Author Success: A Well “Business Planned” Future, part 1

PART ONE: But … but … I’m a writer, not a businessperson!

Boy, if I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a hundred times.

I’ve just completed a blog series on Author Platform Building, and having received several comments regarding the Book Business Plan, I’ve decided to take some time to elaborate a bit.

Yes you’re a writer, an author, a creative problem solver for your plot and characters and boy you are good at it. So why is it when you’re faced with the challenge of plotting your own success as an author you crumble and quake? There’s no need, you know. Whether you gauge your success in the amount of money you make, the fact that your book is on a bookstore shelf, or that your long lost friends and foes from high school are forced to notice your success because your name is in the newspaper, it’s important to you.

Guess what? It will not happen without planning (plotting), identifying your competition (the antagonist) and creating the perfect strategy (adventure).

Creative minds find the elemental properties of self promotion either beneath them or terrifying but that’s just silly. Done correctly, you can take your real power – that problem solving genius for your characters – and simply apply it to yourself. That book is your baby. You suffered for it, coped with morning sickness and back pains, walked the floors with insomnia over it and cleaned it up a hundred times to make it presentable. In return, that child has rewarded you with hours of entertainment and beautiful misery. You have a bond with it, a connection that can’t be broken. My questions are: Why would you send it off into the world without your support? Why would you trust others to promote and encourage it to success?

I wouldn’t. And neither should you. You have invested your passion and time, your energy and sleep for this book and whether you’re new at this or a seasoned veteran, it is always vital to not only participate, but hold the reigns for your own success. Okay, off my soapbox and down to business.

Writing a Book Business Plan is as important as writing your book. Why? Simple.

  • Writing is a business
  • Writing is YOUR business
  • Nothing reminds a business person about the importance of their business more than a business plan

With a strong plan – a living, breathing plan that organically grows with your manuscript – you will not believe how far ahead of the game you really can get.

In this 12 part Author Success series, we will cover:

  1. But … I’m a writer, not a businessperson!
  2. Your Unique Subject Hooks and Selling Handles
  3. Length of Book
  4. Target Markets
  5. Author Platform and Book Platform
  6. Your Exposure Plan
  7. Your Promotional Plan
  8. Your Competition
  9. Resources Required
  10. Bio and Photo
  11. Book Outline Requirements
  12. Show & Tell

Later we will explore a few subjects that expand on the above elements. For example:

  • Subsidiary Rights
  • International Publishing
  • The Inner Working of Power Promotions
  • Finding Marketing Leverage

Next Thursday, we’ll get down and dirty into what makes you and your book stand apart and the best way to hook in those illusive readers.

Author Success, A Well “Business Planned” Future

Note: I’ll be teaching a five day seminar on Creating an Effective Book Business Plan for Savvy Authors from May 31 to June 4 (scroll down to register) … and I’m currently putting together a non-fiction book proposal covering the subject.

About Deborah Riley-Magnus

Deborah Riley-Magnus is an author and an Author Success Coach. She has a twenty-seven year professional background in marketing, advertising, and public relations as a writer for print, television, and radio. She writes fiction and non-fiction. Since 2010, she had two novels released. In 2013 her nonfiction, Finding Author Success (Second Edition), and Cross Marketing Magic for Authors were released. Her newest book, Write Brain/Left Brain, focuses on bridging the gap between the creative writer and the marketing author. Deborah produces several pieces monthly for various websites and online publications. She writes an author industry blog and teaches online and live workshops as The Author Success Coach. She belongs to several writing and professional organizations. Deborah has lived on both the east and west coast of the United States and has traveled the country widely. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and recently returned after living in Los Angeles, California for several years. View all posts by Deborah Riley-Magnus

5 responses to “Author Success: A Well “Business Planned” Future, part 1

  • TF

    Firstly, ‘creative problem solver’ is a great way to put it – I find myself thinking of the creative process as a series of problems to be solved more and more, especially following the initial write.

    Secondly, the way you’ve framed the issue of business planning is great. You’re right, the individual with pretensions of creativity (that would be me) sees the grouping of the words ‘business’ and ‘plan’ and wants to run for the hills. It is, as this post suggests, about perception.

    Thirdly, thanks for the advice! I look forward to seeing what comes next.

    • Deborah Riley-Magnus

      Welcome TF!

      Thanks for the comment, and as one of those creative problem solvers, I’m determined to help authors and soon-to-be authors see how very simple and empowering it is to take oneself by the hand all the way to the top.


  • Joy

    I suspect I’m behind on the stuff I should be doing for my book release. I’ll definitely stick around for the trip.

    • Deborah Riley-Magnus

      Sorry, late response … but yes, please stick around. There will be lots of solutions to explore and being behind only means that at least now you know what should be done. It’s an adventure, enjoy it as much as you enjoyed writing the book!

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