By k | January 21, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

“If you want something
you have never had,
you must be willing to do something
you have never done.”

If what you want
is to break out,
you must be willing to do something
NO ONE has ever done.

It could be a small something
like crafting copy no one has read
but it has to be something.

I listen to writers
talk every day
about breaking out
yet they don’t write
ground breaking, different stories.
They write stories
they feel are safe,
stories they already know
how to craft,
stories others are already writing.

I hear aspiring entrepreneurs
talk about creating the next hot business
yet they copy existing ideas
or buy franchises
or look for magic ‘formulas.’

To break out,
you have to do something different.
This is risky.
That something different could fail.
But it is necessary.

By k | January 20, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I had TWO releases last week.
I wanted to hit
the lists with at least one
of the releases.
That meant heavily promoting
every single day.

Except Thursday.

On Thursday,
Alan Rickman died.
Alan Rickman is a much beloved actor
in the Romance novel community.
He appeared in Harry Potter (paranormal),
Galaxy Quest (SciFi)
and Sense And Sensibility (Historical).

The Romance novel community grieved.
It would have been insensitive
to promote my books.
The writers who did
lost more readers
than they gained.

THIS is why we need to be
plugged into our prospects’ communities.
We also need to be able to react
with our marketing plans.
Being small businesses,
we can more easily do this.

Adjust your marketing plans
for current events.

By k | January 19, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin
shares

“Most brands, most careers…
they’re not linear.
Doing what you did, again and again,
grinding it forward,
that’s a good way
to finish a marathon,
but it’s not the way
that most organizations grow.

Sooner or later,
we need to leap.”

These ‘leap’ opportunities
vary by industry.
It might be getting product
on the shelves at Walmart.
Or partnering with a giant
in our field.
Or taking out an expensive banner ad
in our target market’s #1 newsletter.

The impulse is to take these leaps
as soon as they present themselves
but that could be a mistake.

A buddy of mine was accepted
for a pricey BookBub ad.
It required that the featured book
be offered for free.
The ad went out.
Downloads of her free book
went through the roof.

The only issue was…
she didn’t have a second book.
She also didn’t have her newsletter information
in the back of her free book.

If she had waited a week or two,
swapped out her book
to add a newsletter link,
she would have a list of thousands of readers
to sell her next story to.

Take leaps
but only when you’re ready for them.

By k | January 18, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have a story
available for pre-order
at booksellers.
The financial reason for pre-orders
is a certain sale today
is worth more than
a maybe sale tomorrow.
I know approximately how many units
I’ll sell
and the money I’ll earn
from the book.

But there’s a non-financial reason
for promoting pre-orders.
Every romance story
should have a few twists.
Waiting to buy the story
might mean readers see spoilers.
Their enjoyment of the story
decreases.

This non-financial reason
is the one I talk about.
Readers understand it.
They appreciate how
pre-ordering helps them.

There are non-financial reasons
for almost every decision
you make,
reasons that benefit your customers.
State those reasons.

By k | January 17, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When you first start a business,
you’re likely to be
one of your supplier’s smallest customers.
You might worry that
this supplier will put you last.

This might not happen
if you pay this supplier first.

My cover artist,
my editor,
my formatter,
all have payment upon delivery terms.

I pay promptly.
Unfortunately,
many of their clients don’t.
My editor works for a large publisher.
They pay her in 60 days.

She puts my projects first.
Always.
She knows she can earn cash fast,
that she won’t have to chase me
to collect her cash.

There’s a cost attached
to this promptness.
I can’t use the money for other things,
can’t invest it.
But having my projects looked at first
is worth the cost.

Paying promptly can be an advantage
you, as a small business,
have over a larger business.
Consider it one of your tools.

By k | January 16, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My brilliant editor
had her price list on her home page.
I told her to move it to a separate page
and put her testimonials on her home page.
She doesn’t want writers
who are looking for a cheap edit.
She’s better than that.
She deserves writers
who will appreciate what she does.

Seth Godin
shares

“If you find yourself saying,
“you can hire anyone, and I’m anyone,”
then you’re selling yourself short.
And if you find yourself arguing
with potential clients
about what this sort of work is worth,
it may be that you’ve chosen
the wrong clients.”

Price is A factor
your clients might consider.
It shouldn’t be the first factor
or the only factor.

If it is,
reconsider your marketing.

By k | January 15, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We’re entrepreneurs.
We work long hours.
That’s part of the gig.

Release weeks are very busy times
for me.
I work until 11 pm every night.
I can’t spend much time
with my hubby,
with friends,
with family.
The week is all about the book releasing.

In 2016, I will have at least 8 release weeks.
I’m self publishing these 8 stories.
I control when my release weeks happen.

So I asked my hubby
to set my release dates.
No, this won’t change
the sacrifices he will make.
He won’t spend much time with me
during these weeks.
But it gives him some control.
He has decided
when he’ll be handling household tasks solo.

If you can allow loved ones
to set your overtime schedule,
consider doing so.
Give them some control
over when they won’t see you.

By k | January 14, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I belong to
some professional chat groups.
Most of the participants
are busy professionals.
They stay on topic,
ask questions,
supply answers,
and get back to work.

There are some participants
who chatter about anything and everything.

The moderators have to balance
being social
vs
wasting time.
No small talk creates a tense environment.
Too much small talk results
in busy professionals unsubscribing.

When I host meetings,
I decide
before the meetings start
how much time I’ll allow for small talk.
Once the time is up,
we get to work.

Be proactive.
Decide how much small talk
you’ll allow
before the event
or the sales call
or the chat group starts.

By k | January 13, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of your resellers
hasn’t paid you in months.
You don’t like supporting
one of your products.
You know an update in a product
is coming soon
or a price drop
or a price increase.

You’re tempted to tell customers
‘Don’t buy from her’
or
‘Don’t buy this product of mine’
or
‘Wait to buy this product.’

Resist that temptation.

Why?

Because prospects won’t hear
the restriction
around this don’t buy message.
They won’t buy from ANY reseller
or
they won’t buy ANY of your products
or
they will wait FOREVER to buy.

Yes, this might mean
you take a sales hit.
(I haven’t been paid by
one of my publishers in a year.)
But you’ll keep those customers
and selling to existing customers
is much easier
than tracking those prospects down again.

Never send don’t buy messages.

By k | January 12, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Romance readers are
some of the most intelligent people
on the planet.
They don’t watch TV for fun.
They read.

Yet the bulk of my revisions
center around simplifying the story,
making sentences shorter,
concepts smaller,
eliminate subplots and extra characters,
so readers focus
on what I feel is important.

One of the tricks I use
is the rule of seven.
No sentence is more than seven words long.
No paragraph is more than seven lines long.
This isn’t easy to do
but it is worth it.
Readers focus on each sentence,
on each paragraph.

If I do this with my stories,
stories readers are PAYING to read,
you should do that with your copy.

Make your copy as simple as possible.