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

The Romance Novel Business
is built upon trust.
Readers (customers) trust
writers (businesses)
to tell them great stories
(provide great products).

The writers who earn
and maintain
readers’ trust
hit best seller lists
and earn millions of dollars
in sales.

All because of trust.

It isn’t easy.
It might require dozens of releases,
decades of marketing
and consistently meeting

But this trust is required
for success.

Seth Godin

“We build trust
when we make promises
and then keep them.

And the majority recoils
from the challenge
of making a promise,
because that requires
caring and risk
and the willingness
to make change happen.”

Trust is valuable.
It takes effort and risk
to earn
but, in many industries,
it is necessary for success.

By k | September 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The Science Museum
and The Natural History Museum
in London
got into a ‘fight’ on Twitter.

The one-upmanship of attractions
between these two competing museums
was entertaining,
and it definitely earned
both museums more patrons (customers).
The thread went viral.

This brilliant tactic
could be borrowed
by ‘competing’
specialty stores
and any other small business
with unique offerings.

Some of my best promotions
in the Romance Novel Business
have been shared with
competing writers.
We not only shared
our reader (customer) bases
but we attracted new readers
to the niche.

Competitors can be
your best marketing partners.

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

This year,
I released
a new Romance Novel series
(product line).
I also continued
the previous series.

The previous series
has a healthy readership
(customer base).
It pays the bills.

With the new series,
I did something different,
something daring.
It turned out to be magical
but it could have very well
been a disaster.

Because that’s how magic happens.
It occurs when we take a risk
and risk sometimes results in failure.

Seth Godin

“That same sort of leap,
the one into the unlikely,
is available to all of us,
at different scales.
It’s unlikely that
our next brave novel,
our next breakthrough speech,
our next scary
but generous project
will succeed.
Unlikely but worth it.”

Consider giving your business
the flexibility,
the failure room,
to create magic.

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

The temptation
for business builders
is to work 24/7 forever,
pushing ourselves
to the limit.

That might appear
to be optimal
but it isn’t.

We’ll burn out.
We’ll make mistakes
because we’re tired.
Creativity will plummet
to nothing.

That’s not optimal.

Seth Godin

“Systems have
an optimum level
of performance.
It’s the output
that permits the elements
(including the humans)
to do their best work,
to persist at it,
to avoid disasters,
bad decisions
and burnout.”

Optimal performance
rarely means
performing ALL the time.

Find your sweet spot.

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

Many product designers,
including myself,
have issues with perfection.
We want the product
to be perfect.

That isn’t possible.
There will always be imperfections
in our products.
But usually no one,
other than ourselves,
will notice them.

Seth Godin

“Realize that
no one
is more aware
of your minor flaws
than you are.
No one else is noticing
the little nick
in your tooth
or the fact that
your shoelaces don’t match.”

Magical is achievable.
Perfection is not.
Strive for magical.

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

Envy can be powerful.
It can show us
what we truly want,
push us to achieve it.

When we compare ourselves
to an illusion,
it can be discouraging.
We can’t achieve that goal
because no one
has achieved that goal.

A buddy of mine,
for example,
produces TWO novels a month.
I produce a novel
every two months.

I was becoming discouraged
because I couldn’t produce
as quickly as she did.

Then I found out she has
a team of ghost writers.
She isn’t writing two novels
a month.
She doesn’t write
ANY novels a month.
She outsources
the product development.

Another buddy looks super successful,
like she’s selling a gazillion books.
However, as her friend,
I can tell you
she barely sells enough books
to cover her costs.

Seth Godin

“Spend enough time
looking through the glass
on your tablet
and you’ll come to believe that
you’re the only one
with a less-than-perfect situation.
With the right filter,
the grass really is greener…”

Yes, benchmark to others
if this pushes you forward
but ensure you know the truth
behind their momentum.
Ensure it is possible
for you to achieve the same results.

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

I’m often asked
to calculate
the optimal pricing
for new products
- the pricing which maximizes profit.

I base this calculation
on the behavior of
a TYPICAL product.

A typical product
would sell X units
when priced at Y dollars
and that gives us Z profit.

The product has to be typical.
THAT is key.
It has to behave
like the other products available.

Often our products
AREN’T typical.

I know, for example,
I could charge
another dollar per romance novel.
That’s what a typical romance novel
in my niche
charges to maximize profit.

I also know
I plan to write 20 plus stories
in that series.
That’s not typical.
An extra dollar charged
on a 20 novel series
will decrease readership substantially.

There is no perfect pricing
for everyone.
Calculate the perfect pricing
for YOUR business.

By k | September 13, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Every week ,
some writer complains
about how free books
are destroying the industry.

This has been happening
for decades.

Before eBooks.
Before self-publishing.
Before Amazon.

Here’s the deal…
if a marketing strategy
is legal,
businesses will use it.

You might not like it
but you can’t stop it.

Complaining about it
does nothing
except waste your time
and the time of the people

This time would be better used
figuring out a way
to counteract
this marketing tactic.

You can’t control
your competitors.
Keep your eye on
your own business.

I have a buddy
who is playing
the mid-range quality game
in Romance Novels.
She writes ‘okay’ books,
books that are good for one read
and then are set aside.
She writes quickly,
doesn’t invest much time in editing,
releasing them as quickly as possible.
Every book she writes
is released.
There are no ‘misses.’

The timelines for development
for these mid-range products
are short and reliable.

I, on contrast,
target the high end
for Romance Novels.
They are designed to be read
multiple times.
I don’t release the stories
unless they are magical.

Which means
some of the stories
are reworked for months
and some of the stories
are never released.

The timelines for development
for these high end products
can be long and unpredictable.

Seth Godin

“The high end is magic,
but magic isn’t reliable.
On purpose.
That’s what makes it magic.”

If you’re producing
high end products,
factor in
some extra time
for rework and failure.

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

Two weeks ago,
one of my sites
(not this one)
got hacked.

I have half a dozen sites
hosted with one hosting company.

This hosting company
took down ALL of my sites
because that one site was hacked.

They wouldn’t reinstate
my other sites
until I had cleaned up the hacked site.

Yes, it often appears less expensive
to host all of your sites
with one company
but if that means ALL of your sites
will be taken down
and stay down for a week,
that savings quickly evaporates.

Sometimes bundling,
especially with your web hosting,
isn’t the best decision.