Jennifer Lyon

Monday, January 25th, 2016
Creating A Business Plan; Part Two of Three

Welcome to Part 2 of Creating A Business Plan! Here are the 3 sections, including the link to Part 1:

Part 1 Intro and Reviewing 2015 (Post Date 1/18/16)

Part 2  Goals for 2016 (Post Date 1/25/16)

Part 3 How I developed my project maps (Post Date 2/1/16)

Before we get into the Goals for 2016, I’d like to share why I decided to create a business plan.  About half way through last year, I received the rights back on my Wing Slayer Hunters books from Random House. While this is great news (thank you Random House!) it also created a huge dilemma for me. Did I go ahead with my new series I wanted to write, or invest the time and money to re-release the Wing Slayer Hunter Series? I had to choose as I couldn’t do both in 2015. As I struggled to make this decision, I realized I didn’t have a real road map of my plan for the year, or my long range goals.

In order to make the decision, I laid out a plan for the remainer of 2015, beginning with a long term goal. Ultimately, I decided I want to try to write both a paranormal and contemporary series, and therefore chose to re-release the Wing Slayer Hunter Series in 2015, and launch the new contemporary series in 2016. Then I’ll write both series at least until I finish them. That ambitious of a plan meant I had to get very serious about time management and focus. With that in mind, I decided to create a business plan for 2016. **Note that in 2015 I also began diligently tracking my sales by book, month and vendor which has been tremendously helpful in evaluating my goals.**

So my business plan will:

-Set ambitious goals.

-Create the content to meet those goals.

-Create marketing strategies to increase sales.

-Keep control of the tasks by breaking them down into project maps.

-Gives me a clear overview of my goals and tasks so that when I’m faced with new circumstances (like getting rights back from a publisher, or an unexpected offer) I have the information at hand to help me evaluate, change and adapt my plans.

So now here is my 2016 Goals with my comments added for the purposes of this blog in red.

GOALS for 2016

Section A: Financial:

1) Increase 2015 Income by 25%

  • 2015 had a projected but significant drop from 2014. Met 2015 goal but did not exceed it.
  • E-books are nearly 85% of income in 2015, so major focus will be e-books.
  • Print books were only 1.3% with very solid potential to increase sales there.

Note that having a spread sheet that breaks down the sales for each book by month and vendor, gives me a clear view of where my income sources are coming from. However I did not post those spreadsheets here.

2) Strategy:

  • Write/Release 3 full books, one novella (some of that income will rollover into 2017) This is KEY, I must have the content to sell to achieve my goals.
  • Continue with free 1st in series pricing strategy for Plus One Chronicles and WSH (Wing Slayer Hunter) series.
  • Marketing to re-energize Plus One Chronicles around release of Ethan’s novella. That will bring limited income to go toward 25% increase.
  • Big push on WSHs on release of Eli’s book, Primal Magic.
  • Marketing campaign for Rock Star book. Talk to (Name of publicist removed)
  • Make sure books are all in print at release, using Create Space and check out more options. (Ingram Spark and others).
  • Do a Goodreads Giveaway with print.

Goals are awesome, but strategy is where we being to lay out the plan to get from the dream to reality.

Section B: Writing Books/Novellas:

1) Savaged Vow, Book 1 in Savaged Illusions Series (Project #1)

2) Savaged 2, Book 2 in Savaged Illusions Series (Project #3)

3) Savaged Novella, Ethan and Ana’s Novella (Project #2)

4)) Primal Magic, Book 6 in Wing Slayer Hunter Series (Project #4)

Because this is the creating content, I gave it it’s own section. Project Maps (noted in the parenthesis) is where I break each book down to tasks, and “calendar” it. You’ll see that my Projects #s are not listed in order. That’s because I’m going to write them in a different order than I release them. Why? Because Project #2 is a novella that I contracted with 1001 Dark Nights. Since I’m absolutely committed, know what I need to do, and it’s shorter and faster to write, I will tackle that before I move onto the two bigger books. This works better in my schedule.  However I can change around order anytime I need to.

Section C: Social Media:

I gave social media it’s own section in Goals because this is the number one way I connect with readers and therefore very important to me. I am always looking for ways to improve that connection, and frankly to give back to the readers who support me. But I must also manage my time. So I’m listing it here, and I’ll tackle each one as I have time, or in some cases, give it to my assistant to handle. 

