D. D. Scott’s Indie Epublishing Strategic Planning – Part One

TGIF, WG2E-Land!

Each November, I create my Indie Epublishing Strategic Plan and Production Schedule for the Coming Year.

Doing so requires that I conduct a Strategic Assessment of my Indie Epublishing Empire. In other words, in order to make Strategic Decisions for my Empire’s future, I’ve got to know where my previous plans have taken me…or not taken me. What’s worked? And what hasn’t worked?

I thought it might be helpful if I did a Series on what that process involves in D. D. Scott-ville. Today, I’ll outline the areas I examine. Between now and the new year, I’ll do a full post on each issue.

So, here we go…

1. Is my Indie Epublishing Goal still the same?

2. What Strategies have Advanced that Goal and Which Ones Have Not?

3. What Products/Ebooks/Projects have Made Money and Which Ones Have Lost Money?

4. Which Partnerships have Worked and Which Haven’t? Are there New Partnerships I’d Like to Explore?

5. How Many Products/Ebooks did I Produce this Year? Was that a Comfortable Pace for me? How Many would I like to Produce in the Coming Year? (i.e. Production Schedule)

6. Which Series will I Continue to Write? Are there Any Series I Won’t Continue? How ’bout New Series?

7. Has My D. D. Scott-ville Production Team (Cover Designers, Editor, Format Gurus) continued to work well for me in Producing High-Quality Ebooks/Products?

8. Real Sales Numbers Analysis and Financial Review

9. What Major Milestones have I Hit? What will My New Milestones be?

10. How did My Indie Epublishing Buzzword(s) work for me this year? What is/are My Indie Epublishing Buzzword(s) for the New Year?

11. Which Social Media Platforms are really Working for Me? Which aren’t? And which ones would I like to Add to My Reaching Readers Arsenal?

12. What are my Readers and Fans saying about my 2012 Releases? What do they like? What don’t they like?

13. What can I do to Continue to Create a D. D. Scott-ville Multi-Media Empire (examples: Audio Books, a D. D. Scott App, Blog Talk Radio Show, Hollywood Deals) all centered on my D. D. Scott-ville Brand

14. Am I Happy? Am I still Enjoying My Indie Epublishing Journey?

15. Which Indie Epublishing Platforms (i.e. KDP, Pubit, Kobo, Apple, Smashwords, etc) am I Seeing Growth On and Which Seem to be Declining?

16. What will My Price Points Philosophy be for The New Year? Will I Continue my First One is On Me Strategy? Will I Stick with 99 Cents or Move Up? (Is my goal More Readers or More Money?)

17. What will I do to Continue to Stand-Out as The Purple Cow on The Yellow Brick Road to Publishing Oz?

18. Is my Target Audience the Same? Or, Has It Changed?

Okay, WG2E-Land Peeps: What are your thoughts on my Strategic Plan’s Questions, Concepts, and Issues? What would you add to my list? Which of these topics are on on your own lists to explore?

The Best of Indie Epublishing Strategic Planning Wishes — D. D. Scott

D. D. Scott is an Amazon and Barnes and Noble Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Humorous Mystery Author. She’s also a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy and Indie Epublishing, the Co-Founder of The WG2E- The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, and the Founder of The RG2E – The Reader’s Guide to E-publishing.  You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits too from her new cyber home…D. D. Scott-ville.

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  1. Looks very complete to me! But going back to your last column about co-publishing (I read it late in the day, too late to get my question answered), I wanted to ask you: Who is listed as the publisher of record on your co-written book; you, the other author, or did you begin a new business name?

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Great question, Bettye!

      Theresa is working up a contract for us, but I will be the one uploading it and handling all of our royalties, so I’ll more than likely be the publisher of record.

      Sorry, I missed your question earlier. I try to go back and catch any I’ve missed, but I’m a wee bit behind this week. Cheers!!!

  2. Sibel Hodge says:

    Very good list, DD!

    I think this one is underrated: “14. Am I Happy? Am I still Enjoying My Indie Epublishing Journey?”

