Something that every author should do is plan in advanced when it comes to submitting, publishing and marketing your novels. Creating an author year plan will allow you to take advantage of major events and book flights, or time off work to prepare for them. Often it is a good time to start thinking about your author year plan well in advanced, six months to even a year in advanced.
Committing So Far Ahead Is Too Difficult
It may seem daunting to some having to think so far ahead into the unknown. Life has a weird way of making things change in an instant. At times, we don’t know if we have enough funds to afford a trip to a convention. Your author year plan is meant to behave as a guide.
You’re not writing in stone
Or you shouldn’t be, that takes a lot of time. Computers are faster at typing. Sarcasm aside, writing it down can achieve two things:
- Remind yourself that you are going to do the event/reach the goal at that time. You’ll be able to adjust the rest of your life accordingly.
- If you’re not sure if you can commit, highlight it so you know it is not a 100% guarantee.
Your Author Year Plan is a Living Document
If you’ve heard the term living document, this will be a no brainer. If you haven’t, a living document is an on-going editable document that you tweak and adjust as new information comes into play.
What Do I put in my Author Year Plan?
Everything. It is really up to you how far in detail you want to go into your document. Some ideas would be:
- Book Releases
- Times to submit manuscripts
- Travel commitments related to your author career
- Scheduled book signings, conventions and talks
- Marketing and promotional campaigns
How Do I Start This Document?
The document can be written out in any format that works best for you. Maybe a physical calendar works best to see the whole year and placing sticky notes. Spreadsheets work too to section off the types of commitments based on columns. Personally I use a regular Word or Open Office document that allows me to jot down the commitments in a linear fashion with bullet lists and headlines for each month.
When Do I start the Author Year Plan?
Right away! As mentioned previously, it is a living document and you should be adding onto it frequently. Specifically for book signings and conventions, the event organizers need to plan well in advanced (months) so think six to twelve months ahead of where you are now. Where do you want to be?
For book releases as an indie author, strategize your releases to the time of year. Do you want the book ready for a specific convention or do you want it out for when school is back in the fall?
It is easy to conceptualize tons of ideas on paper, but remember, you have to do it still. It might look simple on paper and in your mind but think critically about each thing you are doing. How does the rest of your life fit into these events?
How Do You Plan Your Year?
Share in the comments, it’d be great to hear from other authors any advice regarding writing.