Monday, January 28, 2013

Do you have a business plan?

If you write for a living, especially if you self-publish, you should know that you are running a business. Your books are the products your business creates and sells to the public, and thinking of yourself as a business can help make your plans for the future more concrete. Even if you work on your own without an assistant, you are still a business and can benefit from creating a business plan.

I had thought about creating a business plan for a while, but it wasn't until I read Denise Grover Swank's series on creating a business plan for writers over on The Writer's Guide to E-publishing that I finally sat down and did it. Here are Denise's posts, which I highly recommend reading:
I followed a lot of the format laid out in these posts for my own business plan, though I made adjustments as I felt I needed them. Mostly my business plan is a guide for me for the coming year. I have a clearly defined business statement, as well as a list of my currently offered products for sale. I have a section that lists the books I plan to release this year, as well as any other formats coming from other entities (since I'm a hybrid traditional-indie author, I don't produce all of my products myself). I also list my current pricing strategy and notes about targeted promotion. I also included a schedule for this year, with dates of when I need to have certain steps done on the projects I plan to release. At the end of my plan, I also included a Five Year Business plan, which details my goals for the next five years. This includes how many books/novellas/short stories I hope to be producing each year by then, and all genres I hope to be published in.

Writing out this business plan has helped me see all the hopes and goals I had bouncing around in my head and make them feel more real and more attainable. It also helps me feel like this really is a business, and not just me playing around on my computer all day! At the end of each year, the business plan will be updated to add the projects I released that year to my current products for sale, and then new projects will go into the production schedule.

Have you created a business plan for your writing business yet? If not, have you thought about creating one?


  1. You got points there, Shana. Creating a business plan doesn’t end to those established companies who run business to gain profit. Remember that our creative minds are considered an investment, and that they also cost dollar value, besides the physical costs that we need for publishing our manuscript.

    Cameron Scott

  2. The good thing about making a plan for your business beforehand is that it lets you set goals and motivate yourself to achieve it. Others would just let fate take its course; which not a good mindset, because it’s tantamount to failing one’s objectives. And you can't stop with just setting it up -- it's also best to have a good strategy on how you'll handle the everyday processes of the business. At least you have something to follow, and you can always change it to a more appropriate one as you go along.

    Mitchell Carlson @ Insure Your Company