Whether you are independently published or traditionally published, the majority of the ownership for your success falls on your shoulders. It is up to the author to write good stuff, build a fan base, establish beta readers and street teams and marketing plans.
It’s why real writers treat writing as a business. It’s where the term authorprenuer comes from. If you treat writing as a business, then your books are your product. They require planning, time to execute, and a marketing plan. There should be sales goals, expenditures, statistics, and analysis to know whether you are hitting your mark.
In an attempt to take what I have in my head and turn it into something tangible, I threw together a production schedule. It’s aggressive. It’s a rough draft. It’s more of a what-if than a real plan. But, by doing so, it put into sharp focus just how much work lay ahead of me.
From the sample graph, you can see I’ve documented in fiscal quarters which month I will write, which month(s) marketing research needs to be done and when each subsequent marketing phase would occur. I also added time for research and overlapped the release of the beginning of a new series in the middle of the release of the first series. I don’t know if that’s a good idea, but I know I don’t want to wait until one series is over before kicking off the second one.
However, by performing this simple exercise of playing around with what-ifs… if I release the novellas three months apart and the novels six months apart, I’ll have 20 novels in seven years. And for that to occur, I have to write everyday for the next seven years.
Let me say that again. I have to write everyday for the next seven years.
If anyone ever tells you being a writer sounds easy, show them a schedule like this and let them fully digest the work involved.
As I mentioned, this schedule is a draft. A guess, at this point. But, it was eye-opening to do it, to see how much time I’d have to write a novel, when I could be writing two at the same time, and added research time frames as well.
Looking at this I’m both excited and daunted, both of which make me feel like my head will explode.
There’s a 99% chance the actual production schedule won’t look anything like this. But, you have to start somewhere and, looking at the next seven years, I’m glad I got started sooner than later.