Writers need to approach their book projects as business people. They need a business plan, a strategy not only for how they will write their books but how they will promote/sell them. This means they need to know who their readers will be and in what markets they will find them. Then they need to know how to infiltrate these markets.
A lot of this planning—and work—is best done prior to actually completing a book. In fact, it’s best done prior to starting a book… That’s why writers hear so much about “building author platform.” This is all about having a business strategy for your book from day one—from the conceptualization of your idea.
And when that idea first pops into your head you must begin analyzing it, evaluating it, figuring out if it makes good business sense to pursue.
Unless, of course, it’s simply your passion and your purpose to pursue that idea. Although, that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t have a sound business plan to carry it out—to make it as successful as possible.
Writers don’t like to hear this “business talk.” If you are like most aspiring authors, after reading this far into this post you have suffered what award-winning television journalist Ted Koppel calls the “MEGO Factor”: My Eyes Glaze Over. If you are not suffering from the MEGO factor, however, you may be one of those destined to success with your book. Why? Because I’m now going to tell you about the best business plan any writer or author can buy: a book proposal.
That’s right. A book proposal has all the elements of a great business plan for your book, which explains why every publisher expects you to have one—and to present a great one when you propose your book to an agent or an acquisition editor. In fact, the publisher will, in large part, use your business plan—your book proposal—as their own when it comes to your book.
You don’t have to write a formal book proposal, though, especially if you plan to self-publish your book. You can just go through the process of accumulating all the information required for a book proposal. Then you will have what you need for a business plan for your book.
Put this in a binder and refer to it often. The steps required to produce a book proposal produce the best business plan any author can compile.
There are lots of books available about how to write a book proposal, such as my friend agent Mike Larsen’s How to Write a Book Proposal and agent Jeff Herman’s Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why, 2nd Edition. If you are interested in a workbook that will help you go through the “proposal process,” click here. When you’ve finished with the proposal process, if you want a product to help you easily plug in the information you accumulate into a more formal book proposal, simply look farther down the same page for a new plug-in proposal product that will help you do just that.