STARTING WITH A PLAN (OR NOT)

Every good business starts with a plan, right?

Before you give that an affirmative, let’s think it through using me as an example. I think even a hobbyist writer like myself who has a full-time job and writes in his or her spare time probably needs a plan, but I really didn’t. When I started writing in 2013, my only plan was to write.

When I published my first book, I thought it would be a good time to develop a plan to market the book, but I was met with a collective sigh, or yawn, or whatever is worse when I tried to garner interest in my work. There was no engagement from any form of media in helping an independent author trying to make it on his own.

The money I spent trying to market my first book led to me losing money in my first year of writing. Some would stop right there, but I pressed on by doing the only thing I definitely knew I could do: write.

That’s right, I went about my “business” by writing. After the catastrophe of attempting to gain a large scale audience by marketing as I had done with my first book, I limited myself to simply social media (Twitter and my blog) to market my books. Yes, I’d distribute a few marketing copies to newspapers or others I thought could help spread the word, but social media truly was the bulk of what I was doing.

Basically, my goal became to build an audience one person at a time accompanied by a flurry of writing which could only be explained by the fact I had spent over 40 years waiting to start writing.

Fast forward to today, and I have over 50 books, short stories and mini-books published. I’ve built a decent following on social media and I finally believe now is the time to build the plan to really reach a bigger audience.

Over the past month, and for the rest of 2015, I’m working on a two-year plan to really build up my readership and an active, and engaged fan base.

Will it work?

I don’t know. Just like the books I write, I’m making it up as I go. I’m having fun, though, and that’s probably the true first step in making any business plan a success!

 

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