Creative Business Planning for Authors

Orna Ross, Director of ALLi

I know many author-publishers who are working hard but, from a profit perspective, standing still, or barely inching forward.

They don’t pay themselves a salary, they don’t have enough money for their tax bill, they are disconnected from how much time it takes them to write and publish a new book, or how to reap rewards from what they do.

They are constantly stressed, perhaps depressed, perhaps even despairing.

Creative business planning breaks this cycle. As an indie author, you need more than a to-do list to support your work. You are not just a writer. You are also a manager, creative director of a publishing business. Which means you must also be a marketeer–responsible for marketing and book sales.Creative Business Planning for Authors

You need a creative business planning method that takes account of the three aspects of your job.

But a creative business is not just business as usual. So much business advice is mechanical and one-dimensional and purely profit-driven. Your business is driven by your passion as an author, your sense of mission and purpose, as much as your need to earn. You are motivated by money and meaning.

And any creative business plan must account for creative rest and creative play as well as work. For a creative rest and play are not breaks from the process, they are the process. They don’t take time, they make time.

It must also be flexible enough to allow for intuition, spontaneous insights, inspired deviations, and taking the road less traveled.

Creative Business Planning for Authors: Monthly Membership

I run a creative business planning membership, with workshops, personal attention and key resources, through Patreon. Places are limited in this premium-level facility which offers you dedicated attention for a tiny fraction of consultancy costs. (Due to my work for ALLi, I no longer do one-to-one mentoring or consultancy).

The workshops run on zoom but these are not large-scale webinars. Places are limited so personal attention is assured.In addition to the workshop, each month’s membership also provides downloadable resources and planners and a Facebook group for accountability and support.

Sign up to this monthly membership on my Patreon page — you can unsubscribe after a single workshop or any time you want (no yearly contract)

As a Creative Business Planning Member you’ll receive a variety of resources that will enable you to plan a creative author-business that is uniquely yours.

  • Monthly Planning Workshop: Last Friday of each month at 5pm UK time. This is not a large webinar of thousands but a small-group, private workshop on Zoom, where you can ask questions and receive direct advice.
    • Personal attention including feedback on your current project.
    • All questions answered. Nobody left behind policy!
    • Replay videos so you can refer back any time
  • Go Creative! in Business Worksheets: Downloadable printable PDFs of the worksheets used in each workshop.
  • Monthly downloadable Planners – Downloadable printable PDF planners for the coming quarter, month, week and day
  • Accountability group: A private Facebook group for weekly intention mapping and accomplishment logging.
  • Named as a patron on my website (optional).

Find out more on my Patreon page. Be sure to click “See all 5 Levels” and scroll down past the poetry tiers to CREATIVE BUSINESS PLANNING MEMBERSHIP. (Direct purchase page is here)


Creative Business Planning for Authors: Quarterly Planner

I’m putting together the planners from our creative workshops into monthly and quarterly planning workbooks. You can pre-order the quarterly workbook here.


Creative Business Planning For Authors: Testimonials

Joanna Penn, bestselling author, award-winning entrepreneur, and host of The Creative Penn podcast

Orna’s events have been life-changing for me. With wisdom, kindness (and the occasional kick in the pants!) she is able to cut through the noise and focus on what’s really important for creatives. Her f-r-e-e-writing exercises have helped me with my books and my business. I highly recommend her.

Mark McGuinness, award-winning poet, creative coach, and host of The 21st Century Creative podcast

Amid all the hype about the latest tools and technologies, we don’t hear so much about wisdom, compassion, and hard-won experience. Orna Ross has all of these in spades, and is generous in passing on her knowledge. I value my conversations with Orna and always come away with a valuable new perspective on things. I’m sure you will too.

Suzanne Power

Orna Ross is a genius. She combines incisive knowledge of publishing, huge appreciation for words, great humanity for the writers producing them, and invaluable materials – all to get to the heart of your writing life, and provide the scaffolding of your writing business. She has worked with me as both mentor and as a facilitator and I think the world of what she does and how she does it. No ego, true presence and a brilliant talent.

Her ethics and her examples are ones to trust and to follow. I will continue to do so and consider myself lucky to have the chance to.

Dave Cohen

I spent nearly four decades working in comedy thinking my precious art should not be sullied by anything as vulgar as marketing. In the last couple of years Orna has taught me that if you can think creatively about it, keeping control of and marketing your work is as important to a writer’s career as the work itself.


Karen Dodd, Suspense Author

As the author of two books and one on the way, I feel fortunate to have found Orna and her coaching at just the right time in my author career. She has a way of winnowing in on exactly what the intimate, small group needs as we went through our various challenges together. Orna presents information clearly and through her willingness to answer all questions, she fosters a trusting and compassionate relationship between mentor and participants.

Our group is made up of authors at all stages of the process—some were even traditionally published. After each session, we leave with our handouts and a written plan that we can implement immediately. I can’t recommend Orna’s Go Creative sessions highly enough.

Archana

Orna has exhaustive experience being an authorpreneur both from her own personal journey navigating the publishing space as an author and working with/mentoring other authors who are walking the same path. I find these workshops to be a distilled essence of this highly specialized knowledge that she has gathered through time.

As a result, this is highly effective and beneficial for an author in terms of the multiple hats that we wear as an authorpreneur. Orna defines them as – maker, manager and marketer. The pay yourself first approach that I got to learn from the workshop is how I’m going to be structuring my business as I believe it’s going to set me up for success. Also appreciate the flexibility of attending only the workshops on topics that I most want to learn about and the Q&A time at the end of the session.


Beth Ball, Epic Fantasy Author

I learn so much in each of the sessions, and I really appreciate all of the work you do to help us with both strategies and mindset on the indie author journey.

Beth Ball is an epic fantasy author spinning stories of druidic magic and the power of nature that span the realms of Azuria and Eldura.


Belinda Strotheide, Writer and Business Trainer

I just wanted to take a few minutes to say how much I appreciate your creative planning training. My college degree is in business, I’ve spent years listening to entrepreneurial training, I’ve helped businesses, nonprofits and communities think through the process and formulate their plans and goals. You have helped me see the process in a new way. A way that lets me view it creatively, with the business aspects as a framework rather than the focus of the activities. Thank you! Also, thank you for your sensitivity and respect toward the individuals in the meetings. I also like how you push us to go for the deeper truth of who we are creatively and address the real reasons we may get stuck. A really BIG THANK YOU. What you’re doing is so very helpful.