Successful freelance writers have one thing in common: They know they’re not just writers. They’re also entrepreneurs, marketers, salespeople, and many other trades. so they know very well How to Create a Business Plan.
The reality is that authors cannot just be writers. If you are not willing to put on the other hats I mentioned earlier, you will continue to struggle to find success. Of course, you can hire a whole team to help you, but if you want to achieve your goals, you will have to guide them, and for that, you must know what you expect from each of them, in how much time, and how much it will cost you.
So why do you need a business plan?
Without a plan, you will most likely get lost along the way. After all, you’re a writer, not a business manager. When you create a business plan, it is like getting a map. If for any reason, you feel lost, you can return to it and find your way.
A business plan will also help you avoid procrastination and focus on what matters, thus avoiding spending more money than you should and helping you sell more books.
How to Create a Business Plan as a Writer
1- Finish your product
All businesses start with a product idea. As a writer, your product will be your book. If you already have a book available for sale and want to get a new one, it would be very good for you to have a business plan for each one, since even if they belong to the same saga, they are different products. For this reason, they are marketed and marketed differently.
2- Write down your goals and your deadlines
Now that you know which products you will create your business plan for, you must establish your objectives and deadlines to achieve them. Your goals can be anything from writing every day, writing a thousand words, or selling a thousand copies of your book.
Remember that goals are good, but you rarely achieve them if you don’t set dates. So setting realistic dates is also very important. You’ll not write an entire 200,000-word novel in a day or a week, so putting these goals will only stress you out. Your dates should include when you will complete your first draft, edit it, produce it, market, sell and deliver it to the reader.
I cannot tell you what the goal is that you must achieve since that depends on you, your projects, your dreams, and your reality. However, I can tell you that knowing where you are going makes it easier to get there.
3- Analyze your competitors
Do you know what other authors of your genre are currently sold in bookstores? Who publishes them? What channels do they use for marketing or selling their books? Who is your target reader?
Those are just some of the questions you should ask yourself to analyze the other market players you will meet.
As there are millions of writers worldwide, the best thing you can do to avoid going crazy is to analyze those who become your direct competition: those who are selling where you want to sell. It can be your neigh borhood bookstore, for example. Look for those whose works are similar to yours or work on similar topics.
4- Create a marketing plan
Now that you know who your competitors are, you have organized a part of your marketing plan, as you can get many ideas from there. However, if your goal is to sell a certain number of books, you must take the time to create a good marketing plan.
I can tell you, with known cases, that the marketing plan is where most authors fail.
You must know that without marketing, your readers will not know that you exist, and if they do not know that you live, they will not buy from you, even if your work is what they want to read. Therefore, the sooner you start working on your marketing plan, the better. And if you have it in mind even before writing your work, then all the better.
What should your marketing plan have? Here are some components:
-Target reader: age, gender, location, interests, etc.
– Marketing channels: social networks, blogs, bookstores, face-to-face events.
-Price strategy: How much will your book cost on paper, eBook, hardcover, etc.? And because?
-Special offers: Will you offer discounts for releases? Will you leave some chapters so they can read them for free? Will you make the first volume of your trilogy available on a reading platform like Wattpad?
Your marketing plan can include many other components that will help you make it more specific, but having the ones I mentioned is a start. You should always ask yourself: how will my readers know I exist?
5- List of collaborators
Hiring professionals to help you create your book is important if you want success. But, whether it’s an editor, a cover designer, a layout artist, or someone reviewing your book on their blog, you’ll need to spend money to get a higher-quality product.
So the best way to know how much money you will need is to list the professions you will need to work with and research how much they will cost you.
6- identify your sources of income
Most of the steps you need to take to get your book off the ground and meet your goals will cost you money. For example, marketing your book will cost money, and hiring professionals to edit and design your work will cost you money. Even taking the time to write your job will cost you money. If. If you invest in your book could be the time you would be billing with other activities.
This step aims to identify how much money you will need and where it will come from. A successful entrepreneur should master this part of the business plan, keeping in mind that lack of funds or liquidity is the main reason a company goes bankrupt. Now you are an entrepreneur, so you must think like one.
When you plan, you’ll have enough time to save money, borrow from a bank, or ask that friend who owes you to pay you back. It will also help you know exactly how much you will spend and when you will need the money. If, in the end, you realize that it is much more than you can get, look for solutions within your financial possibilities.
7- Create a sales plan
The sales plan will help you answer this question: how am I going to sell my book to interest, my ideal potential reader?
This is an important question considering that there are so many options: Will you sell on amazon? In paper format? Hard or soft paste? eBook? From your website? For bookstores?
One of the best things about being a modern writer is the wide range of possibilities you have to get ahead. Technology has made it easier to sell books. The only problem with having options is that you can’t choose them all at once, or you’ll go crazy, so think about which one to start with and then expand. Analyzing your competition and the marketing plan will help you decide which one, to begin with.
Worry less about your personal opinions and more about those of your ideal reader. Make sure it’s easy for them to find and buy your books.
8- Create your business plan
Now that you have clear goals and an idea of what you will do, when, how, and how much it will cost, it is time to put everything on paper and your thoughts in order.
Simplify everything you have discovered into a short business plan; it would be ideal if it manages to occupy less than eight pages.
And most importantly, stick to it after you land it.
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