Thursday, December 01, 2016

Planning for 2017

I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the reception of these 3 books. Totally.


2016 is/was my year of discovery. At the end of the year, I'm sorting what works for me, leaving what didn't work and what I hope will work.

I am not afraid to admit Planners have intimidated me. I’m looking at this as a journey to try and to learn how to plan business/life better.

The Problem is where to start and what will work for me. I did try electronic organizers, but also found that sometimes I like to detach and sit quietly, pen to paper. I have checked out how other writers plan and decided this is a very independent choice, according to the person, what they like to do and how they work. But hopefully you'll find some ideas in the following, which I am amid developing my own now and some are thoughts/theories. If you have any thoughts/tips, please add them to the comments?

I’m taking December to get organized on about everything, including planning next year as best I can. I’ve already decided on a series title and mulling details now. I plan for either 2 or 3 new books. (We’ll see, because life does interfere, you know.) In my current lifestyle, that may be possible because I have written 5 category and 1 large book in the same year—but not doing that again. I met myself coming and going in copyedits, covers, final proofing, etc.

Essential Supplies:
1.) Recommended: Create your own with a midsize three-ring notebook, purchase divider tabs. You can get these for around three or four dollars, with front and back pockets, which are handy. I use these for several purposes, including home stuff/handymen, warranties, etc. I also have another that is really a workbook of notes, applying to Facebook, Blog ideas, ads, etc. Some story notes. That is my BABY.
2.) Or: buy a premade one with lots of room to write. You can get lots of stickers to go in it, to make it fun, or Post-it notes. I use a lot of Post-Its, including the small retangulars, i.e. bright yellow for special alert tabs.
3.) Use online tools, or an electronic organizer. (I use my electronic calendar for this, a mobile/travel issue.) I use a bunch of electronic note keeping stuff on whatever and Mac’s Notes feature is great.

Do the basics:
  • highlight the holidays, mark birthdays, vacations, conferences, appearances, etc. (!One of my new LIFE/PERSONAL rules is I am not on Social Media during holidays or days that are special to me.)
  • I am marking off the whole week at the end of the year. That is my private time to consider old friends, call them, etc. Stay at home, burn candles, think, read, do cards, generally calm myself.
  • Mark any yearly checkups, i.e. home/personal/health
  • If you blog regularly or send a NEWSLETTER regularly, mark in those dates. If you do newsletters, you already know you’ll need a Christmas letter, right?

That’s the easy stuff. Now to the hard stuff and it’s going to be “organic”, growing as you go.

  • *****Make a list of the things you want to accomplish, i.e. my 2 or 3 books and potential pub dates. Barring disasters, and I’ve had them, I know about what I can write in what period of time. I do not believe in setting limits per day, but some do. Keep this list growing and working throughout.
  • As for each individual book, I know where I have to be at midpoint and that should be midpoint on the calendar, too.
  • Now. From those potential pub dates, work backward 2 months. Some people do more, but to me, right now, that works. At that point, or before, make certain a cover idea is pretty well formed, the cover artist informed, or the stockphotos lined up. Try to give all concerned in your work, i.e. an editor, cover designer, etc.  as much time as possible. Allow them time, so you will have time to input at the end of the line. Line up ads.
  • Consider more newsletters, postings when a new book is launched.
  • Review website to include new book, etc. I’m rebuilding a website now, no easy task and hopefully it will be done this month.
  • Refer to that base list every 3 months OR sooner. I’m a list maker, so I keep them for everything.
On that **** list, I know that several covers have to be redone and some new ones considered, Facebook and Twitter ads created, etc. I am going to block time for that. If I can, I'm going to schedule more blog, Twitter, and Facebook posts. BTW, have you liked my Facebook Author Page?


That’s it, so far. This is my very first attempt at planning/organizing promotions/launch dates, etc. I’m working this December to finish some projects and be ready for 2017, one of which is that website-in-development now. I'm hoping to get The Bride's Basket into paper print, a short story up, or maybe more, because I have a lot of writing not up and out, including children's books that need graphics, etc.

I can only try. Stuff comes up, you know.

How about you?