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Author Topic: What's the Plan, Stan?  (Read 705 times)  

Online Catherine Lea

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What's the Plan, Stan?
« on: February 23, 2018, 05:25:01 PM »
I've read so many successful authors talk about having a good business plan, but I'm not an accountant or a business guru. Is there some template or spreadsheet that could help me develop a business plan for my writing business? How do others do it?


There's no such thing as a simple plan.
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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 05:30:34 PM »

Online Catherine Lea

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 05:40:43 PM »
This is my plan: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231169.0.html
Patty, I already had this post in my favorites. I should keep going back to it, and thank you for reminding me!


There's no such thing as a simple plan.
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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018, 05:48:37 PM »
A plan is a strategy. A strategy is something that encompasses your goals over a number of years.

My personal strategy is: get people off the retailers and onto my mailing list. Then give them as many options to buy as possible.

How do I get people onto my mailing list? That's not a plan, it's a tactic. And tactics change because some become more or less effective over time. Like FB advertising is dumb in the Christmas leadup because it's too expensive, but author swaps might work, and Instafreebie might, but there will come a time that you personally have exhausted certain tactics and you need to move to different ones. (Don't confuddle this with "this thing doesn't work anymore").

So: do you want to focus on sales or people on your list?
Where and how do you want to sell?
What are you prepared to do, and what don't you want to do?

You need to answer questions like that and then make a plan that's tailored to you.

Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 05:53:05 PM »
It's hard to say without knowing your background. You have to play to your strengths and try to shore up your weaknesses. I was a professional writer who worked on assignment. My hourly rate was... high.  I won't say in public what it was, but I really could come close to the four-hour work week and travel as I pleased all over the world. Self-publishing indie novels will never do that.  Even the people who earn a lot don't really have any freedom. (Maybe Hugh Howey does... but does he still write?) There are only so many hours in the day, and if you're trying to do all the things while writing a book a month (in romance) or four books a year (those other genres), something's got to give.

Decide the number of hours of day you are able & willing to give to this. Plan from there. Either you have the time or you don't. People who say this can be done in four hours a week are selling you something. Even Tim Ferris doesn't work four hours a week. He has a staff. He probably works four hours an hour.  The person who says Beyonce has the same 24 hours a day that you do is lying. Beyonce has a staff.

Your plan should involve thinking about time.  Think about time, think about your strengths, and work first on building your strengths. Because I knew I was a successful writer, I built next on editing skills rather than trying to zigzag over there to marketing and distributing, an area where I had never worked. You can't learn everything at once. Improve where you already have a gift or some knowledge. Spend money on areas where you don't have those gifts.

My plan feels very vague when I describe it, but that's because it will be different for each writer depending on your background.
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Online Catherine Lea

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 07:51:00 PM »
It's hard to say without knowing your background. You have to play to your strengths and try to shore up your weaknesses. I was a professional writer who worked on assignment. My hourly rate was... high.  I won't say in public what it was, but I really could come close to the four-hour work week and travel as I pleased all over the world. Self-publishing indie novels will never do that.  Even the people who earn a lot don't really have any freedom. (Maybe Hugh Howey does... but does he still write?) There are only so many hours in the day, and if you're trying to do all the things while writing a book a month (in romance) or four books a year (those other genres), something's got to give.

Decide the number of hours of day you are able & willing to give to this. Plan from there. Either you have the time or you don't. People who say this can be done in four hours a week are selling you something. Even Tim Ferris doesn't work four hours a week. He has a staff. He probably works four hours an hour.  The person who says Beyonce has the same 24 hours a day that you do is lying. Beyonce has a staff.

Your plan should involve thinking about time.  Think about time, think about your strengths, and work first on building your strengths. Because I knew I was a successful writer, I built next on editing skills rather than trying to zigzag over there to marketing and distributing, an area where I had never worked. You can't learn everything at once. Improve where you already have a gift or some knowledge. Spend money on areas where you don't have those gifts.

My plan feels very vague when I describe it, but that's because it will be different for each writer depending on your background.
I really appreciate this and strangely enough, I understand it. My strengths are in writing and understanding that if it's not paying the bills, it goes. I don't pay out more than I make, although at the moment, I'm close on AMS. I need to learn to map out a book before I start, plot it out and take on the mindset that I don't need to be Dan Brown or J.D. Robb. I just need to be me, and if people don't like what I do, when I'm doing my best, then either I change to suit the market (whatever that is) or I keep doing what I know best and build an audience who likes that.

In essence, I like Patty's advice. Just keep swimming.


There's no such thing as a simple plan.
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Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2018, 08:04:16 PM »
This is my plan: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231169.0.html
I still think this is by far the best topic on this subject that I've read. There tends to be far too much emphasis on chasing bestsellers here and far too little interest in keeping that long tail producing.

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Online Catherine Lea

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2018, 09:32:08 PM »
I still think this is by far the best topic on this subject that I've read. There tends to be far too much emphasis on chasing bestsellers here and far too little interest in keeping that long tail producing.
I couldn't agree more.


There's no such thing as a simple plan.
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Online C. Gold

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 10:50:05 PM »
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free
...

 :o

Whoops! Wrong Stan!

I plan to write several books in series in genres that sell and build up my AMS and ad knowledge with each one until I'm rocking it!

Offline Fleurina

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Re: What's the Plan, Stan?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2018, 11:03:34 AM »
Quote
This is my plan: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231169.0.html

Wonderful post, Patty. I read it yesterday and then bought two or your 'unboxed' e-books, from Amazon UK. Fab fab fab - so helpful.  Thanks!
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