Friday, March 7, 2014

A Business Plan For Self-publishing Authors

One of my author friends gave me a great idea for this post, writing a business plan for self-publishing. If you already have a book out, this plan should be a great outline for you to follow, but if you are still in the process of getting your first book out there, your plan will be a little different.

I will touch on both areas of a writer's journey. 

Still working on your first book.

1. Whether you are already public or not, the first thing is coming up with a business name. Yes, you will be a business once you upload that book to Amazon so you will need a business name. Next will be setting up an LLC with your state.

2. Writing goals will be your guide at the juncture of a business plan. If you haven't already started a goal setting guide, this would be a good time to do this. You should list the name of your project, and then a list of what you would like to accomplish monthly, quarterly, and yearly. This would be a good guide for your monthly plan. 

A. Your word count daily and monthly
B. Your schedule with your critique partner
C. Classes you are participating in and any writing groups
D. Platform building
E. Your outline and character outline

3. At quarterly you check your goals and see if you met them for the 3 months. Then list your next goals for the following three months, such as adding more to your word count, finishing your rough draft, and starting your revisions.

4. Your yearly might be something like, starting a blog, building a presence on the sites you like, and finishing your book. You should write up your yearly goal in the beginning and at the end of the year see if you met those goals or if you need to concentrate on certain ones.

Now onto the writer who is ready to publish or has taken the plunge.

Once you have accomplished writing your book the next phase of goals will still have a lot of the same ones you had for writing your book. But you will be adding new ones to the actual business plan.

1. Description of your book and a brief synopsis. 

2. Marketing strategies to get you and your book out there for people to see. This one will be on going but you might decide to add a web-site and finding different book sites to upload your book to for availability. 

3. Working on your next book. This is critical because one book is not enough to carry a business. The more books you have the more your name will get out there to the public.

4. Continuing to hone your craft. We all are learning continuously. Like everything else in life, there is nothing wrong with bettering yourself. No one is a perfect writer and there are those out there who can help you to learn how to tighten your writing and putting out the best books you can. The better your writing the more popular you will become.

5. Analysis of your book. Tracking what works helps you to see what the reader likes, or doesn't. When the readers are present on the sites you use for your platform building, and what topics work the best for your blog posts.

6. Developing your timelines. The more you write, the faster you should be able to accomplish having the next book ready for publication. Also, the more you work on your personal goals, the more you will push yourself to accomplish higher standards for your output.

7. Budgeting for your next book. As with anything, it cost money to publish a book, self-published or not. You will need to pay for your cover, editor, book orders for any events, any extra's such as business cards,and book marks, and any party favors you plan for your personal events, like your book launch.

8. Opening a business account. Keeping your book money separate from your personal money is important plus it helps to develop your business. Sure you will have to use some of your personal money, at first, to pay for certain things, but keep track of everything with receipts. 

9. And don't forget to continue to set monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Your list will be longer now than the one above. You will have projections for sales, finishing your next book and having it ready for publication, and events you would like to participate in, such as conferences.

10.To continue to set new goals and to up your goals are the key. Eventually you will be able to set a five year goal. 

There are a lot of "little" things you will need to add to your list that you will come up with over time, such as signing up your book(s) with the library of congress, the price of a website, and any other costs for swag. It will continue to grow if all goes well.

What are your goals for your writing? Is there anything you can add to help writers along the way? If so, please add your ideas and or, thoughts in the comment box. Hey, we should help each other along the way!

Until next week, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Love, Lisa

No comments:

Post a Comment