the plan

Tonight I met with my marketing partner, Morgan. This is the 3rd time we’ve sat at my table for hours refining the slides, notes, and handouts for a workshop we’ll be presenting this weekend. As marketing professionals, we can see the benefit of a book for authors as they wend their way through the chatter of social media. We expect that will be our next step. We love authors so the work was fun.

Last night we created the graphic representation of the process that could become our logo. I stared at this graphic and knew it represented a plan and process for any small business. With a bolt of insight I knew it was the 3rd part of my personal business plan, sketched out years ago and unearthed recently as I settled into my new home office.

It was in 2005 when I actually put my intent out to the universe for a three tiered career devoted to books and storytelling. The 1st being a novelist. I interviewed many published friends about their daily activities then I wondered if it was enough. I love to multitask and am horribly efficient. Would a lifestyle of writing then promoting a book a year be enough for me? I’m a people person and that cabin in the woods thing is not for me. 🙂

Since then I’ve researched being an agent or reviewer. (Nope!) I’ve done visualization exercises about how my life will look. One showed me on a stage so I signed up for speech classes. I’ve also gotten advice from friends, family, astrologers, and a palmist.

Advice included writing for TV (snappy dialogue!) so I took two quarters on screenwriting. Another suggestion was writing self-help articles but I would have to be an expert on something specific and build a platform when I’d rather write stories. I resigned myself to getting words on the page until published.

But last year I attended a marketing workshop where two new authors disclaimed any marketing knowledge but presented what they were learning about how to utilize social media. I was not impressed and Morgan and I made that first connection of, “this is so wrong, we should get together and do something.”

We began meeting monthly to discuss how to bring what we knew of corporate marketing plans into a process for authors with only a few books on the shelf. We did a short workshop and were asked, “Why isn’t this information out there? Why haven’t I heard any of this before?”

The answer is, because this is so basic it’s overlooked. There is so much attention on tracking sales there’s no information on how to make a sale. 🙂

This past month Morgan and I have really tapped our passion to develop this process and it’s exciting. I can see this as the 3rd part of that business plan sketched out six years ago.

Six years is a good time frame for a response from the universe to a desire so undefined as “what do I want to do with the rest of my life” type question. I’ve enjoyed finding my way to this answer and all I’ve learned is now part of the new plan. The cabin in the woods has been left behind for an awesome office.

Writing for publication is a business and anyone who thinks being an author is a dream needs to wake up. Publication is all about connecting with readers and I’m blessed to have made the connection with Morgan.

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

7 Responses to the plan

  1. The universe seems to always respond, in it’s own time, but slower (as you indicate) if undefined. So, exciting times ahead – it’s good when a plan comes together. Enjoy!

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  2. You nailed it. Writing for publication is a business. But the dichotomy is that it’s also a passion (for me). If I’m passionate about what I’m writing, then I feel plugged in to something greater than myself, some larger picture, an ocean with infinite depth. If writing is your primary source of income, as it is for me, then the dichotomy becomes even trickier. I can’t wait to see what you two come up with! A seminar for writers like me?? A seminar on how to promote your stuff and increase sales? I’m ready!

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    • terripatrick says:

      Trish, the rule of thumb:
      1. Think like a buyer 2. Catch their eye 3. Make it easy to buy

      Things have changed so much in the past year that there are lots of new readers out there who can suddenly point, click, buy and read from anywhere. So your cover has to catch their eye and with one click be able to buy. I’ll be able to offer more than that soon.

      Have a great weekend!

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  3. Lisa Nowak says:

    Wow, I knew you knew about marketing, but I didn’t know you put this much energy into it. Cool. I definitely agree with the dream part. When I was young I used to think dreams were important. Then I learned the difference between dreams and goals.

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  4. gypsy says:

    hello there terry – very neat post – always great to see how someone else arrives at their own individual “destination” of sorts – or, at least, how their journey takes them toward that destination – one of my daughters spent years in marketing and sales – it is her true passion – and it IS a passion with her – she recently set up her own company for small business ventures – so glad you’ve heard the sound of the universe!!! 😉

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    • terripatrick says:

      Hi Gypsy! My partner Morgan is like your daughter, marketing and sales is her passion. I enjoy marketing but it’s the helping authors create successful careers that gets me passionate.

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