By k | January 31, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Yesterday, we talked about
sharing a great tip in press releases.
I received the emails I thought I would.
Someone always asks
“But I want it to be a surprise.”

No…just, no.
In Romance,
we call this being a ’secret keeper’
and it irritates the hell out of our readers.

Romance is the best selling genre
and we write the ending
on the spine of the book,
in the back cover copy,
display it on the cover.
The couple (or more) will fall in love
and have a happy ending.

I’m writing a multi-novella serial
in which the heroine has to choose
between two men.
I make it clear on the first page
who she will choose.

Romance readers (prospects) don’t want secrets.
They want to know
so they can invest in the characters (the product).
They want to feel smart.
They want to have all of the information.

Don’t be a secret keeper.
It will irritate
the hell out of your prospects also.

By k | January 30, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Yesterday, I talked about
having one good tip
in our press releases,
a solid piece of information
the media can write a story around.

But what if you only have
ONE good tip?

New writers often ask this.
Excerpts are posted on book seller sites,
on blogs, on review sites,
and they worry that readers won’t read more
because they’ve already read
the ‘best’ part of the story.

They should be worried.
If there’s only one great scene
in their story,
their story isn’t good enough.

If an entrepreneur only has one good tip
to tell her prospects,
regarding her product,
then either she doesn’t know her prospects
well enough
or her product isn’t good enough.

You need more than
one good tip, one good scene,
one good feature.

By k | January 29, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I talked with a business writer
at the Consumer Electronics Show.
He was selling a thick book.
I told him
I was a busy blogger,
I didn’t have time
to read his book,
but I’d happily talk about
one of his tips on my blog,
linking to his book.

He didn’t have a tip to give me.
He was attending a trade show,
frequented by the media,
and he didn’t have a press release
to give me.
Instead, he gave me a business card
and asked me to contact him for more information.

I didn’t contact him.
I didn’t mention him
on clientk or any of my other blogs.

Walk with a copy of your press release.
Have at least one good tip
on that press release,
something a blogger could mention
and then point to your website.

By k | January 28, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m working on a huge writing project.
It involves multiple novellas,
multiple plots,
many characters.

This is the biggest writing project
I’ve undertaken
and I freaked the hell out,
not knowing where to start,
what to do,
how to tackle it.

Then a writing buddy slapped
some sense into me.
At the core of this BIG project
is the smaller projects I’ve excelled at delivering.
I’ve asked for help
on the components that are different,
using that familiar core as a base.

The core of your BIG project
is the smaller projects you’ve managed
in the past.
The project should stretch you,
not break you.

By k | January 27, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Right now,
I’m struggling with the imagery
for my multi-novella serial.
All of my stories have
imagery and symbolism.
This is the toughest part
of writing.

If you ask my readers
about imagery and symbolism,
they likely won’t know
what you’re talking about.

But they know
some stories are magical
and these stories
happen to be the stories
with the most imagery and symbolism.

Your customers likely don’t know
the impact of each of your product components
All they know is
“It’s magical.”

Just because a customer
can’t name a part of the process
doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
Keep the magic in your products.

By k | January 26, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I consider my pen names
to be partially owned
by my hubby.
This angers some writing buddies.
They feel I did all of the writing,
I should own the pen name completely.
Without me, there would be no pen name.

Yes, but without my hubby,
I wouldn’t have time to write stories.
I couldn’t afford the slow income build
that many start ups face.
I’d have to work in a business gig
to pay the bills.

And when I have a deadline,
when I’m writing
until my fingertips are bloody stumps,
he’s doing everything else.
He’s cooking, cleaning,
taking care of emergencies,
freeing me to write.

Odds are,
if you’re in a relationship,
your other half is likely doing the same.
He/she might not be creating product
but he/she is freeing your time
so you can create product.

Appreciate your sometimes silent partners.

By k | January 25, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Romance authors
often talk about hockey stick sales.
Sales are fairly flat and low
for many releases
and, then with a single release
(and no one knows
when this magical release will happen),
sales shoot to the million dollar range
and beyond.

The writer is suddenly a success
but this suddenly wouldn’t have happened
without all of the years of work and promo before it.

Readers, the media,
even other writers
don’t want to hear about the flat sales years
so writers usually don’t talk about them.
They allow their success to be seen as sudden.

Seth Godin shares

Trust is earned, value is delivered,
concepts are learned.
Day by day we improve and build an asset,
but none of it seems to be paying off.
Until one day,
quite suddenly,
we become the ten-year overnight success.

This is the way it works,
but we too often make the mistake
of focusing on the ’suddenly’ part.
The media writes about suddenly,
we notice suddenly,
we talk about suddenly.

That doesn’t mean that
gradually isn’t important.
In fact, it’s the only part
you can actually do something about.”

If you don’t have
sudden and immediate success,
don’t give up hope.
Your ’sudden’ success might happen
ten years from now.

By k | January 24, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Despite what the emails
buying a franchise
is NOT like buying a job.
It is not a safe and secure revenue stream.
It doesn’t have regular hours.

Franchisees are building businesses.
When you invest in a franchise,
it is very similar to buying a business.
There are great franchises to invest in
and there are terrible franchises to invest in.

You will lose your investment
if you choose incorrectly.
You will also work very, very hard.
You should have access
to the franchisor’s advise
but they won’t do the work for you.

(BTW… I worked in the head office
of one VERY large, international franchisor.
The myth about franchisees not going bankrupt
existed because the franchisor would buy them out
at a loss, right before that happened.
The person going bankrupt
would then officially not be a franchisee.)

If you’ve never had an inclination
to go into business for yourself,
do NOT consider a franchise.

By k | January 23, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the myths
about creative people
is they have to be alone to creative.
Writers are depicted
pounding on typewriters
in lonely attics,
needing their solitude.

That’s bullshit.

including artists,
get creatively stuck.
So often
that if I don’t hear
from my four closest writing buddies
in a day,
I email them and ask them
if they’re writing.
They usually aren’t.

You’ll get stuck too.
And the best way to get unstuck
is to bounce ideas off
someone else.

Richard Sheridan,
Menlo Innovations,

“Creatively, we just innovate better
when there’s someone to bounce ideas off of.
When we’re trying to create
something new and interesting,
we often get stuck
and stay stuck much longer
than we need to.
At Menlo, if I’m pairing with someone
and I’m stuck,
my pair partner might say,
“Hey, what about this?”
and voila! we’re moving forward again.”"

If you’re stuck creatively,
ask for ideas.

By k | January 22, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some people will tell you
to never be in a bad mood at work.
Bad moods don’t benefit anyone.
Learn how to snap out of it.

I’m not some people.

Bad moods happen.
(hopefully, not too often
but they happen)
To expect to be in a good mood
24/7 is unrealistic.

Bad moods are also beneficial.
When I’m in a bad mood,
I’m super-critical
of everyone and everything,
including my own writing.
My best revisions and edits
have been completed
while I’ve been in bad moods.

The key is
a) to know when you’re in a bad mood
b) to know what you do best
while in a bad mood
c) to know what NOT to do
while in a bad mood
(deal with customers, employees, etc)

You’re human.
Cut yourself some slack.
Bad moods happen.