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

Charlaine Harris has written
her last book
in her VERY popular
Sookie Stackhouse series.

Wrapping up a series is always hard
but it is even harder
when so many people,
including the mentally fragile,
are emotionally invested in the series.


As Charlaine Harris
shares

“I’m very fortunate that
people are so invested in the series.
At the same time,
it can be a source of some anxiety
to get emails that say,
‘If Sookie doesn’t end up with Eric,
I’m going to kill myself.’ ”

I have a much smaller readership
yet I receive at least
one brutally graphic threatening email
a day.

It is not just writers receiving threats.
When Coca-Cola launched New Coke,
the executive also received death threats.

According to the Oxford dictionary,
fan is the shortened form of fanatical.
These fans are fanatical in healthy ways
and in unhealthy ways.

When you’re successful,
you WILL attract the crazies.
It is one of the costs of success.

By k | May 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I see it all the time.
People, writers, entrepreneurs,
put together a great marketing campaign
and that’s it.
There’s no call to action.
There’s no follow up.
There’s no sales.

As Michael Port,
author of
Book Yourself Solid,
shares

“Marketing just builds awareness
about your products and services.

When your prospects have been made aware
of what you have to offer,
you’ll have an opportunity
to showcase your credibility
and earn their trust.

Once trust is established,
it’s appropriate to make sales offers
that are proportionate
to the amount of trust that’s been earned.
You don’t do this by hard pitching,
but by striking up relevant sales conversations
with the right people.”

Marketing is only the first step.
It should lead to sales.

This is, of course,
why it is SO key
that marketing and sales
work together.

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

A loved one is NOT a morning person.
His brain is in a fog
for the first 30 minutes of the day.
This doesn’t mean
he isn’t functional.
He has a morning routine
he doesn’t need his brain
to accomplish.

As Rieva Lesonsky
shares

“I’m not the most organized person,
but I’ve observed a lot of people who are,
and they have one thing in common:
a routine.

Hey, it’s morning,
your coffee hasn’t kicked in yet,
you’re not thinking totally clearly
and you need to get things done
without really thinking about them.
Having a routine helps you
auto-pilot yourself
through the basic tasks of the morning
(what to eat, what to wear)
before you really dig into
the tough stuff.”

Routines allow us
to get things accomplished
when our brains aren’t working.

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

When I wrote my first story,
I put every plot device I loved
into that single story.
I didn’t know if I’d write a second story
so I wanted to do it all.
The story ended up
as a complicated mess.

Independent artist
Macklemore hit it big

with his song Thrift Shop.
The video was simple and charming,
a work of art.

His second video,
for Can’t Hold Us,
is a complicated mess.
He clearly put every plot device
he could think of
into that video.

I see this happen again and again
with artists
and with product developers.
They do it all
because they can do it all,
not because it benefits the product.

We’ll hopefully be living, writing, creating
for a long, long time.
We will eventually do all of the cool things
we long to do.

Pace yourself.
If you can’t pace yourself
(I know I can’t),
then appoint someone to control pacing
and listen to that person.

By k | May 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The board of a not-for-profit
was rolling out
an automated payment system.
To test the system,
they need a credit card
to put a $40 charge on.

One by one,
the board members offered up
their credit cards.
One by one,
the credit cards were declined
for having an insufficient balance.

These board members were sophisticated women
with immaculate nails and hair,
designer outfits,
and expensive purses.
They appeared successful
yet they weren’t surprised
about their financial situation.
They made jokes about their balances
and brushed it off as unimportant
but it was an eye-opener for me.

Eventually, I said f*ck it
and offered my credit card.
The charge went through.
The system passed the trial.

The point is…
we can’t judge success by appearances.
This not only holds true
for people
but for companies also.
Delve deeper
before you form partnerships.

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

My July release
is the best story I’ve ever written.
My editor loved it.
I can’t, however, guarantee
that other readers will love it.
That’s out of my hands.

I CAN guarantee
that someone will hate it
with a fiery passion,
giving it a one star review on Amazon.
That’s a certainty.

Why?

Because someone always hates my stories.
Someone always hates anything I do.
I suspect that
someone always hates
that I’m doing.

Someone will hate that
you’re doing also.
They’ll sh*t all over your work.
But don’t let that stop you.

As Seth Godin
shares
(this blog post is
a must-read for any creator)

“No one has ever built a statue
to a critic,
it’s true.
On the other hand,
it’s only the people with statues
that get pooped on
by birds flying by.”

Build something,
a statue,
worth pooping on!

By k | May 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My July release
with the big New York Publisher
will be my 60th release.

Yes, I will be doing a huge promo push
for this release,
visiting many blogs,
talking to book bloggers and reviewers
but even if I wasn’t,
it would still be a big release for me.

Why?

Because I already have
59 releases worth of promo
in the blogosphere.

This more permanent promotion
builds
release after release,
year after year.
Eventually it becomes a snowball
and when the snowball becomes large enough,
it will be unstoppable.

When you design your marketing plan,
build some permanent promotion
into your mix.
In five years, you’ll be glad you did.

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

You’re likely doing something
that is sabotaging your career
or your business.
This something isn’t a big something.
You’d notice a big something.
It is small.
You might think it is trivial.

Unfortunately,
other people DON’T see it
as trivial.
For them,
it is a big deal
and it is preventing you
from landing that big deal.

This is why you need someone,
call her a spy, a mentor, an insider,
who is comfortable enough
to point this out.

As Rajesh Setty
shares

“Have someone else on your side
(mentor, confidant)
ALWAYS.
That someone MUST be competent
AND candid with you.
That someone must be one
who can call you out
on your micro-deviations
along the way.
It is also important
that you trust that someone
without judging them
or justifying your actions.”

Don’t let a ‘trivial’ thing
sink your success.

By k | May 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A prominent editor was fired yesterday.
At first, Romanceland was in shock.
THEN the knives came out.
Writers justified the firing
by saying
she took too long
responding to submissions,
or she missed the trends,
or she rejected the wrong stories.

Dumbness
for a number of reasons.

With the self-publishing boom,
great editors are in demand
and she is a great editor.
She won’t be unemployed for long.

She also has a lot of contacts
in Romanceland.
The industry is really small
and anything writers say about her
WILL float back to her.

But most of all,
no one except for the executive team
knows why she was fired.
I can guarantee
it wasn’t for a petty reason
like taking too long with submissions.

I’ve been involved in these decisions
and it is more likely
that this editor was fired
because someone had to be fired.
The company missed their earnings
or missed a trend no one could predict
or some other reason
the editor had no control over.

Think twice
before speaking ill of the fired.

By k | May 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have a huge book release in July
(a three novella series
releasing from a New York Publisher)
and I’ve been working like crazy,
getting my promotion material ready.

I’ve written 50 guest blog posts,
60 blog posts for my own site,
daily tweets for three months,
and
have contacted
book bloggers and reviewers.

This combined with my writing
and promotion for my regular releases
translates into long hours.

But as
restaurateur
Tyler Florence
says

success isn’t easy
and it isn’t free.

“I have a couple hundred employees
and I love each
and every one of them.
My crew is really tight.
I manage them from text and emails.
I work all the time;
success is not easy
and it is not free.
The second you take a day off,
that is the second
that the wheels get shaky.”

Time to get to work!