A constructive reminder from Anne-Catherine de Fombelle of StreetLib to match your plans with your objectives for your self-publishing career – and what to do if you change your mind about what those objectives are, as often happens along the journey from indie author to authorpreneur.
With a realistic and appropriate plan in place, you are much more likely to align your achievements with your expectations.
The Universal Pitfall
Working towards success is a bit like riding a bike:
First, you need to make sure everything is in working order, and adjust the saddle, check the brakes, etc. Then, when on the bike, you need to pedal. Neither too slow, nor too fast — you don’t want to wear yourself out, but still want to get to your destination. Last but not least, you’ll need to keep in mind where you are trying to go.
Otherwise, all this effort will be for nothing. You’ll end up going around in circles, backwards or in a totally useless direction.
But what does riding a bike have to do with your book project? Well, like riding your bike, you will first need to set your objectives and always keep them in mind. You’ll also need to put in some effort to get to your destination. And you’ll have to adapt to get there the best way possible. This actually applies to pretty much anything in life.
The one universal pitfall is: we confuse sticking to an objective with sticking to the plan.
Keep the focus on YOUR objective. Not what other people expect. Not what people think you want to do. But what you want to achieve.
What is Your Self-publishing Objective?
Have you actually asked yourself why you are self-publishing a book?
- Are you trying to make money with your talent?
- Do you just have a story to share?
- Are you looking for fame?
- Do you want to promote your expertise in a specific field?
- Do you just feel like putting your thoughts down on paper?
There are hundreds of different reasons to publish a book, and working out yours is the first step in your publishing plan.
You cannot have a plan without an objective.
Patience and Humility + Speed and Pride
The road to success (i.e. reaching your objective) is a combination of seemingly contradictory characteristics. You need to sell your book with pride, and believe in yourself. If you aren’t proud of the objective you’re trying to reach, who else is going to believe in you?
Plus, you need to be proactive, quick to act and efficient. If you do nothing, nothing will happen.
You also must work at every aspect of your enterprise. I often see people working hard to market a book that really isn’t ready for sale. Even more often, I see the opposite: people striving to make a good book, but who then decide that marketing is not worth it, and consequently don’t make any effort to publicise it.
Making an effort doesn’t just mean working hard, it also means adapting, constantly learning and recognizing you are sometimes wrong. There is always room to grow. A whole lot of people know more about the industry than you do. Listening to their advice is important. Be humble.
We are often too proud to accept that our original plan is not the best way to reach our objective. We are also sometimes afraid that by changing our plan, we are giving up on our objective.
There will always be a time when you’ll want it all, and want it now. Just remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be patient and humble enough to understand your daily successes, however small, all make a difference.
Change of Objective = Change of Plan
Once decided upon an objective, you’ll build a plan. But along the way, your objective will probably change, for a variety of reasons. When this happens, if you don’t adapt your plan accordingly, you cannot expect to reach your new objective.
Your plan must be aligned with your goal — so be prepared to adjust it.
Let’s take an example. One day, while in the middle of publishing your book with the sole objective of sharing your story, you read about a writer who earned 50K in a day. Now, all of a sudden, that’s what you want to do. I mean, who’s going to say no to 50K?
However, is it really what you wanted with this book? Is this book a “earn 50K in a day” book?
If it definitely is what you now want — you are allowed to change your mind after all — you need an entirely new plan that fits this brand-new goal.
I see writers falling into these traps every day, and I have actually had the same experience when launching services or building projects. I find forgetting one’s objective is actually rather common, and most of the time, it’s just because we are too focused on executing the plan.
Something to bear in mind when self-publishing.Indie #authors - do your plans match your objectives? @StreetLib's post helps you make sure: Click To Tweet
OVER TO YOU How do you keep yourself on track achieve your self-publishing goals? Do you have any advice or specific case studies to add to Anne-Catherine's helpful general guidance?
OTHER POSTS ABOUT MANAGING YOUR SELF-PUBLISHING CAREER – FROM THE ALLi ARCHIVE