By k | September 30, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I always tell authors
that, for reviews,
you want
(on a 1 to 5 rating scale)
1’s and 5’s.
Some readers will hate what you write.
Some readers will love what you write.
Those two groups care.
2’s to 4’s mean readers don’t care.

Darren Hardy has a great post

on reaching your potential.
One of his points is
to prepare to be unpopular.

“Don’t follow the herd.
Don’t do what’s fashionable, trendy or popular.
What’s popular is what’s common.
Do what’s common and
you will get common results
(aka mediocrity).
You are looking for uncommon outcomes,
extraordinary achievements.”

Work toward 1’s and 5’s.
The rest is simply noise.

By k | September 29, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A couple of weeks ago,
I talked about
how you can easily determine
the effectiveness of advertising
on sites with rankings.

Yesterday,
I was impressed
because the site I was referring to,
now puts a price discount
on the novels advertised.

This, of course, completely skews results.
Authors don’t know
if the book is selling well
because of the advertising
(as an author who advertised previously
to the price discount alignment,
I say no)
or because of the price discount.

Authors also partially pay
for the discount
through reduced royalty rates
(royalty rates are based on selling price).

Very, very clever.

The need to play these games,
however,
illustrates how ineffective
the site advertising is.

By k | September 28, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Most book selling sites
have reader ratings.
They also have lists
ranking the books
with the top reader ratings.

As a result…
reader ratings are pretty much useless
because other authors
will mess with a book’s rating
to ensure that book doesn’t outrank theirs
on the list.

Nasty ratings or reviews happen
and they don’t always happen
because your product is a piece of shit.

Actually…
they are more likely to happen
if your product isn’t a piece of shit.
If no one cares about your product,
it simply isn’t going to get rated or reviewed
at all.

I don’t take any reviews or ratings,
good or bad,
to heart.
What I look for,
to determine if a book or product is working,
is repeat business.

For book sales,
I’ll watch the waves of buying.
There will be the first launch wave.
Then a week later,
there will be a recommended wave
(those are readers recommending the book
to friends).
THAT recommended wave
is what truly counts.

Ignore the nasty reviews.

By k | September 27, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I helped represent
my writing organization
at a book event yesterday.
The goal was to recruit new members.

I had the afternoon shift.
I arrived to find all five writers
sitting behind the table.
They told me it was deadly slow
and there was no interest in membership.

I stood in front of the table
and soon had more interested people
than I could process properly.
I put the writers behind the table to work.

One of my salesman buddies
tells me that he always makes sales calls
standing up.
He says prospects can hear the difference.

You also can’t make sales
with a table between you and your prospect.

Sell standing up
and sell on the same side of the table
as your prospect.

By k | September 26, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Recently I was party
to a conversation
with moms about kids cussing.
The consensus was
that kids were cussing more
and that was due to television.

Right and wrong.

A study by

Timothy Jay,
a psychology professor
at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts,
shows that children are cussing more
at a younger age.
“We find their swearing really takes off
between three and four.”

However, the reason
for the increase in profanities
is because
ADULTS (i.e. their parents)
are using profanities more.

When I relayed these results
to a potty-mouthed friend
with a potty-mouthed daughter,
I was told that the research was wrong
and he didn’t know what he was talking about.

You see,
it is much easier to blame someone else
(in this case, television)
than to take responsibility.
That’s human nature.
That also prevents success.
Successful people take responsibility.

Are you passing the buck
when it should stop with you?

By k | September 25, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I can clearly see
that a year from now
I’ll be writing full time.

Because I can see that,
I’ll all excited.
I have excess energy.
I am really givin’ ‘er workwise.
I’m focused
and working around the clock.

Which will,
of course,
increase the chance
my goal is achieved.

If I would have worked
with the same dedication
starting a year ago,
I would be a full time writer today.

So don’t wait for the goal to be in sight
to work your heart out to reach it.
Give all you can today.

By k | September 24, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I recently submitted a story
to a large publisher
via email.
I received nothing back.
No autoreply saying it was received.
No human email saying the same.

The process for authors
is to submit stories
and then wait months,
sometimes years
(yes, years)
for a response.
If the email has not been received
then the waiting is for nothing.

So I emailed to confirm
that they received my original email.
They emailed back and said they had.

Yeah, silliness,
especially since an autoreply
could have done the same thing automatically.

If you aren’t going to respond
within a half decent time frame
and your business depends
on the people contacting you,
at the very least
set up an autoreply.

By k | September 23, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was watching the latest commercial
for Crest 3D White.
There was an ‘expert’ vouching
for the toothpaste.
She stated
“As a professional photographer, I know…”
At the bottom of the screen
flashed the information
that the woman is an actress
and not a professional photographer.

Why? Why? Why?

Could Crest not find a single photographer
wanting a bit of advertising
who would state that a white smile is important?

Why did the actress have to claim
to be a professional photographer?
At all?

There are lies meant to sell product
or to deliberately confuse viewers
but this,
this is a lie of laziness.
It is damn embarrassing.

Someone at Crest
needs to have their ass kicked.

By k | September 22, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Repeat after me…
gossip is bad.

Repeating gossip means
you can’t keep a secret.
No one rises in the ranks
in a company
without being able to keep a secret.

There is informing certain people
(like the boss)
and then there’s gossip,
yapping to anyone
and everyone who will listen.

The only thing worse
than gossiping
is gossiping about bad news.
Not only does everyone know
you can’t keep a secret
but the people hearing the gossip
won’t appreciate hearing it.
Bad news is usually associated with the teller.
That’s where we get the phrase
‘don’t shoot the messenger.’

If it is not your role
to pass along bad news,
don’t.
Heck, if it is not your role
to pass along any sort of secret news
and it won’t hurt the folks you should protect
(i.e. your boss),
don’t.

By k | September 21, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my writing buddies
wants to contribute
to a rather risque call for submissions.

She’s scared
and a bit worried about
what others will think
of her contributing.

So a half dozen of us
have issued a challenge.
We will all contribute to this call
if she does also.

She is now entering
because the rest of us are,
not because she’s ’strange’
(or some other nonsense).

Big steps are less scary
when taken as part of a group.

If you’re thinking of taking a big step
(for the positive),
see if you can incorporate it
into a challenge.

If you know of a friend
struggling with a big step,
the best way to assist her
is to take that big step too.

You never know…
it could do positive things for you also.