By k | October 12, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A project manager
asked for volunteers
to help with marketing a project.
I set aside time in my busy schedule
and volunteered.

A week passed
and I didn’t hear anything.
I figured my help wasn’t needed
and I reallocated that time.

Three weeks later
(a full month after the ask),
the project manager contacted me
about the marketing tasks.
She seemed surprised
that I was no longer available.

No response to a doer
is a no.
She usually won’t waste
more of her time
by contacting you again.
(Why would she?
If you didn’t respond the first time,
you likely won’t respond the second time.)
She’ll simply allocate the resources

If you want a solid, lasting yes,
respond to that yes.

By k | October 11, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my romance pen names
is known for having a light tone
with a certain heat level.

My agent came to me
with a project.
It required me to write
under this pen name
with a different heat level.

That wasn’t that big
of a compromise, was it?

I drafted a proposal for the project.
I wasn’t excited about it.
I knew in my gut
I was messing with my brand
but the project was too good
to walk away from.

The agent then came to me
with more feedback.
The publisher wanted a darker tone.
That wasn’t that big
of a compromise, was it?

Of course, it was.
The FIRST compromise was too big.
I walked away from the project.
(and promptly was offered a different project)

Your brand HAS to stand for something
or you don’t truly have a brand.
Don’t compromise on this something.

By k | October 10, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I pitched a project
to a group.
The pitch was detailed.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do,
how they could help me,
how we’d both benefit.

The leader of the group
replied with
“Let’s talk.
We’ll bounce some ideas around.”

While I was open to modifying my offer,
I wanted any suggestions given
to have been as well thought out
as my original idea.
Suggesting that
we ‘bounce some ideas around’
was insulting.
It was dismissive
of the work I’d done.

A serious offer
warrants a serious counteroffer.
Put as much thought
into your response
as your valued partner
put into her pitch.

By k | October 8, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Every year during NaNoWriMo
(National Novel Writing Month
in November),
I host a month long workshop
on romance writing.

I contacted one Facebook group.
They hemmed and hawed
over the project,
a project all they’re doing
is providing a home for.
After the 5th request
for more information,
I told them ‘forget it.’

I contacted another Facebook group
and they were super enthusiastic,
offering to help
rather than finding reasons
to say no.

In this extremely connected world,
it makes zero sense
to partner with someone
who isn’t enthusiastic
about your project.

Take the time
to find the right partner.
It will influence
whether or not
your project is a success.

By k | October 4, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

An expert
recently advised

“There’s no such thing
as communicating too much
when you’re working on a project
with multiple people.”

That’s bullsh*t.
There IS such a thing
as communicating too much.

I’m part of a marketing project.
My first clue that the project manager
was an over-communicator
was when she set up a Yahoo loop
for the project.

I receive over 100 emails a day
from this Yahoo loop.

At first,
I read everything.
Once I figured out
that most of it didn’t pertain to me,
I only read the one or two a week
marked important.
The rest of the emails are deleted.

If you have talent on your team,
that talent is likely involved
in several projects,
not just yours.

Don’t waste his or her time
with unnecessary communication.

By k | October 3, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was asked to participate
in a writer’s retreat.
This is a weekend
away from distractions.
Writers can concentrate on
banging out words
and getting sh*t done.

After some consideration
(I’m on tight deadlines),
I agreed
to participate.

Then I was told to
bring my swimsuit,
shoes for hiking,
warm sweaters for nights
around the campfire.


That’s not a writer’s retreat.
That’s a girls weekend.

I don’t have any problems
with girls weekends.
I do have a problem with
a fun-filled weekend
disguised as a working weekend.

If you’re pitching an event,
be clear which type of event it is.
If participants expect to get sh*t done,
ensure sh*t gets done.

By k | October 1, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Readers believe that
brilliant stories are solely a product
of brilliant writers.

They’re not.

An editor has as much
or sometimes more influence
over how good a story is
as the writer does.

Many viewers think
the success of shows
like The Big Bang Theory
is due to the actors.

It rarely is.
It’s often due to the writers,
the director, the producer.

We rarely find success on our own.
If you’re the front person,
remember the people behind the scenes.
If you’re adjusting salaries,
allocate some of the money
for the key yet less known people.

By k | September 28, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In Romanceland,
as soon as a book is successful
or a marketing campaign works,
there are hundreds,
perhaps thousands
of copycats the next day.

The innovating writer
normally maintains her breakout sales lead.
The copycat sales are usually average.

If a writer wants to break out,
she has to do something different.
She can’t simply copy the success.

Peter Thiel

“The next Bill Gates
will not build an operating system.
The next Larry Page
or Sergey Brin
won’t make a search engine.
And the next Mark Zuckerberg
won’t create a social network.

If you are copying these guys,
you aren’t learning from them.”

Don’t copy.

By k | September 27, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I never publicly say anything negative
about anyone.
And in this connected world,
almost everything is public.

The friend you might think is unconnected
to anyone at your workplace
could be Facebook friends with your boss
or she could post your info with your name attached
and any fool with Google then sees your complaints.

I have a couple of people
I b*tch and complain to.
These people don’t gossip.
They aren’t addicted to social media.
They believe in privacy.
Even with these buddies,
I often don’t use names
or get into gritty specifics.

Ben Carpenter

“The lesson is …
always follow the Golden Rule
and never say anything negative
about anybody in your company.
To do otherwise is unprofessional,
unnecessary, and
more often than not
will come back to haunt you.”

By k | September 26, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I first joined corporate,
I knew I wanted to be the boss
(either of that organization or my own).
The issue was…
my coworkers all had being the boss
as their expressed goals also.

I had a lot of competition.
I felt intimidated,
struggled to stick to my plans,
knowing only one of us could be the boss,
only one of us would be successful.

Then I realized
I was one of the few people staying late
on Friday nights.
I was the one of the rare few
volunteering for the high risk extra assignments.

According to a CareerBuilder survey,
only “about a third of workers
wish to be leaders,
just 7% are interested
in joining the C-suite.”

This has been my observation also.
Almost everyone will claim publicly
that they want to be the boss.
Few people truly want this.

This is true of
writing a book
or starting a business.
Tell a stranger you’re starting a business
and you’ll hear
his plans to start a business.

This isn’t potential competition.
This is dreaming
and often just talk.

Very few will follow through
on their words
with action.
Don’t be intimidated by talk.