My 2022 Business Plan

This is another annual event here at Entertaining Stories. I recap the year I finished, then some time after all the resolution posts have cleared out of WordPress, I post my business plan.

A few years ago, I decided that volume was important to my efforts. It might seem manipulative, but having a few titles available can influence shoppers to take a chance. I spent two years publishing three titles per year, and there were also a couple of anthologies I contributed to. I have to say, this stuff works.

Last year, I decided to limit myself to two titles. Let’s face it, a lot of work goes into six publications, plus there’s the required promotion that accompanies it all. This slower pace allowed me to experiment with different promo options, but I’ve already discussed those.

Personal matters took a toll, and I’m grateful not to have stressed myself for that third title. It’s already written. It only needs some artwork and a bit of formatting, but I’m not pushing beyond my comfort zone. It will count for 2022.

This year, I’m making it up as I type. Something that usually helps is to get a few things down for consideration. First is that I liked the pace last year and would like to retain that. Two per year seems reasonable, and might even give me some extra time if an anthology comes calling.

Here’s where the problems start, but I’ll walk through those, too. The Lanternfish Trilogy is complete. I’m thrilled for that, and it opens up some space for me.

Lizzie and the hat will continue, and this is where it starts looking like a problem. The finished story is called Good Liniment. I could publish it as soon as I get my ducks in a row, and probably will. However, The Midnight Rambler is also part of this series, and I’m up to 15,000 words on it as I hack this post out. I have three additional storyboards ready to go here, as well.

I don’t want to look like a slacker, but these are short novels on purpose. I think Lizzie and the hat are better in smaller doses. People also appreciate the occasional quick read. If my two publications are both in The Hat Series, I could look like a slacker.

It’s only perception, because I’m also currently writing a Space Opera with a goal of three books. I would like to hold back on publication so I can have a more rapid release schedule for them. This means lots of writing, but not as much publication.

One of my dreams is to release another stand-alone title or two. I have the storyboards, but the Muse hasn’t pushed me down that path yet. They don’t seem to sell as well, but I still like them. I think a certain type of reader feels the same way.

When I put all of this in my scrying bowl, what I see is something about personal enjoyment. Since I’m not making the house payment from book sales, I’m allowed to enjoy myself a little bit more. This is what I do for fun, and forcing another title feels like the wrong way to go.

The Hat Series is fun for me. I enjoy them, and I know many of you do too. Having all those storyboards ready to go makes it even more fun.

2022 might just have to be the year when I put out two titles in The Hat Series. I don’t see myself finishing the space opera this year, but will keep working on it. I’m bound to have a gap after the first one is complete, and I can fill that gap with one of the stand alone titles. I probably won’t finish it in 2022, but could make one hell of a dent in it.

This isn’t as formal or committed as previous years. 2021 threw me plenty of punches and I’m still reeling from some of them. There are days when all I can manage is to stay home and bleed. (Figuratively speaking) I’m not going to push myself in 2022. Publish two tales in The Hat Series, work on my space opera, fill the gaps with something else. It isn’t much of a plan, but it is a plan, and one I can live with.

Story Empire is something I’m very proud of. I will keep contributing over there, but wish the Muse would send me a cool series to write about. I’m more about story structure or characters and have covered a lot of ground in those fields. I’m not really the technical guy, or the super successful promoter. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for something I can stretch across multiple posts. If any of you have requests, I’m willing to consider them.

How about you guys? Do you formulate some kind of business plan, or are you more on the less stress is better method. This year I feel like I’m doing a little of both. Do you think me unwise to have two titles in the same series this year? Let me hear from you in the comments.

