Marketing and The Scotty Principle

Here is a fascinating marketing philosophy and a refreshing viewpoint. The downside of taking this to an extreme is a possible lack of initial sales and a slow sales rank that may be a challenge to overcome. Perhaps there is a way to give this consideration and still market toward initial and continued sales. The idea is certainly worth a look as it is quite interesting. 🙂


Remember Scotty, the engineer on the the original Star Trek series?  Every time there was trouble, he was on the intercom to the bridge, telling Kirk, “There’s no way the engines can take warp seven!”

Kirk would of course shout back, “Do something!  We need that power!” And then somehow Scotty would do something, and get the engines up to warp eight, and be a hero.

In his honor, the principle of Underpromise&Overdeliver is nicknamed “The Scotty Principle”.   It’s one that I learned and used constantly when I was on the road as locksmith, long before I knew there was a name for it.

It works like this: If I need to order a part and I think it’ll take two days I don’t tell the customer it’ll take two days, I say something like, “Usually they take about a week, but since I know you’re in a…

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2 comments on “Marketing and The Scotty Principle

  1. Definitely good advice.

    Actually, Chris, that helped a lot. I’ve been worrying that my teaser page (back of book) was underselling my work – it’s very hard to get a good description for a 600 page book on the back, especially when the story is big and complex.

    Thing is, most who have read it love it and quite a few of those have gone on to buy book two and are now eagerly awaiting book three. 🙂

    This article has helped me realize that maybe what I’ve got is fine, and the cause of that surprise and delight in my stories might just be because I didn’t scream about how good it is or claim it to be the best of anything.

    Thanks for running with this. 🙂

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