Okay, What’s The Big Surprise?

Ta daaaaahhh! Here it is:

YOU can win one of 5 signed paperback copies of “Savvy Stories, funny things I learned from my daughter” by entering a Goodreads promo right now!

Click HERE to enter the promo.

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Not much to look at, is it?

Okay, you’re giving away a book. Why is that a big deal?

In a word,


Marketing? Eek! Eek! Eek!

Learn along with me! You need to see how these marketing things work!

savvystories1 perry kirkpatrickJoin the giveaway, and share the links with your friends. When the time comes, I can help promote your book (as I have so many others here) with interviews and guest blog posts, or I’ll tweet it to my 17,000 Twitter followers etc.

We’ll help each other become more successful.

You want that.  

Most author types aren’t great at the marketing stuff. Heck, I’m not sure anybody is. But by entering promos – the kinds you’d hope to do for YOUR book – you’ll see how they work (just like we said to join Goodreads, the world’s largest book club. Have you done that? Send me a friend request when you do. We’ll be buds).

As author types you want to do promotions.

As readers, you want to benefit from promotions.

You’ll have questions when you do. Learn along with me!

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Enter to win my hilarious book: CLICK THIS LINK
  • Post my promo on your Facebook page and Tweet about it. Tell your friends. This is a funny book that’s not likely to offend anybody, so it’s cool. Some of my other stuff, you may wanna not tell your mom about.
  • Newsletter subscribers can get more details but everybody will be updated on what I did and how it’s working. You’ll want that when you go to do your promotion for your book.
  • Maybe YOU did a Goodreads promo. Share that information in the comments section so we have a good collection of ideas like we did for the interview post. What about it worked? What didn’t work? Would you recommend running it on Super Bowl weekend? No? Me, either, but I messed it up and that’s what it is now.
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See? I’m not the only one who thinks it’s funny.

Some authors run a GR promo for 30 days. That seems long to me. Some run it for ten (that’s what I’m doing). Some buy ads, too, even though the promo itself costs nothing (I spent $50; we’ll see what that gets me).

In the end, we all wanna sell more books. Did having over 2000 Goodreads friends help this promotion? We’ll see. If it does, can YOU have over 2000 Goodreads friends? Sure. I do, so you can.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, we are BUILDING a promo platform.


What’s a promo platform?

This book will benefit from these tests. So will yours!

Well, I like to test things. I wanna see how Savvy Stories does in this promo before I roll out my new book, The Navigators, and start promoting it.

Savvy Stories is kind of the test run for Navigators – and maybe for your book.

How you become an expert is by doing something a lot. We all need help and ideas for promos because it’s not second nature to us and because the interwebs are changing all the time. What works best? What would you do again? Find out as we do it.

First, as I do this promo, I build interest in me and my OTHER books as well.

Second, after checking it out, maybe some potential readers aren’t interested in Savvy Stories. I have other books for them to look at.

Maybe they follow me on Amazon, or here. When they stroll through my bookstore – my Amazon page – there’s a lot to look at. Sales of other books go up when interest in any book goes up.

Later, if I run a sale or whatever, a LOT of GR readers will already have me on their radar and sales will benefit from that.


But first things first. Join the giveaway and share it with your friends!

I’ll keep you posted on the rest!

Have YOU done a Goodreads promo for you book? Tell me about it, below!

Have you entered a Goodreads promotion? Tell us about it!

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Your humble host.

SUBSCRIBE TO MY FREE NEWSLETTER! Get a FREE copy of “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew,” FIRST SHOT at new stories, and exclusive behind the scenes access!

REBLOG me! Or SHARE this post on Facebook and Twitter! See those little buttons down below? Put on your glasses. There they are. Click them. The FOLLOW button is now in the lower right hand corner.

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.


Announcing the TOUGHEST Flash Fiction Challenge Ever: 4-Way Dialog (AND a special surprise!)

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Your humble host saying Bwahahahahaha!!

We’ve discussed how difficult it is to write good dialogs. We’ve talked about avoiding dialog tags. We’ve talked about using “beats.”

But have we really put that talk into action?

Now we will.


Write a conversation between four characters.

What, that’s it?

Hey, it’s harder than you think. Heck, it’s difficult to write a conversation between two characters that follows the rules of interesting dialog (which is to make it interesting. Tough rules.)

Four characters in the same room/same setting (not over the phone) will have a conversation. Each must speak at least twice, and none can speak for a 500-word soliloquy. It’s a conversation.

SEXES: You will take four characters, both male and female, doesn’t matter how many of each; they all must speak (so the guy can’t be dead and the women mourning him, unless he’s a ghost.) You can have three men and one woman, you can have two and two, or one man and three women, whatever you want. You get to name them, you get to create their back stories.

EACH character must speak at least twice. No 500-word monologues. I’d prefer they each speak more than twice, but that’s your call.

SETTING: You get to choose the setting but all four characters are present to each other, so they are gathered in a limited setting like a bar or a lifeboat or a college dorm room or a workplace, hostages locked in a bank vault, friends visiting a graveyard, a family reunion at a park and they are gathered under the shelter while the kids play softball, driving in a car, whatever. They cannot be on the phone talking to each other. They need to be relatively contained, as in, they don’t all get up and run away. They can be sitting in a stadium watching the Super Bowl but they can’t be coming and going, they’d have to be sitting in a row or maybe they could be players in a huddle, but not players spread out all over the field, okay?

DIALOG TAGSVerboten – to an extent. As your characters converse, you can’t use dialogue tags like “she said” or “he cried” or “Bill said” or “Mary exclaimed” or “Jane said slyly.” You CAN use a few tags – a few – because you may have to, but try use beats (small pieces of action) instead, with potential he/she/name attached:

Clark took a sip of his beer. “That’s how we do it, honey. We’re the Griswolds.”