42 Comments

Filed under Writing

42 responses to “My 2022 Business Plan

  1. D.L. Finn, Author

    I Iike how you are slowing down to enjoy the fun of writing or creating. I admit to not planning other than being forced to say what I’m doing in my Newsletters. I love how you have done The Hat stories and always look forward to a new one. I hope this year is a better one for you and wish you much success on on your planned projects.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It sounds to me that you have set some pretty sensible goals . I am in awe of your productivity. 2022 looks like a busy time for you…make sure you have some time for you and your family. Wishing you all the best 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Victoria Zigler

    I think, considering how things stand for you, that’s an excellent business plan. I also don’t think too books for The Hat series is an issue. For one thing it’s a popular series – I know I’m eager to read more books in that series – and for another thing you’ll be mentioning the behind the scenes work on other stuff here on your blog anyhow, so most people will know more is to come later. Plus, when an author is enjoying themselves writing something it shows, and that makes for a more pleasurable reading experience.

    I usually have a list of goals for each year. This year my only goal is to enjoy the process of writing. I’ve been pushing myself to do what I set my goal to at the minimum while dealing with everything the last few years have thrown at me, and I think this time around I need to take the pressure off. So my business plan is even more vague than yours, since it essentially boils down to, “Enjoy the process of writing, and publish whatever is ready to be published whenever it happens to be ready.” It’s not much of a plan, but it feels like the right one for me for 2022.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congrats on your successes in 2021, Craig, and wishing you all the best in 2022. I don’t see any issue at all with two books in The Hat series. Go for it. This year, I’m definitely in the less stress is better camp. Sounds like you have some good works/ideas in progress 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Slowing down sounds like a good idea what how last year went. A cooldown year could mean gathering energy for the future. At least that’s what I’m hoping. I don’t see any issue with releasing two books in the same series, but I’m rather biased there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey, you gotta do what works for you, right? Teaching full-time keeps my writing goals very, very, VERY low-key. If I can just publish *something* once a year, I’m happy. Is it ideal? No, but we’ve got to be realistic with ourselves, too. I hope you can meet your goals!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I used to make plans. The last few years, I’ve just been reacting to problems. I’d like to get back to a more proactive approach.

    Wishing you much success with your endeavors. I think two Hat stories for the year is not the problem you think it is and will be well received.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gwen M. Plano

    You’ve been amazingly productive, Craig. Congratulations. I wish I could plan like you, but it seems life interrupts at will. Now I plug along and try to write without demands but with more love. It seems to be working…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’d love to have two Hat books this year – and I’m also totally on board with the space opera. I admire your business plans – I have none whatsoever and usually feel like I’m just treading water to stay afloat.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t see anything wrong with two titles in the same series during the year. You’d keep Hat fans very happy.
    I know 2021 was a rough year for you. Wishing you a much better 2022.

    I don’t make a business plan, but I do set goals. I have my post up today, although the goals are much the same as they were last year. Fingers crossed we both achieve what we set out to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t make a plan, but I do set goals. I’d like to publish a collection of short stories and my second Legends of Madeira novel this year. Toying with another idea, but that one all depends on how fast my writing goes.

    Sounds like you have a great plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I admire how much writing you get done when you have a fulltime job AND you’re so close to your family. It amazes me all you do. I’m one of those people who really enjoys shorter novels, so two Hat novels doesn’t strike me as being a slacker. I think it’s smart to put your sci/fi books out closer together to keep the momentum up. So good luck with 2022! I’m cheering for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sounds like another aggressive year. Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m planning to follow the same basic plan, Craig, unless I really get motivated (not likely). The last two years have kicked us down and we’re still trying to scramble off the ground. Good luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Making it up as I type” is about where I’m at, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sounds like a good plan, Craig. The other day I downloaded a fillable pdf biz model for authors. Haven’t had a minute to fill it in yet, but I’m excited to get started on it. In the past, I’ve kept it all my head, but that never works. I promised this year I would do things right.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m not quite sure how I missed this post, Craig. I’ll blame it on the holiday craziness. I look forward to another Lizzie and The Hat book! I’m a fan. As for making a business plan, I suck at that. I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants, but having finished The White Rune Series, I am starting on a new one. We’ll see how it goes. Hope 2022 brings us all a little relief from the madness!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Great insight, tanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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