By k | February 18, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

People outside of the industry
love to beat up
on the romance genre.
They mock the writers.
They make fun of the books
and the covers
and the readers.

Yet romance is the top selling genre.
There are more writers making millions
a year
by writing romance
than in any other field.

One of my buddies
runs a funeral home.
People make fun of him.
They find his business distasteful.
Yet he’s offering
a much needed, lucrative service.

Another buddy is in waste disposal.
Again, this isn’t a sexy business
yet it is needed and it is profitable.

If you choose to go
into an industry
others love to hate,
accept that
this will likely never change.
You will likely always be mocked.
This is part of the price
you pay
for entering that industry.

But also know
that there is a reason
this industry exists.
It is needed.
It is important.
You will be making a difference
in the world.

By k | February 17, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In the writing business,
there’s an ongoing discussion
about whether
writers should
create stories
that appeal to the market
create stories
that are new and innovative.

Some writers
believe these
are two very different things.
We can only do one
or the other.

I believe in doing both.
I like to learn my market,
learn my readers’ expectations,
give them what they expect
and then surprise them
with something more,
something fresh,
something slightly different.

Stephenie Meyer did that
with Twilight.
She gave readers vampires,
a hero-type that has been around
for a hundred years,
and then she gave readers something fresh.
The vampires sparkled.
They were teenagers.
They didn’t kill humans.

E.L. James combined
two big markets
(billionaire and BDSM)
in one story
(Fifty Shades Of Grey).
That was her something different.

You can create to market
and still create something new and exciting.

By k | February 16, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Every day,
I see people spouting off
about things
they know jack shit about.
Heck, there’s a certain leader
of a certain country
that makes shit up
as he goes along.

Don’t do this.
There’s enough noise
around us.
Don’t contribute to it.

You don’t know everything
about everything.
No one does.

It is okay to say “I don’t know.”
“I’ll find out the answer
and get back to you.”

Because sharing an opinion
about something you’re not an expert in
can really hurt the people listening to you.
They could base life-changing decisions
on your shitty opinion.

You will also,
when faced with a true expert,
look like an ignorant jack ass
and the people listening
will never trust you again.

If you’re not the expert,
either shut up
or, ideally,
ask questions and learn.

By k | February 15, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There has been some discussion
on social media
about whether or not
Ivanka Trump’s fashion line
should suffer
because of her father’s policies.

As many
business building clothing designers
will tell you,
it is incredibly difficult
for a brand new designer
to be listed at the big retailers.

I suspect
the only reason
Ivanka Trump’s fashion line
was listed
was because her father was famous.

She benefited
from that association,
leveraging her father’s brand
to help hers.
It is logical
that, if his brand suffers,
hers will also.

This is the danger
of leveraging another brand.
The two brands are tied
- for better and for worse.

By k | February 14, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

In the Romance Novel industry,
we all hear about the Cinderella stories.
XXX was featured on Oprah
and sold a gazillion copies
of her first book.
YYY was discovered by a big blog
and she made the New York Times Bestseller List
with her first book.

So when we talk about promo,
promo that is doable for everyone,
someone always pushes back
and says something like
‘You’ll only sell 5 books
during your all day Facebook party.
Don’t waste your time.’
‘Promoting in groups
will only increase your sales
by 2 or 3 books a day.
Don’t bother.’

Yes, compared to an appearance
on Oprah,
it DOES seem insignificant
compared to NO sales,
2 books sold IS a big deal.

I would have been thrilled
with 2 books sold a day
with my first releases.

Most small businesses
start with small sales
and then build.
Embrace these first sales.

By k | February 13, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The most successful writers
specialize in a niche.

They not only write stories
in that niche.
They create extra content,
fun promo,
different experiences.

If something happens in the world
(like Valentine’s Day),
they develop niche-themed items
for it.

whenever someone thinks
of that niche,
they think of that writer.

Other writers
might offer their books
in that niche at lower costs
but they’ll never have the depth
of knowledge, of content
as that specialist writer.

Many companies
do the same thing.

Dave Grossman,
Founder Of
the niche company
DG Medical Animations,

“Companies overseas
would provide quotes
we couldn’t match
in a million years
with North American labor.”

“I don’t want to
compete against
a million companies.
I want to
compete against
a handful of companies
and be the best.”

Consider specializing
in a niche.

By k | February 12, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday.
Odds are…
many of your clients
and your prospects
won’t be shown
any love on Valentine’s Day.

In fact,
they might be dreading
Valentine’s Day.
They know
others will be talking
about their fabulous dates
the next day
and they won’t have anything
to add
to those conversations.

So give them something
to talk about.

This is why
the Fifty Shades movies
release around Valentine’s Day.
The timing is damn clever.

By k | February 11, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

This week,
I watched two movies,
both sequels.

The Fifty Shades franchise
is sold on sex.
So the movie folks
gave us even more sex
in the second movie.

The John Wick franchise
is sold on action.
So the movie folks
gave us even more action
in the second movie.

The movies were good
but I thought
the first ones were better.

Because more isn’t always better.

A cupcake with wonderful icing
doesn’t become even more delicious
when the baker doubles the icing.
It becomes less delicious
The balance between cupcake
and icing is thrown off.

As, I felt, was the balance
in the two movie sequels.

When developing products,
remember that
more isn’t always better.

By k | February 10, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I usually have my books
available for pre-order
for a couple of months
before the release date.

There’s quite a bit
of discussion in the industry
about whether or not
a writer/publisher should offer pre-orders.

IMHO… it comes down
to whether or not
the writer/publisher can sell pre-orders.

Pre-orders are delayed gratification
which is challenging for everyone.
There has to be a ‘reward’ to offset that.

In my case,
my stories usually have a twist.
One of my readers’ greatest fears
is hearing about that twist
before she has read the story.

So she ‘pays the price’
and pre-orders the story.

Seth Godin

“If you’re trying
to persuade someone
to make an investment,
buy some insurance
or support a new plan,
please consider that
human beings are terrible
at buying these things.

What we’re good at is ‘now.’

Right now.

When we buy a stake in the future,
what we’re actually buying is
how it makes us feel today.”

If you’re selling the future,
you have to offer something
to offset that advanced payment.

By k | February 9, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Being a romance writer,
I sell love.
So when I talk with readers,
I openly show the love.
I tell them
I love them.
I virtually hug them.
I listen to them

Mike Michalowicz

“In Robert Cialdini’s book
he explains a critical concept.

Consumers are far more likely
to buy from people we like,
which isn’t a huge surprise.

What is surprising is
the degree to which
we place subconscious importance
on whether we believe
the person selling likes us.

If we perceive that
the salesperson likes us,
we are far more likely to buy,
at least in part
because we believe that
people who like us
will look out for our interests”

Don’t be shy
about loving your customers.