The subject of a business plan has more information than I can put in just one post. This month I’ll be talking about what a plan is and why to consider one, and next month I will discuss the process of making a plan and factors to consider. ~ Voirey
Talk of author business plans has been tossed around quite a bit in my circles lately… admittedly on my provocation. The discussions have been very interesting to say the least. I’ve been surprised by the number of authors whose plans consist of “write the book, sell the book, see where it takes me”. I’ve been told repeatedly and on several fronts that you can’t plan success and publishing is a crap shoot. Either you make it or you don’t.
I believe the conventional wisdom is wrong. A writing career isn’t a gamble. It’s something you can plot out, something that you can point in the direction you want it to go.
So what exactly is a business plan, how is it different from goals and how does one go about making a business plan?
A goal at its most basic level is what you want your individual writing career to be. This won’t be the same for any two people. One might want an A-list, bestseller career while another just wants to be able to write and share her work. Both are perfectly acceptable goals. Once you define just what you want, you can start to work toward it. This is where the business plan comes in.
I posted a while back about Mapping Your Career Plan in which I discussed goals, why and how to make them. The plan is the next step in the process, where those goals become action. This is also one area where it’s wise to tap into the experience of others. While not everything that works for another author will work for you, their experiences can be a starting point. Adopt and adapt their tactics to fit you.
If you want to construct a business plan, start by making five-year goals. Where do you want to be in your writing career five years from now and what goals do you want to reach along the way?
There is more to put into this plan than just writing books. The length of the book and the timing of the releases are important, too. Early on, I was given a tidbit of advice from an established author. She knew my goal was to begin supporting my family with my writing as soon as possible and told me that I needed to look at shorter stories that could be finished quickly and digital presses that would get them out and earning fast. “You don’t have time to wait. Sell quickly now and work on the bigger projects when your career established.”
Thus began my business planning. I stopped thinking of writing as a dream or a hobby and got serious about making it my career.I spent a lot of time listening and talking to people who had working business plans, made note of their goals and how they met them, then I began to incorporate their strategies into my own.
Since adopting a business plan, most of my anxiety over writing, submitting and selling has vanished. I know where I want to go and have an idea of what steps are needed to make to get there. Not only is my plan in place, but my backups are as well.
How about you? Have you given much thought to your personal business plan?
Image Copyright (c)