April 6, 2017

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

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

After a one-month break for my health issues and to let Janice run her fantastic, month-long Revision Workshop on her blog, 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 in a previous post in the series, 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*)

In January, I shared my thought process for how to sell my books: The where, when, and how much. In February, I shared how my goals influenced the choices I made for where to put my energy when it comes to how to keep my readers.

This month, I’m finishing up sharing my thought process by explaining how I decided on my newsletter strategies.

I touch on how and why I made my decisions about the best practices to follow (or ignore), how widely to share my newsletter signup link, how I encourage subscribers to open and engage with messages, etc. I also talk about how we might compromise and combine several strategies to try to benefit from the pros of different approaches while hopefully avoiding their cons.

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 struggled with knowing how to decide between different self-publishing options? Have you thought about how to match your goals and strategies? Are you not sure how to turn your goals into strategies? 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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Susan J Anderson

I always find such great content in your posts and on your site. You are such an asset to the writing community. I love to see your name in my inbox–I know I’m going to learn something or look at something in a new way.
Susan J Anderson

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