A Writer’s Business Plan for 2017
Next year will be different from last year because I’m going to track it, chart it and improve it.
You have ideas about 2017, but have you written any of them down? They say what gets measured gets improved. Ready to measure?
I have a nasty habit of thinking things are progressing, but not really knowing. That’s going to change. 2016 was a rollercoaster of change and most of it was not only good, it was transformational. But now it’s time to make it real, measurable and indisputable.
Let’s get down to ink for the future.
Disclaimer: this post will probably only be of nostalgic value when I look back on today to see where things got started. How’s that podcast doing? Where was I when it was Day 1,556 on December 31, 2016? Here’s where I was. Nostalgia awaits!
The strongest motto that bristles to the top of mind is from Jack Johnson’s song: Better Together. I want to work with others to make 1 + 1 > 2. I’m already working with several people on several projects and some of them are further along and more concrete than others. What is going to go forward is what is going to go forward and what lags behind is going to be left on the side of the road.
Speaking of leaving things on the side of the road … I’m looking forward to 2017 as having nothing from the past. The past is over anyway. My business is closed down (Yay!), bank accounts dissolved and not taking any new website design clients. Bye bye 2016, it was a great step, but now I’ve made the leap and there is no way I’m ever going back.
Here’s one thing I need to do for 2017: fill out this document. Have a spreadsheet (or checklist or To Do List or whatever) that is my worksheet where I can keep track and gauge and measure and reassess and celebrate progress. This document here is more random thoughts on what’s to come, but I think one of the biggest ones is to get more formal and have goals and tasks that are measurable. Below, for example, I have a note about getting onto other podcasts as a guest. Awesome! But what are my actual action steps to get there? Do I research which ones to be on, make a list and make sure I contact one per week? Well, that sort of actionable items is the sort of worksheet I need. In fact, that might be the most important first step for 2017: how to keep track of what I’m working on?
In more vague news, let’s categorize in no specific manner for 2017.
Non Fiction Books
Although writing fiction seems to get all cylinders firing at full force and my fingers can’t keep up with the story, non fiction is a strong second. I also know it’s more marketable and I really enjoy both writing it and marketing it. Also, I’m an excellent teacher and can help others possibly even more than I can help myself.
- Every Single Day: my main question is how impactful do I want to make this? I want it to be Bigger Than Just Me. When is best publication date?
- 100 Writing Prompts: “I could do this in my sleep.” Great, so get to it! And/or also an automated mailing list/course? Also, 10 Days of Writing Prompts as well as a 30-day version.
- Pride: How to Write a Book with your Kids–and Why You Should: This is on the back burner until I get going with the Li & Lu series again.
To Do in 2017
The Every Single Day project is first and foremost on my mind and I want to let the beast out of the cage.
- Podcast: I see this as the easiest and biggest bang for the buck in gathering material for the ESD book as well as a dual marketing task as interviewees can also help promote book. First record 10 of them then launch podcast.
- Guest posting:
- Guest on podcasts: this is almost “The New Guest Posting.” Getting onto podcasts is marketing in itself. What’s foot in door? Upcoming book, past books, 1,500+ days in a row, etc.
Writing more and more fiction in the past few years has reminded me (like a subtle deep thunder after lightning) that it’s where my heart is. I can’t not do it. I live for exploring the stories that, somehow, bubble up from inside of me and surprise even my own eyes as I read what I wrote. It’s a gift to communicate the stories that come through me and I receive it with open arms–and sprightly fingers.
- The Secret of Kite Hill: it’s now free, how to get it into more people’s hands?
- The Secret of Markree Castle: want to push this as the first of the series. I think it’s also free on most platforms. Yeah great, but need to promote. How?
- The Key to Markree Castle: how do you best promote a second-in-series book?
- The Gift of Markree Castle: the final book of 3-book Markree Castle series.
- (Secret fiction book project): yeah, too secret to mention here just yet!
- Li & Lu and LiLuStrated: illustrated book #5 with short stories about transitioning to living in a new country from the perspective of a 10- and a 13-year old.
To Do in 2017
- [ ] Audiobook recordings: at the very least, fix chapters for Kite Hill. Record first book of Markree Castle.
- [ ] Book cover redesigns: all of them. Markree needs consistent design style.
- [ ] Marketing Strategy: what can I do for the books? How to promote?
Workshops & Courses
Book Sales Pages that Sell Books
Loving where we’re heading with this already! Working with Angela has been awesome so far and it’s only going to get better. Brief and summarized To Do List:
- Content for course: finish this up and get beta testers through. We’re almost there.
- Launch! Get this thing live.
- Vertical partnerships: so many options here: book marketing folks, podcasts, affiliate commissions on course, etc.
- Marketing: through partnerships, content marketing as well as advertising.
Repossible & Podcast
This is one of those more vague notions that I simply know that I need to do but I have less clarity on how it’s going to work. For now, I want to use it as a vehicle for the Every Single Day movement to interview others who have experience and success with ESD as content for the book as well as for the podcast.
On a higher level, I also want this podcast to run under the Repossible brand meaning that it’s more than just me. I see it as something of a magazine or publisher where a variety of flavors of Repossible stories and case studies from many branches come together under a simple umbrella of making the impossible possible.
One point that I want to stress is that it’s not only about cancer-healing magical miracles. It’s about whatever used to be impossible for someone that is now possible for someone. It’s very personal and very subjective. It can be tiny, but it doesn’t matter. If it resonates with one person, it resonates with others. Also, the Big Deal stories are often too distant for someone who’s not quite at that level and they brush it off as someone someone else did but that I could never do. I want it to be more inspirational and achievable. Maybe good example is I have written for 1,500 days straight and have transformed myself from a lowly web designer to an author. But what if you’re starting out? Start with 30-days. Even 10 days.
Going to leave it at this. Here’s another thought for 2017: lean and focus! 😉 Happy New Year!
Here’s a List of Actions Taken
Because, at the moment, I don’t know where else to put it.
- 20170202: Submitted Kite Hill to Freebooksy.com.