By k | April 30, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The latest controversy in publishing
is the book Meternity,
which is a semi-fictional story
(semi-fictional because the writer
holds the same views)
of a woman who wants to take a maternity leave
without having a child,
viewing it as ‘me time’.

This understandably upset
gazillions of working moms
(the birth of another human being
is definitely not ‘me time’
by any stretch of ANYONE’s imagination).

The writer is an editor of a major magazine
with a mom target.
She has worked for several similar magazines.

She knew exactly what she was doing.

I don’t know what her true goal was
but if it was to sell copies of this book,
it isn’t working.
Her Amazon ranking isn’t anything
to be excited about.

However,
this huge group of readers
now know her name.
A year from now,
maybe they won’t remember
how they knew it
and be more likely to buy
whatever she’s selling.

Bad publicity is almost always bad
in the short run.
In the long run?
It depends on how bad the publicity is
and what your goals are.

By k | April 29, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin
shares

“A problem is open
to a solution.
That is what makes it a problem.

A paradox,
on the other hand,
is gated by boundaries
that make a solution impossible.”

The solution,
as Seth Godin points out,
is to remove a boundary.

I see this in the product development
for my stories all the time.
I’ll write myself into a corner,
putting my characters in a situation
where they can’t possibly survive.
That’s a paradox.

Then I’ll rewrite the scene
changing one small thing.
Maybe the heroine has two guns
instead of one.
Or she is standing closer to a door.
Or the villain arrives a moment later.
And the scene works.
The paradox becomes a solvable problem.

If you’re struggling with
an unsolvable problem,
consider removing one of the boundaries.

By k | April 28, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Whenever I negotiate with anyone,
my first priority is to figure out
what this person or this business wants.
What is their primary goal?

For example,
the large New York publishers’ first goal
is to protect their print sales.
They don’t understand eBook sales.
Most of their profits come from print sales.

This means every decision they make
centers around protecting print sales.
They will increase the cost of eBooks,
sacrificing sales,
to do this.

Writers who sign
with their eBook only arm
should realize this.
It will limit much of promo they do
and could really dampen their readership growth.

Once I’ve figured out
what motivates people,
their actions become fairly predictable.
I know they will tend to make decisions
that move them closer to their primary goal.

If I can’t figure out
how people will benefit
from the action they’re suggesting,
that’s usually when crazy sh*t happens.
I think long and hard
about working with them.

Know what motivates
the people around you.

By k | April 27, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the ways
to maximize search
on Amazon
is to use key phrases,
rather than key words,
in listings.

People don’t usually search
on a single word.
They search on a phrase.

This is especially true
if the person
is searching using voice.

William Craig,
Founder and President
of WebpageFX,
shares

“Few people are going to speak
single-word statements
at their phones.
However,
lots of people will speak in phrases
while using voice search.
So rather than optimizing your copy
for “muffins”
you would optimize
for things like “gluten-free muffin recipes.”

Use key phrases,
not simply key words.

By k | April 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Some media experts
suggest always responding
to customers/prospects
on social media.

I agree with responding.
ONCE.
Some people always want
the last word.
If we always respond to them,
the conversation would never end
and they would become frustrated.

Jay Baer,
president of
Convince & Convert,
shares

“You should never reply
more than twice
to a customer in an online context.”
“If they come back a third time,
you walk away.
You don’t need to wrestle
every customer to the ground.
Do enough to show you care,
then get out.
The worst possible situation
is getting into an increasingly negative
tit-for-tat
with a customer on social media.”

Respond no more than twice
on social media.

By k | April 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I killed a beloved secondary character
in a recent story.
Some readers were very upset.
They vented on Facebook
and they tagged me.

I joined the conversation,
sympathizing with their pain
and
explaining why that death
was necessary.

These readers,
not only stopped bad talking that story,
but they also bought my next story.

Matthew Mercuri,
digital marketing manager
at Dupray,

shares

“Social media is the perfect place
to humiliate someone
or air dirty laundry.
Everyone can see it.
And people enjoy seeing these mess-ups.
So you have to [respond] properly
and in a quick fashion.”

Respond quickly to online complaints.

By k | April 24, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It doesn’t matter
what I write.
Someone will hate it,
telling me this in glorious, gleeful detail.

If I listened to all of these someones,
I’d never write another story.
It is impossible to please everyone.

I don’t try.
I have an editor I hire.
She knows what I want to achieve
and I trust her judgment.
If she likes it,
I’m happy.
If she doesn’t like it,
I listen to her feedback.

Seth Godin
asks

“How do we differentiate
between constructive, useful insight
and the other kind?
How do we decide
which feedback is actually a clue
about how our core audience feels,
and which is a distraction,
a shortcut on the road
to mediocre banality?”

Knowing whom to listen to
and whom to ignore
is a key to success.

Learn how to evaluate feedback.

By k | April 23, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday
was this week.

She’s the longest-reigning
British Monarch.

Although she inherited her role,
she could teach many of us
about leadership.

The royalty has been under siege,
many people throughout the decades
pushing to disband it.
Yet it has survived,
thrived,
changed.

One of her leadership secrets?

She once stated

“I have to be seen
to be believed.”

Not many people follow
an absentee leader.

As a writer,
I have to be visible
on social media
and other places.
If I’m not,
my sales drop.

Be visible.

By k | April 22, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I heard that Prince died yesterday,
I asked readers
what their favorite Prince song was.

There were 100’s of answers
and there were 100’s of songs.
He had 37 studio albums.
37.
And each album was different.

That’s a career
other artists aspire to.

What was his secret?

As Prince
stated

“The key to longevity
is to learn
every aspect of music
that you can.”

He learned different techniques,
tried different things,
pushed himself as an artist.

Are you pushing yourself
as a business builder?

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

client k readers know
I usually have a link
for any fact I state.

Often these linked resources 
drive the posts.
I’ll read an article
and it resonates
with my personal experiences
so I share it.

But sometimes I start
with my personal experiences
and find facts to back it up
(or if the facts refute it,
I discard my theory).

Finding support for facts
is easy.
It is an internet search away.

If you hear someone
state a fact
and they don’t have
any support for that fact,
it usually means there ISN’T any support.
That so-called fact is bullsh*t.

Don’t build your business
on a foundation of bullsh*t.
Look for support for the facts
you’re using.