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.

However,
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
listening.

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
shares

“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.

By k | September 10, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

With Hurricane Irma
hitting Florida,
there have been stories
about “price gouging”.

Amazon delivered cases of water
but had greatly increased
the delivery price.
7-11 sold cases of water
but priced the case
at the single bottle price
multiplied by the number of bottles.

I understand the reasons
behind both of these pricing strategies.
It costs more for Amazon
to deliver
into an evacuation zone.
7-11 wasn’t technically
increasing prices.

But customers don’t understand
or appreciate that.
They view it
as a business taking advantage
of a bad situation.

Months, years later,
they will remember this.
It will be brand damaging.

In the case of emergency,
consider keeping
ALL of your prices the same
or lower.

The hit to profitability
should be offset
by the preservation
of your brand equity.

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

In 2018,
I will be ending
one of my series
(product lines).

I plan to launch
the next series
before the final book
in the ending series
releases.

Why?

Because when readers (customers)
look for another series
to replace the one that is ending,
I want to have a series
to offer them.

If I don’t have a series
to offer them,
my readers will go
to another writer (the competition)
and I might never
win them back.

Before terminating a current product,
ensure you have another product
to offer customers.

By k | September 5, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I can’t believe
this has to be posted
but I guess it does.

If you want to keep
your customers,
care for them.

If they contact you
and they’re upset,
don’t interrupt them
to say
it isn’t your problem
or it’s the system
or some other bullshit.

Listen to them.

You don’t have to
fix all of their problems,
though that would be great.
Listening alone
will make them feel better.

Seth Godin
shared

“By not caring,
by not expressing any empathy,
this individual denied themselves
their own humanity.

By putting up a brick wall,
they isolate themselves.
Not only do they destroy
any hope for word of mouth,
they heap disrespect on someone else.

By working so hard to not engage
(in the vain hope that
this will somehow keep them clean),
they end up in the mud,
never again to receive
the benefit of the doubt.”

Care for your customers.

By k | September 4, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my writing buddies
asked me,
“Why any writer would go through
a publisher?”

One answer?
Cash Flow.

Sure, if she self-pubbed,
she would keep all of her revenue
but she would also be responsible
for all of her expenses.
It is highly likely
that, as a new writer,
her cash flow would be negative.

Negative cash flow
kills businesses.
It is the number one
cause of death
for new ventures.

But-but-but
so-and-so was profitable
with her first book (product).

So-and-so was the exception.

Guy Kawasaki
shares

“Don’t believe that
the exception is the rule.

This is called the Twitter Effect.
It goes like this,
“We’re focusing on usage and eyeballs
like Twitter.
We’re not that concerned
about revenue right now.
Look how valuable
everyone thinks Twitter is.
We’ll be just like that.”

Twitter is the exception.
Facebook is the exception.
YouTube is the exception.
There,
I listed all the exceptions.
Everyone else needs revenue asap,
or you might fail.”

Consider forgoing revenue
for greater cash flow.
Cash flow is and will always be
King.

By k | September 3, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

If you’re building a business
for the long haul,
you not only
have to satisfy the customer
of today
but you have to think about
the customer
of tomorrow.

In the Romance Novel Business,
we look at the
YA (Young Adult) market
to help us predict
what our future readers (customers)
will want.

If YA readers are drawn
to books written in first person,
for example,
odds are
they will read those books
as adults too.

We can make small tweaks
in our books (products)
to appeal to our future readers.

Consider
keeping an eye on
both your target demographic
and the demographic younger
than your target.
That’s your future.

By k | September 2, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’ve been out of school
for well over two decades
and I still think of
September
as a time of change,
a month in which
my routine will alter.

Changes in routine
are dangerous
for established brands.
They’re already part
of our routine.

It is a GREAT opportunity
for up and coming brands.
We’re changing one part
of our routine.
It is easier to change
another part.
And that part could include
this new brand.

Be conscious
of transition times.
Hold onto your existing customers
and consider
reaching out to new ones.