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

I send my publicist at my publisher
weekly promotion updates.
These emails outline
what I’ve done to promote their titles
during each week.

I’m very busy
and these updates take time
but they’re worth it
for me.

Why?

Because my publicist promotes more
when she knows I’m promoting
and I promote more
when I know she’s promoting.
Our activities feed off each other.

The average person
(and I AM the average person)
is lazy.
We do as little as possible.
It is up to us
to push the people working for us.

Make your marketing partners
accountable.

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

For my romance pen names,
I write and schedule twitter promo
once a month.
I write and schedule blog posts
every weekend.

This ensures that,
no matter how busy I am,
I have a marketing base.
I KNOW I’ll be doing some marketing.

Sydni Craig-Hart,
The Smart Simple Marketing Coach,
shares

“Schedule one day each month
to create your content
& pre-schedule it
to deliver to your audience.
Plan your content in advance
by choosing a theme for the month
and then create ALL of your content
around that theme.
You can start with a few key ideas
and then turn them into various formats
(such as email newsletters, blog posts,
social media posts, podcasts, etc.).”

Craft and schedule
as much of your marketing
as you possibly can.

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

Facebook parties are one way
that many writers
are exposed to more readers.

There are two main ways
to be involved in a Facebook party
- throw your own party
or guest host at someone else’s party.

I started by being a guest host.
I learned how to throw a Facebook party.
I met a lot of new-to-me readers,
adding them as friends.

So I decided to host my own party.
That wasn’t as successful.
The guest hosts didn’t invite their readers
yet they met my readers.
And it was a lot of work
for one or two sales.

Because book bloggers,
reviewers, publishers,
marketing teams
are always hosting parties,
it makes no sense for me to hold my own party.
Going forward,
I’ll only guest host.

Consider guest hosting
at someone else’s Facebook party.

By k | March 28, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A writing buddy asked me
for a virtual introduction
to my agent.

I contacted my agent,
talked up my buddy,
and then I talked to my buddy.
“Oops,” she said.
“I signed with an agent.
I don’t need the introduction any more.”

Since all of this took
less than a day,
I KNOW she was in serious talks
with the other agent
when she contacted me.
I didn’t know this at the time,
I looked like a dumb a$$
and I won’t ever put myself out
for her again.

When you’re asking someone
to virtually introduce you to someone else,
you’re asking them to risk that relationship.
Share ALL of the relevant information,
even if this risks a ‘no’.

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

An editor once told me
that a writer’s number one job
is to write the first draft.
She can help fix a bad first draft.
She can’t write that first draft.

Nora Roberts,
one of the best selling romance writers
of all time,
once shared

“I can fix a bad page.
I can’t fix a blank page.”

The first draft of everything
is usually the toughest.
It is also usually the draft
YOU have to develop.

Don’t worry about it being perfect.
There will be plenty of people
eager to improve your first draft.

Just get that draft on the paper
(or on the table if it is a prototype).

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

Tracy M. Byham, Ph.D.,
DDI Senior Vice President,
Leadership Solutions shares

“A staggering 63 percent
of the survey group
never had a formal mentor and
considering that 67 percent
rated mentorship as highly important
in helping to advance
and grow their careers
—this indicates a critical gap
in businesswomen’s development.”

I agree that mentorship is important.

I was fortunate to work
for a huge beverage company
that proactively set up mentorship programs
between high achievers
and executives.
I learned more from those mentors
than I ever learned from any course.

I’m now a romance writer
and romance writers are known
in the literary world
for mentoring newer writers.
It is expected
and I suspect
one of the reasons
the genre is number one.

However,
I’ve NEVER waited
to be assigned a mentor,
not in the beverage company,
not in my romance writing chapter.
I’ve always proactively asked
for mentorship.
Yes, I’ve been rejected
(usually due to time constraints)
but I continued asking others
until I landed mentors.

And no, my mentors weren’t all female.
Few of them in business were.
Sex isn’t as important as knowledge.

Everyone needs a mentor.
Don’t wait to be assigned one.
Ask for mentorship.

By k | March 25, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m currently writing a 12 novella serial
for a large New York publisher.
When I was first approached
about this project,
I had serious concerns.
I’ve never written a 12 novella serial,
have never crafted such a huge story
(1,200 pages),
have never written a story
with a similar premise.

I wasn’t qualified
but I knew if I didn’t take this project,
I’d regret it for the rest of my life.
I bet on myself,
on my ability to craft this story.
(half way through the story,
this bet seems to be paying off)

Former Ogilvy & Mather CEO
Charlotte Beers
shares

“I want us to bet on ourselves
even though there is something still missing
and we’re aware of it.
There is a McKinsey study
that says if a job is offered
and a man has two out of the 10 characteristics,
he will raise his hand.
A woman won’t raise her hand
until she has eight out of the 10.”

You’ll never be perfectly qualified
for the opportunity you want.
Bet on yourself.

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

Some of my writing buddies are in a rush
to hit the bestseller lists.
They’re doing this by putting together
box sets of original stories
written by dozens of writers,
priced at a ridiculous 99 cents.

Some of them have been successful.
They made no money
but they hit the lists.

And now they’re facing lawsuits.
Readers, aspiring writers,
anyone seeing a quick route to money,
are suing them,
thinking they have a fortune to share.

Dennis J. Ceru,
an adjunct entrepreneurship professor
at Babson College,
shares

“Pray that you become wildly successful,
and set aside some money
for a lawsuit and a settlement,
because it’s going to happen.”

Once you become famous,
you’ll get sued.
This is the environment we’re living in.

So either delay becoming famous
(you CAN be successful
without being famous)
or figure out
how to make money from that fame
so you can pay for lawyers.

Fame comes with lawsuits.

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

Romanceland
(aka the romance novel industry)
has become super volatile.
There’s a crazy price war,
battles over formats, lengths, trends.

Writers are trying a zillion different things,
hoping that something
will be the next big thing.

I’m tempted,
truly tempted to join the madness
but I have a plan
and in order to make
that plan a reality,
I have to focus.

Focus is one technique
Alexandra Levit
recommends to deal with volatility.

“Before embarking on a new project,
ideally, you’ll work hard
to reach a general consensus
about the best course of action
your company should take and
you’ll have effectively addressed
and neutralized any naysayers.
Once you’re out of the gate,
nothing short of an unanticipated disaster
should stop the train from changing course.
Realize that every time
you backtrack and change direction,
it costs your company money
and frustrates employees to no end.
Get the necessary input upfront,
and then focus on moving forward
with minimal delays.”

If your plan is still viable,
stick with it.

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

We’ve all done it.
We draft up a confidential
or personally embarrassing email,
autocomplete puts in the wrong email address
and we hit send
before we notice the mistake.

So what should we do?

Hit recall if that optional is possible.
But don’t trust that to fix the error.

Business etiquette expert
Karen Cleveland
advises*

“Apologize for sending
a confidential message
that wasn’t intended for them.
Ask that they please delete it
and thank them for their discretion.”

I judge the likelihood of the wrong recipient
being discrete
based on my relationship with them
and their ability to be discrete.
That will decide my next steps.

If you’ve sent an email to the wrong person,
contact that wrong person
immediately.

*March CPA Magazine