How to Indie – #2

Last week I kicked off this series of documenting my indie-author journey in 2019. Now, I am by no stretch of the imagination the end-all-be-all of indie-author knowledge, but this is my journey, in hopes that it may help others along. Each week I’ll be blogging about what happened in my author-biz, sharing what worked, what didn’t, and hopefully a few big wins alongside the smaller ones.

So, what happened this past week, you may ask?

Plotting out 2019

Yep – good ‘ol planning. I don’t make resolutions — I used to, right along with everyone else… but, just like most everyone else, they fell off the wayside by February 1st (if not sooner).

Plus, having come up short on a couple goals in my author-biz in 2018, I barreled into 2019 with grit, vim, and vigor… this is the year. (I can say that because I’m damned and determined since I missed the mark last year.)

But here’s the thing… you have almost 0% chance of reaching a destination if you don’t have two things:

  1. A specific destination in mind
  2. A road map for how to get there

And – that was part of why I didn’t hit all of my author goals in 2018 – they weren’t clearly defined, and my plan to reach that slightly-vague location was a slightly-more-vague road map.

But first…

But first… I had to “close up shop” on 2018. It was an interesting, and at times, challenging year for many of us and for many different reasons.

And I wanted to come into 2019 with fresh eyes, and renewed motivation.

Which meant leaving 2018 exactly where it was supposed to be – back in 2018.

I took some time and looked back at what I wanted to achieve in 2018, and two biggies stuck out.

  1. Publish at least three books.
  2. Earn enough with my book-royalties income.

The first I did – surprising even myself when it dawned on me I had published five books in 2018.

The second… well, refer back to the section above. I had no clear destination, and only a fuzzy, abstract idea of how to get there. So, yeah, of course I wasn’t going to hit that mark – because what was the mark? 🤔

I gave myself the props for the things I accomplished, gave thanks and major props to those that helped me get there… and then most importantly, I forgave myself for not quite reaching the others.

Then I got busy…

I started by creating a BHAG.

HUH?

Beautiful, Hella-Audacious Goal

(adapted from Collins & Porras in the book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – definitely worth a read)

  • I knew I wanted to make “enough” money this year.
    • So, I calculated what that was on the low end, doubled it, then set that as the goal.
    • This number will be different for everyone – and it will often be different for yourself from the previous year – we all want to grow our author-biz!
  • I knew I wanted to publish more books than I did in 2018.
    • I had planned for three and hit five, beating my goal by two books. For 2019, I took that five, added two more, and set my goal at seven.
  • I wanted to shift my tech (for authors) biz into more sustainable / scalable products and services – a “one-2-many” model.
    • Courses, website templates, plugins, etc. — but that’s a different article!

Turning Solid Goals into Concrete Plans

This is where the rubber meets the road.

I knew I wanted to get books 5-7 published in my Idoramin Chronicles series. I also wanted to publish “several” more of the Idoramin Novellas.

Additionally, the Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange Award chose West Virginia as the participating state in 2019… so, book one of my next series (very different than Idoramin) got bumped up to the front-burner.

And… as part of the “scalable / sustainable” growth I wanted to see in my author tech biz, I wanted to begin rapid-releasing a series of tech how-to books for indie authors.

Phew. Yeah.

So, final tally is:

  • 4 full-length fiction
  • 8 novellas
  • 4 non-fiction

I then divided up a sheet of paper into 12 blocks, with two sections in each block. One for Writing/Editing, and the other for Publishing.

I then took that list of titles I want to publish in 2019 and planned them in that “calendar”, spreading them out through the 12 blocks.

Is it doable? Absolutely.

Will it be hard? Oh yeah, no doubt about it.

Can I do it? I’m gonna give it one heck of a go! So, stay tuned. 😉

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