Being S.M.A.R.T. with Goal 1: Publishing a Book

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

As many of you know, I’m a suspense writer first, blogger second. So far, I’ve put out eight suspense books in the form of two series (two books each), a trilogy (two books completed), and two standalone books. This year, I hope to publish my ninth book, Operation Music Man (third book in the Last Chance series). Since I know 2021 will be a busy year, I need to be S.M.A.R.T. about the process.

Specific. I have a well-defined goal. It’s to publish Operation Music Man via the indie publishing process. This simple goal has several tasks along the way that I’ll have to complete for it to successfully launch. Here’s some of them: complete inputting edits from my copy editor; format the book’s interior; come up with taglines and the back-of-the-book description; complete the questionnaire for my cover designer; approve the cover. The list goes on and on. Being specific not just about the goal but about the tasks required for me to get there helps clarify what needs to happen to reach that goal.

Measurable. Maybe this is the easiest part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal. Publishing a book has several steps in the overall process. Having products coming out of these steps is a way to measure the progress. Each product from the variety of tasks goes into the overall book that people can order online.

Attainable. This is a tricky question for good reason. What with technology nowadays, it’s easy for almost anyone to put together a book to order online. However, to indie publish a quality book that will keep readers coming back takes the indie publishing process to a whole new level. That’s because a writer has to write a good, quality story by knowing the craft. Then comes the knowledge of when to farm out other aspects of the publication process. For example, I’m no graphic designer at all, so I hire a cover designer for that part of the process. While I have the craft, I also have the means to hire in areas where I know I’m no expert, and that makes releasing a quality book attainable.

Relevant. One of the things I look at when setting a publication date is if its relevant to everything else going on in my life. When considering publication dates, I looked carefully at everything else that was going on in 2021. I wanted to make sure I would be able to meet my publication deadline without stressing myself out and or having a big miss in terms of date.

Time-bound. Thanks to choosing a publication date, I placed time boundaries not just on my goal but on all associated tasks. I did this be developing a schedule in Excel where I set the release date and had it automatically backfill the other dates for various tasks. That way, if I change my release date, those dates will automatically update. Currently, I’ve set my release date for sometime in April and will release the actual date in a few weeks.

As I thought about my goals for my year of Jubilee, this is one of the big ones. I enjoy writing and sharing my work with others, and being S.M.A.R.T. with the way I go about this process will ensure that Operation Music Man comes out as planned.

When indie publishing a book, using S.M.A.R.T. goals enables writers to reach the milestones needed to publish their books. #authenticity #encouragement #AmWriting #IndiePublishing Click To Tweet

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