The best way to create a business plan for your book is to produce a book proposal. Book proposals have served as business plans for books for centuries. Traditional publishers use them to determine the marketability of a book idea, and indie publishers should use them in the same way—to determine if their ideas are viable business propositions.
There’s more to a book’s business plan than meets the eye. It’s not just about accumulating a bunch of information to convince someone you have a good idea. It’s about using that information to determine if the book will ever sell. And it’s about using that information to hone your book idea into the best one possible before you try to sell it to anyone—a publisher or readers. Because if you haven’t created an idea that your readers want, they won’t purchase your book, which means they won’t read it. Plus, developing a business plan is about evaluating yourself—to decide if you have what it takes to become an author, a publisher or both.
Nonfiction Writing Prompt #20: Create Your Plan
To complete this writing prompt, answer eight essential questions to help you produce material for the primary sections of a book’s business plan, or a book proposal. Also answer the follow-up questions, which help you evaluate your initial answers.
- What’s Your Book About And Why Would Someone Want To Read (Buy) It? Can you summarize your book, provide a pitch of 75 words or less and offer a list of five or so benefits (even for a novel)? Do you really know what you’re writing about, and is your story or subject compelling—a must have or must read?
- How Many People Really Might Buy Your Book? Do you know if there are enough potential readers to purchase your book—a large enough market of interested buyers? And who are your ideal readers? Is the market large enough to justify producing the book?
- What’s the Competition and Is Your Idea Unique and Necessary? Can you identify 5 bestselling books on the topic and say how your book will be different, better and angled to the unmet needs of readers? How will you tell a different story? Is there a “hole” on the shelf waiting for your book to fill it?
- What’s the Structure of Your Book? Have you planned out your content into a table of contents or planned out your story line in enough detail to do so? And once you have, does that structure or story make sense? Do you have enough content or enough of a story arc?
- Does Your Book’s Content Match Your Initial Vision of Your Book? Do you know enough about your book to write a chapter-by-chapter synopsis (a summary of each chapter)? Once you’ve done this, do these summaries show that the content of your book or the story you want to tell match up with your answer in #1? And will it help you target your market and do a better job than the competition (#2 and #3)?
- How Will You Brand Yourself and Earn More Money? What are your plans to write more books—series, sequels and follow ups? Do you want to build a business around your book with products and services? How do you as an author or publisher want to be known? Can you entice a publisher by showing your sense of entrepreneurship or keep your start-up publishing company afloat with your business savvy?
- Are You the Best Person to Write This Book…Now? Is your writing ability, author platform, credentials, or expert status at the point where they can help you succeed? When would be the best time to publish to achieve maximum results?
- Do You Make a Good Publishing Partner or Indie Publisher? Do you have a strong promotion plan that builds on a strong author platform? Are you willing to help sell books, take on marketing and promotion and generally be more than a writer? Publishers want authors who will help sell books; are you such an author? Indie publishers succeed if they promote their own books (help them sell); are you willing to do this work?
Find out more about how to create a business plan for your book in The Author Training Manual, which contains a chapter on each one of these eight questions. If you would like help creating a business plan for your book and evaluating yourself and your idea, register for Author Training 101: How to Craft Books that Sell. Find out more and register here.
What did you discover about your book or about yourself by completing this writing prompt?
The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively, Nina Amir’s new book, provides all the information you need to create a business plan for your book and to train you to become a successful author. However, you also can get author training from Nina during the next Author Training 101:Craft Books that Sell LIVE course. Starting May 6, you will receive audio and video lessons that correspond with the chapters. And, while you use take the course and complete the training exercises in the book, you get support during 8 weeks of group coaching. You’ll also get a bonus proposal/business plan template and more! Only 20 spots! Get more information and claim your spot by clicking here.
For more information on how to create nonfiction book ideas that are marketable and that support your writing goals, join the NFWU. When you do, you’ll receive this month’s Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) homework assignment, which contains more exercises and information on this topic. Plus, you’ll have access to the growing archive of past homework assignments and NFWU teleseminars as well as some introductory gifts worth more than the membership! Join here at the low introductory rate!
Next month NFWU teleseminar takes place on May 8 at 5 p.m. PT and will feature New York Times Best Selling Collaborator Toni Robino, who will teach members “Train Your Writer’s Monkey Mind.” Learn more about the event here. (Members get recordings of the events, access to the forum, bonus products, and more…) Learn about the benefits of membership when you click here.
Photo courtesy of KROMKRATHOG | freedigitalphotos.net