New Year’s Writers’ Resolutions

shutterstock_144126184Did you race to the finish with National Novel Writing Month in November and then set your writing aside in the hectic holiday season?

Will 2016 be the year you complete new writing and publishing goals?

Don’t stress! Ring in the New Year with these do-it-now next steps that can take your publishing and writing to the next level.

1. Update Your Author Questionnaire: If you haven’t created an author questionnaire for yourself, consider creating this worksheet-meets-author-bio. This tool helps you organize and find new value in connections you’ve already built. New to the author questionnaire? To get started list all your potential connections from your non-writing life — anyone and every organization that might want to know you published a book, even your schools, hometown paper, community organization memberships and so on. Now add in and update with new author-focused connections: fellow authors you’ve met online or in writing groups, author organizations you have joined or could consider joining, writing/self-publishing blogs that you follow and could offer to write for as a guest poster, fans with whom you can share news of your next release. Network-building opportunities are much easier to recognize when you have them in one place. Plus, making this a New Year’s activity is a nice way to see how your publishing has grown.

2. Mark Your Calendar For a Year of Publishing: You may already have some pub dates in mind for your new book. Maybe you’re launching in time for a holiday or a notable anniversary. Or maybe it’s a date in the future that gives you enough time to polish and prepare for launching a new book. Now is a great time to map out the dates that support those launches. When will you email your mailing list and contacts? When will you reach out to beta readers? If you run a contest or giveaway will it be at launch or after? Even as pub dates shift, you’ll have a clear plan on when and how you’ll launch your book. And don’t forget to add publishing and writers’ conferences to continue growing your self-publishing know-how and building more author connections.

3. Set Aside Time for Strategy: Time for any writer is precious and taking time to think about marketing and publishing your book may take a backseat to the thing you enjoy most: storytelling. Resolve to set aside a special time each week to think about your publishing path. Save this time to catch up on a favorite self-publishing or book marketing blog, listen to podcasts, or check-in with a writing group. In January and February, check out NaNoWriMo’s webcast and blog posts on polishing and publishing your next book.

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