Is your writing process working for you?
Authors tend to equate success with sales, but a lot goes into high book sales:
- Writing! Bestselling authors all have a writing process which enables them to be productive;
- Marketing. Although marketing today is easier than it’s ever been, marketing is still an enormous challenge for authors;
In summary, you need a writing process, a marketing process and a good strategy.
By the way… This process is the same process I give my personal coaching students.
For the best results, set aside 30 minutes a day.
Let’s get started.
Your writing process for self-publishing: what’s worked?
Start by looking at your results in the past year. What worked for you? What didn’t? Write this down. It will help you later, when you’re conducting your monthly reviews.
Now let’s look at a strategy for engineering your self-publishing success, step by step.
1. Start at the end
You’ll use your imagination to plot a wonderful future for your self-publishing business.
Close your eyes, and allow yourself to daydream.
Important: write down whatever your imagination throws at you. Avoid kvetching and negative thoughts. You’re dreaming good things, but just as with nighttime dreaming, your daydreams vanish like smoke. So again: write it down.
What did you achieve in last year? How many sales? Did you write a bestseller?
How did your life change? Perhaps you gave up your day job. Or you moved house…
2. How did you do it? Reverse engineer your success
From your daydream, make a list of your accomplishments last year.
Take your top three accomplishments, and reverse engineer them.
Here’s how. Grab a sheet of paper, or use a printed calendar showing the next 12 months.
Working backwards with three of your accomplishments, plot activities and achievements on your calendar.
For example, let’s say that one of your novels cracked the Kindle Top Ten list in last year. Working backward:
- December: made the Top Ten list with Novel X!
- November: published new novel, Novel X.
- October: set up KDP Pre-Order for Novel X.
Moving backward, plot out everything which had to happen for you to achieve your “Kindle Top Ten list” accomplishment.
Now do the same for your other two accomplishments.
Once you’ve plotted out your three accomplishments on your calendar, create goals and projects and activities. Add your activities into your planner, or calendar app.
BIG, BIG tip: use the power of suggestion to achieve your goals this year.
3. The power of suggestion: keep the image of your success in front of you
You’ve heard of the power of suggestion? It’s not a myth, and it’s impossible to overstate its power.
From The Power of Suggestion: What We Expect Influences Our Behavior, for Better or Worse:
…what can explain the powerful and pervasive effect that suggestion has in our lives? The answer lies in our ‘response expectancies,’ or the ways in which we anticipate our responses in various situations. These expectancies set us up for automatic responses that actively influence how we get to the outcome we expect. Once we anticipate a specific outcome will occur, our subsequent thoughts and behaviors will actually help to bring that outcome to fruition.
Suggestion is neuroscience and it’s essential: keep your attention on where you want to go. (Ignore any perceived challenges.)
A simple example: when you learned to drive, you learned that the car goes where you place your attention. Keep your attention firmly fixed on the end of this year: your wonderful results.
4. Use challenges and streaks to power through
Challenges work. I tend to have at least one challenge going at a time. My challenges have included:
- Writing 30 short stories in 30 days;
- Finishing a ten episode serial for one of my pen names in 15 days;
- Ghostwriting a client’s novel in ten days…
Why challenge yourself?
One reason: you’ll get more done. Sadly, procrastination tends to take hold if you don’t challenge yourself in some way. Hold yourself accountable. Ask your partner or your writing buddy to help you to stay on track.
You’ll get more done when you DO IT, rather than thinking about it.
Use the power of streaks.
When you commit to a streak, you’re committing to doing something every day. It might be writing, exercising, drawing… Streaks build your persistence and perseverance.
If you’re like me and you write every day anyway — customize your streaks. Commit to X every day.
Your “X” might be:
- Do five to 15 minutes of book marketing every day;
- Write a complete scene a day;
- Write 2,000 words a day on your current novel…
Tip: use an app to track your streaks
I use a timer and Scrivener to track my streaks, but you can use a “streaks” app. For example, Goal Streaks looks interesting; it’s for iOS users.
Also for iOS: the Productive app, and the Streaks app. (I’m sure there are “streaks” apps for Android users.)
Ready? Take 30 minutes to plan a writing process for YOUR self-publishing success this year
Do it — you’ll be thrilled with the results. This process works for me and for my students. Tell me about your results… Be aware that the results will happen FAST. Expect them to begin happening a day after you reverse engineer your accomplishments.
Happy writing. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.