It's all too easy for indie authors to feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the tasks involved in self-publishing books, quite apart from the stress of actually writing them. ALLi Partner Member Leila Dewji, co-founder of I_AM Self-Publishing, shares her top tips to help you achieve your author goals without tears.
Indie authors are busier today than ever. You may find that your precious ‘author time’ is thinly spread across many tasks, some of which you’re learning on the fly.
I’m not just talking about the writing process (planning, researching, drafting, revising, editing, etc) but also:
- building your social media following
- growing your mailing list
- creating content for your newsletter
- and so on…
The list can sometimes feel endless. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and run out of steam. You might feel like you are only making tiny steps of progress in lots of areas, which may not seem worthwhile, rather than a lot of progress in one area.
Why Set Author Goals?
Wherever you are on your writing and publishing journey, the best way to succeed is to set and work towards clearly defined goals.
Top authors and entrepreneurs do this to ensure they are focussing their time and energy on whatever they really want to achieve.
It’s easy for authors to get pulled in different directions, or get distracted when they sit down to write, so having a strong goal will keep you on track.
Define Your Author Vision
Close your eyes and imagine yourself where you want to be as an author. It might be a certain position in the charts, it might be having reached a certain number of sales, or it might even be about recognition.
This is your vision; the ultimate end game.
Now we need to make sure your goals get you closer to achieving this.
Get SMART about your author goals
Set a bad goal and you’re setting yourself up for failure. Don’t rush into setting ambitious targets that sound great without considering what it really means to you, what you are prepared to sacrifice, how committed you are, whether it’s realistic, etc.
When you’ve got an idea for a goal, use the SMART system to test it out. Is it:
- Specific: think carefully about what precisely you want and why
- Measurable: something like ‘get better at blogging’ is a good idea but a useless author goal, whereas, ‘create two new posts for my blog, and one for a guest blog every month’ is much better
- Attainable: think about where you are right now and be realistic
- Relevant: each goal that you set should contribute to your vision, e.g. if it was to be a best-selling author, then make sure all your goals feed back into that
- Time-based: committing to a deadline will help focus your efforts. Break the larger time-frame down into smaller chunks, e.g. months or weeks
Ready, Steady, Goal…
So now you have a SMART goal or two in mind, it’s time to take it to the next level and build an action plan. This is the nitty-gritty of exactly how you are going to do this, what changes you’ll need to make, and how you’ll overcome your obstacles.
Good luck, whatever you are working towards. Accountability is a big part of goal setting, so be brave and share your goals in the comments below. You can do it!#Authors: how to set realistic, achievable #selfpublishing goals - by @IAMSelfpub Click To Tweet
I_AM Self-publishing offers a free downloadable workbook covering goal-setting theory and practice, with worked examples and worksheets to help you organise your time and priorities, plus tips on mindset, motivation, rewards, and how to cope with setbacks to keep you on track when you feel demotivated: Author Goals: your guide to achieving more.