By k | April 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Part of every romance writer’s
marketing campaign
is cause marketing,
an alignment with certain charities.

It is expected by our readers
that we participate in charity anthologies
and charity blog hops.

My stories usually already mention
the causes that are near and dear
to my heart
(cancer research, wounded warriors, etc)
so readers aren’t surprised
that I’m aligned with them.

They know I care about the cause
and that’s the number one rule
with cause marketing.

As James O’Brien

“You must care about the cause.
The first challenges
most business owners will face
is how to find a cause to work with
if they’re not partnered with one already.
It has to be the right cause.
It has to strike both
consumers and charitable givers
as the right relationship
to promote that cause.”

Care about the cause you’re supporting.

By k | April 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my most shared posts
on Facebook
involve buttons,
a “What is your werewolf name?”
type of button.

I ask how many letters
are in their last names
and then list their werewolf names
beside the number.
My website is stated on the bottom.

This is an easy-to-make jpg file
(all text).
It takes mere minutes to design
and almost every business
can tweak it for their own industry.

Sell cars?
Switch the question to
‘What is your ideal car?’
and list the different kinds of cars
beside the number.

You run a bar?
The question could be
‘What is your ideal drink?’
with the different drinks listed
(the crazier the names,
the better).

Yes, it truly is THAT easy.

By k | April 18, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Facebook is still the number one way
to reach my target market
(female readers
between the ages
of 20 and 50 years old)
but I don’t have the budget to boost
every post I make on my page.

What I have noticed
is when I don’t have a link in my actual post,
more people see my posts.
So I make my post linkless
and place the buy links in the comments.

I also use buttons much more.
The buttons (pictures)
have my website on them
and people love to share them.

Timing is important also.

Carla Turchetti

“The Social Times research found
that unlike Pinterest,
Saturdays and Sundays
are the worst days of the week
to post on Facebook and Twitter.
What were the best days for exposure?
In this particular study,
Wednesday was the strongest day
for posting on Facebook,
while the reach of Twitter
is maximized on Mondays, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Thursdays.”

Facebook is still a great way
to market to certain target markets.

By k | April 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Those of us
who do are rare.
This means
a single opportunity will often lead
to many more opportunities.
This is good and bad.
We have access to more avenues
to success
these avenues might not lead
to the success WE want.

This is why goals and plans
are important.
However, goals and plans only work
if we refer to them.

As Mark Burnett advises,
in an interview with Carmine Gallo,

“Keep checking in.
Ask yourself, am I on the right path?
Is this what I was called to do?
Most people who hear a call
fail to take action
fail to keep checking their map.
They get further and further away
from their goal, their destination,
and soon they are off course.
Always check in.”

By k | April 16, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m three months into a six month writing project
(this is the creative part of the project
- the entire project is twenty months).
I have six stories in the serial written
and another six stories to write.

The possible money no longer excites me.
The possible brand awareness
no longer gives me a thrill.
The only thing driving me forward
is passion for this project,
the belief that this story HAS to be told.

Ekaterina Walter

“You will never hear innovators say
“I hate my job!”
“I don’t care!”
If you don’t have this key ingredient
– passion coupled with vision
– you will never be able to
overcome challenges and take risks
to push the envelope,
innovate, and grow your business.”

Passion isn’t everything.
No one becomes successful
based on passion alone.
But when times get tough
(and they WILL get tough),
passion is often what pushes us through.

If you don’t have passion for your business,
consider finding a new business.

By k | April 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My next release
with the large New York publisher
is a contemporary romance.
Contemporary romance is a huge category
with many readers
but also many, MANY books published.
There’s a lot of fierce competition
and I haven’t yet broken out,
finding my own large readership.

My publisher gave me a generic cover
with a generic title,
telling me it would appeal to everyone.

That might (emphasis on MIGHT)
be fine in a small market
but in a large market,
trying to appeal to everyone
means appealing to no one.

I pushed back,
asking for a cover and title
targeting one specific subgroup
(military, biker, or billionaire hero loving readers).

The best way to sell in a crowded market
is to make that large market smaller.
Target more niche customers,
capture these customers
and they will help you conquer the rest.

By k | April 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was asked to turn around
a writing project quickly.
I agreed,
assuming that the people
requesting the fast turn around
would assist me
in meeting this very tight deadline.

They didn’t.
They didn’t answer emails.
They sat on their components
of the project.
They asked for changes
AFTER sitting on the project,
expecting me
to complete the changes instantly.

The next time
I’m asked to turn around
something for them quickly,
I’ll say no.

If you want someone
to focus her energies on your project,
turning it around quickly,
ensure that
a) You truly do need that fast turn around
b) You give her the inputs
to accomplish this
c) You respond to her queries quickly
d) You outline the project thoroughly,
eliminating the need for rework
e) You have the same sense of urgency.

Asking someone,
even a vendor,
to drop everything and work on your project
is asking her to do a favor for you.
Treat that favor with respect.

By k | April 13, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies
worked minimum wage day jobs
while she was building her writing business.
Her annual income was $22,000.

In the romance writing world,
a writer with books regularly releasing
can replace that income
in 3 years.

My buddy did that
and then took the leap to full time writing
without worrying
about a reduction in her income.

Another writing buddy is a lawyer.
She earns $200,000 a year
at her day job.

It will take decades
for a part time romance writer
to replace that salary.

I suspect this buddy
will never make the leap
to writing full time.
She worries too much
about the reduction in her income.

In industries such as publishing
with low capital costs,
having a low income or little wealth
isn’t a barrier
to starting a business.
It is an INCENTIVE to start a business.
You’re risking very little
for a possibility at success.

My writer friend
- the one who was working
the $22,000 a year day job?
She recently sold a single book
for over a million dollars.

My other writer friend
- the lawyer earning
$200,000 a year?
She continues to earn
$200,000 a year
and dreams of the day
she can write full time.

By k | April 12, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My best brainstorming is done
within small groups
(less than 5 people).

I find with larger groups,
there’s less contribution.
Participants slide by,
wait for others to suggest ideas,
are hesitant to contribute.

In a small group,
every participant knows
she or he was asked to be there
because the organizer feels
she or he can contribute
to solving the problem.
There are higher expectations
and more accountability.

As Yorgen Edholm,
chief executive of Accellion,

“Sometimes when companies have a problem,
there is a temptation
to throw more people at it.
But that kind of linear mind-set
can kill
a high-tech company very quickly.
In that kind of situation,
my impulse is to take some people
off the project
and unleash the best ones.”

More people is not necessarily better.
Consider reducing the size of the group.

By k | April 11, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Barry Moltz
has a great post
on why entrepreneurs should consider
selfies as part of their marketing campaigns.

“Customers traditionally rank authenticity
as a top trait they seek
when doing business with any company.
by their very nature
are personal.
Their content usually says a lot
about the people who work at the company.
They are much more effective
for connecting to customers
than posed photographs.
For example, a selfie of
employees at the office
or a related event can be
a powerful message that says,
“We like to work here,
and we support the company’s mission.”

I don’t post selfies on the internet.
None of my pen names
have my photo attached to them.

What I DO
is incorporate the essence of selfies
into my marketing.
My most popular posts on Facebook
are amusing and candid conversations
between my hubby and myself.
These tie nicely into my products
(romantic relationships between women and men)
and give readers the feeling
that they’re sharing private moments.
(because…well… they ARE)

This could be easily replicated.
We all have bizarre conversations
with loved ones
about our chosen industries
(look at Duck Dynasty
- they have the verbal selfie perfected).

If you don’t wish to post selfies online,
consider posting the verbal/written equivalent.