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.
If you tithe 10% of your money to your church (off the top, before taxes), then the Reverend is getting all those 10%’s.
Expenses aside – and they are considerable for any church – for every 10 people he gets to become members of his church, the reverend gets the equivalent of what 1 church member makes. On average…
If a reverend has twenty members averaging $50,000, he makes $100,000. A hundred members? He’d make a half a million dollars, 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 first 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.
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.
1. Follow this lesson:
saying, “I’m great!” = meh
saying, “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.
2. If you are honest and sincere, actually like Jenny’s book (or Allison’s or Greg’s or CJ’s or Jeff’s, 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.
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.
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.
3. 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? And me? And you?
Also me. Did I say that?
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.”
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