The Plan

Seems like quite a few of you want to know the plan. So would I. Kidding!

I actually have put some thought into this project. Here’s the thing… I’ve done the math. Using my background studying investment management, I’d calculated my expected (average, for the non-investment crowd) returns from an average book.

I won’t bore you with the calculations.

But the result is this… Assuming that my average books earn the same average amount every month, I’ll have to publish 126 books in four years in order to make $7500 per month for the last year.

So… No matter which way you look at it, my goal would be impossible if I were to produce average stories. Which is really turning this project into a challenge I’ll relish. Because a lesser being would make the goal more realistic. Not me, though.

That goal is here to stay.

What will I do?

And here’s where I’m probably going to dissappoint you. Because the success of my attempt will depend soully on my ability to produce books that sell well. Better than average. Which is yet another snag. Because right now, I have no idea as to how my books will sell.

The best thing I can do at the moment is to play the odds. My logic says that the more books I publish, the better the odds that some will sell well. But NOT if I’m churning out books of average quality. I’ll need to balance speed and quaIity and produce the best stories I can, as often as I can.

Yeah. I know this is really obvious, but doing the above means I need to think of very many things. Like how I’ll balance drafting, rewriting, editing and submissions. And speaking of submissions, will I query agents or submit to small presses on my own? The latter will likely be faster, but how will earnings compare? And above all that, I need to figure out how to keep writing despite rejections. And the pace I can maintain without burning out.

Those things I’ll have to learn as I go along. Looks like I’m in for a tricky five years…

Any bits of advice for the insane person?

45 thoughts on “The Plan

  1. Misha,

    You've probably calculated, that equals 2.6+ books per month (completed), or an average of 7000 about words per day, new words. That doesn't include editing of works, revision, time to do submissions work. Then there's marketing, contract negotiation (or formatting and covers if you self-publish any) to reach the 5th year goal.

    Ambitious would be an understatement. Wishing you the best luck and endurance in your effort to accomplish this.

  2. Holy cow girl! This is an amazing goal. And you know what? Even if you get nowhere near that $7500, at least you'll be producing (and hopefully earning) something! Probably quite a bit if you can keep up the steam.
    This motivates me to get off my ass and make a plan. I've published all my backlist and now I'm struggling with the fact that I have to write new stuff (cause it takes so LONG now that I got used to releasing a couple books a month!).
    Best of luck in all you do! Thanks for the inspiration/boot in the rear 🙂

  3. You really did your math.
    An agent and a big press would probably be higher sales, but with a smaller press the agent doesn't get a fifteen percent cut. Now do the math on that one!

  4. Hahahaha exactly! I'll probably end up shooting for both and let the bones fall where they will.

    Further issue is the time. Doorways will be out this year. (!!!) Trade publishing will take up to four times as long…

  5. Misha, I love this project! I told my husband last week my goal use to be to get an agent. Now I want to get a million dollar book deal. You should make a linky and let others join in your challenge.

  6. Misha, I think what I like best about this goal is that you have made one. You have an idea in your head of how you want your life to be and you've outlined steps to get there. For sure, if you don't, you'll never make progress getting there. I'm going to be following your progress and cheering you on– no matter the outcome.

  7. 1. Have a marketing plan. It wouldn't hurt to put out a free novella / longish short story related to your story before release.

    2. Never give up. Even when you feel like you're talking to crickets. Keep at it. You never know who will stumble across you and give you a helping hand.

    3. Use your network. Other authors are a godsend.

  8. 7500 a month? Wow….I've never earned even half that per month, but then again I've always had jobs that were far from lucrative. So I'm not really the best person to give advice, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. 🙂

  9. Some quotes you might find inspirational and encouraging:

    “You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.” ~Sheila Graham

    “No one can become great who is not ready to take the opportunity when it comes.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

    “You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” ~Les Brown

    “You feel the call. That's the important thing. Now answer it as fully as you can. Take the risk to let all that is in you, out. Escape into the open.” ~Elizabeth Berg

    “One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, right away every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” ~Annie Dillard

    I hope these motivate you to keep at it and go get it!! If you don't try, you definitely won't achieve what you want. But if you do try, your chance of getting what you want is far more possible!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  10. Sounds like an awesome goal. My royalties as an article writer are much smaller, but I do enjoy having a small monthly income without even trying. It only grows as I continue writing, so that's always a plus, even if I don't reach such a high level goal. 🙂

  11. I can't remember if you work outside of writing or not, but a comparison I make just over half of that in my “day” job and I work 40-50+ hours a week to do it. So I guess if you can apply that much time to writing/revising/etc it's attainable. Or, you know, you could have a dream about sparkly vampires and within a year make millions. Except don't do that, I think it's already been done. 😉

    Good luck!

  12. Well. I worked on rough average prices for e-books, hard covers and paperbacks. Then I worked out my rate of return for loyalties, using the scenario that I sold equal amounts in the formats. The average amount is then: a third of (royalty for e-book+ royalty for paperback + royalty for hardcover).

    Rough estimate, I know. But an estimate was all I needed. 😉

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