May 4, 2017

Self Publishing? Use Your Goals to Develop a Master Plan

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, and pricing, as well as how to retain and communicate with our 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 pull all that knowledge together and create a “master plan”?

Janice Hardy's Fiction University banner

In my writing, I draft “by the seat of my pants.” However, my very first post in this series focused on knowing our goals and thinking about how we measure success because sometimes we have to “plot” our way through life (at least to some extent) so we can check accomplishments off our list. *grin*

The last segment of my Fiction University series dug 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 offered 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*)

This month, I’m showing how all that thinking of how to apply our goals to our choices can help us come up with a broad set of strategies for a long-term “master publishing plan.”

I share the six elements of success that gave me a destination for planning my strategies. (That’s not to say that these are the only six elements of success, but these were the ones that resonated with me enough that I wanted to incorporate them in my plan.)

With that information, I then worked backward to come up with smaller strategies to fulfill each of those elements. Finally, I came up with a “master” plan that dictated everything from my release schedule to my ebook formatting and website choices.

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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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara


Kathy Steinemann

Hi, Jami.

I just wanted to compliment you on your covers. The layout makes them distinctly Jami. I’d be able to pick them out of a police lineup. (That’s a good thing.)

I popped over to Amazon and did a look inside one of the books to see if you mentioned a cover artist. Nope.

Please give the artist a high-five. An employee of Blue Phoenix Press, perhaps?



Click to grab Stone-Cold Heart now!