By k | January 31, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We are now 1 month
(1/12th of the year)
into 2013.
Many of us have set goals for this year
(and those of us who haven’t,
should).

If you haven’t done so already,
consider reviewing these goals today.

Are they still relevant?
Are you on track?
What or whom do you need
to get you back on track
or to maintain your momentum?

What you accomplish
or don’t accomplish in 2013
matters.
It will matter this year
and it will matter for years to come.

Make 2013 count!

By k | January 30, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I know I’m most creative in the mornings
so when I plan my day,
I complete my fresh writing early.

I promo (and usually blog)
late at night
when my brain is dead.

Jason Womack,
author of
Your Best Just Got Better:
Work Smarter,
Think Bigger,
Make More,

suggests, when planning your day,
you should ask

“When do you
have the most focused energy
during the day?

When are you
most effective at doing
specific hard to get done tasks?

When are you
best at accomplishing goals
that required broad thinking?

You can then divide the day into sections
and match activities to daily zones,
including tasks that need to get done today
in order for your business to move forward;
long-term strategic thoughts,
conversations or meetings;
and the mechanics of the day,
such as email, travel and phone calls.”

Don’t fight your body or your brain.
Plan your day around
when best you perform the tasks
you need to complete.

By k | January 29, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In my SciFi romance novels,
I often use existing languages,
instead of making up alien languages.

I do this for a good reason
(because knowledge of an existing language
- even a seldom used language
- would be more useful to my readers
than learning a fictional language)
but I’m aware that
some readers might feel ‘tricked’
and this could damage sales.

Trust between a writer and her reader
(her customer)
is very important.
The reader has to trust
the writer will deliver on the story promise,
giving her a product she’ll enjoy.
Any sort of deceit damages this trust.

So I wrote a blog post,
telling readers exactly what I’m doing
and why I’m doing this.
I’m open when asked about my languages.
I don’t try to conceal anything.

Although this approach has drawn some sneers
from ’serious’ SciFi writers,
readers either don’t care
or they love it.

And I don’t have to worry
about deceiving anyone.

In this age of information,
honesty IS the best policy.

By k | January 28, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

For Christmas,
a loved one loaded Jungle Style Pinball
on my iPod Touch.

One of the many things
I love about this game
is it trains me to focus
on the doing,
rather than the score.

The best time to look at the score
is between plays.
If I take my eye off the ball
and look at the score
while I’m playing,
I always lose the ball.

It is challenging not to look
while the ball is in play.
I want the feedback.
I crave the feedback.

As it is challenging not to look
constantly
at my Amazon rankings
or at my sales.

But if I wish to win
at either pinball
or business,
I have to keep my eye on the ball
and save the score checking for designated times.

By k | January 27, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my writing buddies
is a shiny object person.
She never sticks to anything for long,
including marketing strategies.

So she organizes marketing events.
She hosts huge release parties
on the hyped marketing venue of the minute.

And she sells books.

I prefer to find a couple of marketing tools
that I like and that work
and stick to them.
I blog every day.
I post on reseller sites every day.

And I sell books.

There are so many marketing tools
and promotional channels out there for your product
that you can’t use them all.

So choose the tools/channels
that suit your personality.

By k | January 26, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Be significant but slow
or
be fast but insignificant.

That is a dilemma many leaders face.
We have to grow our organizations
to make a significant impact
but large organizations often move slowly.

Or can large organizations move quickly?

BRAC believes they’ve found the answer
through this process.

Pilot. Perfect. Scale Up.

“When demand is spotted
— say, a need for financial literacy training
and microfinance products
tailored for teens,
in the case of ELA
— the organization doesn’t waste time
figuring out how to do things elegantly.
It moves.

It then assesses the pilot
and adapts accordingly,
which could mean eliminating
the entire program if necessary.
To do this requires stringent internal monitoring,
and BRAC is often its own harshest critic
via an independent research
and evaluation division set up in 1975.

Only then does it scale up.
This is really a version of
the “fail fast, fail often” innovation strategy
currently in vogue
among business strategists.”

Pilot. Perfect. Scale Up.

By k | January 25, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In Face Off,
the special-effects make-up competition,
the most risky task
to take on
is the head sculpt.

If the entry loses,
the judges will ask who did the head sculpt.
That artist goes home.

If the entry wins,
the judges will award the win
to the artist who completed the head sculpt.

The contestants know this.

In the early stages,
while the contestants work in teams,
the weaker contestants
will do anything
to avoid being the ONE person
responsible for the head sculpt.

The great contestants,
in contrast,
will take responsibility
for the head sculpt.
They’ll hone their craft,
incorporating the judges’ comments/advice,
while competing against a large group.

At the end of the competition,
when the groups of many
have become single contestants,
these great contestants will have gained
much more experience
with this critical component.

They take smaller upfront risks
to mitigate the huge risk
they know they’ll face in the future.

Is it possible for you to take smaller risks now
to avoid having to take the large risks
in the future?

By k | January 24, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

During the eliminations of
the special-effects make-up competition show
Face Off,
the best contestants stay with the judges,
the worst contestants stay with the judges,
and the middle of the road contestants
are sent off-screen.

These ‘average’ contestants are ’safe’
but they don’t receive any more publicity.
The judges then spend the rest of the show
talking about the best and the worst contestants.

This mirrors real life.
We talk about great products,
we talk about terrible products,
and we don’t talk about average products.

The results for the best and worst contestants
mirror real life also.
The worst contestants (at least one of them)
are fired.
The best contestants (at least one of them)
are rewarded,
given experiences to make them even better.

The strong get stronger.
The weak die.
The average are ignored.

Strive to be the strongest,
whether in a specific niche
or a specific skill.

By k | January 23, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Currently,
I’m testing a tactic
to sell more books on Amazon.

Why?

Because Amazon has changed yet again,
eliminating product tags,
and I have to find a new method
to grow my sales.

But if Amazon hadn’t changed,
I would have been testing something else.
The world changes constantly.
Old tactics don’t work.
New tactics have to be tested.

Jurgen Appelo tests tactics
through his blog.

“A blog helps me
to run experiments.
I sometimes have a half-baked idea
that I can put to the test
by simply writing about it.

Sometimes people like the idea,
sometimes they don’t.
Early feedback from readers
helps me not to waste time
on unsuccessful ideas.”

What are you testing?

By k | January 22, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Last year,
the January price
for a newsletter cover spot ad
at a romance reseller
was $15.

This year,
the same newsletter cover spot ad
costs $30.

Why?
Because the newsletter distribution
has doubled.
This bookseller has doubled in size.

A small publisher was grumbling
about this bookseller
not giving her the attention
she once received.
I asked her if HER sales had doubled in size.

They hadn’t
which meant that,
yes, this publisher WAS less important
to that bookseller.

THIS is why
it is important to grow
at least
at the same rate as partners.

Your target growth rate
should keep pace
or surpass
your partner’s growth rate.