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Creating an Effective Business Plan

Created on: Aug 28, 2009 2:03 PM by CreateSpaceResources - Last Modified:  Oct 26, 2010 5:10 AM by CreateSpaceBlogger

Creating an Effective Business Plan


Some authors mistakenly believe that once their manuscripts are complete, their responsibilities for the success of their books are over, but as a self-published author, you know better. As your book and cover are being finalized, take some time to begin developing a business plan for your book. By exploring the five following elements and how they relate to your book, you're putting yourself in a position to succeed.


Step 1: Market Research

Any solid marketing effort should begin with research, such as learning what other books will be in competition with yours. This foundation for your plan should involve as much data gathering and fact-finding as possible. Are there titles similar to yours already available? What can you do to differentiate yourself from them? Tailoring your efforts to the preferences of your readers will provide them with added value and incentive to purchase your book.


Step 2: Create a Mission Statement

Developing a powerful, purpose-driven mission statement for your business plan is essential to keeping your goals and objectives at the forefront of your mind. A mission statement is a clear and compelling summary of goals, intended to focus your efforts in a specific direction. The statement is defined by three elements:


  • The purpose of your work
  • What steps you're taking to achieve that purpose
  • The motivating "why" behind achieving your purpose


Your mission statement should inspire you to remain committed to your purpose, no matter what, so be specific in describing the actions you plan to take.


Step 3: Document Your Goals, and Create Objectives to Achieve Them

When you make goals, you choose a destination on a map; by creating objectives, you choose your route to this destination. By putting your goals on paper, you will be better able to create solutions to achieve them. Will the number of copies you plan to sell be affected by the size of your target audience? Will you need to invest in a wider variety of marketing initiatives to compete with the number of titles in your category?


Step 4: Determine Your Distribution Strategies

Most self-publishing companies already provide distribution channels online, so consider special sales outlets beyond online and bookstores. If your book is specific to a town or state, consider targeting retailers in that area for distribution. Gift shops, airports, or even restaurants are often eager to stock books that relate to them specifically. To determine the best channels for your book, seek out places your target audience shops frequently and begin networking with managers and decision makers.


Step 5: Strategize Specific Promotional Tactics

It's important to think about how you will sell your book in advance of your publication date so you can take advantage of early sales. The momentum you build at the beginning of your promotional efforts will set the tone for future sales. As you form your business plan, determine how much time you can dedicate to each of the following areas: publicity, advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, and printed materials. Knowing how much time you can realistically devote to your marketing efforts will help you to develop achievable business goals.


For more information on creating a business plan, visit the Small Business Administration.




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