My Three Year Business Plan

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I’ve always sucked at New Years resolutions.

That’s why I no longer make them.

I would make them, maybe even write them down and then promptly forget all about them.

So in spite of the fact that a new year is right around the corner, don’t mistake this blog post for a ‘new years’ resolution’.

It’s simply the start of a new business year, so of course it’s time to set some goals.

More specifically, I’m setting goals for my fiction business.

My non-fiction blogging and copywriting is doing well, so it’s not my focus. Granted, I’m sure there are some things I should spend more time on, but the plan is to shift over more to fiction.

So, using this wonderful blog post by Dean Wesley Smith as inspiration, here are my goals for the next three years.

THE GOALS

These are my goals for the next three years; 2017, 2018 & 2019.
  1. Write one short story per week (average 5,000 words)
  2. Send out those stories that fit the mags, publish the others.
  3. Create both electronic and paper copies for each story.
  4. When possible, create collections.
  5. When stories are rejected, find another market or indie publish.
  6. Create audio files (2018 goal)
  7. Target overseas markets (2018/2019 goal)
  8. Learn to write in different genres that sell well in short fiction
  • fantasy
  • sci-fi
  • romance
  • mystery

9. Take workshops from Dean & Kris (x2) $100 sometime this year (2017)

NOTE: ONLY sell to 5c+ per word mags that give exclusive rights back within six to nine months, or a year the most.

THE PLAN

A goal is a specific thing I want to do. A plan is a procedure or means of getting those goals done.

I want to write one short story per week. I’ve never done this before, so doing this even once will be a win for me! 😉

Currently, my writing speed is at approximately 500 words per hour…sometimes more, sometimes less.

(Note: I’m being as conservative as possible…while still writing like someone with a pulse.) 😀

At my current writing speed this means I need to allow for at least 2 hours of fiction writing per day, on average.

On those days I can write more, I will,  but at least 5,000 words per week or 1,000 per day.

So then, if I do this during my regular “work week”, I can spend the weekend doing the blurbs, the covers and uploading them to the various sites.

Then, of course, I’ll need to find more time for some regular maintenance such as updating previous stories with newer stories, etc.

So looking at my current schedule I see that I can fit in some writing time in the early morning, maybe the afternoon (if I get my client work and other things done) and in the evening after nine pm.

Of course I’m not going to ignore other little bits of time I might find throughout the day, even if it’s only 15 minutes at a time.

Adjust Mid Year

As you can see, I don’t have any time allotted for marketing.

This is for a good reason.

I really need to build up a backlist.

I’ve already got 6 short stories (I think) up, so need a lot more of them to make any marketing worth while.

If you’re a writer and you’re interested, I watched a webinar by Nick Stephenson, called “Reader Magnets: The Proven Strategy To Build Your Audience and Find Your First 10,000 Readers” where he outlines an easy way to build up an email list.

Simply, you’re using a perma-free book to draw readers to your website where they give their email in exchange for another something free, whether it’s a book, or in the case of nonfiction authors, a cheat sheet, etc.

I’m sure that others are discussing this kind of audience building system, but I like the way that Nick shares it. Very upbeat and easy to understand…especially for us non-technical types. 😐

So until I’ve got about twenty stories up, I’m going to wait and focus only on the writing.

Once my goal has been met I’ll begin work on marketing, using Nick’s system.

But…it will be a very small part of my plan. Writing will always be the major focus of my efforts.

Not only is it loads of fun…it’s great practice and will help me improve my storytelling skills!

 

 

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