It’s that time of year again. Time to look back on the departing year and set goals for the year ahead. Here are our tips on how to reflect and resolve as an author:
Thank your Readers
Now is the perfect time to thank the readers who have supported you all year. Send an end of year email to your fan base thanking them for being a subscriber and reader. Share some of your successes from the past year and give your readers a glimpse into what to expect from you in 2016.
Take a few hours to analyze your performance in 2015. Your analysis can be divided into the following buckets:
- How many books did you publish in 2015?
- How much did each title cost to publish?
- Do you have a cohesive catalog?
- Which service providers (editors, publishers, cover designers) did you enjoy working with?
- How much did you spend on the pre-publication process for each title?
- Which books sold the most copies?
- Which retailers generated the most profits?
- Is there a price point that resonated best with your readers?
- What was your overarching marketing strategy in 2015?
- Which marketing channels (Email List, Facebook, Instagram, Deal Sites, Book Signings) sold the most books?
- How much did you spend on each channel in 2015?
- Which channels were profitable?
- Which channels were time-intensive?
The answer to the above questions will provide a snapshot of all your writing activity in 2015 and provide you with the perspective to understand where you spent most of your time and money in 2015 and what activities and titles generated the best return to you.
Prepay for Services that Worked
If you uncover service providers or services that worked for you in 2015 you can save money by purchasing those services in 2015 and utilizing them in 2016. Many services will offer a discount if you pay for an annual membership and some services (like Bargain Booksy and Freebooksy) will offer you discount rates if you purchase in bulk. Another benefit to purchasing services in 2015 is that the expense will offset any income you made during the year if you run a cash-basis business.
Set Goals for 2016
The final step to a successful 2016 is to plan for it. Put together a writing calendar that includes new releases, free or discount promo days, scheduled emails to your reader base, book signings, conferences, and major social media launches. The put that calendar side by side with your personal calendar (vacations, spouse and kid activities, holidays) and your work calendar (if you are working a job and writing) and ask yourself if your goals are realistic.
- How will you achieve them?
- When will you write?
- When will you run your marketing activities?
- Who will help you launch your new book?
Tweak your writing calendar so that your goals are specific and achievable given the time and resources at your disposal. Research on resolutions show that the key to successful resolutions is to focus on a goal, outline specific activities to achieve that goal and adopt a daily practice that will provide traction for your progress.
Pat Yourself on the Back
Before you embark on your author adventures in 2016 take a moment to acknowledge the amazing progress you have made so far. Whether you have only just started working on the manuscript for your first book, or you have quit your day job to write full-time, you are contributing to the good in this world by delivering new books to the millions of readers out there who depend on the work of authors to transport them to new worlds, to inspire them and to entertain them. Watch this short video to remind yourself why you decided to become a writer.