By k | May 31, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Your business has been open
for a while.
It has history.
This history can have value.
It might mean something
to your customers.

But how far back in history
should you go?

It depends on your prospective customer.

I watch two music video channels.
One targets middle aged people.
One targets teenagers.
Both have a now and then show.
They play videos
– one ‘old’ and one ‘new’
– from the same artist.

The ‘old’ videos
for the middle aged viewers
are often 20 years old.
They’re dated from
when they were teenagers.

The ‘old’ videos
for the teenaged viewers
are 2 or 3 years old.
For a 16 year old,
2 years is a long time.

When you revisit
your company’s history,
make a conscious decision
how far back you’ll celebrate.

By k | May 30, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Years ago,
I supported a fresh new writer.
I introduced her to other writers,
pimped her to readers,
eased connections for her.

When she began to outsell me,
she dropped her association
with me.
She’d organized anthologies,
group projects,
and wouldn’t include me.

Then I landed on
the USA Today bestseller list.
A week later,
she asked me to join
an anthology.

My first instinct
was to tell her
to kiss my ass.

I didn’t act on this first instinct
because I was looking for
an anthology to be part of.
I know any anthology
this aggressive writer is involved with
will be successful.
I like being successful.

So I said yes.
I’ll never trust her again
but I will use her
to achieve my goals.

There’s a cost
to holding grudges.
I wasn’t willing to pay it.
It is your decision
whether or not
you are.

By k | May 29, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There’s a reason why
there are meme days
on social media
Many of us like
to do the same things,
(like make the same posts)
again and again.

Erin Patinkin
co-founder of

“We learned early on
that people are creatures of habit.
Lots of people want
the same cookie
at the same time
every day.”

Can you build habit
into your sales prospects’ lives?
Can you…
Release new products
on the same date every month
(like the 15th
or the first Wednesday
Post the same type
of articles
on the same day of the week?
Greet customers
the same way
every time they enter your store?

Make habits work for you.

By k | May 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m self publishing a story
a month
from July to November
(skipping December
as eBook sales in that month
are usually very low).

Many of these stories are ready.
I could load them all
into the booksellers

I’m not.
I’m loading one.


Because I want to ensure
I’m loading books correctly.
It makes no sense to load five
when I’m not sure
my system works.

Lauren Fairbanks,
owner of
Digital Remedy Repair,

“We knew we were ready
to open a second location
once our first location turned a profit,
and we felt like our employee system
and repair processes were ironed out.”

Ensure one product, store, brand
before launching a second one.

By k | May 27, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One thing that I’ve learned
from watching
The Voice
is that everyone has
a hard luck story.
Every single contestant
talks about overcoming

Because we all have
adversity in our background.
That’s part of life.

I grew up dirt poor
(we didn’t eat every day).
I had a learning disability.
My father was abusive
to… well… everyone.

I credit my toughness,
my persistence
to that background.
It was an advantage,
not a disadvantage.

Darren Hardy,
founder of
SUCCESS magazine,

“Your adversity
is your advantage.
Going through abandonment issues
is the reason
I’m vigorously self reliant,
self motivated,
goal oriented,
and results driven.”

Do you have adversity
in your background?
It will help you succeed.

By k | May 26, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the reasons
Fifty Shades Of Grey,
the movie,
did so well
was because it released
on Valentine’s Day.
Movie goers were looking for a romance,
a treat for their other halves.

The DVD released on May 8th,
a meaningless date.

Memorial Day was yesterday.
My May story features military men.
When did it release?
May 12th,
a meaningless date.

What did the publisher release
on Memorial Day?
Nothing at all military related.
Readers were posting
homages to military men and women.
The new release writers looked like
insensitive, selfish a$$es,
posting about their unrelated stories.

Make the date you choose
to release a product
work for you
(or, at the very least,
not work against you).

By k | May 25, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m self publishing
some stories this year.
One of the first things
I did,
once I received estimates on costs,
was complete a breakeven analysis.

My goal isn’t to breakeven.
So why would I complete
a breakeven analysis?

Because it reassured me
that I COULD profitably self publish.
I’m already selling the units
necessary to break even.

Because I now know I need stories
with at least the same appeal to readers.

Because I now know if I have a dud,
a low selling story,
it is possible to make up the sales
with another better selling story.

Yes, breakeven isn’t your goal
but a breakeven analysis
can still benefit your business.

By k | May 24, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I tell fellow writers
that I’ve personally connected
with every one of my readers (customers).

They think I’m joking.
I’m not.

Yes, once I’ve made that first connection,
my customers (readers) might not need
any more contact from me,
other than buying my products.
But that first connection is key.

Jamyla Bennu,
Co-founder of Oyin Handmade

“Transparency is a very important goal for us,
and we like to connect with our customers.
I think a lot of small-business owners
feel that way
—a connection to a customer
is something they can offer emotionally,
which maybe a larger business could not,
and social media is a wonderful tool
in which to do that.”

Make a connection
to your customers.

By k | May 23, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In the romance novel business,
there are two major groups
of professional writers.

There are those
who are most concerned
with ‘quality.’
They have beautiful websites,
tasteful covers,
‘artistic’ back cover copy.

Then there are those
who are most concerned
with immediate sales.
They have buy links all over
their websites.
Their covers catch the eye
and usually sport man titty.
(i.e. bare male chests)
Their back cover copy
is crammed with key words.

You can have one or the other,
not both.

As Seth Godin shares

“There’s always been
a conflict
between the long-term benefits
of beauty in commerce
(in architecture,
in advertising,
in transactions)
and the short-term brutality
of measurement
and direct response.

It’s worth noting
that conflict in advance,
as opposed to vainly wishing
you could have both optimized.
You can’t.
The smart marketer will measure
how much direct response
it’s costing to be beautiful,
or how much storytelling
is being sacrificed
to be clicked on.
Not both.”

Make a choice.
Live with it.

By k | May 22, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was writing a 25,000 word,
100 page novella.
This should take a week to do.

I wrote 10,000 words.
It wasn’t working.
I scrapped it
and wrote 5,000 words.
It still wasn’t working.
Finally, three weeks later,
I found a story that worked for me.

Why go through all of this
for a 100 page story?

Because a product
that doesn’t work
won’t sell.
It makes no sense
to put it out in the marketplace.

But more importantly,
a product that doesn’t work
harms the entire brand.
It will decrease the sales
of my other stories.

Take the time
to get the product right.