10 Elements Necessary to Craft an Author Career Plan

Career Plan for authorsPublishing one nonfiction book typically doesn’t provide you with a ticket to success—at least if you want a career as a nonfiction author or any type of author for that matter. To succeed in the competitive publishing arena, you need a career plan that includes a book—or more than one book—as well as a brand, a website, a promotion plan, and a business. If you take the time to craft a career plan, you’ll have a pass to travel to your desired destination: successful authorship.

Every day I coach clients using a proprietary career-planning system. I feel the plan is essential, and I recommend almost all my clients produce one early in the coaching process or their journey to authorship, professional writing or blogging, or expert status.

The 10 Fundamental Elements of an Author Career Plan

If you want to craft your own career plan, start by evaluating each of the following ten necessary elements. To do so, answer the questions I’ve provided for each.

1. Passion

What are you most passionate about?

2. Purpose

What do you feel compelled to do in the world, or what is your mission or soul purpose with your work?

3. Values

What three to five things do you value most?

4. Topics

What topics would you like to write about or do you plan to write about (and in what genres)?

5. Books

What is your first or primary book idea? What three to five spin-off books, series or sequels could you write that relate in theme or topic to your primary book idea? What other books do you want to write as well?

6. Themes

What themes flow through all the books you want to write?

7. Branding

How can you use you passion, purpose, values, themes, topics, and books to distinguish yourself in the marketplace. More simply, how do you want to be known as an author? Also, what benefit will you provide to readers?

8. Author website/blog

How can you carry out your branding on an author website with a tagline, a title, colors, banners, logos, etc.? Also, how will you develop a blog plan based on your branding?

9. Platform Building and Promotion

What have you done to date—or what do you need to do—to create visibility, reach, authority, and influence in your target market? How can you build on that to create effective ways to sell your books to your potential readers?

10. Products and Services

What related products could you develop to monetize your knowledge and the content in your books? And what related services could you create to leverage your knowledge, expert status, or the content in your books?

Other Career Plan Essentials

To succeed, you must keep two other essential items in mind as you craft your career plan.

1. The Market

What is the market you are trying to reach with your books, website/blog, and products and services? How will your work and site target that market? What value will you provide to those people?

2. The Competition

What books, websites, blogs, and other authors represent your direct competition? How will you offer a unique selling proposition?

Work on the Fine Details

Within each one of these 10, or rather 12, career plan areas, there are many more fine details to work out. A completed “successful-author career plan,” allows you to develop a finely honed map from where you are to where you want to be. And it gives you the opportunity to plan out every stop along the way.

That kind of planning and focus, along with diligent implementation, will help you become a successful author.

Do you need help creating your author, blogger or expert career plan? Click here. I’d be honored to help you develop a roadmap that will help you move in a systematized manner toward the career of your dreams.


  1. Vikki Davis-Ellis says:

    Thank you for your brilliant and usefull research and presentations so necessary to become a professional writer. I look forward to every blog.

  2. I find your advice very useful informative and well redacted. However because of my innovative style of writing it would not be advisable to blog or post my ideas on a public forum without first getting them copyrighted. The topics I write about have been done before but not in the way ( style) I am using for this book. It will be like a puzzle, apparently disconnected thoughts but in the end the clues of how to put the information together and make sense of it will be given to the reader but all this will be done in a new innovative way that has never been done before using secret techniques both psychological and literary and magical. There will be a lot of references to magic,paranormal phenomena and spiritual related themes treated in a new unconventional technique that will not only baffle the reader but keep him engaged in the reading in order to solve the “mystery”. Anyway the information you give is very useful. I will probably purchase one of your books later. But now I am busy writing. Wishing you continued success. Jose Garcia.

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