Author Platform & Book Planning

Career Plan & Goals

The biggest question you have to ask yourself, is why do you want to write a book? Is it to enhance your business? A bonus for a particular client? Is it a tool to help someone through something? Do you want to simply entertain? Or do you want to write because you need to and publishing feels like the next step?

It’s important to know not only which genres you like, but which subgenres you’re most interested in within each genre. This is important because you will have much better success if you can write your book to fit the needs of that market as well as advertising to that specific market.

Book lengths are an odd subject because their definition varies depending on who you ask. Generally, these are the lengths I’ve found commonly accepted. Scifi and Fantasy will push the 100,000-word mark regularly, whereas steamy romance will tend to be in the Novella range.

Micro Fiction: Under 500 words
Flash Fiction: 500-2,000 words
Short Story: 2,000-10,000 words
Novellette: 10,000-20,000 words
Novella: 20,000-40,000 words
Novel: 40,000-100,000 words
Epic: 100,000+ words

To Series or Not

It’s a good thing to consider whether or not you might turn book one into a series in the future. I thought for sure my first book would never become a series. It now has five books. Why? Because my editor made me cut a bunch from the ending and I suddenly felt the story was unfinished. It will happen.

You might even start a book thinking it will be a series, then your interests or the market will shift and it becomes a stand-alone until you return to it years later out of guilt. I don’t speak from experience on this one at all. (cough)

Having a goal is best, so you can consider how future book covers will line up, and so you can start that super important series cheat sheet to keep track of all your important series information.

Pricing

This is totally up to you. I have seen 50-page titles go for $3.99 by indie authors, and I’ve found nine-book box sets for $0.99. There is massive variety in the indie world. If you’re traditional, you’ll likely be told what the price will be.

As a general rule, it’s good to have longer books priced higher than shorter ones. If you price your books too low, it will give off “quality-doubt” vibes. Conversely, if you’re too high, fewer readers are going to be able to afford you. The nice thing about moderately higher prices is you can run sales and deeper discounts that new readers will want to snag. (This is a marketing tactic for later)

How long is this going to take?

That depends on how much time you have to devote to a book, how long the book is, and how much money you have to spend or time you can put toward DIY-ing the steps on your own.

Your first few books are going to take the longest, but it will get easier and faster. My first novel took me six years to get from my initial dream scribbles to the final edited product with the cover it has now. The novel I wrote earlier this year I published in three months. I know writers who publish two novels every month. But we have to be realistic with our goals. There will be unexpected twists in life than can throw us off our plan. I wrote that novel in three months instead of my planned six because my spouse was in an accident.

It’s important to have a time cushion, to know your typing or speech-to-text speed, your creativity speed, and how much time you can dedicate daily or weekly to your book.

Branding

This is how your readers will come to recognize you online and in bookstores. The best way is by creating a pseudonym that fits the genre you’re writing in. You’ll want to set up graphics that fit the mood and themes as well. Then you’ll need to use this on every platform where that genre will be featured. So you’ll need to make a lot of different graphics.

Do not put all your pseudonyms on one page unless you plan to make it a writer page. Take this from someone who learned the hard way. To brand appropriately and teach algorithms, you need to have separate pages for every genre. Don’t want four accounts on every platform? Then set up the best one for each.

What is an Author Platform

Your author platform is a combination of places where readers can find out more about you. This includes:

  • Your professional website
  • Your sales profiles/author pages on publishing sites
  • Your social media profiles
  • Your review platforms (BookFunnel, StoryOrigin, BookSprout, Pubby)
  • Your newsletter & subscribers
  • Your blog feed
  • Your podcast

This is where your branding is critical. You want current readers to recognize you and new readers to think “hey, I’ve seen this author before.”

Once you have ways for readers to learn more about you (and no you don’t have to do a blog or a podcast or a YouTube channel) then it will be time to start sharing information about your WIP (work in progress). That’s the book you’re working on!

Your First Book: Book Concept

There are a lot of things to consider when tackling book creation. All of these things are related to your career plan, author goals, and your platform. They all have to be in sync with one another.

What is the end goal for your book?
Who are you writing the book for?
How long do you want your book to be?
How do you hope this book affects your life/business?
How much time, effort, and money are you willing to put into this book?
Is this the only book or will you have more? (This affects your branding)

These are things we’ll discuss to define your goals and help create a plan moving forward.


Author Platform Plan Service

If you would like help getting a plan set up for tackling your Author Platform, you can schedule a chat with me and I’ll work up a plan for you that will help you start knocking things off your to-do list.

Author Platform Plan $25

Book Plan Creation Service

Aren’t sure if your concept is where it should be? Want help figuring out which steps you’re going to need to get you from draft to published? I can help you outline what you need to do. We’ll chat about your goals and get you set up with a target result for your book.

Book Plan Creation $25

Book Mapping

Need a guide for accomplishing your first draft? We’ll work through your basic ideas, break them down into their elements, then build an outline for each of your chapters to make sure you’re on track for your genre as well as your goals for the story.

Book Map $50

Please note: if you are outside of the USA, please message me for pricing information.

Where are you at in your book-writing process?

Hi! I’m Amy. I love helping new and beginning authors stretch their creative legs and work on their first books! I’m a low-pressure person who is open to all sorts of ideas with experience in a lot of fields.

If you want to write a fitness book, guess what… I’ve been a trainer. Maybe you want to write paranormal romance. Done it. Need guidance with a memoir? No problem! Medical romance? Farming? Military? Genetic engineering? Architecture? Children’s books?

Everything is on the table. And if I haven’t tackled your topic before, that’s okay. The principles of an author platform, book layout, and reader hooks are similar. It just might take a bit of research to figure out your genre trends, useful metadata, and reader expectations.

We can get you there.
I believe in you!