By k | December 31, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

On the 26th,
I boxed up all my errors and mistakes
and misgivings
and unproductive habits
accumulated over the previous year.

Today is the day
I celebrate my successes.
These successes could be
as small as updating my antiquated resume,
or they could be
as large as publishing 12 stories,
one story for each month.

I have pages and pages of successes
recorded throughout the year.
Studying them
gets me pumped and excited
for the year to come.
I’m smarter today
than I was January 1st
so I’m destined to do even more
in 2011.

Don’t have anything to celebrate?
This doesn’t mean
you didn’t have successes.
It simply means
you didn’t keep track of your successes.

You know that fancy notebook
a loved one gave you?
Use it to track your successes in 2011.
Fill the book with accomplishment!

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

This past year,
under a couple of pen names,
I’ve had a story published every month.

The story that I had published
in January
was a good, solid story,
worthy of publication.

The story that I had published
in December
was light years better.
It got top reviews.
It has some great sales traction.

The story I publish
in December 2011
will be even better.

Why?

Because in the three years of publishing,
I have improved month over month
every single month.

As Sir Winston Churchill stated
“Every day you may make progress.
Every step may be fruitful.
Yet there will stretch out before you
an ever-lengthening,
ever-ascending,
ever-improving path.
You know you will never get
to the end of the journey.
But this, so far from discouraging,
only adds to the joy and glory of the climb”

Strive to continuously improve.

Terry Starbucker has a post
with 9 other brilliant quotes.

By k | December 29, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

They don’t.
Why?
Because it is impossible
to get 100,000 words
absolutely perfect
(even with three editors).

If you are waiting to launch
that product
or business
or send out that manuscript
until you have it perfect,
you won’t…
EVER.

Accept imperfection.
Make it good enough
to smush the competition
(in one or two areas)
and then release it.

If you have time
(you won’t),
fix the imperfections later.

Make 2011 the year that you ship.
Get it out there!

By k | December 28, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Seth Godin has a great post
on planning a retreat.

Writers have writers retreats
ALL the time.
The reason for that
is because writing can be very isolating
and because it is a creative process,
benefiting from brainstorming.

‘Cause really… that’s what a retreat is.
It is a great place to brainstorm.
If I want to learn a skill,
I’ll hook up with a mentor.
If I want to learn assorted information about a topic,
I’ll take a seminar.
But if I want a whole lot of different ideas,
I’ll go to a retreat and brainstorm.

The best retreats I’ve been to
have been small,
less than ten people.
Those ten people are similar
in where they are in their careers and abilities
but they are different people
doing/writing different things.

We usually send out our problem areas
(i.e. the plot issues we’d like to brainstorm)
before we arrive at the retreat.
We also go somewhere cut off
from the rest of our normal world.

And we work
HARD.
We have set goals for the retreat
and we accomplish them
because accomplishing these goals
justifies the next retreat.

If you need to brainstorm a problem or product,
consider a retreat.

By k | December 27, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’ve participated in a few
multi-author series.
Some do well,
with many authors participating.
(The more authors participating,
the better the series does
as there are more authors
to cross-promote.)
Some don’t do well,
with no interest from authors.

What is the main difference?

Whether or not
the series lead author
starts the conversation
with a list of possible plots.

Do the final plots look anything
like these idea starters?
No.
But they get the creativity flowing.

If possible,
start a brainstorming session
with some ideas.
The crazier and wilder the ideas,
the better.

By k | December 26, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

December 26th is Boxing Day
in many countries of the world.
There are several theories
behind the origin of Boxing Day.
One is that servants were given
boxes of gifts or bonuses or leftover food
as a reward for helping
their wealthy master’s Christmas celebrations
run smoothly.

I use Boxing Day
as a day to cleanse from the year previous.
I get rid of items I don’t need.
I eliminate tasks I don’t need to do.
I shrug off grudges.
I discard unhealthy, permanently broken relationships.
I leave behind
anything from the year before
that I don’t want to take forward
into the next.

This leaves empty spaces
that I can fill with
new habits
and goals
and relationships.
It prepares me for the brand new year.

Look around you.
What do you need for 2011?
Anything you don’t need
(physically, mentally, emotionally),
consider leaving behind.
Box it up and put it away.

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

One of the complaints
I often hear
from entrepreneurs
and authors
and other people accomplishing great things
is that their loved ones
don’t understand when something special happens.
They don’t celebrate the wins
that WE feel are important.

When I made my first sale as a writer,
I told a loved one.
She said ‘that’s nice’
and changed the topic.

Why?

Because
a) I hadn’t made an effort
to celebrate her special days
and
b) I hadn’t made it clear
that THIS was a special day for me.

Today may or may not be
a special day for you,
but odds are,
it is a special day for someone
you know and care about.

Be there for them.
Tell them
“this is a special day for you
and I want to help you celebrate it.”

Then when,
in the future,
you tell these same loved ones
“I made a big sale today.
It is a special day.
I’d like you to celebrate it with me.”
they will be more likely to show up
and share your joy.

Celebrate other people’s special days.
Success is not as much fun
when celebrated alone.

By k | December 24, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many of Jason Derulo’s songs
benefit greatly
from the sampling of other songs.

Sampling is fraught with legal issues.
It can be a long process
to get permission to sample a song.
There’s a big risk
that the artist will say no.

So when in the development process
does Jason Derulo ask permission
(or ‘clear’ the sample)?

When it works.
As he says,
“If the whole song’s not great,
it makes no sense to clear it.”

Keep in mind though
that there are low(ish) development costs
to get a song to the working stage.

The higher the development costs,
the earlier you should look
into gaining permission.

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

I was told by an industry insider
that December 25th
is predicted to be
the number one sales day EVER
for eBook sales.

Why?

Because eBook readers
are one of the hot ‘toys’
for Christmas,
and recipients will be loading
their readers full of eBooks.

Clearly, December 25th is the BEST day
to advertise eBooks.
Ads will have a greater lift
because people are looking for that product.
I’ve yet to see a site
with an advertising premium for that day.

When you have
what I like to call a parasite product,
you really, really have to
pay attention
to the sales cycles of your host.

Your marketing should revolve
around these sale cycles.

By k | December 22, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the trends
in social media
is getting the community
to vote on new products
or book titles
or, in Obama’s case,
issues.

That’s a dumbass trend.

Why?

Because you’re then obliged
to act upon that vote,
or risk the ire of the community.

And who the hell is the community?
Are they working in your best interest?
No, they’re working in THEIR best interests.
For all you know,
the person pushing the vote one way
(and there are always people pushing
the vote one way)
is working for the competition.

I ALWAYS belong
to the competition’s community.
It is the best way
to gather information on the competition.

Wikinomics guru Don Tapscott
recently speaking at
The Empire Club,
suggested a better way
is to ask for input,
rather than votes.
Don’t have a number on the screen,
have individual comments
WITH no anonymous comments allowed.
Keep those folks accountable.

He reminded us
that democracy is NOT majority rules
because a cornerstone of democracy
is that the rights of the minority
is also protected.

Ask for input
but don’t put important decisions
up for a blind vote.