    If you’re happy it shows in your work and that passion is something you can’t fake! This is such an important factor in any job :)

    • D.D. Scott says:

      You’re absolutely right, Sibel!!! I didn’t put this list in any particular order, but if I would have that certainly would have been at the top in the number one spot!!! :-)

      It is all about being happy in your journey. And you’re sooo right too in that your passion for what you do can’t be faked…or at least not for long!!!

  3. Angela Brown says:

    Actually, I’d probably like to borrow your list since I can’t exactly say that I did any real planning for the “after” I got my Indie book out in the world. I’ve been learning things on the fly. Some things I’ve done right and others, well…yeah, hindsight is 20/20.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Sure thing, Angela!!! Borrow away! Print it out, if you’d like! Have at it! That’s what sharin’ the Indie Epublishing Journey Luv is all about!!!

      No worries on the hindsight thing either. As long as you’re learning from each step that you take and havin’ fun while you’re at it, all the bumps and oopsies are worth it!!!

    • Education – learning from the mistakes of others

      Experience – learning it first-hand

      I think ALL of us Indie Authors are learning quite a bit from experience! Publishing is a radically changing landscape and Indie authors are on the cutting edge.

      • D.D. Scott says:

        Well said, Anna!!! :-)

        And yes, Indie Epublishing changes almost every day it seems…at least between the release of each book. Meaning, what works for one book may not work for the next!

  4. Lois Lavrisa says:

    DD- wonderful checkpoint questions- I think I will use them as well:) and” 9. What Major Milestones have I Hit? What will My New Milestones be?” is really a great one to ask as I am getting ready for my 2012 goals. Thanks and Happy weekend!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Happy Weekend right backatchya, Lois! I’m tickled my list will be of help to you in your journey too!!!

      I actually ask many of these questions when I do my quarterly assessments too. That way, I make sure I’m keeping on my path along the way. But, that said, if I veer off, and that new path is working, WooHoo!!! I just readjust and keep on dancin’!!! :-)

  5. Jeanne says:

    Great list D.D.! Looking forward to your answers!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      I’m looking forward to my answers too, Jeanne! Some of ‘em I haven’t figured out yet! LOL! And for me, the process of answering them is also a fun and intriguing part of my journey!!!

  6. Julie Day says:

    Brill list. I think I will print it out and work it into my business plan for next year. I am most interested in your answer to the question about pricing ebooks. I think I will stick to what I do now, .99c for books under 10K and 1.99 for between 10 and 20K.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      So glad this will help you too, Julie! :-)

      And yeah, I’m really thinking hard about my pricing for 2013. I need to shake it up a bit and have a few ideas I’ll be tossing out there for all of you to chime in about…stay-tuned for that…I’ve got to finish outlining it myself first. LOL!

  7. PJ Sharon says:

    This is immensely helpful, D.D. I’ve been in reassessment mode myself with many similar questions. My core question this year was the “Am I happy?” Since my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are always my top priority, maintaining balance is essential for me. My biggest realization was that i needed to let go of a few things to get that balance back. I’m still in the process of determining how to downsize my work load which for me included reducing my production schedule for 2013 and releasing myself from a group blog I was doing. I feel a bit like Obama asking the tough questions–what do I need to cut to make things balance, and what can we live without? I think it’s a necessary part of the process. i look forward to reading further breakdown of your strategy. Thanks for sharing!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Excellent points, PJ, and I sooo agree with what you’re saying!!!

      For example, I can’t believe how much better I felt once I let go of the gazillion Yahoo Writing Groups and Organizations I was trying to keep up with. Not that many of them don’t have terrific information. But most of the time, it’s the same info over and over again. I finally realized that I didn’t have to spread myself so thin. I’m giving back and paying it forward every day right here at The WG2E, and I had to accept that that’s the best I can give to fellow writers…all in one spot!

      I also, as you know, wanted to devote more time to my readers. And cutting back on my On-Writing Groups has allowed me to focus more on them! Yayyy!!!

