Every author wants to succeed, but it’s probably impossible for all authors to reach that goal. The numbers simply don’t add up to make that work. Even authors who do make a living off their books had plenty of failures before reaching their level of income. Since it’s unlikely that everything will work out perfectly on the first try, it’s a much better idea to anticipate and plan for failure.
The best author businesses often grow out of incredible failures early on. It’s only after learning from almost insurmountable mistakes that they’re able to hold their own. When you plan for every possible worst-case scenario from the beginning, you’ll be ready for anything that could go wrong. The way you write, publish, and market your books will be stronger because of all the pre-planning you put in.
Here are four reasons why planning for the worst can make your books rise to the top:
1. You’ll Identify Problems Way Earlier
If you had the choice between you catching an issue with a book or your customer, who would you choose? No author is perfect and failure is bound to happen every so often. When you’re prepared for that failure, however, you’re able to identify issues before books, emails, or promotions reach your readers. Since you can get poor reviews or miss out on opportunities when your content has issues, it’s way better to deal with this problem before the world sees your work.
Ask yourself questions about what part of your business is most likely to fail. Do you have one book that pulls in almost all of your income? Have you seen diminishing returns from your prequel novellas that act as funnel starters? Each author’s questions will be different, but whatever you ask yourself, probing your publishing business will better prepare you to deal with potential upcoming problems.
2. Bulletproof Planning
It’s better to fail a few times on the way to a massive success than it is to have a few small wins with an overwhelming failure at the end. When you seek out the weakest links in your author business, you’ll be able to better plan how to take care of them. This will lead to fewer issues in the future.
Take time every day to ruminate on the next step for your author business. Perhaps the books in your favorite genre to write simply aren’t pulling in enough sales. Maybe your extensive time on Facebook isn’t bringing in the results you need. It’s amazing what setting aside 20 to 30 minutes a day for planning can change for your author career.
3. Improved Emotional Stability
When things are going incredibly well for your books, even the smallest of dips can cause you to have an emotional hiccup. Authors who experience major drops were used to their steady levels of income and they had no plan ready for either a sudden or steady decrease. This is why even if business is booming you need to plan for bumps in the road.
If you know you have a backup freelance job or another few books in a popular genre on the way, then you’ll feel more secure if sales drop for any reason. Focus on weak spots in your business model and you’ll be better prepared for what may come.
4. Better Reviews and Fired Up Fans
Anticipating problems in your books or business will lead to stronger products. Better books will make your readers happy and they’ll improve your review average. Instead of rushing products to market as quickly as possible, take the necessary time to make sure your books are the best they can be. It’ll take a little more time and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with very pleased fans.
Failure Is Awesome
You should consider every problem in your author business as a potential learning experience. Failure isn’t something that’s personally wrong with you. It’s more like an instructor who teaches you what not to do so you can succeed going forward. Anticipate issues in your products and holes in your catalogue and you’ll drastically improve your chances of making it all work.