By Preslaysa Williams
Writers, are you ready to take your business to the next level and turn pro? Then you need a business plan. It doesn’t have to be a long, complicated document. Your written plan will help you determine what you want from your career.
Here are some basic elements and questions to ask as you craft your business plan which can help get you started:
A vision statement is future focused. When you think of your writing career ten, twenty, or thirty years from now, what would you like to see? How will readers be impacted by your stories? What will that impact look like?
A mission statement is inward focused. Why are you writing? What compels you to pick up the pen? This is your ‘why.’
Think about your career in the next 3-5 years, what would you like to happen?
What classes would you like to attend?
What craft books and novels would you like to read?
How many books would you like to write each year?
Do you want to write for magazines, short stories, other blogs?
Business of Writing:
Do you want to self-publish or sign with a traditional publisher?
Would you want to sign with a literary agent?
Would like to final/win in a writing contest(s)?
What conferences would you like to attend?
Do you want to start a writing related business (editing/critiquing service, social media consulting, virtual assisting, graphic design)?
Do you want to create a website/blog for your writing?
After you’ve decided what you’d like to accomplish in the next 3-5 years in your writing career, start strategizing how to get to your destination.
Strategic Plan for Writing Craft:
How much money will you spend on classes and books?
How will you implement what you learned to improve your writing?
Strategic Plan for Book Production:
How much time will you spend on one project?
Of that total time spent, how much time will you spend planning, draft, and editing your story? The same holds true for writing magazines and short stories.
For self-publishing: What is your production time frame and budget? Who would you like to work with for cover design, book formatting, etc.? What if the people you hired bail out on you, what are your other options?
Strategic Plan for the Business of Writing:
For traditional publishing: Have you researched your target publishers and read the books in their line? How do you plan to meet acquiring editors? Do these publishing houses require submissions through a literary agent?
For finding a literary agent: Have you met with potential literary agents? What are you looking for in a literary agent? How do you plan to query agents?
For writing contests: Which contests are the best use of your money? Do the final judges include editors and agents which you are targeting?
These questions in this post will get you started. In my workshop, Turning Pro: Business Planning for Writers, I talk about these topics in depth. A business plan will serve as your compass for when your writing career gets thrown off track by unexpected setbacks. It will steady you during the rough times.
“And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.'” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)
Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author of restoration romance™, modern day stories of people who’ve suffered seasons of loss and found the God who restores, strengthens, and establishes the brokenhearted. She has a Master’s degree from USC and her B.A. degree from Columbia University. Visit her at www.preslaysa.com.