall achieve my goal of global domination.

Article Takeaways

Here are three things you should walk away from this article with:

1) Discord is a Super Fan Builder: If you build it, they will come, and if you foster it over time, you will set yourself up for success.

2) Don’t Build it All at Once: You can get a good start on it, but it will never be perfect to start. Focus on building something that engages your Super Fans and gets them excited about your book.

3) You Should be the Most Active: It will be a colossal waste of not only your time, but their time as well if you don’t actually do anything on there. Doesn’t mean every day, but you should be on interacting several times a week engaging and fostering a relationship with your Super Fans.

I hope you have found this helpful and now have a better idea of what Discord can do for you. If you would like to see how I do things on my server, come and join.

S. D. Howard

Author | Editor | Coach