By k | April 20, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The Romance Novel business
is normally a long game.
Writers (entrepreneurs) build
readership (customers) slowly,
writing and selling
hundreds of different books (products).

Knowing this,
writers don’t usually stress
about one or two flops,
about mistakes,
about things going wrong.

It is a different mindset.

Seth Godin

“When something goes wrong,
how do you respond?

When you own assets,
when your position feels secure,
when you’re playing the long game,
a bump in the road is just that.

“Well, that was interesting.”

You can learn from it,
and the professional realizes that
freaking out pays little benefit.”

If you’re playing the long game,
you realize that mistakes will happen
and many of these mistakes
won’t leave any lasting impact
on your business.

By k | April 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m known in the romance novel business
as a writer who tries new things,
who has a sense of humor,
who appreciates the different, the unusual.

This branding does a number of things.
It attracts readers
who like to try new things also,
who have senses of humor,
who are willing to give things a chance.

It also attracts other professionals
who believe in the same things.

This week, for example,
a reviewer posted hilarious
yet not-at-all associated reviews
of some of my best selling books.

Another writer might have worried
about what her readers would think
about these ‘fake’ reviews.
She might have complained
about the reviewer,
had the reviews taken down.

I embraced them.
I knew my readers would love them
and they did.

I suspect I’ll be the ‘target’
of future fun like this
because what we embrace,
we usually get more of,
and I don’t mind.
I love it.

Being open to new ideas
makes you unique.
It will give you an advantage,
attracting people
who are also open to new ideas.

What you do with this advantage
is up to you.

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

In the publishing world,
there are little cliques of writers.
Literary writers
don’t hang out with
romance writers.
Contemporary romance writers
don’t hang out with
paranormal romance writers.
Writers with publishers
don’t hang out with
writers who self publish.

That’s bullshit
limiting thinking.

I will hang out
with anyone who is achieving
what I want to achieve.
I don’t care if that person is a literary writer
or a horror writer
or a romance writer.
I want to learn from them.

I might not be able to apply
all of their experiences
to my situation
but I can usually apply some
and that has made a huge difference
in my career.

Olympic gold medal winner
Erica Wiebe

“I always want to push myself,
and I want to train
and practice with
the best person in the room.

And so whether
that’s a guy or girl
on any given day,
that’s indifferent to me.

I want to compete against
the best wrestler.”

Learn from the best.

*January/February 2017
The Costco Connection

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

I’m a pantser,
a writer who writes
by the seat of her pants,
who starts a book
with no plan.

I write a chapter a day.
At the end of that chapter,
I won’t know what happens next.
That ‘problem’ will be
the last thought on my mind
before I fall asleep.
When I wake up in the morning,
I almost always have the answer.

This magic happened
during business projects also.

Susan Ford Collins*

“When you’re stuck,
do something else.

Highly successful people say
their most creative ideas come
when they walk away from their desk.

They program in the problem at night
and trust their mind to deliver a solution
when they wake up.”

When stuck on a problem,
if possible,
do something else for a while
and then return to it.

*January/February 2017
The Costco Connection

By k | April 16, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I knew as soon as
the missile strike
on Syria was announced,
that sales of my romance novels
for the day
and possibly the next day
would drop to zero.

External events
WILL affect sales.
We can try to mitigate this
by having different avenues of sales,
different sets of customers,
but there will be an impact.

So what do we do?

If it is a short term event,
I hunker down
and wait it out.
I get my shit together
so when impact of the event fades,
I can emerge with a bang,
selling as much as possible
as quickly as possible.

If it is a long term event,
I look for pockets of opportunities.
I might tweak the product
or my marketing or my sales approach
to better work
with the new reality.

There WILL be external events
that will affect your sales.
Know what they are
and figure out a plan
to work with them.

I was super busy this week.
I had some tight deadlines.
One of my business partners,
seeing that,
said, “I’ll just stay out of your way.”

This is the worst possible answer.
It is the equivalent
of saying,
“I’m incompetent.
If I try to help,
I’ll cause more work
for you
than I would reduce.”

If he was my employee,
I would have put him
on the ‘Consider Firing’ list.

If your business partner
is busy,
you should be busy too.

If you can’t help her,
ask yourself why
you can’t take
even the most basic task
off her full plate.
When she becomes less busy,
approach her
rectify that issue.

The average person
will act in her own best interest.
She puts her needs first
before someone else’s.

Before I partner
with someone,
I try to figure out
what her goals are
and how partnering with me
will help her achieve her goals.

If it won’t,
the relationship won’t last long.
If her goals butt heads
with my goals,
the relationship also won’t last long
(and will likely end
in an ugly way).

Our goals don’t have to be
the same
but they should be compatible.

Mike Michalowicz,
Co-Founder of
Profit First Professionals,

“Aligning visions isn’t about
moving your company vision
to match that of your staff.
It’s about helping your staff
see their future,
their needs and wants
as tied to the company’s success.

How do you do that?

Assuming you have a clear picture
of what your company
is going to accomplish
and you understand its reason for being,
then you take the time
to find out what your employees value
and what they want to achieve.”

Learn what your business partners want.

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

In a crowded market
like the romance novel business,
it is key to establish a niche
and try to dominate it.

‘this is a romance novel’
won’t sell any books.
It is so general;
it is meaningless.

‘this is a humorous romance novel
with a teenage vampire hero’
WILL sell books.
Someone right now
is looking for that type of book.

Tess Woods,
principal of
Tess Woods PR, LLC,

“In a competitive field
such as public relations,
I’ve found that being an ‘expert’
in one area
is more beneficial
than trying to be an ‘expert’
in all.

and remaining true
to my niche keeps me focused
on my job
and in demand.”

What is your niche?

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

We all know people
who never finish anything.
Every project they tackle
is discarded
before it is completed.

They will never be a success
because they will never
complete anything.

J.K. Rowling

You’re working on something
and you’re thinking,
‘Nobody’s gonna watch, read, listen.’

Finish it anyway.”

“You’ll have turned yourself
from somebody who’s ‘thinking of’,
who ‘might’,
who’s ‘trying’
someone who DID.
And once you’ve done it
you’ll know you can do it again.”

Even if a project is a failure,
end it properly.

Completing projects
is a habit.
Acquire it.

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

As business builders,
we take risks.

Every product launch,
every new project
is a risk.
It could go terribly wrong
or it could change the world.

Alexander Skarsgård
recently played a not-so-nice person.
When asked what he was thinking
when he took that role,
he shared

“I have a feeling
this is going to be my last interview ever
because after Perry Wright,
I’ll never get another job.
But, hell, it was worth it.”

There isn’t any such thing
as a ’safe’ project.
(The projects we think are safe
are usually the most dangerous.)

Make it worth it.