January 5, 2017

Self Publishing? Match Your Plans to Your Goals — Part One

Stick figure at a chalkboard with text: What's Your Publishing Plan?

It’s time once again for my monthly guest post over at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. My series about Indie Publishing Paths at Fiction University has highlighted some of the choices we have to make as self-published authors and also given us a few guidelines.

We first discussed how we need to know our goals because that will help us make the best decisions for us. Depending on how we measure success, our priorities will vary, and we might make different choices for distribution, release schedules, pricing, etc.

The second segment of my series focused on how to keep our readers after they finish our book. And then we dug deeper into newsletters, as that’s one of the best ways to communicate with readers.

In other words, we’ve covered a lot of background information about the choices that self-publishers have to make (far more than we usually realize), and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with so much uncertainty. So let’s talk about: Where do we start?

Janice Hardy's Fiction University banner

When we brainstorm a story, we often start with ideas for where the story is going to end up. I have posts here on my blog about creating a story by figuring out the end of the character arc or by figuring out the end of the plot.

Similarly, when making decisions about where to start for our self-publishing career, it can make sense to ask ourselves: Where do we want to end up?

  • What does success look like to us?
  • What are our goals?
  • How we will accomplish those goals?
  • Will those goals get us to success (however we measure it)?

There’s a reason that my very first post in this series focused on knowing our goals and thinking about how we measure success. *smile* With that information, we can ensure that the choices we’re making for our self-publishing career match those goals and measures of success.

So for the next few months of my Fiction University series, I’m offering my own decision process as an example of how we can use knowledge of our goals to figure out the self-publishing paths that make sense for us. My explanations aren’t meant to convince anyone that “my way” is the “right way.”

(Trust me, I’m a nobody in the self-publishing-author world as far as sales figures. My choices are not the “secret” to bestseller status or any other traditional signs of success, but they are right for my measures of success, which is my point. *smile*)

Rather, I hope that by leading you through my decision process, everyone will be able to see how they might figure out which choices will be best for them and their situation, goals, and success measurements. I’m sharing my experience merely to demonstrate how I used those goals to make my choices.

This month, I’m sharing how my goals influenced the choices I made for how to sell my books: the where, when, and how much. In future months, I’ll talk more about how my goals influenced my choices for where to put my energy in attracting and keeping readers, as well as how to communicate with those readers.

I hope that by walking through my thought process, others can see where they might decide similarly or differently for their situation. Where it makes sense, I’m also going to share how those choices worked for me (or how they didn’t work).

I hope you’ll join me at Fiction University for this month’s post!

Have you been surprised by how many decisions we have to make as authors? What choices that we face have surprised you the most? Do you find it overwhelming to have to make so many decisions? Does it help to have a buddy or mentor walk you through the thought process? What decisions paralyze you the most?


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Viv Drewa

Sometimes I find even more things to do as an Indie author. It’s neverending, but I love it!

Julie S
Julie S

I want to hug you so much! I’m so grateful for all the writers on my blog-beat who write about the practical aspects of publishing (the process, the earnings, how publishers work, how editors work, all that sort of stuff). You in particular always seem to be on point for what I’m thinking about before the what-do-I-do-next-and-why paralysis sets in.

/end fan-squee 😉

Donovan Quesenberry
Donovan Quesenberry

Goals. Excellent and timely post. Looking forward to reading the ” Janice Hardy’s Fiction University” article.
Happy New Year, by the way. Have a wonderful, prosperous year, Jami.
Stay Well,

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