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Chris A. Baird | April 7, 2021
Setting Self Publishing Goals

Is it really important to break down things when it comes to self-publishing? Find out the importance of setting self-publishing goals as well as some tips to help you on your book publishing journey.

Goals Lead To Progress

Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it is a secret as to how goals can destroy your self-publishing business. And you're definitely not going to want to miss that.

So today's topic is on setting self-publishing goals. Now, this is something that when you're first getting started as an author, you know that it's important to have some idea of where you're heading to.

You're going to want to set some goals. Many times when we first begin, we don't even have an idea of where we're trying to go. So we're thinking, "well, I'll set goals but I'll do it later when I have more clarity".

But the problem is that as we start moving forward, how do we know if we're meeting those goals? Or if we're making progress or not making progress if we don't have an idea of where we're heading? The result is you start using less and less time on the things that matter.

We'll have more time on the things that don't matter. And over some time, we find we're not getting books onto the market. Another is that we're not working to market those books that we've spent time building onto the market.

So that is what we're going to discuss in today's article. But before we get into the answers, you should grab a copy of my Self-Publishing Checklist to make sure that you are not skipping the steps necessary to get your book onto the market and get it selling.

I'm going to start a little bit from my own story. When I first got started self-publishing, I did not have any goals. I guess it was sort of a general goal which was that I want to get a book out there.

But in terms of how exactly I might go about doing that? There were no sub-goals there, so I was like, "wow wouldn't it be cool to have a book on the market?". I mean just like all authors, you have this as your starting intent.

What are you doing? You're writing a book. Why are you writing it? Why are you doing this? How are you doing this? There are all sorts of questions regarding this issue of goals that so many authors just completely ignore.

That is something I want to make sure that you're not doing. So, what happens if you have no goals? You will make no progress as long as this internal motivation isn't there.

Now you might have this internal motivation, "I want to do something like exercise more or write more or whatever it is". But if in the beginning, we start to do activities that would get us in that direction, then we quickly lose focus because we do not have this goal in mind.

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We're not looking at it daily some people have even said writing down your goals every day so that you start the day by asking about the activities that I'm doing. How is that in alignment with the goals that I want to achieve?

So this is something that a lot of authors struggle with and I was one of them. Though I learned from listening to lots of podcasts, reading books, and watching Youtube videos was that there's an importance of breaking down things into what you want to do daily.

Instead of having those long-term goals, breaking it down, and saying "okay, I want to get a book out but what do I need to do daily to reach that goal of getting that book on the market? And for me, it was saying "I will write, I commit to writing 1000 words a day".

Now for you, that might sound like a lot so maybe 500 words per day would be reasonable. But I was able to do it because I naturally have written a lot. I write long messages and long emails, it came naturally to me.

That doesn't make me a great writer. I've never claimed to be that but I would say that it does mean that I'm able to sit down and get that done. Once I hit the thousand, then I can reward myself or do anything to say I've achieved the day's goal.

Get-Things-Done Method

If I do enough of those days, then I edit the whole thing. So let's say, edit a chapter a day or something. Then we go through the other things like the cover and the description, I'll get the description out of the day and all of these things.

We put it all together and we're able to get the book onto the market in as fast as 30 days to 60 days. Being able to go from nothing to getting a book onto the market. You could do it in 24 hours.

I found later I would be a lot faster with regards to the whole cycle regarding getting the books onto the market and up and selling. For me, a thousand words a day, you might be 100 words a day. So on my latest self-publishing book, I'm working on it. I'm working on getting my older courses out.

I'm trying to figure out how to play that maybe 100 words a day but then maybe focusing on one thing or more that are strategic. So I'm internally, even today trying to figure out what exactly is the best way to break it down into the goals?

But the result was I pumped out several books onto the market that are telling people how to do something that I figured out how to do through to help a lot of people. We never do anything alone and those books have been very helpful for people in the past.

We're still working on updating some of those but many of the books they're still selling like plenty of copies. People are enjoying and getting value out of the books that I've created previously. But I learned that you will burn out if you do not enjoy the journey.

So you need to make sure it's as fun as possible in getting these goals in place. Let's get back to today's topic, setting self-publishing goals. The first point we want to hit today is that goals help us figure out whether or not we're on track.

If we don't know where the endpoint is, we won't know if we're on track. This is one of the things that I adopted through the Get Things Done or GTD method from a book written several years ago. I've read it and the updated revised versions of it.

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I try to put it into practice and it starts with one simple idea which is you need to identify what is the end goal? Getting your book on the market and sell. What is the next step and is we simply need to break it down and say what is the next step?

Don't use time, splitting up your time on a thousand different things. That becomes your goal for the day. But what is the next step?

The next step is writing another chapter. Is it writing 100 words? I don't know, they call it butt-in-chair. I see this concept of getting your butt in the chair, writing each day, and making progress on your book.

People are going to enjoy reading your book. You have value to contribute to the world. But how are you going to achieve that if you don't have a basic goal set down?

That is something I want to help you get in order. But let's go on to the second point. Goals should be focused on things we can control, we're not interested in setting goals for "I want to sell a million copies".

This sort of thing we cannot control. We can make that a higher probability of occurring if we optimize our books. So our goal is not to sell a million copies.

Goals Must Be Reasonable

Our goal is to optimize our books so that it would be possible for the algorithms in Amazon and other locations to push our books in front of a lot of people and result in those sales. But we cannot do that so we write something like words per day.

Or setting a deadline or when we want to get the book published out on the market. So for example, if I write a thousand words a day, I want the book to be 30,000 words. Well, then that would take 30 days.

Then we'd have the editing which would take maybe a week. We'd order the cover that would take a week and a description. So we could say for example in 2 months from today, I want to put the book onto the market.

We've broken it down into sub-goals and we're working on those individual goals each day. To make sure that we're able to achieve and nail the things that we ourselves have said are important to us.

In terms of getting our book onto the market by a specific deadline. We know that we can reach it if we do the sub-points to get us there. We do not use too much time in this planning phase, we simply recognize very quickly and we go right to acting.

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We want to execute, not be planners where we're spending so much time planning and using time on that. We're not making progress on getting our book on the market and getting that thing to sell. So this is a huge trap for a lot of people on that particular one.

That brings us to our third point of the day and our secret answer. It is how goal setting can destroy your business and it is where you need to make sure your goals are reasonable or they will kill your motivation.

Many people will talk about these "huge audacious goals". I forgot the acronym, if you remember the acronym, let me know. I always forget this one. "Huge audacious goals", right?

But I would argue against that, you will demotivate yourself if you set a goal that's too big. It needs to be achievable based upon what you're able to do. Whether you can write so many words a day if you have the time creating ads and these sorts of things.

So you're going to need to figure out what is reasonable for you and then go in that direction. Because when we do not achieve the goals that we set for ourselves, we demotivate ourselves. I call it the "Everest problem".

It's where we see the mountain is so tall that we end up never actually making it. As opposed to saying, how can I break it down to get me to the first base station? And then the second base station?

So we're not interested at all at the top of the mountain. Don't focus so much on that. We do need to make sure that our intermediate goals are going to eventually get us there.

But that's not our focus on a daily basis. We're simply writing it down and we're saying, "okay this is the goal that we're going to achieve today". So have you set goals for your self-publishing business?

Have you been setting self-publishing goals? I want to know, so write "Yes" if you have in the comments below. Write "No" if you've never set any goals, you've never really understood the point of goals.

I would really want to hear so I know that this is hitting you. And check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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