It’s Good To Have Goals

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, I’ve become quite introspective here at the end of the year regarding my author business.  Or lack thereof.

This introspection has led me to think about my reasons for doing this writing thing (again) and to identify a primary objective for what I want to achieve with it (again).  Basically, my primary objective is to be a midlist, professional independent author, producing work regularly and being paid for that work because readers buy it.

With this objective in mind, I’ve come up with some longer-term and shorter-term goals to give me a map for moving forward.  After all, the primary objective drives the goals defined, and the goals defined drive the decisions made.  And habits support them all.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get anywhere.  If you don’t have a path to your destination, you’ll get lost.  And if you don’t have the tools or the determination, you’ll just sit still.

At least that’s the way it works for me.

So.  Goals.

First, I have to determine what’s under my control.  If I make a goal for something I can’t control, it’s just pure dumb luck if I achieve it.  I really don’t know whether or not people will buy my books – all I can do is work to make sales a definite possibility.  That means sales goals are more mile markers to show me I’m moving in the right direction than true goals.

Production, publication, and craft are all under my control.  The writing is under my control.  The business is under my control.  Making my books enticing to read and appealing to purchase are under my control.

In other words, the part of my primary objective where I need to focus is the “midlist, professional independent author, producing work regularly” part.  Then I have to let people know the books are out there so the second part – “paid for that work because readers buy it” – has a chance of happening.

Okay, so what are my goals then?  Here’s the rough breakdown – I’m starting with the longer term goals because they feed the shorter term goals.

  • End of 3 years – 5,000 total books sold, excluding Hold Me.  15 total products, including Hold Me.
  • End of 5 years – 10,000 total books sold, excluding Hold Me, 25 total products, including Hold Me.
  • End of 10 years – 100,000 total books sold, excluding Hold Me, 50 total products including Hold Me.

The “total books sold” numbers are pie-in-the-sky mile markers – I have absolutely no idea whether or not they’re realistic, so I’ll probably be adjusting them as time goes by.  For now, they give me something to shoot for.

The “total products” numbers are under my complete control, so that’s where I’ll be focusing along with building platforms to make the sales numbers a possibility.

What do I need to do to make this happen?  These are the shorter term goals and objectives-

  • Speed up my self-editing process – finalize the next books in 2-3 months instead of 7-8 months.
  • Learn to outline and use my writing time more effectively – write the first draft of next book in 1-2 months instead of 3-4 months.
  • Create a production schedule with date deadlines – I already have this roughed out.  It will help me know what tasks I need to be doing so I don’t wander around thinking I have all the time in the world.
  • Outsource some production tasks I’ve been trying to do myself and concentrate on writing.  This will not only free up precious time, it will also let me present my products more professionally and competitively.
  • Work to build up my newsletter list – write a free novella for newsletter signups by end of January.
  • Write shorter blog posts so I can post more regularly – maybe go back to twice a week after the first of the year.
  • By the end of 2017, have 3-4 more products available (one will be that free novella).
  • After there are more books in the Hardy Falls series, start looking into promotion (like Facebook ads).

Wow, that sounds like a lot of work.  And I’m not going into especially great detail here regarding timing because I honestly don’t know what I’m capable of achieving.  But I know if I want to meet my primary objective, there are steps I need to take.  I also know that I have a lot of plans, and I want to achieve them.

In the immortal words of Yoda – “Do or do not.  There is no try.”

I’m not going to try.  I’m going to do.

I am, darn it! *shakes fist at sky*

Now that my primary objective has been defined, and I’ve shared some of my goals to get there, I’ll talk about different decisions I’m making, and why I’m making them.  Assuming I know myself.  Which, as we all know, is a little uncertain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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