By k | March 28, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The romance novel market
is extremely crowded.
6,000 books a day
are released on Amazon
and many of them are romance novels.

Readers have the luxury
of only reading a certain type of romance novel
and they do exactly that.
If they like wolf shifter romances,
that is ALL they read.

Which means if a writer,
who normally writes vampire romances,
changes to wolf shifter romances,
she loses all of her vampire romance readers.

The ONLY way to survive
in this crowded market
is to stick to one niche.

Even the huge selling writers
are niche.
They might write everything
but they only publish a certain type of book
and that’s it.

Seth Godin
shares

“More breadth,
though,
doesn’t cause change,
and it won’t get you noticed.

Focus works.
A sharp edge cuts through the clutter.”

In a crowded market,
consider focusing on a niche.

By k | March 27, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I might joke around
with readers
but I take my work
as a romance writer
extremely seriously.

As Seth Godin
explains.
That isn’t the same thing
as taking my work personally.

“Professionals take their work seriously.
The work matters,
the impacts and externalities are real.

On the other hand,
we can’t take it personally.
When someone rejects an idea,
or if a project doesn’t succeed,
we’ve learned a valuable lesson
about strategy and about tactics,
but it’s not a reflection
on our worth as a human.”

One of the things
that helps separate
my personal self
from my writing self
is my use of a pen name.

Trolls might target
(Pen Name)
but (Pen Name) isn’t
(Real Me).
The pen name creates a distance.
It allows me to see the situation
more impersonally.

Brand names or business names
can do the same thing
for entrepreneurs.

Employ tactics
that allow you to take
your work seriously
but not personally.

I don’t feel right
unless I have a book
(a product)
available for pre-order
(waiting to release).

New Product Development
in today’s constantly changing world
is a continuous process.

Very few companies
can release one product
and that’s it
and expect to be successful.
Even Coca-Cola launches new products
every year.

What does this mean?

You should consider
always having new products
in the development funnel.

They don’t have to be your focus.
That should be your current product.
But you might wish to
slowly push them ahead.

You will need a next product
eventually.
Incorporate that in your plans.

By k | March 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

If I don’t interact
with readers,
I don’t sell books.

Usually my sales funnel
looks like this…
I post marketing.
A reader makes a comment
about that marketing.
I respond to that comment.
She buys the book.

My reply is an important part
of the process.
If I don’t reply,
the reader doesn’t buy.

This is the same
now that I’m selling
thousands of books
as it was
when I was selling
hundreds of books.

The only difference is
when I post marketing,
more prospects comment on it.

Laurie DeJong,
Founder of
LDJ Productions,
shares

“The best way I’ve found
to build the business
is [knocking on doors].

When I say ‘knocking on doors,’
I mean really, really pursuing them
and leaning on industry newsletters,
finding names of people,
and then just emailing them
and following up every other week.

I was trying to be
as persistent
as you could be
without getting annoying.”

The knocking on doors
never stops.
Embrace that part
of the process.

By k | March 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A recent webinar
stated
that there were
6,000 books a DAY
loaded at Amazon.

That fact
can be intimidating
for a writer.

Until I remind myself
that there is only ONE book
exactly like mine.
If readers want to buy that book,
they have to buy my book.

Ed Sheeran
shares

“Stuttering is not a thing
you have to worry about at all
and even if you have
quirks and weirdness,
you shouldn’t be worried about that.

Just be yourself
because there’s no one in the world
who can be a better you than you
and if you try to be the cool kid in class,
you’ll end up being very boring.

Be yourself.
Embrace your quirks.

Being weird is a wonderful thing.”

All artists,
entrepreneurs,
product designers
are weird.
Embrace it.

By k | March 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There’s no such thing
as perfect.
Everything has imperfections.

There IS, however,
such a thing
as over-refined.

In writing,
we call this over-editing.
It is when a writer
revises and revises
until she revises all of the magic
out of her story.

Emotional scenes
are often raw and imperfect
and usually shouldn’t be touched.
When my editor says,
‘this makes me cry,’
I leave that scene alone.

That should be your cue too.
If a prospect says,
‘I love this,’
leave it alone.
Consider it done.

You CAN rework all of the magic
out of your product.
Be conscious of this.

By k | March 22, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Readers in my niche
are buzzing about
my most recent release,
calling it different, exciting, new.

It IS
different, exciting, new…
for that niche.
In other niches,
it has been done.

I learned this trick
in my consumer product days.

Study the products
that were excitingly different and successful
in other industries.
Figure out the core reason
customers were raving over that product.
Then apply that to our own industry.

That’s a success cheat
and it often works.

This is why I recommend
that you stay current
with other industries,
especially entertainment fields.

Look to other industries
for new product development
inspiration.

By k | March 21, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was fortunate to be
one of four midlist writers
involved in an event
with massively successful writers.

These massively successful writers
were chatting,
talking about the problems
they are having at their level
(and EVERYONE has problems).

I was quiet,
focused on learning,
knowing that some day
I might have the same problems.

One of the other midlist writers,
however,
piped up and said
she’d be thrilled
to have their issues.

The conversation shut down.
The other writers realized
they weren’t around their own kind,
around folks who understood.
They’d be judged
as being ungrateful
for discussing their very real issues.

Next time,
it is likely
organizers won’t invite
the midlist writers.

a) Everyone has issues.
If you want others to help you
with your issues,
you should, at the very least,
listen to their issues.

and

b) Gratitude is great
but it doesn’t solve those issues.
Telling someone to be grateful
is the equivalent of
telling that person to shut up.

Words matter.
Choose them wisely.

By k | March 20, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I LOVE Best Of… lists.
Not because they’re truly
the best.
Usually they aren’t.
However, they usually are
the most popular.

And they’re an easy way
to find out
what is currently popular.

Want to know
what your target market is listening to?
Listen to the top 20 songs
for the week
for that target market.

Want to know
what your target market is watching
on TV?
Look at the ratings for that demographic.

Yes, some hot new shows or songs
or books or whatever
will be missing
from that list
but it should give you a general sense
of where the market is
and that will help you shape your promotions.

Best Of… lists
are a great cheat
for staying current.

By k | March 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Readers,
when deciding upon a book,
usually go from broad information
to detailed information.

They look at the cover,
a single image giving them
a feel for the story.

If they like the cover,
they read the back cover blurb,
a 150 word description of the story.

If they like that,
they’ll read an excerpt,
4 or 5 pages of the book.

If they like the except,
they usually buy.

The thing is…
if I give readers the excerpt first,
most people won’t read it.
It is too much,
too big of a time investment
in a story
they might not like.

This is the same
for website content.

David Langton,
President of
Langton Creative Group,
shares

“Even though
you have endless space online,
your reader may actually spend
less time reading online.

So you should strive
to write copy
that is succinct and tailored
to the needs of a reader
who wants to glimpse content
and spend less time
bogged down in details.

You can craft your messages
with links to longer content
in what we call “progressive disclosure.”
The key is to let the reader
choose to read more.”

Don’t give casual visitors
detailed information.
Reel them in,
layer by layer.