Taking a book to market: Back to the business plan

In my last post on this topic, I was happy to have reached the first milestones in my production and business plans for my first novel.  Last weekend was also productive.  Because I’m a “plotter,” I used Snowflake Pro and have completed about a fourth of my story design.  I’m working on this novel in my spare time to help stay in the mindset of a writer and aspiring author.  During the story design phase, I’ve started to think in more detail about my business plan, especially the parts where:

  1. I am planning to engage at least one professional editor, and
  2. I need to begin marketing my work, and
  3. I need to get my book into distribution.

The editing part seems self-evident to me.  I want my first book to be well-received and know that paying for a professional edit (or two or three) will be crucial to my efforts to release a quality debut novel.  I am concerned that my business plan didn’t budget enough to the editing services I need.  Using the definitions found at this helpful site, I think I’ll probably need Structural Editing, Stylistic Editing and Copy Editing.  I have started vetting resources experienced in my genre, and will ask for budgetary quotes.  WaveCloud will be a resource for this type of information to our author clients, providing a list of vetted editors that we can recommend.

I’m also starting to rethink the timing of my marketing effort.  After this post a few days ago, I think I need to add a “pre-marketing” phase to my business plan.  I may move around a few dates, as there are some search engine optimization and production lag reasons to move some of my marketing work into earlier sections of my production plan.  I am also seeing several areas where WaveCloud can build more tools to help authors market their books.

Finally, I have been thinking more about distribution and the question of whether a short print run or POD set up should be concurrent with the e-book release, or following it (or not at all).  The recent Pew Internet Research report, “The rise of e-reading” makes it clear that an “e-book only” approach can only address or reach about 55 percent of the market.  For the other 45 percent, and for reviewers that require a print version of the book, I’ll need a solution, and this will require further research by the WaveCloud team.  We have talked about the benefits of various POD solutions, but haven’t completed our short-run printer research.  Once complete, we should have better recommendations for our clients.

I have no idea whether I can produce a novel worth reading, but at least the effort is keeping me thinking about the needs of authors.

If you have any recommendations for editors, or comments about short-run print providers, please drop a comment and share your thoughts.


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