9 things you should know … if you ever want to become a manager: The New Manager series

There’s nothing as energizing as the terror of the first day after you’ve been made a manager. So much to do – so few skills!

The New Manager series answer those questions that only you and Google and the midnight hours before your big presentation know about. A little bit like a mentor-in-a-book with lots of detail and step-by-step guidance through the corporate swamps. Oh, and “new” has nothing to do with age, of course!

Please note: this series of books were previously advertised as the “Can you Manage” series and linked to a Facebook page. In order to clarify any confusion with psychology self-help books, and to ensure that the focus is seen to be on business management and leadership, these have now been rebranded as “The New Manager” series under the brand name “New leader, manager” as can be seen at this website: New Leader, Manager and indicated on the author website on this post here. The Facebook Page will be rebranded accordingly.

This series will be become available online in the course of 2018/9 and here’s the first one:

9 things you should know … if you ever want to become a manager: The New Manager series

9 things you should know ... if you ever want to become a manager_COVER_Lalien CilliersAre you a ready for management? Ready for that promotion?
Maybe new to management? Maybe even new to the business world as a whole?
Or just with a few gaps in what you should know before you aim at that promotion?

Then you will need a simple, basic guide to show you how to fill the gaps quickly and start on your road to success!

There are many ways to stand out from the crowd, and you’re going to learn a lot of strategies in the course of this book. Some of them you might instinctively follow already – and that’s great! But some could be new – and might even feel a bit strange at first.

So, what are those nine things you should know if you ever wanted to make it as a manager?
1. Know what you want
2. Know what matters
3. Know how to look and act
4. Know your job
5. Know your numbers
6. Know how to pitch
7. Know your company
8. Know the competition
9. Know the market

Interested in being getting promoted to management? The click here to buy the ebook on Amazon!


Amazon KDP: The Planet of the Snake People


Planet of the snake people_LalienCilliers_BookCoverSo, since there’s been no movement of this short dream parable eBook, I removed it from Smashwords and moved it to Amazon KDP Select. I priced it at 99c (USD) and chose some Christian and insipirational categories for it.

Will let you know how it goes.

If you’d like to support me (disclaimer – it’s a Christian book, just thought I’d make that clear!), you can buy a copy here: The Planet of the Snake People.

If you like it, please rate and review – it makes a huge difference to the visibility of the book on Amazon.


Progress: A Guy’s Guide: New Home


Hi there …. how do you like my “A Guy’s Guide” series logo? Did it myself … the long way: using Word, then exporting to PDF, then converting to JPG.

Sigh. The joys of not being trained in design – something I am thinking more and more should be on the to-do-list for all indie authors.

Anycase, I created a Facebook page for the series. You can have a look (or hopefully join enthusiastically!) here: Facebook Page: A Guy’s Guide series.

I also ran a short, cheap(ish) Facebook ad campaign on the page just to get it going. Cost me about R700 (that’s USD50) and I got 1800 page likes – which I think is great for such a niche topic.

Trying to decide what to run on the Facebook page was another kettle of fish! In the end I just kept picturing my brothers and trying to think what they might enjoy. So I added lots of links to “how-to” type online articles and funny memes.

Will see!

If you bought the book (hint!), you’ll know that that I also created a playlist for it on my regular YouTube channel. You can go and check it out here: A Guy’s Guide YouTube playlist.

But sales are not coming yet. I opted for a Amazon KDP Countdown – you can only do this thirty days after joining, so it’ll happen sometime in January 2018. Will let you know how it went.

Have fun writing!

Published: A Guy’s Guide: New Home

A Guys Guide_New Home_Lalien Cilliers_cover.jpgIt’s here: the first in the short series: “A Guy’s Guide: New Home (How to Find and Furnish Your Own Place)“.

I’m happy to tell the world that I am now published on Kindle! … Yes, and at the glorious Amazon Best Sellers Rank # 459 413,  I am pretty sure that the world could care less. 🙂 But I do, and my friends do and my family does. And I published the little book that has been begging for a swim in the big pond for way too many years between work and DVD-marathons.

And I feel GREAT!

