By k | November 25, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin

“An interesting person
is interesting to us
because she combines two things:
Truth and surprise.

The truth:
Not necessarily a law of physics,
not necessarily a measurable truth
in nature,
but merely the truth of experience.
“I believe this,”
or “I see that.”

And surprise.
Note that surprise is always local.
Surprising to me, the audience.
That’s one reason that it’s said
that interesting people are interested
—they are empathetic enough
to realize about what might be surprising
to the person in the room,
and they care enough
to deliver on that insight.”

This is true of products also.
I’m currently adding Game of Thrones like twists
to stories in one of my romance series.
Because these twists are new
to romance readers,
they find them interesting.
If my readership read/watched
Game of Thrones,
they might not find the twists
as interesting.

A toy in a cereal box
isn’t interesting.
A toy taped to a juice box
might be.

Is your product interesting?

By k | November 24, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I use social media strictly to sell.
Readers don’t think I do.
They think I’m chatting with them,
with no other purpose.

But when I ask what they’re reading,
I know someone will almost always post
that they’re reading one of my books.

When I talk about a movie,
it almost always connects
to one of my recent books.

When I post a joke,
it makes readers happy
and happy people buy books.

Seth Godin

“Have you thought
about the fact that
just about every time
Steve Jobs appeared in public,
he was selling us something?

And yet few rolled their eyes
and said,
“oh, here comes
another sales pitch.”"

It is okay to always be selling.
It isn’t as okay for people
to recognize your sales pitches.

By k | November 23, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My most recent release
has mistakes in it.
It has typos and grammar issues.
It has repeated sentences.
Not one reader has mentioned the mistakes.
Because what was done right
in the book
compensates for the mistakes.

On a recent episode of The Voice,
rock star
Adam Levine

“It’s not about
whether or not you make mistakes.
You WILL make mistakes.
It is about how you recover.”

Your product, marketing copy,
whatever you’re working on,
will never be perfect.
It will have mistakes.
That’s guaranteed.
What you want is to recover
or compensate for those mistakes.

Expect mistakes.

By k | November 22, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Bestselling novels usually polarize people.
People love them
or they hate them.
They give these stories 5 stars
or 1 stars
on reviews.

I know many writers
who are deathly afraid
of 1 star reviews.
They prefer to write average stories
that don’t offend anyone.
These writers will never be super successful
and, if they’re happy with that,
that’s okay.

But if you want to be super successful,
you have to tolerate the 1 star reviews
to get the 5 five reviews.

Seth Godin

“Are you working
to make it more likely
that the 5 star reviews are
more intense, more numerous
and more truthful than ever,


Are you working
to minimize the number
of 1 star reviews?

Very hard to obsess about both,
since they tend to happen together.”

Which are you concentrating on?

By k | November 21, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The popular answer
to your business question
is almost always wrong.


Because it panders
to what people want to hear.
As the average person
is lazy,
it is often the easiest action.
Or it might be politically correct
bull sh*t.

The issue with the popular answer
it’s popular.
Someone, usually a talker,
not a doer,
and definitely not a successful doer,
will suggest it
and everyone else will support it.

It is then
very difficult for someone
to suggest a less popular
yet usually more realistic answer.
If she does,
treat this answer with respect.
Investigate it.
Ask her for more information.
Odds are…
it is the most helpful answer
you’ve received.

An answer isn’t right
simply because it is popular.

By k | November 20, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was a new writer,
I hustled for sales.
I told myself
that I had to get to
a certain size
and then I would have a staff
to take care of this.
It would be easier.

I’m still hustling today.

Yes, I outsource
many of the tasks
but I have to manage
the people I’ve outsourced
these tasks to.

There are also exceptions,
many, many more exceptions.
Those require management also.

Seth Godin

“As your project
and your organization
grows in size,
it’s tempting to hope that
at some point
it will take care of itself.
That customer service
will get better
without a herculean effort
to keep it un-industrialized.
That quality will be consistent,
without extraordinary efforts
from truly committed people.

Alas, that’s not what happens.”

Bigger doesn’t mean easier.
It simply means different.

By k | November 19, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When I made the
USA Today Bestseller List
for the first time,
I was part of a boxed set,
a collection of stories
from different writers.
We shared promotional efforts,
reduced costs
and all of us grew sales.

That’s the upside of
partnering on promotion.

This week,
I learned a painful lesson
about the downside of
partnering on promotion.

One of the writers
in a boxed set
I also participated in
(thankfully not the bestselling
boxed set)
was accused of plagiarism
(and it looks like
she’s guilty).

We rushed to remove
the boxed set
from booksellers
but it is impossible
to delink our names
on the many
review and reader sites.

My pen name,
the pen name I’ve spent years building,
will now forever
be linked to plagiarism.

Be careful whom you partner with.

By k | November 18, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You got lucky
and are attending a
that is way above your current level.

You’re a middle manager
and have been asked to sit in
on a board meeting.

You’re a beginner marketer
and you’re taking an advanced marketer class
(because no one filtered
your inexperienced a$$ out of it).

You do your best
to learn as much about the subject
as possible
before attending
but you arrive
and there are still terms
and insider language
you don’t understand.

What do you do?

You take mental notes,
filing questions to be asked later,
and shut the hell up.

If you can,
after the event is done,
you grab an attendee
and ask them to translate
over a cup of coffee.

Or you research the answers
on your own.

You don’t ask your questions
at the event.
If you do this,
you’ll stop the natural flow
of conversation.
They’ll realize
you’re not one of them.
They’ll often bring the conversation back
to your level,
which negates the privilege
of being at this event.
There will also be resentment.
They had sh*t to talk about
and now they can’t
because you’re there.

Sitting at the big girls’ table
is a privilege.
Listen and learn.

By k | November 17, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If your answer is
“To make money”,
rethink the business you’re building.

1) At some point in business building
(usually for years after you start),
you won’t be making money.
If making money is your sole goal,
it is logical for you to quit
when you aren’t achieving this goal.


2) You deserve more.
You deserve to build a business
that, yes, makes you money
but also makes a difference in the world,
a difference that YOU believe in.

Seth Godin shares

“The purpose of a company is
to serve its customers.

Its obligation is
to not harm everyone else.

And its opportunity is
to enrich the lives of its employees.

Somewhere along the way,
people got the idea that
maximizing investor return
was the point.
It shouldn’t be.”

Have a bigger purpose
than simply making money.

By k | November 16, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A group of writers had a b*tchfest online
about how the market is over-saturated
(which it is).
Their solution was
for ‘hobby’ writers to withdraw
their books
from the market.

This would work
except that this solution hinges upon
everyone else taking action
and no one thinks
they’re this ‘everyone else.’

It is also d*mn
difficult to convince someone else
to do anything.
If it was easy,
no one would have a sales issue.

Unfortunately these types of solutions
get bandied around
at every brainstorming session
in every industry.

When looking at solutions,
concentrate on the options
that you can tackle,
that don’t require other people
(especially competitors)
to take action.

Don’t ask everyone else
to get out of market.