The Golden Rule of Promotions

I feel your pain.
It’s the same with promoting. I feel your pain.

There is a golden rule of promoting, which I will get to in a second, but first allow me to create a simple analogy to help illustrate the later point. And there’s math, too, so stay with me.

We’ve talked about putting out a quality story as an imperative HERE; this builds on that

And about being daring in your writing – also a must – HERE

If you tithe 10% of your money to your church (off the top, before taxes), then the Reverend is getting all those 10%’s.

That does add up
That does add up

Expenses aside – and they are considerable for any church – for every 10 people he gets to become members of his church, he gets the equivalent of what one of them makes. On average. If all ten of his church members make $50,000, he makes $50,000.

If he has twenty members averaging that, he makes $100,000. A hundred members? He’d make a half a million, wouldn’t he?

Now, I don’t mention this as a way of running down churches or reverends or anything else. I’m Catholic; our guys work for free, sort of. But it’s an example.

It’s this way with promotions.

When I promoted myself and my book for a whole year, nothing much happened. Oh, I made sales and did alright with the ads I bought, but overall I got a tepid social media response.

A visual representation of my success at that time.
A visual representation of my success at that time.

I came out and said another author’s book was really good, go check out this book – the tweets and RTs and blog traffic went through the roof.


Follow this lesson:

I’m great = meh

This other person is great = amazing volume and replies and RTs and traffic

So I’m definitely tithing out, because I enjoy helping new authors get started and maybe avoid some of the rocks that can sink them, but I also want to get the reverend’s share coming in. Or maybe I should just stop with that analogy.

If I can get 10 people promoting me the way I promote them, if they have the same number of followers on Facebook and Twitter and whatnot, then I’m at the average of what they are. But I’d be on the receiving end.

And as we all know, promoting is tricky. It’s easy to alienate followers. You can’t just put out posts that say “buy my book” and be successful, and you can’t just put out posts that say “buy Jenny’s book” and expect success either.


But if you are honest and sincere, actually like Jenny’s book (or Allison’s or Greg’s or CJ’s or Jeff’s – all of which will be featured here eventually, and more), and genuinely think other people will like her book, that truth tends to come off in the post. And the results will be in the numbers.

Learn about the benefits of a critique group HERE

You write a blog post explaining how awesome Jenny’s book is, and why. You tweet about the blog post and mention it on Facebook. You do a few other things because you genuinely believe Jenny’s book is awesome, and people start blowing up Jenny’s Twitter account and blog and maybe also help her sell a few books.

Then, one day down the road, your new book comes out. And Jenny thinks it’s great, not because she owes you a favor but because she was a critique partner or beta reader or friend who just plain old liked it.

It's a great read!
It’s a great read!

And you encourage her and your other author friends to help you the way you helped them.

And you blow up on Twitter and Facebook and maybe sell some books.


If they’re honest and sincere and have decent followings and you wrote a good book and – you get the idea. Quality is implied in the formula, or it doesn’t work.

So, the lesson is kinda like the golden rule, I guess. The Golden Rule Of Promoting. (Wow, it felt a little sacrilegious just writing that). Promote others the way you’d like them to promote you. Help them become successful – and enjoy the benefits of helping others as well as maybe benefiting yourself down the road.

Personally, I need all the successful author friends I can get.

So do you.

Why not help them get there?

Right now you want to subscribe to this blog and not miss another valuable bauble that falls from my fingertips. You read this far; you need this stuff. SUBSCRIBE TODAY (click the follow “Follow” button, above) and I’ll send you a free copy of my amazingly cute book “The Short Years” plus we’ll probably become friends and start hanging out and stuff.

He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?
He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?

If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends!

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here and check back often for interesting stuff.

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