My Book Writing Plan and Strategy for My First Novel
Thinking about it, everything we do is based on a plan. Even the simplest of tasks have some kind of formula or sequence to it: making tea, driving a car, shopping.
I know from experience that without a plan, a good strategic plan, complex tasks I do don’t usually end up as intended. Or, they take longer than they should, with deviations and having to correct mistakes along the way.
So, before I get into writing my first novel, I’ve put together a comprehensive book writing plan that I’m going to follow. And, although I thought this step of my Book Writing Project would be boring, it wasn’t.
The idea of planning out my future as a potential author was fun. And I know this plan will be crucial to my success.
My strategy involves, not only the writing of my novel, but the publishing and promotion of it as well.
So, I have been busy, but not actually writing a book...here's why.
The First Step of My Book Writing Plan is Done
The first step of my plan, I’ve ticked off already. I have created this: my new author website.
But how does that have anything to do with writing a book?
To answer briefly, so I don’t go off topic here, it is to establish a web presence for SELF-PROMOTION of my book(s) in the future.
I like to think in the future and where I'm heading or want to be.
I have built websites before and know a bit about S.E.O. (search engine optimisation). I know that the age of a website has some bearing on how well it will rank. I will write about this later, once I reach that step of my book writing plan.
Writing my first book will probably take me a while, so while I'm writing, my website's age will be maturing.
I also want to publish my Book Writing Project updates on my blog, so people can read about the progress of my first novel.
The Reasons I Developed a Strategy First Before Writing My Book
The first thing I knew I needed to do (before I started writing my book) was to have a plan, a strategy, and to organise myself. I believe this is probably one of the best actions I have done as a potential new author.
My writing plan will:
- Keep me focussed on my goal and moving along.
- It will help stop me from going off in other directions not aligned with that goal.
- Reduce my procrastination because I know exactly what I’m supposed to do next.
- Stop me from getting overwhelmed because I have given myself easily attainable, step-by-step, actionable targets.
- Help me to fit in my writing time around my job and busy lifestyle.
- Allow me to see my achievements and how far I’ve gone - giving me motivation.
I have a very busy schedule, as I'm sure many new aspiring authors do, and still need to work to earn a living. So, for organisation's sake, my very first action was to come up with my own book writing strategy.
What My Book Writing Plan Looks Like
This is the formula I've used and I've written a description of the meaning for each part of the formula:
- Goal - The goal is the overall thing I want to achieve.
- Purposes - The reasons why I want to do this or achieve this goal.
- Policy - The rules, guidelines, or standards I need to have in place in order to achieve the goal.
- Plan(s) - Lesser goal(s) that help to achieve a particular aspect of my overall goal.
- Programme(s) - A programme is a series of steps in sequence to complete a plan (4 above).
- Project(s) - A project is a series of steps in sequence to complete one step of a programme (5 above).
- Order(s) - A verbal or written direction to carry out a task in a project / programme.
So, for Step 1 - GOAL - this is my goal.
To be a successful fiction book author with a huge following and demand for my stories and books, and with published books in all retail outlets worldwide creating mammoth sales and royalties for me.
Currently, this goal seems very unreal and too ambitious, but what goal is a true goal if I don’t set what it is I really want. This is what I want and would love to achieve. I want to be a successful author.
Step 2 - PURPOSES - this is why I want to achieve my goal:
- I want to explore and enhance my creative side in writing.
- I want people to get great enjoyment from my stories.
- I want to make a living from something I enjoy doing - writing.
- I want to communicate truths through my stories.
Step 3 - POLICY - my rules, guidelines, and standards that will help me achieve my writing goal:
- Find and write in my own style; not copy another author.
- Enjoy it. Have fun with writing.
- Be in a creative frame of mind when writing: make sure I stay healthy as an author so I can focus.
- Write in a quiet space, free from distractions.
- Make the time to write - set this aside and inform others to leave me alone.
These are some rules I feel I need in order to write successfully and achieve my goal of becoming an author. I can change or add to them as needed, so they align with my overall goal.
Step 4 - PLANS - my plans (lesser goals) to help me handle the different aspects of my overall goal:
- To have an author website: to publish my book writing journey on and to help market my book(s) in the future.
- To complete my first book: plan, write, edit, format, and publish.
- To have a highly successful book marketing strategy that is producing a very high income for me.
I have three aspects (plans) to my overall goal.
The first, to start an online presence as an author, to begin marketing myself through interest in my Book Writing Project updates, which will be ongoing through my writing journey.
The second, is to plan my book out, to actually write it, and have it published.
And the third, is to research and implement the best book marketing strategy that will produce great interest and book sales.
I have made sure these three book writing plans relate logically to my overall goal, and that they each handle a specific area of it.
Step 5 - PROGRAMMES - one series of steps for each one of my three plans above:
For this step I’m going to cut it a little short, or this update will become very long, so I will just write my first programme's series of steps. I called this my "Author Website Programme".
Programme 1 (series of steps for Plan 1) - which was: "To have an author website...." The steps in order to achieve this were:
- Plan my author website: domain name, structural design, aesthetic design, on-page S.E.O. (search engine optimisation), website analytics.
- Create my author website, based on 1 above.
- Set up website hosting and upload my website to the internet.
- Get my website indexed in search engines.
- Set up my website's analytics.
If I continued listing my other programmes, I would have my Programme 2's series of steps (as above) for Plan 2, and Programme 3's series of steps for Plan 3.
So, my book writing plan's three programmes are each, a sequential list of easier actionable activities I can do. And I broke those activities (programme steps) down even further into projects.
Step 6 - PROJECTS - which is a series of steps to achieve one step of one of my programmes.
Project 1 (series of steps for Programme 1's, Step1) - which was: "Plan my author website...." I broke it down and listed the steps into Project 1, and called it: "Author Website Planning Project". The steps in order to complete this were:
- Choose a brandable name and domain name for my website.
- Write down what web pages my website will initially need.
- Decide on what main genre / sub-genres my book(s) will come under.
- Based on step 3, go online, and analyse successful author's website in the same genre. Look at the design layout, colours, etc. Then choose my own colours, fonts, and design.
- Draw / sketch out the design structure and layout of graphics / images for my own website.
- Based on step 3, do S.E.O. keyword research, and choose my website's main keyword I want the site to rank for. Choose secondary related keywords. Put these in an excel spreadsheet.
Step 7 - ORDERS - a written or verbal direction.
For this part of my book writing plan, I wrote down very basic steps in a "to-do" list for each project step above. So, Project 1, Step 1 - "Choose a brandable name and domain name for my website" - went like this:
- For ideas, go on the internet and look at the domain names for other author websites.
- Get a pen and paper.
- Find a quiet space.
- Think up my own brandable name.
- Write it down.
- Turn it into a domain name.
- Check my new brandable / domain name is available to buy.
These "orders" - actionable tasks - that I gave myself, were things I knew I could easily achieve and tick-off as done. And I did.
I know my strategy for becoming an author (my plan for writing my first book) is sound, because so far, it's working. If it stops working, I tweak it, and make sure everything is aligned to my overall goal. It's that simple.
Breaking up my overall goal into tiny bite-sized, easily attainable steps, so I don’t get overwhelmed and give up, is the solution - along with persistence.
How well my book writing plan helps me, depends on how intelligently I plan. But even a poorly conceived plan is better than no plan at all, (some quote I heard somewhere).
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