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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok fellow Newbies (or seasoned vets who want to steer us right)!

What are your goals?

Mine, with a cute little rom com short out:

Each week I want to sell one more than I did the week before (I'm on track... just need that 1 more for this week!)
Each week I will find/use one more outlet to discuss my work (just finished my first interview for next week - yay)
Each week I will learn one more new thing about indie-publishing (thank you thank you thank you everyone here!)

What are your Newbie Goals (come on - I can't be alone in the small steps into the deep water here, right?)

:)

~Caitie
 

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Well, I just helped you with goal #1. The line about not vampires, something else and scorching sex, but making me snort coke through my nose (that reads wrong on so many levels), convinced me I needed to read it.

Good luck with your goals.

Here's some newbie advice for you though: keep writing. Yes, you need to market and find new ways to get your book in front of people, but you certainly need to keep writing. Your next book will actually be your best marketing tactic there is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OH THANKS :)

Yeah, none of that typical warning stuff, but a reader said she literally snorted the diet coke and I *had* to steal that.

And you're right - I totally should have put my writing goals.

Research & plot points to start FDing next book for the Other Me.

That Other Me definitely owes the agent person some words soon *glances at calender* hmmm...
 

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I agee with your goals... I'd just add 10,000 words a week of new words written to them.  :)

And that's no lie from me.  I must hit 10k a week.  That 10k can be different projects, drafts, rewrites, etc.  But I MUST be in front of the computer creating new words.

-jb 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow Jim!

I love to write fast... I had no idea I was FDing until someone gave me the workshop notes and I thought, Why wouldn't you get the story out as fast as possible and then fix things in the edits.

My best friend writes slowwwwwwwww.... Every page is pretty much perfect when she's done though. Although that sounds nice, I think I'd have a migraine from banging my head against the keyboard that way.
 

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I suppose I'm enough of a veteran that I don't set goals I don't control (i.e. how many sales I get).  That can lead to things like becoming obsessed with marketing when you should be writing.  

As for my goals:

1.) my main goal is still 1000 words of fiction every day.  (Right now 1200 words a day, because I'm doing a write-a-thon.)  I haven't managed that for more than a couple of months at a time, so still working on it.  (I write more than that in blog postings, and even more in forum postings -- methinks forum postings may be where I need to carve out more writing time.)

2.) Enough short fiction to keep Ellery Queen's and Alfred Hitchcock's mystery magazines (and maybe F&SF and Asimovs) slush piles busy for the fall.

3.) I'd like to publish 12 ebooks this year (including novelettes and such).  I think I've only done 5 so far, but I have a bunch of drafts and such to call on for publishing in the fall.  Still some of them need work and so it will definitely be a challenge.

4.) Improve the quality/time ratio on my blog.  

I'll worry about marketing after I hit 20 books published. (Or at least three of any one series.)  That should be sometime toward the end of next year.

Camille
 

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daringnovelist said:
I suppose I'm enough of a veteran that I don't set goals I don't control (i.e. how many sales I get). That can lead to things like becoming obsessed with marketing when you should be writing.

As for my goals:

1.) my main goal is still 1000 words of fiction every day. (Right now 1200 words a day, because I'm doing a write-a-thon.) I haven't managed that for more than a couple of months at a time, so still working on it. (I write more than that in blog postings, and even more in forum postings -- methinks forum postings may be where I need to carve out more writing time.)

2.) Enough short fiction to keep Ellery Queen's and Alfred Hitchcock's mystery magazines (and maybe F&SF and Asimovs) slush piles busy for the fall.

3.) I'd like to publish 12 ebooks this year (including novelettes and such). I think I've only done 5 so far, but I have a bunch of drafts and such to call on for publishing in the fall. Still some of them need work and so it will definitely be a challenge.

4.) Improve the quality/time ratio on my blog.

I'll worry about marketing after I hit 20 books published. (Or at least three of any one series.) That should be sometime toward the end of next year.

Camille
Camille, you are hard core. I am impressed, and a little afraid! 12 books in one year? Man I'm lucky if I can make 1 book in a year and a half. That's why my only goal of note is getting the next book completed and out by January 2012. (I think that gets it in before Mayan Ragnarok, right? Cause after that it won't matter)

Also, blog about 2x a month, and remember to cross post them to facebook. I've been better at that recently, but there is VAST room for improvement.
 

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Ursula_Bauer said:
Camille, you are hard core. I am impressed, and a little afraid! 12 books in one year? Man I'm lucky if I can make 1 book in a year and a half. That's why my only goal of note is getting the next book completed and out by January 2012. (I think that gets it in before Mayan Ragnarok, right? Cause after that it won't matter)

Also, blog about 2x a month, and remember to cross post them to facebook. I've been better at that recently, but there is VAST room for improvement.
:)

Remember, I've been writing for over thirty years.

Camille
 

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I don't necessarily think you should set sales goals. Sales are out of your control.

Target things you can control. I will get five reviews this week/month/whatever. I will do 5 guest blogs/interviews.

Make them attainable, and meet them. Then set harder ones next time. Sales go up and down, but those reviews, interviews, guest blogs, will add up.

BUT, make new writing your #1 goal every day. It's the best promo tool a writer - any writer - has. Nothing beats a new title.
 

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On thinking further --

For beginners, you should look at my goal #1. That's the one that matters. You don't have to match anyone's particular wordcount goal, but you do have to write day-in and day-out. 200 words, 500 words, 2000, whatever you can do. Aim a little above what you succeed at, but don't set it so high you get discouraged.

