Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea...

Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small boat. It helps, if you have a plan and a course laid out.
John Gardner

Okay so after a couple of non-sensible blogs I now have something half decent to say. ‘To Write a book, publish it and make a success out of it you should really write a business plan for the novel’. I read this somewhere recently – but authors are too creative for that aren’t they? I mean how often do you see an artist write out a business plan about selling their most recent sketch? No it doesn’t really happen, but this author had a point. I am not saying to any one out there thinking of self pubbing to put their final draft down and download a business plan template from business link. No – certainly not. But it is worth thinking a little bit more business savvy. For instance the business plan starts of generally with a mission statement- or a goal. I think this is key for self publishing because really you need to think about what you want to achieve. The main reasons I believe are as follows:
1)   Lets not beat around the bush – Vanity- every budding author wants to see their name in print
2)   Money- most authors want to get some money out of this- nearly all budding novelists want to make this a career- after all it is their vocation they just need to get that publisher on board
3)   Fame – Yes that will probably come along if you achieve the above two points.
4)   Make a difference by telling your story- To me even if my story makes a difference to one person than it was worth it- but that’s just me.

So think about your reasons. The average author makes around £5000 per year and that is with a publisher so you really have to write for love. If you self publish depending what you have put in you may not even break even- If this is a major goal maybe try self publishing an e-book. That would be much cheaper but then you don’t get the glory of having it in print to show your grandkids one day.

Well then if that is the issue you could just get a couple printed via LuLu or Blurb something like that. It is definitely worth thinking about.

So the business plan template is beneficial here- okay you don’t have to create a cash flow analysis but maybe a profit and loss account would help! It’s just an idea maybe it would provide a focus or maybe it would stop your creative flow. The good thing is that its your decision! Maybe whilst you are waiting for that publisher to sign you up you can have a think about it!

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