By k | September 20, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin has a great post
on Trends vs Fads.

“A fad is popular
because it’s popular.
A fad gives us momentary joy,
and part of the joy comes in knowing
that it’s momentary.
We enjoy a fad
because our peers are into it
as well.

A trend,
on the other hand,
satisfies a different human need.
A trend gains power over time,
because it’s not merely part
of a moment,
it’s a tool,
a connector that will become
more valuable
as other people commit to
engaging in it.”

Vampires in romance
is a fad.
It comes and goes
(because fads often
come around again).
It’s never constant.

However,
the underlying
trend
– a hero
who is very difficult
to kill or harm –
will never go away.
There is always a demand
for that type of hero.

You can build a business
on either
but your strategies
will be different.
Know whether
you’re dealing with
a trend
or a fad.

By k | September 19, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

This week, a male SciFi writer
left a cruel, awful rant
on an anthology
by a group of female SciFi writers,
declaring that
women couldn’t write SciFi.

The publishing world went crazy.
Hundreds of blog posts
were written,
mentioning him.
Facebook was full of posts.

He later admitted
that he wrote the rant
as a marketing tactic.

Did it work?
Yes.
Everyone in SciFi
knows his name.
A year from now,
they won’t remember
WHY they know his name.
They will be more likely
to buy his books.

Should you consider
troll marketing?
That’s your ethical call.
But you should know
that it exists
and it will continue to exist
because it works.

By k | September 18, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have more than 90 stories
published under one pen name.
As the contracts expire,
I evaluate each story,
asking myself
“Would I want a new-to-me reader
to buy this story first?”
“Does this story help me
sell my new stories?”

If the story doesn’t accomplish this,
I retire it.
Yes, I could make
a couple more dollars
from these already published stories
but that would cost me
even more dollars in the future.

There is a cost
to offering older products.
If you’re not seeing
an offsetting income,
consider retiring them.

By k | September 17, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was working
at a movie studio,
we had a saying.

Ticket sales for opening weekend
are due to marketing.
Ticket sales for the second weekend
are due to the product.

Susie Wang,
founder of
Purity Cosmetics,
shares

“My dad told me that
you can always get someone
to buy something once.
But you have to have
the best quality products
if you want them to come back
again and again.”

And quality can mean
different things for different customers.
In the romance novel business,
it often means emotional engagement.
The readers have to be passionate
about the story
and the characters.

Marketing is necessary
but, for long term success,
a quality product
is also required.

By k | September 16, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My awesome for-hire editor
is having problems
snagging business.
Why?
Because customers are afraid
that if they promote her services,
she’ll become too busy to help them.
The waiting list for her editing
will grow too long.

In contrast,
my cover artist
has a points system.
Customers get points
for every cover they buy
and every cover
the customers they refer
to my cover artist buys.
Once a customer has gained
a certain number of points,
she becomes a preferred customer.
Her covers become high priority.

Seth Godin
shares

“The insight is
to start designing
products and services
that people like to talk about,
because talking about them
benefits them.”

Do your customers benefit
when they talk favorably
about your business?

By k | September 15, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of my buddies
is a bestselling writer.
She has a readership base
that pays her $4 million per book.

How does she do this?

She has a policy.
She answers EVERY email,
every direct message,
every text.
Readers know this.
They love her for it.
They buy everything she writes.

Tim Nguyen,
CEO of BeSmartee,
shares

“One thing I do is
simply answer every email
and take every call.
No one gets left behind.
Even if you’re a salesperson
emailing me for a deal,
I will get back to you.
I’ll listen and learn,
and when I reject [the deal],
I will let you know why
and keep the channels open.
It’s good business,
but also respectful.”

Answer every email,
especially from prospects/customers.

By k | September 14, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Romance writing is
a subscription business.
Writers usually don’t make
big money on one book.
We make money
on a constant stream
of books.

Our newsletter heavy
marketing focus
is due to this thinking.

Anne Janzer,
author of Subscription Marketing,
shares

Businesses can build
a subscription-based business
in a variety of ways,
“like providing great content
[in newsletters or on websites],
creating community
around their offerings
and making the
customer relationships
fun and rewarding.
Those who do so
tend to increase revenues
from existing customers.”

Can you use subscription marketing
in your business?

By k | September 13, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There’s a saying
in the writing community
– your best promo
is to write the next book.

That’s bullsh*t.
If no one knows about your book,
no one will buy it.
Write another book,
do no marketing
and no one will buy that book either.

According to a seminar
I recently took,
there are 4,500 books published
a DAY
on Amazon.
Very few books are being ‘discovered’
without a tremendous push
by the writer
or/and the writer’s team.

Your market might not be
as crowded
as the book market
but I suspect you don’t have
prospects sitting in your parking lot,
waiting for your product to launch.

You have to tell people.
You have to market the product.
You have to sell the product.
That is all part of product development.

Product development
isn’t simply product creation.
Spend time and energy
on marketing and selling also.

By k | September 12, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In this age of global competition,
it is more important than ever
to develop a distinctive brand.

That isn’t easy.

As Hedi Slimane,
the creative director
for Saint Laurent Paris,
shares

“Every single detail
seems important.
It is about consistency,
an aesthetic equation
that needs constantly to evolve.

It is quite overwhelming
to design all those elements,
but if the house wants
to keep a distinct voice
there is no other choice.

Every single block,
from design to communication,
needs to stay perfectly aligned.”

The good news is…
the smaller the company,
the easier it is
for all of the employees
and decision makers to stay aligned.

Invest thought
into every aspect of your brand.

By k | September 11, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I consider today,
9/11,
to be a no marketing zone.
The majority of my prospects
live in the U.S.
Americans are very sensitive
about today.
One poorly crafted sentence
can result in a flurry of heated responses.
Jokes aren’t appreciated
(it doesn’t matter
what the topic is).
Just about everything
is misunderstood.

So I take the day off.
I go offline.
I write.
I work on product development.
I prepare marketing for tomorrow.
I complete the zillions
of other tasks I have to do.

We don’t have to promote
the business
every day of the year.
There are days
when it is better
to be quiet.

Leave the marketing
and the selling
for tomorrow.