By k | May 4, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Before I publish a book,
I ask myself,
“Will this book excite readers?
Will they talk about it?
Will they recommend it to friends?”

In this crowded marketplace
(and EVERY marketplace is crowded),
it makes no sense
to launch an okay product or service.
No one will talk about it.
Few people are likely to buy it.

Products and services have to thrill
at least one prospect
enough that she talks about them,
starts the buzz on them.

Paul Graham,
serial entrepreneur,
once shared

“It’s better to make
a few people really happy
than to make
a lot of people semi-happy.”

Thrill prospects
with your products or services.

By k | May 3, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Building a business
is a marathon,
not a sprint.

I market my products every day,
make a few sales every day,
push development of products
ahead every day.

It feels like I’m making a lot of effort
for nothing,
like I’m not achieving anything.

Then five years into a brand (pen name),
one of my products made its way
onto the USA Today Bestseller List.
That customer here and that customer there
added up to an impressive sales base.

Bill Gates
once shared

“Most people
what they can do in one year
and underestimate
what they can do in ten years.”

Keep pushing forward.

By k | May 2, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Every damn day on social media,
I see a writer
correcting a reader’s
or a reviewer’s grammar.

A knowledge of grammar is expected
of writers.
A reader doesn’t necessarily need this knowledge.

You might be shaking your head
but I bet you’ve caught yourself thinking
about a person
because she doesn’t know anything
about your area of expertise.

I know I’ve had these thoughts.

One of the reasons
we’re valuable to others
is because we know something
they don’t.

Never look down on customers
or partners or vendors
for not knowing about our area of expertise.
This is why they need us.

By k | May 1, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A writer buddy was telling me
that she plans to incorporate her writing business
because XYZ bestselling writer did that.

My financial adviser,
after looking at my finances
talking to me about my plans for the future,
suggested the exact opposite.

Yes, a great success hack
is to figure out
the methods or techniques
successful folks
have employed
and then investigate them.

But the key word is ‘investigate’.
These successful folks aren’t you.
Their businesses aren’t exactly the same
as your business.
Everything they do
won’t be viable for you
or your business.
It might, in reality, be harmful.

Do what successful folks do
it works for you and your business.

By k | April 30, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The latest controversy in publishing
is the book Meternity,
which is a semi-fictional story
(semi-fictional because the writer
holds the same views)
of a woman who wants to take a maternity leave
without having a child,
viewing it as ‘me time’.

This understandably upset
gazillions of working moms
(the birth of another human being
is definitely not ‘me time’
by any stretch of ANYONE’s imagination).

The writer is an editor of a major magazine
with a mom target.
She has worked for several similar magazines.

She knew exactly what she was doing.

I don’t know what her true goal was
but if it was to sell copies of this book,
it isn’t working.
Her Amazon ranking isn’t anything
to be excited about.

this huge group of readers
now know her name.
A year from now,
maybe they won’t remember
how they knew it
and be more likely to buy
whatever she’s selling.

Bad publicity is almost always bad
in the short run.
In the long run?
It depends on how bad the publicity is
and what your goals are.

By k | April 29, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin

“A problem is open
to a solution.
That is what makes it a problem.

A paradox,
on the other hand,
is gated by boundaries
that make a solution impossible.”

The solution,
as Seth Godin points out,
is to remove a boundary.

I see this in the product development
for my stories all the time.
I’ll write myself into a corner,
putting my characters in a situation
where they can’t possibly survive.
That’s a paradox.

Then I’ll rewrite the scene
changing one small thing.
Maybe the heroine has two guns
instead of one.
Or she is standing closer to a door.
Or the villain arrives a moment later.
And the scene works.
The paradox becomes a solvable problem.

If you’re struggling with
an unsolvable problem,
consider removing one of the boundaries.

By k | April 28, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Whenever I negotiate with anyone,
my first priority is to figure out
what this person or this business wants.
What is their primary goal?

For example,
the large New York publishers’ first goal
is to protect their print sales.
They don’t understand eBook sales.
Most of their profits come from print sales.

This means every decision they make
centers around protecting print sales.
They will increase the cost of eBooks,
sacrificing sales,
to do this.

Writers who sign
with their eBook only arm
should realize this.
It will limit much of promo they do
and could really dampen their readership growth.

Once I’ve figured out
what motivates people,
their actions become fairly predictable.
I know they will tend to make decisions
that move them closer to their primary goal.

If I can’t figure out
how people will benefit
from the action they’re suggesting,
that’s usually when crazy sh*t happens.
I think long and hard
about working with them.

Know what motivates
the people around you.

By k | April 27, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the ways
to maximize search
on Amazon
is to use key phrases,
rather than key words,
in listings.

People don’t usually search
on a single word.
They search on a phrase.

This is especially true
if the person
is searching using voice.

William Craig,
Founder and President
of WebpageFX,

“Few people are going to speak
single-word statements
at their phones.
lots of people will speak in phrases
while using voice search.
So rather than optimizing your copy
for “muffins”
you would optimize
for things like “gluten-free muffin recipes.”

Use key phrases,
not simply key words.

By k | April 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Some media experts
suggest always responding
to customers/prospects
on social media.

I agree with responding.
Some people always want
the last word.
If we always respond to them,
the conversation would never end
and they would become frustrated.

Jay Baer,
president of
Convince & Convert,

“You should never reply
more than twice
to a customer in an online context.”
“If they come back a third time,
you walk away.
You don’t need to wrestle
every customer to the ground.
Do enough to show you care,
then get out.
The worst possible situation
is getting into an increasingly negative
with a customer on social media.”

Respond no more than twice
on social media.

By k | April 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I killed a beloved secondary character
in a recent story.
Some readers were very upset.
They vented on Facebook
and they tagged me.

I joined the conversation,
sympathizing with their pain
explaining why that death
was necessary.

These readers,
not only stopped bad talking that story,
but they also bought my next story.

Matthew Mercuri,
digital marketing manager
at Dupray,


“Social media is the perfect place
to humiliate someone
or air dirty laundry.
Everyone can see it.
And people enjoy seeing these mess-ups.
So you have to [respond] properly
and in a quick fashion.”

Respond quickly to online complaints.