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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Social Networking and the 10% Rule

Ten percent. It's an important number to remember, especially for new authors who wind up pouring their time into blogging and social networking.

Ten Percent...
Ten Percent of your words should be on a public forum such as the blog, Face Book, or Twitter.
-- The average tweet is about 20 words long, that means you would write 200 words for each tweet.

Ten Percent of your followers will read any given post.
-- Out of the 243 blog followers about 24 regularly hit the blog on any given day. Out of my 1000+ Twitter followers I expect 100 to see any given tweet.

Ten Percent of your network are readers.
-- If I want to estimate sale generated by a blog post or Twitter feed I calculate the 10% after subtracting overlap from other source like blog readers who are also Twitter followers.

Ten Percent of your writing time should be business time.
-- If I have two hours a day to write I have roughly 15 minutes of that to devote to email, sending out review requests, and doing the busy office work that keeps the wheels turning. The more you write, the more you have in print, the more office work you're going to have.

Ten Percent of royalties should be set aside to pay it forward.
-- This is a rule I made for myself and don't expect or ask anyone else to follow. When I decided to take my writing from the "just for fun" to the "I want to get published" phase I set up my budget (because I like excel worksheets) and allotted percentages of my hypothetical income to the various things that I know are part of the Office Work of publishing. In my budget, ten percent is set aside for a specific charity for each book. If I ever publish JANE DOE ten percent of my royalties will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. For EVERY HERO NEEDS A VILLAIN the charity is March of Dimes. The tie ins are obvious when you read the books.

But I don't have a charity picked for EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE. I've gone back and forth considering child-focused charities, school, and battered women's shelters trying to decide which is the best fit. I know this is all hypothetical, I haven't seen a royalty statement yet, but it's something that bothers me because it's a loose end I need to wrap up.

So... which charity should get the ten percent?

And... do you have a ten percent rule? Do you think expecting ten percent of your follower to be readers is too high a number? To low? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. I like the idea about battered women; how about http://www.ncadv.org/?

    1. I'll look into them, thanks for the idea. I was looking at local shelters, but they can be hard to donate to sometimes.

  2. 10% seems like a sound figure. My own experience with people comes out to be about that. It's a little demoralizing that it's so small, but it's useful to keep things in perspective.