Let's think about next year...

Let's think about next year...

For years, I put off creating a business plan for the year. I would write it on my to-do list, push it further down the list, then skip it all together. I needed, for me, a different solution. 

Enter The Author Plan. It's a quick and modified business plan, one that you can create in less than fifteen minutes, and one you should continually reference and tweak throughout the year. 

Note: If you have the time and knowledge to do a full business plan, you absolutely should, and this article by Denise Grover Swank will show you how. My plan is designed for the more carefree and absent-minded author (like me) who can barely remember to get dressed in the morning, much less dedicate hours to a proper and detailed plan. 

Okay, let's take a look at The Author Plan. First, answer the following questions:

How many books will you publish this year? 

Pick a number that is attainable, not one that will ruin your home life or cause you to break out in hives. I like to write down the titles of the books (if I know them) and the approx publication month. This is always a fun section to fill out, and causes me to think through my ideas and pick my favorites. 

Do you have any other goals? 

I try and keep my total goals (including my 'Write X number of books' goal) to only 3 goals. This causes me to really FOCUS on these goals during the year, and increases their chances of success.

Here are some goals I've shot for in the past:

  • Increase my newsletter subscribers
  • Increase my social media presence
  • Increase my backlist sales
  • Update my website
  • Improve my backlist
  • Produce my own audiobook
  • Learn Goodreads and create a presence there
  • Increase paperback sales

Write down each of your goals, then figure out HOW you are going to reach those goals. Below is my author plan for 2018. I created it on my whiteboard, but you can use any medium that you prefer. 

If you can't read my writing, under my goal 'Increase backlist income by 20%' I broke it into several sections to make this goal more attainable. To help me hit this goal, I am going to:

  1. Hold 4 different sales on 4 different backlist books
  2. Hold Readalongs on my social media (where I encourage readers to read the book during a certain time period)
  3. Post 3x a week on social media about my backlist titles. I'm going to focus on one title per month.
  4. TRACK my sales. I'm going to pay attention to what works and what doesn't, and see if my sales actually increase as a result of these changes. 

While The Author Plan isn't as all-encompassing and effective as a full business plan, it IS a quick and easy way to organize your thoughts and goals for next year, or next quarter, or next month. 

I also plan to, at the beginning of each month, do a mini-plan for the month that will address each of these goals, and create mini-targets to help me reach those larger goals. 

I'd love to know how you are planning for next year, and what works for you, in terms of accountability. 

Want more help on writing, publishing, or marketing your novels? Check out my step-by-step online courses! Click here!

 

 

Tapping the mic...

Tapping the mic...