So I shared how my author business did in 2016 (spoiler: I 8xed my sales income!) Now I’m ready to look forward again and decide where I’m going in 2017.
My main goals for next year
write and publish a lot more fiction
diversify my income and share valuable content through Savvy Authorpreneur
make a full-time income from my business
Here are some high points of what I’m going to do to get there:
I’m going to wrap up my two current YA series with two final books and box up each series
I’m going to write and launch a new YA romance series to market (this will be a huge endeavor that you’ll get to experience with me!)
I’m going to share what I’m learning and how my author business is doing here on Savvy Authorpreneur
I’m going to create my first course for authors (because I think I have something new and helpful to share)
I'm going to read a lot, work on my health, and purge/organize my stuff
Let’s dive into some specifics!
YA Fiction by Yesenia Vargas
Writing fiction is my first love, and it will continue to take priority in 2017.
A growing backlist of books is the fastest path to full-time writing income so I'm going to write new words every weekday, create stories that will sell, and spend time marketing.
Here’s what I want for my YA fiction in general:
Overall Business Goals
Purpose: make a full-time income from book sales and reach a bigger readership
Create consistent growth in sales/income (aiming for $5,000+ monthly/$50,000+ yearly)
Continue growing and engaging my reader email list (aiming for 10,000+ total subscribers)
Publish 4 new books per year (consistently grow catalog of products)
Communicate consistently with readers via email list and social media (for fun, sharing stuff, and fostering personal connections)
Market book 1s at least every 6 months
Write down and check in on weekly and quarterly goals (stay productive)
Here’s what I’m specifically going to do in 2017 to work towards this…
Finish writing book 3 of Matters of the Heart series
Revise book 3 of the Matters of the Heart series
Revise book 4 of the Changing Hearts series
Write a reader magnet short story for the Matters of the Heart series
Write 3 books to market
Update front/back matter of all books and reformat/re-upload with Vellum
Publish last book of the Changing Hearts series
Publish last book of the Matters of the Heart series
Create and publish Changing Hearts boxed set
Create and publish Matters of the Heart boxed set
Create and upload a new and improved cover for All In
Launch at least 2 books to market (ideally 3)
Write and publish 1 children’s book with my daughter for fun
Decide on audiobook strategy
Begin Spanish translation for Without You
Use exclusive short story reader magnet for the Matters of the Heart series to bring in more email subscribers
Keep readers engaged through monthly newsletter
Keep readers engaged through FB group and Instagram
Keep email list growing through front/back matter, free promotions, ads, etc
Promote book 1s every 3-6 months with newsletter ads
Promote book 1s constantly through ads
Start experimenting with FB ads
I never thought I'd create or focus on anything for writers beyond Monday Must-Reads, and I promised myself I wouldn't unless I had something unique and valuable to say.
And I think I do (I hope you'll agree with me).
I'm really excited to dive into it next year.
Here’s what I want for Savvy Authorpreneur in general:
To share what I'm learning as an indie fiction author (especially the business side), network with other creative entrepreneurs, and become an authentic voice of authority in the indie publishing industry
To help diversify my income as an online creative entrepreneur through courses, ebooks, and affiliate sales (aiming for $1,000-$3,000/month, $12,000-$36,000/year)
Share tips on productivity, mindset, and business
To grow and engage my writer email list (aiming for 5,000+ total subscribers)
Create 1-2 products per year and use my platform to share other helpful books, courses, products, and other resources
Communicate consistently with other writers via email list, vlogging, and social media (for fun, sharing insights, and fostering personal connections)
Write down and check in on weekly and quarterly goals (stay productive)
Here’s what I’m going to do specifically in 2017 to work towards this:
Savvy Authorpreneur Goals
Share business progress, what I’m learning, or other helpful insights
Start vlogging on Savvy Authorpreneur YouTube channel two times a week
Create my first course
Finish autoresponder series
Create at least one more course (not necessarily aimed at writers)
Keep growing email list by sharing valuable & helpful content
Here’s how I’m going to reach all of my 2017 goals:
Daily Goals & Progress Checks
Write down daily goals
Record weekly goals & progress checks
Create and follow a daily morning routine that makes me happy and gets me ready to work
Write or dictate at least 2,000 words daily Monday through Friday
Create and follow a batch-style schedule for:
daily fiction writing
pre- and post-production of fiction
content creation for Savvy Authorpreneur
marketing for Savvy Authorpreneur
learning from online courses
The magic happens in your day-to-day work. That's how you reach yearly goals.
As a mother (and aunt), it's almost impossible to follow a rigid schedule, but I'd like to work with flexible blocks of time, including time each week specifically for catching up where I've fallen behind.
I also don't plan on working so much that I don't pay attention to my kids, so I'm scheduling in family time and free time too.
I've always had a pretty full plate so I've gotten pretty good at time management, but there's room for improvement at the moment.
In the past, I've done the best and been ultra productive when I schedule out my day according to my to-do list, everything from writing to working out to cleaning the kitchen.
That's what I'm going back to in 2017.
And some other important goals:
Make time to read daily (at least 5 minutes before bed but also reading breaks throughout my day)
I’ve read 30-40 books each year for the past few years after setting an initial goal of 26 books. This year, I want to read a lot more so I’m setting a goal of 50 books with the hope of making a good dent in my huge TBR.
Go through all of my belongings (clothes, books, papers, etc) and decide whether to discard or keep each item
Find a home for each of the things that bring me joy
I just added this section while going over this post before pushing publish. I just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last night, and it's already changed my mindset going into 2017.
While tidying may not be directly related to writing, I'm someone who gets stressed by mess and clutter, especially when I have a lot of work to do.
I've also found that I value a minimalistic and purpose-driven lifestyle the older I get, so while taking the time to tidy our home will take significant time, I'm convinced it will make a huge difference in my happiness and productivity this year.
Workout at least 6 times a week for 20 minutes
Eat food that makes me feel good and avoid junk as much as possible
Drink lots of water every day
Lose 10 more pounds.
This is more of a personal goal but still so important. I’ve definitely taken a break from working out or even eating right all the time the past month or so (and I can already see a difference, UGH), but I’m ready to jump back into my usual workout routine and good eating habits.
I just feel (and look) so much better when I do.
I also want to lose 10 more pounds and get into the 130’s range (for reference: I was in the 160’s just a couple of years ago so I’ve come a long way!). I’m pretty short at just 5’1”so this where I should be.
I have a feeling this won’t be easy, but I also know how important it is to get enough exercise and eat what’s good for you. This will all play a big role in how well I run my business as well!
Creating a Yearly Production Plan
So that’s what I’m aiming for in 2017! It’s a lot, and there’s a good chance I won’t do it all, but I’m still super excited for what’s to come!
I've divided all of this up by quarter within a yearly production plan. It's easier to work on big goals when they're in chunks. Then I'll focus on those quarterly goals when I'm creating weekly and daily goals.
I still love and use Evernote for all my notes, but for my business and production plans I think I'm switching to WorkFlowy (my affiliate link, which will give you 2x the free space if you want to try it). It's just so much easier to not get lost in a giant doc.
I can’t wait to see where my business is at a year from now.