Monday, 14 October 2013

Finally. A Business Plan.

In parts one and two of It's Time I Made A Business Plan, I discussed balancing my writing choices with the need to treat my writing as a business. I hope to one day make writing my full time job, so why not treat it like one?

I asked the fundamental question, can I write what I love and write what will sell? I also asked if chasing the market was a sensible decision. After all, certain things do sell. 

Lots of you offered advice, which was gratefully received. After much thought, I realised making a business plan was not about chasing the market. It was about making the right choices with what I wanted to write. If I'm not passionate about what I write, a business plan would be irrelevant - my lack of enthusiasm would show in the prose. With that knowledge firmly entrenched in my thinking, I was able to choose my writing projects for the next two years. Then it was a case of drawing up a realistic publication schedule. As one friend advised, if that part goes well, the business side will follow. 

After taking into account time, costs, and potential earnings, this is my publication schedule for the next two years:


March 3rd - Dark Fiction Novella (Book One)

May - Science Fiction Novelette (soft release)

July 7th - Dark Fiction Novella (Book Two)

September - Science Fiction Novelette (soft release)

November 10th - Dark Fiction Novella  (Book Three)


January 12th - Nine-part science fiction series

July 6th - Dark Fiction Novella (Book Four)

Some of you will note my immovable deadline of February 2014 for my next publication has...well, moved. When I sat down and looked at how many weeks there were until February, and that Christmas falls in the middle, I realised it would be too big a rush to finish my first novella by early February.

My business plan is this:

By the end of 2014, my earning from existing publications will pay for any future writing costs. I want my writing to start paying for itself within a year. Ultimately, I want to be earning more. But I need to walk before I run.

So, there you have it. Maybe it's still over-ambitious. Maybe it's not. But, it's a plan. All I need to do now is start writing (or carry on, as with my nine-part science fiction series).

What do you think?

Don't forget to call back on Wednesday, when Gwen Gardner will be this week's Speculative Fiction Writer.


  1. Very ambitious! I'm sure it helps to see it on paper though, Now you can plan.
    And you're right - if you're not excited, your lack of enthusiasm will definitely show.

  2. Nothing wrong with ambitious. Is sleeping included into your plan? As well as life's curve balls? The curve balls can muck up the best laid plans.

    But I love your plan. Don't want to discourage you. Keep going and it will all come to fruition.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  3. Very nice! I've got a planned pub schedule too. but it's a mess! So I won't be posting it for some time - Also because I realized my editor has a different time plan than I do! Compromises are starting to dictate my schedule :)

  4. Although I think our plan is ambitious, it seems very realistic. I wish you the best in reaching the goal of having your publications becoming reality.

  5. You forgot to cackle when you said the word PLAN *BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA* *cough* I always try to do SEPARATELY a writing plan and a promotional plan. Because the who are sort of independent... at least for me. Anything I plan on publishing in the next year really has to already be written in draft, or it is NEVER going to be ready on time. (I am pokey on the cleanup)

    Anyway, good plan!!!

  6. I think it's important to make a plan and set deadlines for yourself. The one thing out of your control is how much you earn. Hope it all works out for you.

  7. I think you've got the plan, the determination, the goals and the focus!! Good luck and all the best! Take care

  8. I love it! Yes, ambitious, but exciting too.

    What is a a soft release?

  9. Nicely done! I'm feeling woefully under-organized upon looking at this. I think I'll reconsider how I'm doing a few things.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  10. I think it's very doable. As you go along, you'll find you get faster. I'm hoping to have the first draft of my next Backworlds in the hopper by end of the year. Hmm, I want to have two projects done at that time, so it may take a few weeks longer.

  11. It's ambitious but totally doable because you have talent. I get regular monthly royalties from Amazon now, but it takes time and hard work.

    Good luck.

  12. This resonated, I've posted a few times this summer about the need for a business plan.

    "It was about making the right choices with what I wanted to write." - to me, this really sounds like the cornerstone of your business plan though maybe you didn't realize it. A business plan is not just targets and deadlines, it is founded in the core principles you intend to apply, what you want out of it and how you intend to approach it. You've decided a crucial aspect of your approach right here. Hope it goes well for you!

  13. Hi Ellie .. it's important to know where you're going .. and by setting your timeline out that will make the workload easier ... enjoy - and that you've realised is where your passion lies .. in creating your work, and crafting it into books ...

    Good luck .. cheers Hilary

  14. Good luck, Ellie! I'm a planning advocate myself. The value of the plan for me is organization more than motivation. I often find myself falling behind my planned schedule only to catch up and get ahead when the motivation strikes.

  15. In America, we who are self-employed have to estimate our incomes and pay our taxes on a quarterly basis before we receive the income. That's how many writers have to do things. I don't know what your taxes are like in Britain, but it pays to find out.

  16. Looks good, Ellie. Quick question: I see lots of novelettes and novellas. What about full-length novels? Just curious.


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