Apparently, there’s supposed to be a plan.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Do you set business goals as a writer? What are they for the 4th quarter, and have you started planning 2021?

Am I supposed to do that?  Is it obligatory?

At my age, it’s just good to be awake and mostly functional, dependant on caffeine levels. Actually planning what might happen over the next three months (or longer) seems a bit presumptive.

I know that I should take the business side of writing more seriously, I really do. Maybe the fact that I don’t is rebellion against a working life that had to be planned to the finest detail.

I guess that I’m so wrapped up in actually writing the stuff that I don’t set goals for sales. I don’t have a marketing plan. The fact that I don’t see my writing as a business, just a hobby, might also have something to do with that. As I said in a previous post, I can’t summon the energy or will to learn how to do any more than that.

I’m often told that I would sell more books if I engaged more with my audience, spoke to my readers and told them more about me and my writing. As someone who is shy and suffers from anxiety and social phobia, I can’t imagine anything that fills me with more dread than that concept. I worry (with good reason, see below) that nobody would be interested in anything that I have to say, or would disagree with my opinions; again.

I have to admit that I’m not a formally trained writer, I failed English at school (twice). I just type what’s in my head with little understanding of how structure and grammar works. I’ve never really been in touch with popular culture. I’m retired and that’s about it. I did some things, a long time ago, that have little relevance to the world of today.

That attitude has developed because, when I first started publishing my own work, I used to post, tweet and comment a lot. Then I had a number of (very) negative experiences and it put me off getting too involved on social media. Now, for the sake of my well-being as much as anything else, I just watch and keep my head down.

I have tried, in the past, to do a bit of anonymous marketing. I’ve found that there is no real pattern to it. Some months, I’ll do some paid advertising, sell ten books in the month and make a loss.

While in other months I don’t advertise at all, sell fifteen books and make a profit (which goes towards editing and other book-related expenses in any case). Yet any random success seems unrepeatable, or enough to generate any real momentum regarding sales.

As long as I don’t end up spending more than I would on any other hobby, breaking even is about as far as my ambition takes me.

When it comes to writing the best book that I can and producing a final version that’s as near perfect as possible, that’s different.

In fact, it’s my only goal.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free novella and more news by clicking this link.

Now see what the other blogs in this hop have to say by clicking below.

Check out the other great blogs here.

While you’re here, you might be interested in these Bookfunnel promos. There’s one for September’s new releases, including The Hitman and the Thief,

and another two including my Dual-time thriller Life and Other Dreams.


6 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      Now that I don’t have a ship to run, I hate making plans; or being tied to a schedule of any sort. The books finished and ready when I decide. I will tell people about it if and when I feel like it.

  1. phil huston

    a, I get replacement credit cards that go out five years. Let’s hope.
    The other side of not pushing is the the full-blown narcissist approach used by a few authors wherein anyone who is on the list gets begged, hounded, cajoled at least two or three times daily to buy and review, buy and review. I tried to get off the list a couple of years ago because he had a giveaway one weekend and I read one of them. Kind of like sexist Mad Max meets Mac Bolan written by Carolyn Keene. Well, actually I’ve read better Nancy Drews with fewer adverbs. So it’s a crapshoot. Where’s the middle ground? I have more artist relations stories about how much poster signing parties sucked. Of course they took the check.

    • Richard Dee

      It’s all so random. Expert A tells you one thing, expert B contradicts it. How do you get to be an expert anyhow? Most of them only seem able to cure wallet fatness.
      I do my own thing, I give away a novella, some people don’t even download it, their choice, I won’t judge. Read and review it if you want, it’s up to you. Oh, and you may get a newsletter every 6-8 weeks. I might tell you about a Bookfunnel promo here and there, I’m even in some of them.
      There, that’s my marketing plan in a paragraph.

  2. Amy Miller

    I totally get you. I did put myself out there, and it comes with a price. Also, I don’t think people really actually want to get to know the real person. Not until that person is dead and featured in an autobiography where we can oooh and aaah from a safe distance.

    • Richard Dee

      I think you’re right. In a way, its good to be slightly mysterious. Finding that your favourite author is just an ordinary person can shatter the illusion. And posthumous fame worked for James Dean.

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