By k | December 11, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yet another romance publisher
(business)
is closing.

Some of the writers
(raw material vendors)
for this publisher
said they’d like to go Indie
(start their own writing businesses)
but the costs of producing
a book (finished product)
were too high.
Their sales
would never offset
those costs.

Yep, the only reason
they aren’t selling
their books (finished products)
themselves
is because the books cost
more than they earn

And they wonder why
their publishers
go out of business.

If THAT’s the reason
you’re partnering with someone,
know that this situation isn’t
sustainable.
Something has to change.

It is better that you make this change
than wait for others
to force this change upon you.

By k | December 10, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’m one of the co-hosts
for a writing event.
I contributed substantially
to the event.
There are ten of us
participating.

Marketing was crafted.
Covers were featured.
Some writers had
two covers featured.

None of my covers
were included
in the promo material.
I wasn’t mentioned
even once.

So I’m not promoting the event.
Why?
Because I don’t know
if I’m truly welcome at this event.

I might have been allowed
to co-host
because it would look bad
to deny me
but the organizers didn’t truly
want me there.
(shrugs)
It happens.

I’m not bringing my readers (customers)
to an event
where I and likely they
might not be welcome.
That would be foolish.

If you leave a main sponsor
off the marketing material,
it WILL be noticed.
Try to prevent this
from happening accidentally.

By k | December 9, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If I can’t figure out
how someone is making money
from a business partnership,
I run far, far away.

Often, I can guess.
For example,
writers are currently up in arms
because Goodreads is starting to charge
for contests held on their site.

I expected that.
They were spending resources
on improving how contests
were run.
They were doing that
for a business reason.
Goodreads couldn’t charge
the readers entering the contests.
The other choice
was charging
the hosts of the contests
(writers).

Figure out how
your business partner
is making money
from the association.

By k | December 8, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Everything is recorded.
Everyone has a camera
on their phone.
Almost every space
is monitored.

This means
people,
employees,
even a company’s stars
can’t hide many of their ugly sins.
The p*ssy grabbers will be
revealed.
The racists will be exposed.
It is merely a matter of time.

Many companies
are purging these personalities now.
They’re all doing it at the same time,
hoping to minimize impact.

Did people come forward?
Yes, but for many of these star players,
people have been coming forward
for decades.

The issue is,
with today’s technology,
hiding these sins
is becoming impossible.

Assume you’re being watched
at all times
…because you are.

By k | December 7, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some writers,
even new writers,
have personal assistants.
These assistants
promote on social media,
contact book bloggers,
handle the email.

The issue is…
for some things,
direct contact
from the writer (business owner)
gets bigger results.

And when you’re in start up mode,
the dollars saved
are precious.

Most business builders
start out
doing everything.

Jessica Iclisoy,
Founder of
California Baby,
shares

“For the first eight years,
I was a demo girl
— you know the girl
who stands
at the end of the aisle
and says,
‘Could you try my product?’”

Prepare to do everything
when you first start your business.

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

One of the things
I sell,
in the Romance Novel business,
is love.

Because I sell this
in my books,
I try to sell this
with every reader (prospect)
interaction.

I ask them about their lives.
I listen.
I give them virtual hugs
when they’re sad.
I share jokes
on my social media accounts.
I respond to their comments.
I care.

And this is one of the reasons
they buy my stories (products).

Seth Godin
shares

“We care more.

It’s easy to promise
and difficult to do.

But if you did it,
it would work.

More than any other skill or attitude,
this is what keeps me
(and people like me)
coming back.”

Do you care
about your customers?
Do you show
this caring?

By k | December 5, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my least favorite covers
in one of my best selling series
is the readers’ hands down favorite.
They love the cover model.
I think he’s hideous.

But my cover artist,
someone who has spent years
figuring out
what images romance readers love
on covers,
chose him
and I trusted her.

I also knew I wasn’t
necessarily my target customer.

Yes, I would buy my books
if they weren’t written by me
but I’m not the ideal reader,
the super fan
who convinces everyone around her
to read the same books she does.

You are likely not your target customer either.
We’re business builders.
We have unique personalities.
That automatically makes us
‘different’ customers.

Remember that
when you’re making decisions.

By k | December 4, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The white guy’s network
is still alive
and well
and very strong
in the US.

Seth Godin
has a great post
on how to compete
with folks
having that advantage.

As a business builder,
I prefer not to compete.

Women are 50.8 percent
of the population in the US,
157 million people.
That’s a big enough market for me.

(The main market for Romance Novels,
the industry I’m building a business in,
is women.)

Over 121 million Americans
are non-white.

Again, that’s a huge market.

Small businesses can’t sell to everyone.
We simply don’t have the resources.

Consider playing in a space
where you’re not disadvantaged.

By k | December 3, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I grew up dirt poor.
We struggled
to put food on the table.
All of us worked hard
and had to find creative solutions
for problems
others simply threw money at.

When I hit adversity now,
I know I can handle it
because I handled it in the past.
I know what I can do
with no money
and a whole lot of willpower.

The competition quits.
I keep going.

Joey Rivera,
founder of
Rivera Group,
shares

“If you have known
the extent of extreme struggle,
running a small business is easy.

Hard is relative.

When you have to kick into high gear
and dig deep,
it’s easy,
because you’ve been there before.

It’s an exercise in
outlasting the competition.”

Extreme struggle makes you
MORE qualified
to build businesses,
not less.

By k | December 2, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My Romance Writing Business
is a two-person family business.
Two of us have controlling interest
in it.

That creates challenges
because sometimes we want to go
in different directions.

So we have a designated
third person.
This person is different
for different areas of the business.
He/she is an ‘expert’,
someone we both respect.
We give her/him
the tie-breaking vote
and we abide by that vote.

Steve Roeder,
partner
at Blatt Billiards,
a family-run business,
shares

“The most important thing is respect.
We don’t fight or argue
—we take a vote on everything
and we have a ‘two-man rule,’
so if two men vote one way,
the third must follow
for the benefit of the company.”

Would the two-man rule
work for your small business?