As a self-publishing author, the beginning of a new year is an excellent time to evaluate and revamp your business strategies. It’s a fresh start that allows you to reflect on your past achievements and shortcomings and plan for the upcoming year. With the indie publishing industry constantly evolving, it’s crucial to stay on top of the latest trends and make necessary adjustments to ensure the success of your author business. Most self-published authors have to wear many hats; writer, marketeer, freelance wordsmithing, entrepreneur, artist, accountant, tax consultant, web designer and more. There is so much to the modern writing business that we have to at least once a year, take stock of where we are and make plans for where we are going. The publishing world is fast moving, and this offers lots of opportunities to level up your author business.
In this article, we’ll explore some tips for preparing your author business for the new year.
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Set Realistic Goals
The first step in preparing your author’s business for the new year is to set realistic goals. Goals give you direction and motivation, and they help you track your progress. However, it’s important to set goals that are achievable and measurable. Instead of setting a goal to write ten books in the next year, set a goal to write a certain number of words per day or per week. This makes your goal more manageable and allows you to track your progress.
But always keep the ultimate goal insight, the dream of publishing ten new books per year, of earning a best selling author status, of paying off the mortgage with book profits. Always be looking at the stars, dreaming things are possible, but make sure you manage the goals, so you can continuously work to achieve them.
You see, it’s important to be realistic and prioritise your goals. If you have too many goals, it can be hard to focus and really dive into the projects that you want to complete. As you create your plan, make sure you have enough time to work on everything without feeling overwhelmed.
Evaluate Your Previous Year’s Performance
The next step is to evaluate your previous year’s performance. This includes last years business plan, business growth, analysing your book sales, business costs, marketing strategies and cost, advertising spend, web traffic, author website, websites SEO, newsletter sign ups, events, publishing expenses, publishing process, book covers, reviews, competition, and social media engagement. Look for patterns and identify areas that need improvement. Did you notice a drop in book sales during a particular month? Did a specific marketing campaign generate more sales than others? Did web traffic increase with a particular blog or book launch? Use this information to adjust your strategies for the upcoming year.
Create a Marketing Plan
Marketing is essential for any author business, and it’s important to have a plan in place. Identify your target audience and determine the best channels to reach them. This could include social media,(characters breakdowns, art, memes, poles, live or recorded readings, interviews, video content etc) email marketing, paid advertising (Facebook, Amazon, Bookbub etc), events, book stores, distribution channels and book signings. Create a content calendar to keep track of your marketing efforts and ensure that you’re consistently engaging with your audience.
Keep Building Your Author Platform
Your author platform is the foundation of your author business, and it’s essential to build and maintain it (yes, maintenance is ongoing!) This includes your website, blog, social media profiles, SEO and email list. Ensure that your platform is up-to-date and reflects your brand. Regularly post new content and engage with your audience to keep them interested and invested in your work.
Collaborate With Other Authors
Collaborating with other authors can help expand your audience and increase your reach. Consider joining author groups on social media or attending author events to connect with other writers. You could also consider co-writing a book or guest posting on each other’s blogs. Collaborating with other authors not only benefits your business but also provides a supportive community of like-minded individuals.
Facebook groups, Reddit forums as well as professional organisation like the alliance of independent authors can all help make you feel that your a part of something bigger. Sitting alone in your office, in your mind for prolonged periods of time can be socially unforgiving. Take some time to commune and incorporate this into your plans moving forward.
I offer a Fantasy Author Interview service for free – If you write Fantasy get in touch.
Attend Industry Events
Attending industry events, such as book fairs and indie author conferences, this is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and network with industry professionals. These events provide opportunities to learn from experts in the field, connect with other self publishers, and meet potential readers. Consider attending events both in-person and online to expand your reach.
The publishing industry is constantly evolving, and it’s essential to keep learning and adapting to new trends. Consider taking courses on writing, publishing, and marketing, or attending webinars and workshops. This not only helps you improve your craft but also keeps you up-to-date on the latest industry trends.
Upgrade Your Kit
Whether you’re self-publishing for the first time or you’re a veteran author, investing in new tools and resources for your author business can be a great way to start off the new year. New software, (We recommend Publisher Rocket) industry-leading courses, and even a new laptop can help you to stay productive and meet your goals for the year. As well all know writing can be fickle and having a laptop or computer that has a horrendous keyboard, screen or battery life can be off putting. There are many ways to include and incorporate the cost of new laptop or computer into your coming years budget. Make the barrier between you and writing as small as possible.
Harnessing The Power Of Technology for Your Author Business
Technology can be a powerful tool for authors to grow their business. From automating mundane tasks to expanding your reach to new readers, there are many ways to make technology work for you. Setting up and utilise a social media scheduler to post to platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, an excellent way to increase and manage your social visibility and reach a wider audience.
Build an author website, take advantage of AI be it AI music, writing, art, organisers, brainstormers etc.
You can also take advantage of software like MailerLite to manage your email list, marketing campaigns, and keep track of your subscribers. You can also use tools like Canva to create book covers and promotional materials. Take the time to research and explore the different technological tools available to you. Self publishing is fast paced industry, always keep up with the tech.
What trends are impacting the indie author market in the new year?
The increasing focus on digital marketing, including SEO and social media, is becoming more important for indie authors as the market becomes more competitive.
The emergence of audiobooks and podcasts is creating new revenue streams for indie authors.
The growth of subscription services like Kindle Unlimited and Scribd is changing the way readers access books and creating new opportunities for authors.
Conclusion of Preparing Your Author Business For The New Year
Preparing your author business for the new year takes time and effort, but it’s essential for your success as an author. By setting achievable goals, developing a solid marketing plan, building your author platform, and continually improving your writing skills, you’ll be on your way to a successful year ahead.
In 2020, the self-publishing industry was estimated to be worth more than $4.2 billion USD
In 2020, the average author earned $10,000 USD per year in self-publishing royalties
As of 2020, there are over 1 million self-published authors in the US
In 2020, Amazon’s share of the ebook market was estimated to be 87%