By k | January 31, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The New York Times Best Seller List
is a bullshit list.

It isn’t based on sales.
If it were,
romance would take up
almost all of the slots
on the fiction list.

It is what they call
a curated list
which means
someone chooses which books
to put on the list.

They prefer not to put
romance on their list.
Sure, they put
a couple romance novels
so the list doesn’t look that fake
but those books
usually either
have outrageously high sales
or
there’s some sort of connection
to the paper.

This month,
it became even more difficult
to make the list
as they eliminated
the eBook list completely
and reduced the combined list
to 15 slots.

Unfortunately,
when romance writers
talk about goals,
almost half of the writers
have
“Make the NYT Best Seller List”
as one of their goals.

If that is their goal,
they likely shouldn’t
be writing romance.

When setting your goals,
ensure that
a) it is achievable
and
b) you WANT to spend
time and money
achieving it.

By k | January 30, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The ACLU had their first win
on Saturday
against the Executive Orders
being signed.

Suddenly the situation
went from hopeless
to
‘We can do this.’

On Sunday,
I saw hundreds of Facebook posts
with people
pledging support to
the ACLU.

THIS is the power
of the first win.
This first win could be
the first sale,
the first customer meeting,
the first returned phone call.

It shows others
that it is possible,
that there is hope.

Focus on that first win
and when you achieve it,
tell everyone about it.

By k | January 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The hot promotion
in the romance writing world
is writers banding together
to offer a huge prize
in return for newsletter sign ups.

The issue is…
when writers send out
that first newsletter,
they face the possibility
of these new readers
unsubscribing.

The best way
to reduce these unsubscribes
is to craft a first newsletter
that specifically targets them.
If the contest targets vampire hero readers,
for example,
the first newsletter should feature
a story with a vampire hero.

It sounds like a no-brainer
but many businesses don’t do this.
They give away a chair in a contest
and then send a first newsletter
featuring ALL of their products.

This will change.

John Rizzo,
co-founder of Vaetas,
shares
that in 2017

“businesses will transition
from just generating an email list
and sending standard email blasts
to building an audience
segmented by interest.”

Personalize
(at the very least)
that first newsletter.

By k | January 28, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The big New York publishers
have been broadcasting
that growth in eBooks has stopped.

That’s based on THEIR sales.
55% of romance sales,
the biggest genre,
are now Indie.
Their eBook sales have increased.

eBook is now over two-thirds
of ALL sales.

96% of romance sales
were in eBook form.

THIS is why
the source of the information
we base our business decisions upon
are key.

When I looked at the
New York Publisher data,
I was tempted to invest
in print
(which is costly).
That would have been
a mistake.

Look at the source
of your data
before making decisions.

By k | January 27, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Anyone in the real estate business
can likely tell you
why a certain person
is very keen on building a wall.

I’ve worked
in the finance department
of a large real estate developer.
It is pretty damn obvious
to me.

It’s the same reason
organized crime loves real estate
(and yes,
I’ve dealt with them also).

It is very easy
to move large sums of money
while minimizing taxes
(and, of course, detection).

My company hires your company
to, say, build a wall.
Your company inflates the invoices.
You give me
(personal me,
not my company)
a portion
of the profits
(under the table
aka off the accounting books).
I get money out of my company
tax free.
Your company hires
friends and family members
to inflate your costs
so it doesn’t have to pay taxes.
My shareholders
(or, in this case, taxpayers)
don’t see the withdrawals.
They’re completely ignorant
of the under-the-table transactions.

It is illegal
and it is definitely tax evasion
but it is very difficult
to trace
and not that many companies
get caught
(especially when your family
has been doing this
for generations).

I suspect a certain person
will be dead
before he’s caught.

What does this have to do
with you and me
and business building?

There will be a backlash
against business
when this is finally uncovered.

The time to build your business
is
NOW,
years before
the shit hits the fan.

By k | January 26, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Building a business
is a creative process.
Nothing yet has been set.
Every decision is new and exciting,
offering room for invention.

January, however,
can be a challenging month
for creativity.

But there are ways to spark it.

Aprille Janes
shares

“There’s scientific evidence
that shows how listening to
Mozart or Baroque music
helps us think more clearly.

One beat per second
slows our heart rate
while activating both sides of the brain,
the right conditions
for your imagination
to come out and play.”

Feed your creativity.

By k | January 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It might seem
as though intelligence
has gone out of fashion.

It hasn’t.

Intelligence will ALWAYS be
a strategic advantage.
If you’re not learning,
you’re not taking advantage of this.

Isaac Asimov
once shared

“I couldn’t possibly write
the variety of books
I manage to do
out of the knowledge
I had gained in school
alone.
I had to keep
a program of self-education
in process.

My library of reference books grew
and I found I had to
sweat over them
in my constant fear
that I might misunderstand a point
that to someone knowledgeable
in the subject
would be a ludicrously simple one.”

What new fact or skill
have you learned today?

By k | January 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing, New Business Development

Dave Charest
is betting that
email marketing will be big
in 2017.

Why?

One of the reasons
is Fake News.

“The proliferation of fake news sites
—those that intentionally publish
propaganda and disinformation
to boost social sharing
and drive website traffic
—has made some consumers
think twice
about the source of the content
they’re consuming.

Since email marketing
is permission-based,
the customer usually already knows
and trusts the source of the message.”

Email Newsletters are
the number one method
of promotion
for writers.

I put quite a bit of time
into each monthly newsletter
because I know it will result in sales.

Consider investing
in email marketing.

By k | January 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Writers are often told
to run our careers like businesses
and the sole goal of businesses,
we’re told by this (usually non business) folks,
is to maximize profit.

No, it isn’t.
Businesses are built by people.
I’ve never met anyone
who dreams of ‘maximizing profit.’

Seth Godin
shares

“More important,
things like a living wage,
sustainability, fairness
and the creation of meaning
matter even more.
When we consider
how to advance our culture,
“will it hurt profits?”
ought not to be the first
(or even the fifth)
question we ask.”

Do you need to break even
profit-wise to stay in business?
Yes.

Should it be your sole goal?
No.

Have a more emotionally satisfying goal
than maximizing profits.

By k | January 22, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday, an estimated 500,000 people
marched in
Washington’s Women’s March.

There were also marches
held all over the US
and all over the world.

These are
wives, mothers, daughters.
The majority of participants
love men.
We live with them.
We love them.
We would protect them
with our lives.

This march was mostly
about two words
- safety and freedom.
If you listened to the speeches,
you heard these two words
over and over.
Usually safety was mentioned first.

Many women don’t feel safe.

Businesses have been responding
to this.
Bars have their
very successful
Ask For Angela campaigns.
Door-to-door salespeople
in my neighborhood
often consist of a male salesperson
and a female salesperson.
A hotel employee yesterday
offered to walk a female friend
to her car
after dark.

How is your business
creating a safe environment
for women?