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Mar 14

Goals and Aspirations. (announcments included!)

Well hello again from Afghani land, I’m nearing the end of this rotation so you’ll have a new greeting soon. Anyway, it has been an interesting week, the family is doing much better and will all be reunited again very soon. My daughter Laynee has her last basketball game on Saturday, Go Strykers! And I’m excited to hear how she does. She’s had a winning season and learned a lot, she says. My boys are finally caught up on their homework, or at least as much as they can be. (Nice work Grandma.) And they’ll both get a fresh start in the last quarter of the school year. Jules is getting some help right now and from all I hear it’s going really well. As a positive to all this we have a Grammy or a Nana staying with the family until I get home sounds like fun.

For me things have been cruising along, flying and learning my job better. No word yet on Promotion but I’m extremely hopeful to get picked up in the next month. (Still more to come on that score.) As I said we are nearing the end of the tour so I have much to consider on how I’m going proceeding with this writing venture when I get home. As I discussed in a previous entry I believe writing is more of a business than authors realize. Selling books is directly correlated to the amount of time and money one invests in advertising and promoting. So I have a whole lot to think about. I’ve decided to set some goals and find some realistic aspirations for my writing career. With 4 books on the market by the end of summer and another 2 planned for the next year after that, I will certainly have enough novels for sale that I can consider this a viable career or at least a solid side line to my “day job” in the Army.

So for goals :

I had a goal to sell 150 books in my first year with Transition Man, I don’t know exactly where I am at present, but I don’t think I’m there yet. Still I have until June and I’m trying to make a go of it and promote the heck out of myself in the next few months, ya never know I just might get there. I’m also participating in the Lucky Day Giveaway with a bunch of other authors to try and drum up business, so here’s the link, please come check it out and get a free book. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/events/107409092780556/ (plug complete) But now that I’m looking ahead for the next year, setting up a budget for marketing and trying to get my head around how one sells books, I have to try and set a goal for book sales for the next 12 months. My personal fiscal year starts in July which is when Transition Man was released and for the next year after the release of Genesis, the first book in the True Immortals series. With two books on the market and a third shortly after that I should be able to hit a higher number and hope to get a little more out of the effort and investment I’ve put in and that I plan to put out over that next year. Considering what I’ve earned in my royalties and what paperbacks I’ve sold myself I am reinvesting every dime and then some to try and get my name recognized and sell some. But spending what I earn on further promotion will only get me so far. I need to find a way to cover my investment and try and put some green in my own pocket. I see two ways to set realistic goals for book sales for an indie author, or an author with a small house.

1-see what the trends are from your last 6 months and use that as a base line.

2-shoot high and work hard

An average between these two is a reasonable number. I believe I’ll hit my 150 copies of T-Man this year and if I do and I can get some of those readers to write reviews and recommend my books to others I should be able to double that next year. Also I am releasing my second novel in June, so now I can hope to sell 150 of that book as well. With a new goal to sell 450 novels in the 12 months of my new fiscal year, however I’m not done.

Now for the big news, In July I’ll be releasing the second book in the Griffin Chronicles series! That’s right Griffin fans, your sequel is about to be released so I think I can plan on selling my usual 150 for the first year of a new series, plus a few more for those that will read the first book Transition Man and want to know what happens next, so I’m bumping that up.

Last but not least my new project titled the Sword of Achilles should be ready for release in August, though I haven’t decided what to do with this one, I expect it too will be released within that twelve month time frame for my goals adding to my total.

When I look at that I have a hope to sell many books and get a decent return on investment for advertising and promotion. I have run several small businesses and have learned a truth that most won’t tell you, running a company on your own is difficult and expensive. My grandfather told me that if you can reinvest most of your returns for the first 5 years of any enterprise it will in theory become self-sustaining. Now I don’t know about all that, many things depend on the market and how many potential customers you might have so I don’t buy into that 100 % per say but it does give a good plan for success when one has another source of income to help with taking care of the basics. My plan this next 12 months is to invest close to 600 dollars into a marketing and promotion campaign that will I hope keep my name and my book titles in the public eye spurring sales to an even higher level. I’m using myself as an example because I don’t get into other peoples affairs, but the model holds true if like me you hope to see your book sales increase steadily over the next few years until it is a part of my budget able income, instead of a nice surprise. Covering the cost is the first priority, so with that kind of investment I’m really hoping to get a good return. Then I’ll reevaluate about this same time next year and set up the 2015 budget for Jon Pew Author activities. I only share this on my blog because if you’re an indie author or with a small house you may need to make this kind of plan to help your aspirations come true.

As for my aspirations, I kind of already stated mine. I want to see my sales increase steadily until I can count on them to help take care of my family. I wrote my first novel because I had an idea and thought it was entertaining. Apparently it is, and many people are enjoying T-Man and spreading the word. But now that I’m invested in becoming established as an author and selling books to supplement my income I have higher dreams than just seeing my work in print. I’ve done that, and it was amazing but if we stand still for too long we die. It’s time to make new dreams and larger goals. So here are my new aspirations. First is to get all 6 planned books published by the end of my 2014 fiscal. Second is to sell enough to cover the investment into my sail boat. It will be a stretch to try and purchase a boat on my soldier salary, as many of you might have seen in the news we don’t make very much and they are fixing to make it even less. So the purchase cost of my boat will have to come from another source. My books are the only thing that work all the time, they are always for sale and can be purchased 24 hours a day 7 days a week so that seems to me to be the ideal place to get my boat money from. Hey if you’re gonna dream, dream big!

So there are my goals and aspirations. By the third year of this author work, I hope to have more books planned to write and get enough money together to buy my first sail boat, I’ll let you know how that’s going as time passes, but for the present I guess this will have to do. I hope my ramblings might help someone who might be struggling with how to make the tough choices required to become a known author and writer and gives them a model to try and establish their own budget and plan for promotion and marketing. In my opinion, nothing could be more important if you have a dream like mine that you want to use your author credit for.

Well that’s if for this edition of my blog, as always I’m so proud of my wife and kids. Play to Win!! And you stay classy planet earth!

About the author

Jon Pew

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