  8. JamieSalisbury (@JamieRSalisbury) says:

    Boy did this hit close to home! I have almost completed my 2013 business plan which includes questions similar to what you’re asking.
    Today I have a new release, which has been a year in the making – it’s already getting rave reviews, etc., but reviews mean nothing without readers. I am closely monitoring this particular book as how it does will help me decide if I should cut my production schedule back, what do I need to do to improve the numbers.
    Thanks for your insight as always and I look forward to seeing how you go forward!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Congrats on your new release, Jamie! U Go, Girl!!!

      It is all about readers and learning to focus on how and what they are responding most to. But, at the same time, while doing that, focusing on what makes you happy is wonderfully healthy and ultimately more productive.

      That’s what I love about The WG2E…we’re each coming together to share what’s working and what’s not working in our own journeys, which gives each of us wonderful new things to try and adapt to our happiness quotient.

  9. I’ll be revamping my business plan at the end of the year. A lot of assumptions I made turned out to be based on outdated/incorrect information that was not relevant to the changing landscape of publishing. I’ve never worked so hard in my life for so little financial reward, and the work involved to get what little compensation I have received is interfering with my ability to do what I love, write new content. My 2012 business plan will by necessity involve more planning about ways to reach out to and find more readers.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Atta Girl, Anna!

      I spent major money and time for 10+ YEARS going the TradiPub route before finally having the guts to try Indie Epublishing! And even then, it took me another year, following my debut Indie Epublished Book, to figure out I should be spending more time with readers than fellow writers! LOL!

      I made something like $300 my first year as an Indie, and that was fantastic to me because I’d spent tens of thousands and ended up every dollar in the whole the 10+ years prior to that. Two years later, I’ll have made over $100,000. So, keep on truckin’, my friend!!!

      And yep, we all just learn as we go…

  10. Julie Day says:

    BTW. I have been reading Bob Mayer’s Writer to Successful Author and it has got me seriously thinking about what I really want out of my writing career and my plan. It has got me thinking about what I do best in my writing life. And that is having control over what I write, when, how often and not worrying about deadlines from other people.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Bob’s book helped me a lot too, Julie!

      I’m now reading his Special Operations Strategies for Success and learning a great deal! For example, here’s a great phrase to focus on: “I want to be elite…not ordinary.”

  11. What a fab business plan, D.D.! Very inspiring. I look forward to reading your posts. Also, I got Seth’s Purple Cow book yesterday. Can’t wait to start reading it!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Fabulous, Riley!!! :-) Seth’s Purple Cow philosophy, more than anything else, has taken my empire viral! His techniques really help you identify your target audience and reel ‘em in!!!

  12. D.D. – question for you. One of your points mentions Buzzwords. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

  13. D.D. – these are tremendously useful questions. As we get closer to the new year, I think we all should take the time to answer these questions for ourselves so that we can make next year even better. I’m still struggling with finding readers, and balancing promo and writing. But by reflecting back on what has worked and what hasn’t, each new year will bring a little more success. Thank you so much for everything you do, D.D.!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      U betchya, Kristine!

      And just like you said, it’s vital that we each take the time to answer these kinds of questions as they pertain to our own Indie Epublishing Journeys. That way, we can each make informed decisions regarding where we’re headed next!

  14. Wow — that looks like a wonderful, complete plan, D.D. I’m new to Indie publishing and in 2012 I was just feeling very lucky to be alive, let alone finish and launch two books and trying to finish a third before the end of the year. Thanks for the great post — will think about my plan for 2013.

  15. Fantastic list of questions, DD. I want to do a business plan for next year and the best way to guarantee it’ll be done it to follow your posts as you do yours. I’m looking forward to where you’re going in 2013!


  16. Wow! Good stuff! You inspire me, as usual, Girlfriend!

  17. Chiming in late here, but I finally created a business plan along with a projected budget and production schedule through 2016. One item I’d add to that list deals with looking further ahead to the future instead of next year. I’m going to take this list and use it as a guide, but I’m adding to mine creating a minimal valid will. We not only need to look ahead with our publishing schedules, but to our futures outside of being publishers too. :) We all work so hard, we need to make sure we’re taken care of years down the road and our work too. :) Don’t mean to get all morbid here, but I think this is something that shouldn’t be ignored. :)