6 Tips To Clear The Decks And Set New Self-Publishing Goals

Did you achieve your self-publishing goals for this year? It’s November, so there’s still time to finish projects, and clear the decks for next year.

Start by reviewing your sales.

Self-publishing goals: review your sales (what worked?)

A book you know will sell, doesn’t. Another book you wrote to amuse yourself takes off.

What worked for you this year?


  • What, where, and when you published; marketing strategies.
  • Income, gross and net.
  • Top sellers.

Create some tentative goals for next year, and consider these tips.

1. Bundles and box sets: compile and publish

If you’ve been publishing for a while, consider compilations and box sets. A box set can bring fresh life to a long-running series; combine with a pre-order for an easy marketing strategy.

2. Got themes? Bundle short fiction and nonfiction

Authors find it easy to bundle fiction, especially short stories, because fiction themes are easy.

Consider bundling nonfiction too. (Make sure you have the rights back if you’ve sold subsidiary rights to magazines or websites.)

Tristine Rainer suggests:

When you follow the quilt model of assembling a work, you spontaneously write and collect pieces that seem to you thematically related.

3. Get personal: essays sell

In these days of AI scraping and fake writing, you are your most valuable asset.

Are you writing essays? Consider them, if you aren’t. Essays are a way to take what you know and use it in your writing. Moreover, there’s a huge paying market for “personal” material: journalism, personal essays, and critiques.

When we launched The Treasure Trove Workshop: Mine Your Memories to Write Authentic Fiction And Nonfiction, we chatted with writers about using their unique perspectives in their writing. Many weren’t sure how to start.

My top tip: carry a pack of index cards and watch your memories… Start with your sense memories.

For example, one of my earliest memories (age 2?) was of Christmas, with a huge pine-scented Christmas tree covered with glowing candles; crunching through snow to a midnight service; and my grandfather playing the piano, then rolling oranges to me on the floor.

4. Use the 60 minutes in each hour: collect details and write

You know I’m a fan of writing journals.

Write wherever you are; there’s always minutes each day when the day when you’re forced to wait for something. Avoid stress in those moments. Instead of scrolling through social media, write a description of what you can see, hear, smell, and touch.

5. Write short material: ensure you have lots to publish

Short stories sell. In 2022, I set myself a goal of a short story a week and managed seven, until new ghostwriting projects took over. I’m determined to do better next year.

6. Set your New Year’s self-publishing goals this month

December is always a rush. Review this year’s successes and set next year’s goals this month.

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