My second and third goals -- how much I self-publish and how much I submit to magazines -- is utterly dependent on that first goal. They sound cool, but the only way they actually affect my work load is that they are a reminder to FINISH what I start.

The fourth goal is a reminder to keep competing priorities under control so I can achieve goal #1.

But the prime directive is Goal #1. Or to put it another way, I'll give you Heinlein's Rules of Writing:

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you start.
3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
4. You must put it on the market.
5. You must keep it on the market until sold.

Notice that, although the word "market" is used, there is nothing in there about marketing, or platform building or networking or advertising or branding. Those things are useful in the business of publishing, but the business of publishing doesn't even exist without the First Rule: You Must Write.

Camille
 

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I'm a newbie myself, so it might seem a little weird for me to be offering advice, but I really, really, really wish I'd started on my next book the day after I put my first online. I wasted a lot of time thinking about marketing, reading about marketing, and staring at my book's Amazon page with a stupid grin on my face. Then, a couple weeks later, I got my first fan letter and it asked when the next book was coming out. I hadn't even started it yet! Don't waste precious writing time like I did. Getting more books out there should probably be your #1 goal as a newbie. I like Bob Mayer's advice--worry about marketing and how many books your selling once you've gotten three books out.

However, there are a few small things you can do that are probably worth your while if you have time. You should find a few people who review books for your genre to read and review your book. I took a few days and asked about 30 book bloggers if they'd be interested in reviewing my book. I think about half of them responded, and a little more than half have already reviewed the book. Don't worry about whether they liked it or didn't like it. I've seen spikes in sales after "good" and "bad" reviews.

The other thing I'd do would be to read other self-published books in your genre. Leave ratings (or reviews) on Goodreads, recommend the books to friends, and don't be afraid to send fan mail. By far, the best marketing opportunities have come from working with other authors (for me, this has been trading excerpts and participating in Kindle INDIEpendence Day).

Those are my suggestions. Writing comes first. After that, be generous--talk about good books you've read, and let reviewers review your work for free. Like Mr. Gaughran said, the number of books you sell will go up and down. This is especially true if you're new and don't have a lot of books out, so mainly focus on writing more books!
 

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I know everyone says to hurry up and publish another book, but what I'm going to do is build up a Twitter and Facebook following first. That way I have an audience to announce my next release to. Second, the time of year you release is important. Summer bites because there are too many giveaways and sales going on for some reason. Also, the holidays are coming at the end of the year -- why not time a release to coincide with then to maximize sales? And third, there are a limited number of book blogs accepting indie submissions. I don't want to submit another novel to a blog that has only just accepted my first novel. Is my logic flawed? I agree that you should write more novels, but with the caveat that you should spread them out.

I'm a newbie too, so take my advice for what it's worth.
 

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Just remember that it is much much MUCH easier to build a platform AFTER you have books out -- preferably several -- than it is to build a platform before a release.

That's not to say that you shouldn't do it at all, but you will be swimming against the current.  So do it for fun and to gain experience.  Make friends for yourself and let your career take care of itself.

And remember two things: 

1.) When they did a little survey on Crimespace (a crime, thriller and mystery reader site) they found that most readers prefer to START a series (or start reading an author) after there are six or seven books available.  One of the reasons is becaue they lose track of a series if they have to wait too long between books.  Another is that they want to invest emotionally in your books -- they want to give you their loyalty.  But they want to be assured you're not a flash in the pan.

2.) When you start building a platform ahead of having many books, you are likely to build a platform of other writers.  You don't HAVE anything for readers to get interested in.  Writers are great to make friends with -- they can give you a lot of help, support, wisdom -- but they are a different breed than a reader, and you are likely to learn mainly to market to other writers and not to readers.  Watch out for that.

But that said, it IS good to be starting in on your networking now. It is a long hard haul, and time gives you leverage, so start early.

Just remember: there is no platform without the writing itself.

Camille
 

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Bryan R. Dennis said:
I know everyone says to hurry up and publish another book, but what I'm going to do is build up a Twitter and Facebook following first.
I'm a newbie also, but I gotta say I'm not sure that's such a good idea. Twitter and Facebook followings will come as you naturally go about your business, be yourself, and socialize. And you can do that whenever. Hell, do it in parallel with writing. But what's the point of getting a big following without a bunch of product to offer them? Seems a bit bass ackwards to me, no offense.
 
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As a writer who spent almost 10 years writing courses, grants, and business proposals in the non-fiction arena, my goals in fiction are simple.  And simple is great for me because I tend to be overly cerebral...  I am working on my first novel as well as some shorts so these goals are vague but simple..

1.  Write 12k a week.
2.  Write stories that provoke thought and conversation
3.  Mature and grow in my writing with each project
4.  Develop and stick with my marketing plans
5.  Connect with my audience via Social Networking (okay this goal has many objectives and milestones associated with it, but I still kinda think its simple).
 

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My present goal is to get my third book out by the end of summer. I am a teacher and so can only really settle down to writing duriing school holidays because kids always want their work marking!!!

After that my goal will be to start my fourth and to try and write 3/400 words a day because with a pile of school books that will be all I can hope to manage.

 

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I tend to agree with the folks who say that setting sales goals is rough, because you're not fully in control of sales.

My goals are:

1.) Finish revisions on my next book, and get it published by October.

2.) Finish revisions on my next book after that, and get it published by the end of the year.

3.) Finish the first draft of my WIP. I'm 80,000 words in, and I realized I have two characters that should be collapsed into one character, so that's going to take some serious rewriting to straighten out.
 
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