Defining the Goals For Your Book

Today I’m going to dive a little deeper into the Foundations Framework but before I do, a little explanation is needed.

For those that know me you will have already have seen that I like to break things down into three major components. Just as we have three frameworks making up the marketing pyramid, I also breakdown each framework into 3 components.

Why Three?

Quite simply, by deconstructing into three components I make it easier to get your head around the main principles and it forces me to focus on the top three things that will make a difference. Marketing is like everything else in life, if you keep it simple and do the basics well, it works. My rule of three is all about helping you to make progress without getting caught up in all the BS that most so called gurus hide behind. I’m about quick results without the confusion and especially without the cost…there I go again with 3 components, quick results, no confusion, low cost.

So, what are the three components making up the Foundations Framework?

  1. Your goals for your book
  2. Target Audience
  3. Avatar

Today I’m going to dive into the goals for your book

When we look at goals we need to understand what you want to achieve in the short, medium and long term. This underpins a lot of the marketing hooks that are needed in the three phases of publishing (Preparation, Publishing, Promotion).

Understanding the motivation for your book is a great start point. Some common examples include:

  • I want to establish my authority and expert status for my coaching / speaking business
  • I want to leave a legacy for my family by documenting an aspect of our family history
  • My life experience will help others to deal with similar situations
  • The wisdom I’ve developed in my area of expertise will help / inspire others
  • I want to entertain an audience
  • I want to make a living out of my writing / books
  • I want to prove to myself that I can do it

What is your motivation?

Now that you have defined your motivation, it’s time to define your short, medium and long term goals. Each of these goals need to be congruent with your motivation and follow the SMART goal formula (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timed).

For example, if your motivation is to write a family history book it would be incongruent to have a short-term goal of “selling 1 million books within 2 weeks of book launch”.

In this case a more realistic goal set would be:

  • Short Term: Have my manuscript fully edited and ready for publishing by 1st Apr
  • Medium Term: Self publish my book and have printed copies available by 1st May
  • Long Term: Given away and/or sold 250 copies by 31st Dec

Before you define your goals, I want to share with you a recent discussion I had with an author. She wanted to know if her book idea would make money.  Naturally I had to first ascertain what her motivation was for the book.

She replied that by telling her story of childhood abuse it would help her recovery and help others who have gone through similar trauma by letting them know that they aren’t alone while, along the way, sharing some strategies that may help them.

Naturally I asked “why the focus on money when your mission is to help others?”

“Isn’t that the measure of success for a book?” she replied.

“Surely, in your case, the primary measure if success is the number of people you helped”.

In her instance making money is a secondary but important aspect that will fund her to get her message out to more people.

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t have this sort of discussion with an author. When the number of book sales is important to an author’s motivation I use the following guide:

  • Are there at least 10,000 people in Australia that will gain great value from your message? This is a rough measure for the viability of your book and as some 360million people speak English as their first language it extrapolates to over 140,000 globally.
  • If it passes this hurdle you need to form a rough estimate of the size of the market. This can be done with some simple google searches. In this case the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that some 2.5million Australian adults have experienced childhood abuse. This figure extrapolates to over 36million English speaking adults on a global scale. Putting aside the sadness and enormity of this major social issue, the market potential for her book is huge.
  • Now the follow up question you need to ask yourself is: “what will stop me selling 1,000 copies of your book within the first 12 months?” This will help you define your short, medium and long term goals.
  • Why 1,000 books in the first 12 months? Generally speaking,1,000 sales is not too hard a task for most authors and the profit from this many sales will cover the first year’s cost of self-publishing and provide a modest return on the authors time invested. Everything after that is upside.

Now it’s over to you.

What is the Australian and Global market potential for my book?

What are your short, medium and long term goals?

My short Term Goal is:

My Medium Term Goal is:

My Long Term Goal is:

Write your goals down. Put them were you can see them every day. Share them with others to create a sense of self accountability.