Friday, March 18, 2016

Writing Update: The Plan to Publishing Success

The Burning of Hugo is well into re-writing. I expect to have the manuscript complete by the end of May, and I hope to have it published and available for sale by the end of June.

The Solador series remains mired in restructuring, but after Hugo goes out the door I expect to get back on track and finish the first book later this year.

There is a caveat here.

You're looking at a one-man operation running on a shoestring. That means I have my expectations set for something far short of Stephen King, so let me explain to you what the plan really is: the launch of a system.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams explains the difference between goals and systems in this blog post (which he also uses to plug his book on the subject). Summarized: a system is a feedback loop procedure intended to iteratively transform current failure into future success regardless of what specific things are done or achieved.

Well, that's exactly what I need. I am intimately acquainted with failure, and one of the things that's been dogging me for decades is how to deal with it. Adams' talk of systems got my attention specifically because it does just that.

The point of taking a system approach to planning is that you anticipate failure and make it part of the plan. That's why systems works on an iterative basis; each failure--anticipated or not--is intended to provide improvement opportunities, much like being an athlete that's serious about self-improvement takes each defeat as just such an opportunity. What failed, how, and why? Find the answer, and you find the fix; do the fix, and move on.

So, the first round of releases will NOT be the sorts of things my traditionally-published friends see as routine (and don't directly handle). I'll do my best to put down good covers, launch them, etc. but I have no expectations of matching Mike Cernovich's 10K sales within a calendar year for Gorilla Mindset and without help I am unlikely to get the aide that Brian Niemeier did for Nethereal which made that book succeed as it did. I lack the means, for now.

But, if enough people do buy what I publish, I'll be able to take that and put it towards not only the next offering but also towards future re-releases that will have that polished look and feel to them (cover and all). That's what the new publishing paradigm allows: iterative product improvement at no cost to the customer (and therefore no risk). I can just hold back on print versions (for now) until the digital end gets to a state I am willing to fix into print.

No comments:

Post a Comment