February 2, 2017

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

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. If you haven’t been following along, 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: How do we decide what to do?

Janice Hardy's Fiction University banner

As I mentioned last month, just as it’s sometimes easier to brainstorm a character arc or plot by figuring out the ending first, we might also find it easier to make decisions about our self-publishing career by asking 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)?

That’s why very first post in this series focused on knowing our goals and thinking about how we measure success. *smile*

The current segment of my Fiction University series digs into how to match goals to strategies so we can ensure that the choices we’re making for our self-publishing career have the best chance of leading to those measures of success. I’m offering my own decision process as an example to demonstrate how I used my goals to make those choices, but my explanations aren’t meant to convince anyone that “my way” is the “right way.”

(Trust me, 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*)

Last month, I shared my thought process for how to sell my books: The where, when, and how much. This month, I’m sharing how my goals influenced the choices I made for where to put my energy when it comes to how to keep my readers.

I touch on how and why I made my decisions about front and back matter, cover reveals, buy links, excerpts, etc. I also talk about how we might run into competing goals, or we might struggle with goals we can’t easily meet with current strategies.

I hope that by walking through my thought process, others can see where they might decide similarly or differently for their situation. Learning the what and the why behind my choices might help others apply their goals to their strategies and find success.

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

Have you thought about how your goals affect every strategy of your self-publishing career? Have you taken any actions without thinking through goals and strategies? Did that action work for you, or do you regret it? What goals do you have that still need a strategy? Do you have any questions about how to figure out how a goal gives us insight into what strategies might be best for us?

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara


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