So, I’ll let you know what I find out – because this book is first and foremost all about learning how Amazon ebooks work.

One of the things I wanted to figure out was the categories. This is an extremely niche ebook, so it was really hard to choose the categories – and you only get two! I will play around with these in future and let you know how it changes. At the moment I am rated #1473 in Kindle Short Reads, #8274 in Kindle eBooks>Crafts, Hobbies & Home, and #9808 in Kindle eBooks>Cookbooks, Food & Wine. As you can see, there is a lot of competition in the Cookbooks category, so I am going to give it another week or so and then change that one to a different category.

I have also looked at the promotions options. You could give the ebook away for free, and I have read other authors saying that’s a good way to launch a series. However, it is not good for your paid ranking when you revert to the paid option.

So the other option that looks interesting is the Countdown – but you can only do that if you haven’t run a free giveaway, and if you have been on KDP Select for 30 days … so I will bide my time until I can give that a shot.

Oh, and I’ve sent a query about the Kindle Unlimited lending option – I need to have an active thing-a-ma-jig to get that going. Duh. I just noticed that I didn’t enroll in KDP Select (which means that I am selling this ebook exclusively on Amazon) … just did that now. The customer services guy will think I am as green as I am. But – that’s the way you learn, I suppose!

In the meantime I am hard at work writing the first of the “The New Manager” series. I want to alternate writing an ebook for the “A Guy’s Guide” and the “The New Manager” series – hopefully every few months (if life doesn’t catch up to me too badly in the next few months).

Will keep you all up to date – have fun writing your own stories!


What My Parents Taught Me About Writing

I remember waking up one morning early to a strange sound in the study. I went in there to check, and found my mom sobbing over her typewriter.

Literally sobbing.Ma verwerk

Because she had to just finished drowning her beloved main character.

Both my parents were published authors and very involved in mentoring young writers, so I learned a great deal about the discipline and the rigors of writing from them.

Oh, and if some of these sound familiar, it is simply because the road to writing has always been pretty much the same – whether it is tar or gravel or grass or cobblestones, the path still leads from here to there, from the start of the book to reader reading the last word. Nothing much has changed.

1.   ABC: Writing is Hard Work.

ABC = Apply Bottom to Chair. Yes. You have heard this before.

It’s still true, though.

If you don’t sit down to some serious writing (or do it standing up), nothing will ever magically happen.

Writing. Is. Hard. Work.

2.   Kill Your Darlings: Edit!

William Faulkner said that you have to kill your darlings.

Because if you don’t kill your darlings, they will kill your book.

For those of you who are horrified at the suggestion of murder, please note: a “darling” in a book could be a favourite minor character who doesn’t contribute to your main plot but wonders off on his or her own little garden path.

Or it could be a flowery phrase, or a word you use over and over and over … get the picture?

Or it could be a whole subplot that makes your book overweight and dowdy instead of streamlined and sexy.

How do you kill your darlings? Well, editors are the best assassins you can find. But before you hire them, do some assassination (aka editing) yourself.

3.   Your Sweetheart’s Blue Eyes: Make Notes!

Somewhere you need to create a table and note down details regarding your characters and the setting and anything else that you could forget one hundred pages into the book. Do not change the colour of someone’s eyes simply because you didn’t make a note of it. Excel makes it really easy to create a character list, but there are handy apps out there that you might want to use as well.

4.   Night Owls or Larks? Know Yourself

My mom woke up at four in the morning to start writing. My dad wrote until midnight.  Oh what a marriage that must have been!

Seriously though: you need to write when you are fresh and wide awake and able. You cannot write with a hundred people asking you for tea or food or socks. But you also cannot write in the mornings if you are not a morning person.

5.   Be a Great Spy. Know Your Market.

Maybe you are writing for yourself. That’s cool. Then you don’t have to get to know your market. Well, actually, you already know your market pretty well then …

But otherwise: get to know your market or get to know someone who knows your market. Publishers, editors and agents all know their fields well. But it doesn’t help a lot if you don’t do your own market research and you also don’t listen to them. Either spy yourself or trust your spies.

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