• Publishing,  Writing

    Evolving Phases of the Indie Plan

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    I’m a planner. Have we talked about that before?

    It’s probably fairly obvious from how much I enjoy writing about my monthly and yearly goals and plans, and how things are going with them. It goes deeper than that, of course.

    But so do the plans themselves.

    I’m moving a bit away from the traditional publishing goals I’d originally set (more on that on a later, but not too much later, day), and deeper into the indie goals. Accordingly, I have a plan.

    Actually, I have a plan that’s been modified to suit vision that no longer includes traditional publishing at novel length (again, more another day). That vision may need some adjustments here and there depending a lot on the outside world and commitments that have to be met to support my family. It’s a bit fluid. Almost everything is when looked at in the right light.

    But there is an overall plan

    By that plan, my last short e-book means I’ve completed Phase 1 (of 6, and that number can easily change based on life and success levels). Phase 1 was the most straight forward of the phases, involving a set of benchmarks to hit:

    • 8 Short Stories released
    • 4 Novels or Collections released
    • Updates to my Author Social Media Accounts
    • Blogging – steady my blogging to average 3 posts per week
    • Website Update – a fresh look

    While I’m not entirely happy with the website update (posts to Facebook are pulling random pictures from my released books instead of from the posts themselves which I think has something to do with the new theme but haven’t spent a lot of time trying to figure it out yet), the rest is where I want it to be and I can start upping the game. From here, I more or less break things into two basic categories: Production and Presence.

    Phase 2:

    • Production = the key metric here is more about continuing production. Yes, I’ve got numbers on all the categories
      • Novel/Collection = 6 total or 3/yr for two calendar years
      • Short = 12 total or 6/yr for two calendar years
      • Poetry Collection = 1
    • Presence = the objective here is to have a voice across multiple platforms and media. This is not just marketing as I think that most people get frustrated or irritated when bombarded with desperate pleas to buy stuff. Announcements and links are only part of things. Bits of my life are involved here, too, and bits of the world at large.
      • Social Media = specific weekly post counts for my targeted Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I’m not 100% convinced that any or all of these are the right focus, but they seem to be the common wisdom at the moment. I’m particularly not convinced about Twitter anymore and I’m more and more interested in Youtube.
      • Blogging = maintain at the 3 posts per week level
      • Newsletter = apparently, “you have to have one”. I think I agree, and I’m working at figuring out the service I like best.
      • Podcast = prep work for a Phase 3 launch. Aside from the fact that I’ve wanted to do this for a while, I’m feeling the gentle pressure from several friends to hear me read on a regular basis. Audio production skills needed, so something I have to work on.

    I’m actually not sure if the Podcast really belongs in the “Presence” category as it’s really another avenue for the fiction itself. Similarly, if I were going to move in a YouTube direction, which I might be, I don’t know that it falls there, either.

    Future plans under Production include ramping up the categories previously noted (Novel/Collection, Short, Poetry Collection) as well as the potential addition of book-length non-fiction and a web-comic when/if I can find an artist to work with.

    Future plans under Presence add in contests and giveaways, a store on my website, and eventually appearing at local conventions with the word “author” on my name badge. That one is a little scary, though I’m not a 100% sure why.

    There may be a couple of other plans that I’m not quite ready to share, but we’ll get there.

    Stay safe, and be well, everyone.

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