1) Street Team

  • Revise to Reader Group.
  • Devise questions and prizes

2) Newsletter—increase by 50%

  • Monthly newsletter begin in Feb.
  • Contests

3) Blog; Add Business Mondays with more content by me and guests.

  • Industry Guests
  1. I removed a list of names I have to ask if they’d like to guest blog on the industry for privacy reasons.
  • Author Guests
  1. I removed a list of names I have to ask if they’d like to guest blog for privacy reasons.
  • Craft Topics (by me or others)
  1. Burnout (writing a book I knew had no chance.
  2. Internal Conflict
  3. External Conflict (Do a series of blogs on internet/external/building stakes, black moment/resolution
  4. Character Flaws
  5. Humor vs Emotional
  6. Best Friend Characters (good and bad)
  7. Antagonists
  8. Definite your storytelling theme (the one thing that repeats itself over and over in your stories
  9. Tropes: How to use them to plan, write and promote your books.

4) Facebook

  • Get fan page authorized
  • Promo 1001 Dark Nights and friends.
  • Run Ads

5) Twitter

  • Learn to advertise.

6) Instagram

7) Pinterest

  • Interests: books, food, desserts.

Section D: Marketing Plan for Releases:

There is not much here yet, but I will fill it in once I make some final decisions on releases. 

Section E: Growing Skillset

1) Develop Workshops

  • Internet/External Conflict
  • Emotion
  • Tropes
  • Developing a Business Plan

This is one of my long term goals actually, to grow, learn AND to share my knowledge.

Section F: Other Streams of Revenue

1) Foreign Markets

  • Pitch WSH series to German market
  • Pitch SI series
  • Explore new options

It’s always wise to be looking at expanding our streams of revenue. The market can change fast, and sometime brutally, and the best way to be as prepared as possible is not NOT have all our eggs (or income) in one basket. 

Link to Part Three: How I created a project map for each book or novella.

8 comments to “Creating A Business Plan; Part Two of Three”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    January 25th, 2016 at 7:14 am · Link

    You go, girl! I’m loving these business posts. And I love how you’re forging ahead. =o)

    Ugh. I’d love to set a goal like ‘increase sales x%’, but I’m still struggling with how to get any sales when I have a limited budget for marketing. I could increase the marketing budget, but then my editing and my cover art budgets would suffer. So, I’m stuck in the ‘have to sell more books to get more mktg money but can’t sell more books without more marketing’ hamster wheel. I really need to win the lottery. LOL

  2. Jenn
    January 25th, 2016 at 11:48 am · Link

    B.e. have you tried Robin Reads? I think it’s around $25.00 and people report a good response from it. I got in once, and had a moderate response, but for the money, I considered it a good ROI (return on investment). Also I hear good things about Fussy Librarian.

    All that said, I hear you on the marketing hamster wheel. And it’s not just money, it takes TIME too and that takes away from writing which is creating our content to sell and make money…so yep, I hear you. The biggest thing we can do to help is keep “feeding the machine” with new books.

    I would love to win the lottery too :-)

  3. Viki S.
    January 25th, 2016 at 4:57 pm · Link

    I’m finding this so interesting. I don’t think we stop to think about how much goes into all that you have to do. Thank you for these posts.

    Oh, and you’re giving us a little heads up on what is to come :), I like that.

    I hope you’re having a really great day!

  4. Jenn
    January 25th, 2016 at 7:46 pm · Link

    Viki, thanks! Organizing gives me a sense of control over the chaos :-)

    Hope you had a good weekend!

  5. Karin Tabke
    January 26th, 2016 at 1:59 pm · Link

    Good stuff, Jenn!

  6. Jenn
    January 26th, 2016 at 3:18 pm · Link

    Thanks Karin!

  7. B.E. Sanderson
    January 26th, 2016 at 6:00 pm · Link

    Thanks for the marketing recommendations, Jenn. I’ve bookmarked them for when my budget gets some fundage again. =o)

  8. Jenn
    January 26th, 2016 at 9:21 pm · Link

    B.E., I’m happy to help. If I see other opportunities, particularly in your genre, I’ll let you know.

Comments are closed.