Here at The Hungry Writer, my business partner (Kali, Adventure Spaniel) and I have been busy doing some future planning.
We’ve been brainstorming, whiteboarding and thought balling. We’ve tossed around ideas, set some blue sky targets, taken a helicopter view of the situation and gone for a stroll through the blame garden. We’ve confronted the variables of our economic landscape and recalibrated our thinking in terms of our client base moving forward. We’ve looked to reposition our offerings in line with the goals underpinning our mission statement and with a view to nurturing and cherishing our ongoing commitment to excellence at every level. Outcome focus as a means of achieving positive deliverables within a realizable factual matrix. We’ve drawn a line in the sand and we have some clear visions regarding future-proofing the company and generating passive income.
What does this mean? I poured a wine and started to write some stuff down. Kali alternated between snoring and wagging her tail encouragingly. By the time I finished my wine, I had a business plan for 2018.
To be a financially successful independent author.
3-year strategy for focused growth
- Increase product offering
- Increase independent income to day job levels
- Do more speaking at conferences and workshops
5-year strategy for focused growth
- Continue to increase product offering
- Increase independent income to mid-six figures
- Be known as a successful writer
Values – my WHY
Success, for me, is defined as living (or being) the following values:
- The financial freedom to travel, explore and create
- The professional freedom to choose and pursue my projects
- The financial independence to build my own income and success
- The professional independence to work with teams of my choice
Make a difference
- Fiction: To be known as an author whose books provide a happy ending and whose stories make a bad day feel better
- Astrology: To provide readers with the tools to expand their potential and increase their good day ratios
- I have good traffic and social media presence on the astro site – am currently ranked in the top 50 astrology sites – but have no product to sell.
- I have products to sell as The Hungry Writer but have limited traffic to the site and limited awareness of my books. It surprised me recently when regular visitors to my page via the weekly links were unaware that I’m an author.
- I work 3-3.5 days a week in a corporate gig, so time to create needs to be tightly structured.
My Priorities: 2018 in focus
Double the number of products offered for sale.
Currently, I have 7 products for sale:
- Baby, It’s You (Amazon)
- Baby, It’s You (ibooks)
- Big Girls Don’t Cry (Amazon)
- Big Girls Don’t Cry (ibooks)
- Wish You Were Here (Amazon)
- Wish You Were Here (ibooks)
- Wish You Were Here (Ingram Sparks print on demand)
In 2018 I’ll:
- Release I Want You Back on all platforms
- Release (working title) Happy Ever After on all platforms
- Package and release six astro ebooks for sale on Amazon.
Double business income year on year and keep an eye on the numbers
Despite fiction being responsible for over 80% of my cost base, it accounts for just over 22% of my writing income – the remainder comes from freelance astrology commissions. This needs to begin to even out.
Just as I monitor the numbers on the websites, I have to take my head out of my own arse and do the same with book sales. Monthly.
- Traffic on both sites responds to new content (see graphs below), but this is time-consuming to produce, so I need to be smarter and more focused on my content offerings
- Repackage where possible (astro posts)
- Develop a calendar for blog posts and batch post and schedule in advance once a week to maximise time I can spend creating content that will be income producing in the future
Increase email list- both astro and fiction lists
- Develop a schedule for newsletters – and stick to it
- Develop a “lead magnet” for each brand to grow mailing lists
Increase general brand awareness
- Draft list of potential speaking topics and begin actively seek out opportunities
- Develop press releases for all new fiction
- Begin developing networks in Sunshine Coast and Brisbane
- Increase traffic to The Hungry Writer – target is 40,000 views in 2018. It was just on 30,000 in 2017.
- Increase traffic to Jo Tracey Astrology to 500,000 views (it was just over 400,000 in 2017)
I’ll check in on progress on a quarterly basis – sort of like my own mini CEO roadshow.
What about you? If you’re an author (indie or traditional), have you planned how you’ll grow your author business this year? What’s your ‘why’?