By k | March 21, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My goal this summer for clientk
is to put together
4 Best Of… eBooks
(one for each year 2005 to 2008
and yes, Elisha, I agree,
it is about f***in’ time).

I know the importance of covers
(The Times Online states
“Studies show that a book on a three-for-two table
has about one and a half seconds to catch a reader’s eye.
If it is picked up,
it is on average glanced at
for only three to four seconds.”
- that’s all cover)
so I wanted to get the best cover art I could.
I contacted the designer
of my very popular Invisible cover.

Her charge out rate for a cover?
$50-75
An absolute bargain.

For one time activities,
it makes absolutely NO sense
to do it yourself.
There is always someone who can do it better
for less.

By k | March 20, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I received advanced notification
of a writing honor
(the official announcement is this weekend).

Now, it is time to say thank you.
No, not with an email or card,
(though I will send those too)
but by helping promote the award.

Some award winners are shy
about telling the world they won.
That is unfortunate
because the best thing they can do
is be a spokesperson for the award.

There’s a reason why
Miss America tours the U.S. after her win.
She is responsible for helping promote
the pageant.

If you win an award,
use it in your marketing.

By k | March 19, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Success has a great post on
businesses thriving during economic tough times.

Of course, there are the usual benefactors
bankruptcy lawyers, resume writing services, grocery stores
but there are a few unusual industries.

Bike sales have increased substantially
as people have more time and less money
to go places.

Video game manufacturers are seeing increases
of 31%
on top of previous strong sales.

Have you considered adding a recession friendly product
to your line up?

By k | March 18, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

After her bakery For Heaven’s Cakes
was featured on a reality show,
owner Lisa Donahue saw business triple

How did she take full advantage
of the national exposure
when bakeries are traditionally a local business?

“Because Peter Perfect airs nationwide,
I knew people across the country
couldn’t come to my cake shop,
so I really wanted my online business to prosper.”

“After the show,
we received 95,000 hits on our website.
We had to make sure
our online business could handle the increased traffic.
To do this
you have to have a very sophisticated website.
I spent a little more money
and designed a second website
that was data-based driven
and could handle the increased volume.
If your product is shipping nationwide,
that’s what I would recommend.”

With the internet,
it is possible to make every local business national
or even international.

By k | March 17, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the trends for 2009
is shockvertising.

I wouldn’t say this is a new trend.
Shocking prospects
with outrageous commercials
has always been a tactic.

The difference is…
it is far more difficult to shock people today.
Advertisers have to get more and more graphic,
more risque.

I put this in the same category
as competing on price.
It is a challenging tactic to maintain
(especially with any dignity).

Try for another emotion.

By k | March 16, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

At high end menswear retailer,
Harry Rosen,
salespeople are paid commission
not on sales
but on retention of customers.

Why?

The founder, Harry Rosen, himself
says it has to do with the male consumer.
“People always say
men hate shopping
but once they find
someone they can trust,
they’re one-stop shoppers.”

Salespeople keep files on their customers,
noting preferences, special occasions
and other key information.
All this builds trust.

Are you building trust with your customers?

By k | March 15, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Kim T. Gordon,
author of Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars:
The Top 50 Ways to Grow Your Small Business,
suggests that new businesses first target their marketing
to a small niche
filled with their top prospects.

This will keep costs down
as you reach potential customers
enough times to truly make an impact.

So I would target contemporary romance eBook readers
instead of general readers.
This group is smaller
but much more likely to actually buy my book.

Only when I’ve captured this market
would I expand my marketing
to a wider audience.

By k | March 14, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You might think it would be easy
for a rising country star like Taylor Swift
to snag a walk on
in an extra stuffed show like CSI.

You’d be wrong.
In an interview with CMT’s Paul McGuire,
Taylor Swift
shares that it took 2 years
of mentioning how much she loved CSI
in almost every interview she had
to get the invite.

A less determined person would have given up earlier
but then,
a less determined person is not a star.

Stars stay stars because they work hard.
If they are working that hard,
shouldn’t you?

By k | March 13, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

It drives me a bit bonkers
when small businesses take a big corporate ad
and adapt it for their own business.

Why?

The glory of being small
means that the owner’s personality
is part of the company’s brand.
Use that personality.

Ensure that communications are in YOUR distinct voice
(and everyone has a distinct voice).
Don’t use words you wouldn’t normally.
If you are informal, write informal copy.

Pamela Slim has some more great tips
on how to make your brand YOURS.

By k | March 12, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the things
romance readers do well
is ask
“What’s next?”
They’ll finish a great book from an author
(did I mention for eBook week,
my publisher is giving away Invisible for free?)
and they’ll contact the author
or scope out her website
or…
to find out when the next book is out.

I increase the likelihood of that
by asking readers to tell me
what they think of my novels.
This allows me to let them know (individually)
when the next novel is being released.

What is the lesson in this?
Great customers prefer to be led
from sale to sale.
They don’t want to buy just one.
They WANT to be lifelong customers.

Don’t abandon customers after the sale.
Take care of them.