Go Creative! Business Planning Maps and Logs
In the 21st century, authors and poets have become business owners. Not just freelance providers of content for other media companies but owners of their own digital publishing enterprises.
This is a challenging proposition and many authors need guidance to become successful publishers of their own work, earning a living from their writing and publishing. My creative business planning membership provides a method, a monthly workshop, a Facebook accountability group, and a multitude of resources (see below).
Below find a selection of downloadable planners and resources.
Go Creative! in Business Downloads: Instructions for Use
The creative business planning method takes account of the tripartite nature of the indie author’s job: creative maker, manager, and marketeer.
Without a plan that integrates productivity, processes and promotion, we’re constantly running behind ourselves. We live with a constant sense of lack: lack of direction, lack of support, lack of resources, lack of time, lack of money. We are ripe territory for resistance and block.
In a creative business, we hold two timeframes and two different definitions of success. We have our creative intentions, what we’re going to produce (future-based aims, goals, objectives, desires). And we have our creative practice, how we are producing right now (present-based work, rest play, exploration, experiment). The downloads below help to integrate both intentions.
Where you are now?
Consider the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats your author business is facing. Also what unique value are you bringing to readers? What is it about your books that makes them valuable to another?
Finally, if you haven’t already, compile a list of comparable authors and start to think about your own work in comparison to theirs–not in any hierarchical way but at the level of offering. What do they offer the engaged reader? How does that compare to your offering? What’s not out there that you feel compelled to write? (Hint: this will be connected in some way to your early life experiences).
Where are you going?
What are your creative intentions, in terms of your personal passion, mission and values, and the kind of profit you’d like to make and influence you’d like to have as an author-publisher.
How are you going to get there?
What creative conditions do you need, what books and other products will you create, how much money do you want to feed your bank accounts?
Also think about the tools and tech and team that will support your business and your personal creative process: what are the best processes for you to achieve what you want to achieve–in writing, in publishing, in business?
This means setting in place the correct creative conditions, the right product ecosystem of books and other products, a banking and financial account system that supports your creative business in the way you need support, as well as the tools, tech and team.
The internet is full of writers counting words and yes, getting our writing done is vital but it’s only one strand of success for an indie author, who is a publisher as well as a writer. We need to organize tools, tech and a publishing team (editors, designers, and formatters, assistants) into a cohesive unit that enables us to write and publish well.
This means harnessing our own time, resources, and creative conditions optimally. It means recognizing the three hats we must wear to get our work done, and know which one we are wearing at a particular time, maker (writing words and producing books), manager (improving processes and profits) or marketeer (promoting books and other products and projects)
And, most vital of all, an understanding of your own creative process and what you need to nurture it.
You can purchase a planning workbook to help you plan your author business here. Find out more here: Selfpublishingadvice.org/quarterly-planner
How will you know when you’ve got there?
You’ll be measuring. Remember those creative business benchmarks we mentioned back at the start of the book?
• productivity: Your output. Expressed as words completed (writing productivity) and books published (publishing productivity).
• profits: Your financial rewards. Expressed as money paid across to yourself after all your publishing expenses are paid (personal bank deposit).
• purpose: Your influence and impact. Expressed as platform, reach and engagement with your mission and what is most meaningful for you as a writer (book sales, follower numbers, and engagement ).
• personal satisfaction: Your pleasure in your work. Expressed as a reading from one to ten based on internal self-observation, one being misery and ten creative bliss. Let’s give it a fancy title, and call it your creative happiness quotient (CHQ).
The outer measures of productivity and profit (products, sales, account balances) give us desired endpoints to travel towards, while the inner measures of creative purpose and personal satisfaction keep us connected not just to what we’re creating, but to how we’re creating.
It’s good to have an end in mind but in the end what counts for a creative is how you travel.
Further instructions for use can be found in this starter pack. You’ll also receive a mid-month motivator from me each month.
Going Creative! in Business: Pre-Planning
Business Planning for Authors and Poets
Go Creative! in Business: Practice