Ellen patted Audrey on the back. “Kids, when this is over, your father may be going away for a while.”

That kind of thing.

ADVERBS: One per 1000 words, especially if it ends in “ly.” So, you can have one. Because

WORD LIMIT: 1000 words. (And you probably don’t need an adjective in just a thousand words.)

That’s it!

Thrill us with your skills!

Having four people converse, making them all interact in the conversation in a meaningful way, NOT letting them get up and run away or otherwise move much… that happens all the time in life! But we rarely see it done in stories, and even more rare, see it done well. Here’s your chance.

Do a good job.

(Hey, what was the special surprise? Oh, that’s not today. That’s tomorrow. But you’ll like it, I think. At least I hope you do. I’m excited about it. 

Check the fine print. It says announcing a special surprise. I announced it. There’ll be one. Tomorrow.)

You know the drill:

  1. Describe your setting – or don’t. Your call, but it should be obvious from reading your piece.
  2. Write a story up to 1000 words that is obviously utilizing four characters in a limited setting. You pick the genre.
  3. EXTRA POINTS if you make it funny.
  4. Post your story below in the comments with a link to your blog.
  5. You also post it on you blog (No blog? Just copy paste the whole thing here.)
  6. Mention me and what the heck this is so people don’t think you’ve gone bonkers.
  7. Read and comment on OTHER people’s entries. That makes it fun. Allegedly.
  8. You have one week. Noon Friday a week from this posting date (beautiful, sunny and warm Tampa, Florida, USA time.)

SUBSCRIBE TO MY FREE NEWSLETTER! Get a FREE copy of “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew,” FIRST SHOT at new stories, and exclusive behind the scenes access! We have some really great stuff coming for you in the mid-February letter.

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Your humble host

REBLOG me! Or SHARE this post on Facebook and Twitter! See those little buttons down below? Put on your glasses. There they are. Click them. The FOLLOW button is now in the lower right hand corner.

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.

I’ve gone dark!

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Your humble host, gone dark.

I got a new phone that has yet to be reinstalled with my backup data, so I’m using the opportunity to lay low and get some editing done. Hey, you try launching a newsletter and editing and posting and blogging and critiquing and BSing on Facebook and see how much you get done. It can be overwhelming, even for me.

So I went dark. Radio silence. Incommunicado. So did you, based on yesterday’s writing challenge. What the heck happened there? Like NO replies, hardly. Trying to tell me something? (I’m going dark, I guess; it’s probably not technically “went dark” if I post like this.)

Anyway, I have LOTS of cool stuff to update you on from here in the dark.

  • The newsletter rollout is going really well. We’re adding people every day. (Did you start one? You should. More on that another time, but you really should think about it.)
  • The new phone is bigger but not as big as a small iPad, so that’s cool. It’ll still fit in my pocket.
  • I FINALLY got a Goodreads promo set up (hey, I’m just 100 friends shy of 2,000 GR friends now – just sayin’. Might wanna get on that train.)
  • My FB author page has added almost a hundred Likes this week – how cool is that?
  • We’re closing in on 20,000 followers on Twitter. That’s just crazy.

The Goodreads Promo thing is for my first book Savvy Stories, and it’s about a middle aged guy who becomes a first time dad at age 47. It’s really funny, whether you have kids or not, and it’s a great way to see how my writing has progressed. You can register to win a signed copy in a few days over at Goodreads, but not yet. I’ll let you know when. But then tell your friends. I think it starts the 5th if they approve it. They may not. They know about me. I was also thinking about giving away a signed copy to the person who brings the most friends to the newsletter before February 15th. Have them send me a message after they subscribe saying you sent them and we’ll draw a winner at random. See? That’s your reward for reading this far. Some people missed that.

The SECOND marketing book is almost finished being edited, which is a fancy way of saying it was finished and then I took stuff out and put other stuff in.

Tonight, it’s gonna be chilly in Tampa so I think we’re gonna roast marshmallow and hot dogs in our outside fireplace. Not at the same time, as a single item. Hot dogs will be roasted, then the marshmallows. I think you understood that. I hope so.

I have a great post coming up tomorrow and a super one for Monday, so I’ll see you then – well, not really, cos I’ll still be in radio silence as part of going dark – but oh well.

Have a great weekend! And seriously – what was up with that writing challenge? Maybe click over and say Hi just so I know it posted.

Yes, IT is coming…

Are you excited about tomorrow?

I am.

The kid has dance class, so I get to write, uninterrupted, for about three hours! No, dance class isn’t three hours. She’s five. Dance class is about 45 minutes. But between that and getting ready and driving there and shopping afterward and driving home, my wife and daughter can sometimes be gone all day. Which allows for a lot of writing time.

But that’s NOT what I was talking about!

I was talking about the




I’m very excited. Are you?

I hope so.

I would be.

I’d be dying of curiosity.

In fact, it’s been hard as heck to not go ahead and tell you guys.

Enjoy your Friday. See ya tomorrow.



VERY special surprise

is headed your way. Well… it’s headed here.

Not today and not tomorrow, but SOON.

I’m very excited about it.

I hope you will be.

I think you will.

I hope so…

If it were me, I’d check in Saturday,

for sure.

Unless I forget.  Then it could be a little later.

Oh, and sorry for all that false post crap yesterday. WP was messed up, I think. Pretty sure it wasn’t me.

SO: Flash Fiction Challenge on Friday,


a really cool surprise.

Are you excited? I am.