By k | October 21, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Yesterday,
was the release of my 4th romance story
(for sale - I’ve released many freebies).

What I’ve learned over the last 15 months
is that connections sell books.
Connections in a number of ways.

The book must connect with readers.
There needs to be an emotional link
between the book and readers.
If I don’t cry when I re-read my story,
my readers won’t cry.
If they don’t cry,
they won’t love the book
enough to mention it to other readers.

The book must connect with other books.
Readers, especially female romance readers,
invest in worlds.
They want to get to know
the characters in that world.
ALL the characters.
I still get requests for the story
of the bad boy lawyer in my first novel.

The book must connect readers to other readers.
Romance writers do this
by incorporating inside information
into their books.
The jewelry store in the first book
belongs to the bad boy in the second book.
His name is not mentioned.
Only careful readers, true fans, picked it up.
When they pick this up,
they want to tell friends.
They can only do that
if the friends have read the book.

The eBook Test has a list of
11 axioms in publishing today.
Many of those axioms
are about connections.

By k | October 20, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

The world is very, very small.
Just because we don’t do business
right now
doesn’t mean we won’t do business
tomorrow.

So how we say no
is important.

Last week,
I knew I was going to receive
a ‘no.’
The recruiter I was working with
knew I was going to receive
a ‘no.’

The client decided
that rather than give us
that simple ‘no’,
he’d ask for a reduction in rates
of 75%.

That isn’t a ‘no.’
That’s an insult,
a deliberate insult.

It not only colored
our impression of this person
but of his entire organization,
a supposedly professional organization
that I belong to
(yes, I’m a customer).

Have the balls to say no
but say it in a professional way.

By k | October 19, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I went to a seminar on Saturday.

For about an hour
(of the 6 hour presentation),
the paid speaker fiddled
with her high tech presentation.
We ended up
not getting through the entire seminar program
because of this delay.

The unfortunate part was that
the video wasn’t needed
to prove her point.

She could have
switched
to a low tech presentation
while her assistant solved
the video problem.

Except she didn’t have a low tech presentation.
She was relying completely
on having video, power, a computer that worked.

Things go wrong.
Always have a low tech alternative.

By k | October 18, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I attended a writing seminar
yesterday.
There was a side discussion
on books that make the big bestseller lists.

There are a core group of
what industry folks call
‘experienced readers.’
These readers read A LOT.
They are the bread and butter
of any career author.
They buy books every week.

But in order to land
on the major bestseller lists,
capturing the experienced reader
is not enough.

A book has to also appeal
to the less experienced
(i.e. they read less than 5 books a year)
and typically male reader.

To do that requires an easier to read,
simpler, faster paced,
plot driven story.

And often a male author
or… an author using initials rather than names
to sound male
(J.K. Rowling, J.D. Robb, etc.)

By k | October 17, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I went on an interview this week
and I absolutely knew
I wouldn’t get a job.

I got the definite no
yesterday
but the moment
my gut said I wouldn’t get the job,
I moved on.
There are plenty of maybe opportunities.
There is no use
fighting a highly probable no.

A friend of mine
sent her manuscript to her dream agent.
The agent states
it’ll take 3 months minimum
to get back to her
(that is standard).

Instead of waiting a week
and sending it to another agent
who will take 3 months minimum
to get back to her
(i.e. she’ll still hear back from the dream agent first
if only by a week),
she’s waiting
on, truthfully, a highly probable no.

Take the long shots
but don’t waste time
waiting for the long shots to pay off.
Life is too darn short.

By k | October 16, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

After a successful project launch,
there is always at least one celebration,
usually two.

The first celebration
is for everyone.
That is,
everyone who touched the project
however briefly
or will touch the project
when things go wrong tomorrow,
everyone who supported the project
or will support one of your projects tomorrow.
This is the celebration with the slab cake
and sometimes pizza.
It is a big, happy, noisy affair.

The purpose of that first celebration
is to broadcast the project’s success
throughout the organization,
publicly thank your stars,
and show that helping you out on projects
will help people out career-wise.

The second celebration (if needed)
is smaller and quieter.
You take your core team out
for a lunch,
sometimes giving them a token
for working on the project
(a hat or a jacket or a laptop case),
and you sincerely thank your team.

If you have the second, smaller celebration,
always, always, always
have the first, larger celebration.
If you don’t,
you’ll tick off your not-so-visible project helpers.
Not a happy situation
(as one of my buddies is finding out this week).
You need those helpers.
You want them on your team.

By k | October 15, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

On Tuesday,
due to a broken down vehicle,
I was fifteen minutes late
for an interview.

I knew as soon as
the break down happened,
I wouldn’t get the contract gig.
It didn’t matter the reason
I was late
or even how late I was.
Once a person is late for an interview,
they rarely, rarely get the job.

Why?

Because first impressions stick.
Because being late
hints at disorganization
and poor planning
and disrespect for other people’s time.

I still went through with the interview,
trying to wow the exec,
knowing full well
that someone else would get the job.
That’s the professional thing to do.

Leave plenty of time for interviews.
Don’t be late.

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

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank
is sounding the alarms
about a major food crisis in 2050.
The purpose for this fear mongering
is to drive change.

It isn’t going to work.

2050 or over 40 years from now
is a lifetime away.
The people most able to make
the changes today
will likely be dead.

These people also know
that everything could change tomorrow.
It will definitely change
over the 40 years.

You want to drive change?
Make it urgent (today urgent)
and make it personal.

By k | October 13, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

For years,
I’ve read my daily horoscope
on a certain newspaper’s site.
Recently the site had a revamp.
I had to think about where
my horoscope was.
While I was thinking,
I thought
‘is there a better place to get my news?’
There was
so I no longer visit that site.

A loved one hosts movie night every year
on December 24th.
The movie is always Miracle on 34th Street.
This year,
he decided to change the movie.
He sent out emails
taking requests.
What he got back
were requests for a complete overhaul
of the day.

Change is painful for people
but when forced to change,
people often change EVERYTHING.

Don’t force your customers
to make small changes.
You’ll lose some
every time you do.

By k | October 12, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I bought my first Snuggie
on Saturday.

I never understood why
the Snuggie
was so successful
until this past week.

My dear mom had a challenging week.
I told a friend
that I wished I could give her a big hug
but my mom lives 2.5 hours away
by plane.

My friend’s advice?

“Send her a Snuggie.
It is the next best thing.”

THAT’s one of
the secrets of success
for Snuggie.
It is not about a fleece robe.
It is about the viral positioning
of giving a hug,
of sharing love.

Tie your product to an emotion.