By k | March 21, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m thrilled
whenever another writer publishes
in a similar theme as I do.
Often I’ll see a sales bump
because she brings her own readers
to the theme.

I’m also thrilled
whenever a writer with one of my publishers
‘breaks out.’
She usually brings many more readers
to the publisher’s site
and that benefits me.

Scott Eblin shares
that when pro golfers help each other,
they make the game more interesting
and
“when that happens,
they all get richer
because more fans tune in
and more sponsors sign on.
In other words,
they grow the size of the pie
they’re sharing.

For instance,
a lot of pro golfers got a lot richer
once Tiger started drawing
more eyeballs to the game.”

“Killing the competition”
is just something we say.
In reality, we want
the competition to be healthy
because healthy competitors
make healthy industries.

By k | March 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many publishing contracts
have a first right of refusal clause.
This is a clause designed
to make the writer ‘exclusive’
to a single publisher.

This exclusivity only works, however,
if the publisher contracts as quickly
as the writer writes.
I have exclusivity contracts
with two of my publishers
and I have satisfied both of them.

That means I can shop my next manuscript
to any publisher I wish
and it isn’t in my best interest
to write that manuscript for an existing publisher.
Why?
Because clearly my existing publishers
haven’t evaluated the stories
I’ve already written for them.

One of my former employers
used to get huffy
whenever their employees moonlighted.
The thing is…
they didn’t pay their employees well
so the employees were forced to look
for other work.

It is very difficult
to force a person or company
to give you exclusivity.
If you want exclusivity,
you should prove again and again
that exclusivity is in THEIR best interest.

By k | March 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When PepsiCo failed
to renew a distribution contract

in Thailand,
their main retail distributor
withdrew all Pepsi products
from its shelves
and replaced them with “Est,”
its own Pepsi-lookalike brand.

Pepsi’s market share in that country
fell from 48 percent
to 15 percent.

In February,
Microsoft failed to renew their SSL certificate

causing cloud outages
and embarrassment.

Currently eight of my stories
are out of contract.
The publisher has forgotten to renew
the contracts
(not renewing them
gives me flexibility
so I’m not rushing to remind the publisher).

Forgetting to renew contracts
can cost you money and embarrassment.
Track your contract expiry dates.

By k | March 18, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I once worked in a company
that was so complex,
the V-P of my department
didn’t know how all of business units interrelated.

Getting anything approved
was a nightmare.
It would take a week
just to figure out who needed
to approve a decision.

Eventually,
the company split into
smaller more focused companies,
manageable companies.

In January/February’s CMA Magazine,
Chris Zook,
author of Repeatability,
shares

“Organizations are getting
too complex
for their own good,
and the trend is slowly killing them.
Complexity slows decision making.

Companies need to be focused,
adaptable and embedded.
They hardwire their key values
all the way to the front lines.”

Keep your company simple.

By k | March 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Networking is a great way
to gain new customers
or find another job.

But no one has time
to contact everyone
so whom should we focus on?

As Tara Horner shares

“Most businesses should focus
on reaching the second tier of clients
— in other words,
customers of business contacts.

Job seekers may want to focus
on contacts within their desired field of employment.

However, do not go to the point of inflexibility.
Be focused on who you want to target,
but be prepared to think outside the box
and change course if
an interesting, off-target contact
comes your way.”

Focus your networking efforts
on people who can best help you
achieve your goals.

By k | March 16, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Before I try anything new,
before I go on interviews,
before I submit a story,
I get sick to my stomach
with fear.

I can’t allow this to stop me.
If I did,
I’d never accomplish anything.

Almost everyone has self-doubt.
The difference between
the successful
and the not-as-successful
is the successful don’t let self-doubt stop them.

As Sheryl Sandberg,
COO of Facebook,
shares

“Don’t let your fears
overwhelm your desire.
Let the barriers you face
– and there will be barriers –
be external, not internal.
Fortune does favor the bold,
and I promise that
you will never know
what you’re capable of
unless you try.”

Don’t allow fear and self-doubt
stop you.

By k | March 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When an up and coming writer
asks me for advice,
I immediately take a bigger interest
in that writer’s career.
That’s human nature
AND the power of advice.


As Dennis Bakke shares

“When people are asked for advice,
they start to feel ownership.
Ideally, everyone who offers advice
works for the success of the project
as if it were their own.

The advice process isn’t just
about getting the right answer.
It’s about building a strong team
and creating a process of communication
that will improve all decisions
in a company.”

Build your team.
Ask for advice.

By k | March 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Recently, an eBook publisher folded.

One of my publishers sent out an email,
stating that everything was financially okay.
Another publisher didn’t say anything.

Rumors started at the silent publisher.
Writers guessed at the publisher’s financial health.
Some of the rumors were crazy
but since there was no other information,
they couldn’t be refuted.

In times of uncertainty,
communicate.

As Scott Eblin shares

“Stay engaged:
Don’t assume that one call does it all.
Stay engaged with your organization.
Keep sharing what you know
when you know it and can share it.
Keep asking for input.
Nature abhors a vacuum
and so do organizations.
In the absence of clear
and relevant communications
from you and with you,
people are going to fill the vacuum
with stuff they’re making up.
You don’t want that.
Stay engaged.”

Communicate.

By k | March 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If you do something, anything,
or even nothing,
you will be criticized for it.

This is part of existing in today’s world.
Everything is on record.
Everything is up for criticism.
There are a zillion critics for every doer.

If criticism in a certain field bothers you,
you shouldn’t be in that field.
If you publish a novel,
that novel WILL be ripped to shreds.
I can guarantee it.
If you put your photo on the internet,
someone WILL call you hideous.
If you develop a product,
someone WILL hate it with a fiery passion.

It might not be fair
but it IS reality
and, in a way,
it is freeing.

We know
no matter what we do,
we’ll be criticized
so fearing that criticism,
or allowing that criticism to stop us,
is silly.

Do what you want to do.
Change the world
the way you want to change the world.
F*ck the critics!

By k | March 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

My goal is not to be the best
romance writer in the world.
Yes, some people are shocked
when I say that
but it is the truth.

My goal isn’t to be the most read
romance writer in the world either.
(if that was my goal,
I’d give my stories away)

I strive to be the best writer
I can be
and to give my readers value
for their book buying dollars
but I am more interested in sales,
in earning a living from writing,
than in awards or perfection or being read.

Do I broadcast this goal?
No, because it isn’t a reader-friendly goal.
But I know what it is.
And I am honest about what I need
to make me happy.

Take a brutally HONEST look
at your career goal.
You don’t have to share this goal
but know what it is
and make decisions
that lead you toward accomplishing it.