For those who read the rest of my blog, and not just the posts about writing, you know that I have a
anally obsessively compulsive rigorous process for setting goals and tracking them — think of it as like setting New Year’s resolutions but on steroids. But there are some areas where “goals” are great, yet they only work if you can break them down in to digestible — and achievable — smaller chunks.
So let’s assume you have a big goal of being an author. Under traditional publishing, the ultimate end was outside your control — in theory, you could hammer away at agents and editors with proposal after proposal and never “succeed”. Your digestible “bits” were process stuff, not a measure of your ultimate outcome. With e-publishing, and self-publishing more specifically, coming of age in recent years (if not months), you can change your goal into something that is actually achievable i.e. even if no one “accepts” your MS for traditional publishing, you can bypass them and publish yourself.
Yet, you might still want to have larger writing goals. Konrath’s website, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, included a sample of his writer’s resolutions from 2006 to 2012, and I wanted to highlight a bunch that I think are worthy of emulation because they are not all about process…note, with apologies to the master, that the headings are mine, as are the groupings:
- I will start/finish the damn book
- I will finish every story I start
- I’ll quit procrastinating in the form of research, outlines, synopses, taking classes, reading how-to books, talking about writing, and actually write something
- I will listen to criticism
- I will always remember where I came from
- If you’re a writer, you must be a reader. I don’t care if you read on your Kindle, or on stone tablets. Reading, and giving the gift of reading to others, is essential.
- I Won’t Self-Publish Crap. Just because it’s easier than ever before to reach an audience doesn’t mean you should.
- I will create/update my website
- I will keep up with my blog and social networks
- I will send out a newsletter, emphasizing what I have to offer rather than what I have for sale, and I won’t send out more than four a year
- I will do one thing every day to self-promote
- Look Inward. We tend to write for ourselves. But for some reason we don’t market for ourselves. Figure out what sort of marketing works on you; that’s the type of marketing you should be trying. You should always know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and what results are acceptable to you.
- Being a professional means you’re prolific, with many titles for sale, and that you diversify, exploiting all possible places to sell your work.
- I will help out other writers
- Self-publishing is an open source project. Add to the database.
- Find Your Own Way. Advice is cheap, and the Internet abounds with people telling you how to do things. Question everything. The only advice you should take is the advice that makes sense to you. And if it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to ditch it.
- DO NOT take any deal that’s less than what you believe you could earn in six years. If you’re selling 1000 ebooks a month, that means $144,000 is the minimum advance you should be offered before you consider signing.
- Ebooks are global. Doing poorly in the USA? That’s okay. There are plenty of other countries where you can make money.
- Sales fluctuate. Always. And there is often no logical or discernible reason why. Riding high in April, shot down in May, that’s life.
You can find the full post available at A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Konrath’s Resolutions for Writers 2012.
I can definitely incorporate a lot of these in my personal business model, which is why I’m happy to highlight them.