By k | September 2, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was contacted by a writer
who was in the same niche
I was.
She proposed that
we put together a boxed set
of new stories.
She’d share her readers
with me
and
I’d share my readers
with her.
We’d both grow our readership.

This writer is known
for being unethical.
My gut told me
she was f*cking with me.

But the opportunity
was too lush to ignore
and
I figured I could use the story
elsewhere.
I agreed.

Months later,
yep, the boxed set
isn’t going to happen.

It turns out
this writer does this quite often.
She’ll ‘distract’ her perceived competition
with enticing opportunities
that will never happen.

Remember that
the next time
you’re presented with an opportunity.
Ask yourself
“Is this a real opportunity
or merely a distraction?”

By k | September 1, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The big New York publishers
don’t understand Amazon,
the biggest bookseller
in the world.

One of the most important
fields
in an Amazon listing
is the tags.
Tags are the key words
readers search on.

Many New York publishers,
because they load through
a third party,
don’t use tags at all.
They certainly don’t use tags
the way they should
on Amazon.

What does that mean?

It’s often easier
for a self-published book
to rank high on Amazon
than it is
for a New York published book.

Being big, in this case,
is a disadvantage.

The thing is..
there’s ALWAYS a case
where being big
is a disadvantage,
where you as a smaller company
have the strategic advantage.

Battle the bigger companies
where you have
the strategic advantage.

By k | August 31, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Every time I’m interviewed,
I ask the interviewer
as many questions
as she asks me.

Why?

Because I know my answers.
I don’t know her answers.
Her answers might teach me
something new,
something valuable
that I can use
in my own life.

Larry King
shares

“I remind myself every morning:
Nothing I say this day
will teach me anything.
So if I’m going to learn,
I must do it by listening.”

If you’re talking more than
you’re listening,
you’re learning less
than the other person.
Ask questions
and listen to the answers.

By k | August 30, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Leading a team is challenging.
Leaders might be respected
but we’re not always liked
because we have to
make the tough decisions,
have to push our teams
to perform,
have to talk to them
when things go wrong.

Jessica Alba,
actress
and founder of
the Honest Company,
shares

“Sometimes I’m a little more
iron fist than velvet glove.
I’m straight to the point.
I’ve made people cry.”
“I have to say,
‘This isn’t personal.
This is what needs to get done,
and it’s just as simple as that.
And …we’re not crying anymore.’”

Leadership isn’t a popularity contest.
We won’t always be liked.

By k | August 29, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I was asked to pitch
ideas (prospective products)
to a publisher (customer).
I was debating whether or not
I wanted to.

A writing buddy of mine said
“Why not pitch?
It doesn’t cost anything.”

That’s unfortunately not true.
Putting together a pitch
takes time, energy, sometimes money.
When we working on a pitch,
we’re not working on anything else.

There’s also the issue
that politically
it might be difficult to withdraw
after a pitch.

It’s more time efficient
to think about whether or not
I want this sale
BEFORE I pitch.

Think before you pitch.
There’s a cost to it.

By k | August 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Right now,
I’m deep into revisions
of a manuscript.
Revisions are challenging
but they aren’t as challenging
as a first draft.

Looking at that blank page
can be scary.

For everyone.

It’s easier for your team
to tweak an idea,
marketing copy,
process,
than it is for them
to come up
with a brand new
idea/copy/process.

As a project manager,
walk into that first meeting
with a first draft of an idea.
It could and probably will be
a terrible first draft
(all of mine are)
but give your team
something to work with.

By k | August 27, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my writing buddies
was gaining momentum
with her books.
Every new release sold better
than the previous.
She was on the verge
of breaking out.

Then she decided
to make changes,
hoping these changes
would grow her readership faster.

She changed publishers,
changed editors,
changed cover artists.

Her product significantly changed
and her system changed also.
The changes weren’t seamless.
They took time and energy
and distracted readers.

All of this sucked her momentum.
She didn’t break out.
In fact, her readership decreased
substantially.

If your momentum is building,
consider riding it
as far as it can take you
and
be very careful about making changes.

By k | August 26, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

What makes an ear worm song
(a viral hit)?

At the University of Southern California,
researchers have discovered that

a song’s popularity is tied to
the simplicity of the lyrics and
how often they are repeated.

The researchers wrote
“Tempo does not appear to matter.
While every artist strives
to create a catchy hook,
they may also consider striving to
write a coherent song
in which the chorus is repeated frequently
while utilizing a limited vocabulary.”

This works for marketing also.

Keep the message simple
and repeat it.

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

We all have more tasks
to complete
than we have time
to complete them in.

We’ll never watch
every TV show we want
to watch,
read every book,
take every workshop,
travel to every destination.

So we HAVE to prioritize.
If we don’t,
we end up doing random sh*t
that might or might not
bring us closer to
accomplishing our goals.

Mike Michalowicz,
CEO of Provendus Group,
shares

“Determine what you want
to accomplish
—more money, more free time—
and structure your day
to accomplish those goals.
In the end,
productivity is prioritization.”

Prioritize.
That isn’t a nice-to-do.
That’s a must-do
for any successful person.

By k | August 24, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Almost every romance novel
has a message in it.
I constantly ‘teach’ about tolerance.
That’s the message in my stories.

But I don’t tell readers this.
If I did,
sales would plummet.

Why?

Because most people don’t like to be taught.
They get nasty flashbacks
to bad experiences at school.
They associate it with work.
They wouldn’t willingly experience all that again.

People DO like to be entertained.
They want to be caught up
in the story.
If they learn something
while laughing or crying or being scared,
while caring about the characters,
that’s a bonus.

So my messages are not-as-obvious.
They’re hidden in the story.
This means not every reader ‘gets’ them
but that’s okay,
because many do.
I’m reaching more readers
than I would reach
if I had been heavy handed
with the messages.

Don’t ‘teach’ prospects and customers.
Entertain them.