By k | September 10, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

To push myself
to be better,
I usually benchmark myself
to someone,
a perceived competitor.

The choice of this someone
is more than
simply choosing someone
who is farther ahead.

It involves how I feel
when this person
posts about her successes.

Some people post
in a way
that motivates me.
I get all pumped up
to go out there
and achieve the same results.

Some people post
in a way
that does the opposite.
I feel bad about myself,
tend not to want to work
for the same success.

Benchmark to someone
whose achievement posts
motivate you.

By k | September 8, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have two books releasing soon.
Both are great books
but I’m extremely passionate
about one of them.

Guess which one
I promote the most?

Yep, the book I’m passionate about.

THIS is why passion is important.
When you’re passionate
about a product,
you talk about it
first, last, always.

Your prospects hear
the passion in your voice
and they become excited also.
Your partners do the same.
Passion is contagious.
Soon everyone is talking
about your product.

There are many ways
to find passion
in a product
you might not
normally be excited about.
It doesn’t matter
how this passion happens.
Simply that it does.

Be passionate
about whatever you’re promoting.

By k | September 7, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I sent my manuscript
to my editor.
She sent it back,
advising me
to eliminate the prologue.

That’s an entire chapter.
3,000 words.
12 pages.

She told me
to scrap it.

It was painful.
I hated her a little bit
for recommending
that action.

But I did it,
threading that information
into the rest of the story.

And you know what?
She was right.
It’s a much stronger story
without the prologue.

If you’re a product developer,
you NEED someone like my editor.
You need someone
who isn’t afraid of telling you
the truth
even though it is painful.

Get your version
of a great editor.

By k | September 6, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A buddy of mine
was asked by a complete stranger
for her honest opinion
about a publisher.

After being assured
that her opinion would be kept private,
my buddy gave it.
It wasn’t flattering
but it was an opinion I shared.

The stranger posted it
on her blog and on social media
with my buddy’s name attached to it.

There are no private communications,
especially with strangers.
Assume that everything you type
or say
will be posted on social media,
associated with your name
or your brand forever.

By k | September 5, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the genres I write in
is SciFi romance.
Science Fiction is exactly that
– fiction based on science.

Readers want to know
that writers have a scientific foundation
for their aliens or other worlds,
that writers have put thought
into the stories.
However, they often
don’t need to know
what that thinking is.

By merely stating,
“If you want more information
about the world of XX,
contact me at XX”,
many readers are satisfied.

Yes, there are the rare few
who will contact me
and I usually have the information
ready for them
(content on my blogs).

But the majority of readers
don’t want to know.
They merely want to know
that YOU know
and they COULD know
if they wanted to.

The majority of your customers
don’t want to hear about
the details surrounding your product either
but they DO want to know
that if they ask,
you can supply them with those details.

By k | September 4, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I receive a constant stream
of emails, private messages,
telling me
what I did wrong and right
with every book.

One reader loves
that my cover is pink.
Another reader hates
that my cover pink.
Which opinion
should I listen to?

(In this case,
the answer is neither.
The cover was pink
because the proceeds
of the novel
was going towards
breast cancer research.)

I always evaluate
who is giving me advice
before I consider it.

Dorie Clark
has a great post
on when to ignore feedback.
(the entire post
is great)

“Everyone may have an opinion,
but that doesn’t mean it’s useful.
Just as, in the Internet era,
it’s easy to drown
in information overload
if you don’t meter your intake,
the same is true of feedback.
The best way to sort
the wheat from the chaff
is to decide in advance
who you respect,
and only choose to
listen to those people.”

Acknowledge all feedback.
It’s a sign that
the person cares.
Listen to feedback
from the people you respect.

By k | September 3, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Whenever I deal with anyone,
one of the first things
I investigate is how she gets paid.

For example:
My publishing agent
receives a portion of her writers’ sales.
The more books her writers sell,
the more she gets paid.

That’s great for me, right?

Not if I investigate deeper.
She earns the bulk of her commission
from million dollar plus deals.
I’m a smaller writer.
I’ve never even received an advance.

Which means
she could possibly involve me
in not-as-attractive
and risky-as-hell deals
to seal huge deals
for her better selling writers.

I remember that
every time she comes to me
with a story
a publisher wants written.

Know how the people
you partner with
are compensated.
That will drive their behavior.

By k | September 2, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was contacted by a writer
who was in the same niche
I was.
She proposed that
we put together a boxed set
of new stories.
She’d share her readers
with me
I’d share my readers
with her.
We’d both grow our readership.

This writer is known
for being unethical.
My gut told me
she was f*cking with me.

But the opportunity
was too lush to ignore
I figured I could use the story
I agreed.

Months later,
yep, the boxed set
isn’t going to happen.

It turns out
this writer does this quite often.
She’ll ‘distract’ her perceived competition
with enticing opportunities
that will never happen.

Remember that
the next time
you’re presented with an opportunity.
Ask yourself
“Is this a real opportunity
or merely a distraction?”

By k | September 1, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The big New York publishers
don’t understand Amazon,
the biggest bookseller
in the world.

One of the most important
in an Amazon listing
is the tags.
Tags are the key words
readers search on.

Many New York publishers,
because they load through
a third party,
don’t use tags at all.
They certainly don’t use tags
the way they should
on Amazon.

What does that mean?

It’s often easier
for a self-published book
to rank high on Amazon
than it is
for a New York published book.

Being big, in this case,
is a disadvantage.

The thing is..
there’s ALWAYS a case
where being big
is a disadvantage,
where you as a smaller company
have the strategic advantage.

Battle the bigger companies
where you have
the strategic advantage.

By k | August 30, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Leading a team is challenging.
Leaders might be respected
but we’re not always liked
because we have to
make the tough decisions,
have to push our teams
to perform,
have to talk to them
when things go wrong.

Jessica Alba,
and founder of
the Honest Company,

“Sometimes I’m a little more
iron fist than velvet glove.
I’m straight to the point.
I’ve made people cry.”
“I have to say,
‘This isn’t personal.
This is what needs to get done,
and it’s just as simple as that.
And …we’re not crying anymore.’”

Leadership isn’t a popularity contest.
We won’t always be liked.