Last July I created a business plan. You can read it here. My Business Plan. Although it’s only been a few months, I’m super excited about 2015 and how my business plan has evolved.
Here’s what hasn’t changed:
Mission Statement: Create stories that inspire, and encourage spouses to hug and kiss each other, parents to laugh and play with their children, friends whisper kind words to each other and strangers to exchange pleasantries and practice charity and goodwill.
The Five Year Goal: Twenty published novels. Hundreds of blog posts. Travel books. (I should probably modify this since I already have 12 published books and two others that near completion.)
Market and Focus: Female audience (except for my brothers and cousins who read my books) over the age of thirteen. Predominately well educated, older women who are looking for something to take on the plane, or on the beach, or who just need an escape. My books are the equivalent of a bath without water—a totally immersing, relaxing, mood enhancer. My books are meant to be shared with anyone, including but not limited to, grandmothers, daughters, priests and yogis.
Competitor Analysis: Continue to watch and learn from fellow writers by lurking on online writer forums, groups and blogs. Scrounge good ideas.
Strengths: (Why I Will Be Successful): Limitless time, discipline and an incredible imagination. Support from family, friends and writers’ groups.
Obstacles: Limited budget. Discouragement. False expectations. A profound hatred and fear of self promotion. (Actually, this is getting much better. Now that my writing is actually making money, I don’t mind spending money on advertising. And I don’t mind promoting as much since I’ve shifted my focus away from my family and friends.)
Writing Schedule: Four hours a day, five days a week with a weekly goal of 10k words, drafting. That equates to a first draft in six to eight weeks, depending on the length of the novel. One month, same daily schedule, for editing and revisions. Goal: three to four books published a year. A summer vacation. A Christmas break.
Promotion: At least one hour a day, five days a week. This entails blogging, querying review sites, guest posts, newsletters, give-aways, contests, book trailers, how to guides, sprinkled with a select few personal forays where I actually have to leave the house and interact with humans.
Conclusion: In a world swimming with entertainment, I will provide wholesome, witty, and romantic escapism for my family, friends and any who may find me and my books.
This year I published:
Beyond the Hollow (January)
Stuck With You (June)
Beyond the Pale (August)
The Witching Well (October, a novella in a clean romance anthology that will be the beginning of a time travel romance series.)
The Highwayman (which is the novel that grew out of the The Witching Well)
And I will soon publish:
Anywhere Else (a short story in the Hugh Howey Indie Anthology)
I love how my marketing plan has become more defined.
Currently, I have four series:
Seattle Fire (Historical Romance)
Stealing Mercy, Rescuing Rita–it probably needs a third book to be considered a series.
Rose Arbor (Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Suspense)
A Ghost of a Second Chance, The Rhyme’s Library, Losing Penny
Beyond (Young Adult, Paranormal)
Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent, Beyond the Hollow, Beyond the Pale
Witching Well (Paranormal Romance)
The Highwayman Incident (Maybe you can’t call one book a series, but the sequel is one third finished, and the third book is outlined so I’m including it in my plan.)
Each series has a distinct category, but I’m hoping because all of the books have a strong romantic story-line, that readers will cross genres. Some will, some won’t, and that’s okay.
This year I’ve learned that:
The first book in a series drives the sales of the other books
Free promotional sites are often just as, if not more, effective as paid advertising.
So, here’s the goal:
Each month, I’ll mark each beginning book in a series at .99 cents. I’ll also have novellas marked at ,99 cents. Here are places to advertise. promotional sites
Monday: promotional sites
Do you have your own plan? I would love to see it. Feel free to share a link. If you still need a 2015 plan, as you can see from mine you need these basic components:
A Mission Statement
The Five Year Goal
Market and Focus
Weaknesses (and how to overcome them)
As I said, I’m very excited about 2015, and I hope it will be a banner for all of us!