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If You Really Want To Quit Your Day
Job, Get A Strategy
by Tracy Cooper-Posey
Got a day job? Wish you could quit? Do you fantasize
about earning enough from your fiction to be able to tell
your boss where to go?
You may think youre doomed to be a working stiff
for the rest of your natural because the chances of being
picked up by a publisher are anorexic, and if you did win
the lottery, you still have to hit the best seller list
first time out of the gate, or youre dead again.
Is that what you think?
The fiction industry is exploding with possibilities, and
all you need to quit the day job is a decent strategy.
You may never have thought of structuring your writing
career in business terms, but you are a small business
entrepreneur, and what works for any business will work
To develop your strategy, you need to complete six basic
Research the alternatives available for fiction writers
If you think being picked up by a big trade publisher is
the only way to go, you really need to research! You can
Royalty-paying POD publishers
For-fee POD publishing services
Traditional trade publishers
These are the major styles of publication available these
days, and theres hybrids and combinations of all of
them. All of them are legitimate forms of publication and
all of them are building respect, sales, and readerships.
Read everything you can about the publishing industry.
Take notes. Open your mind to the possibilities.
Pick the end-goal you want
Most fiction authors start out dreaming about hitting the
New York Times Best Seller list, but this isnt your
only choice. You could choose to build a niche
readership, big enough to support your writing full time.
It may never grow large enough to get you onto the best
seller lists, but if youre writing fiction full
time and paying all the bills, who cares?
You may also chose to hang on to the day job for the
benefits and security it provides, and still carve out a
readership of devoted fans who buy everything you
The choices are effectively endless. Pick what suits your
lifestyle, your comfort zone, and your dreams.
Figure out how to get there (your strategy)
Your end-goal will help you decide how to get there. If
nothing but the best-seller lists will do, then you have
to run the slush pile gauntlet, network like crazy and
write very commercial fiction. POD publishing is not for
you...unless you chose to start there, build a platform
(i.e. a readership, fans and a name for yourself), and
get the attention of New York that way.
See, for every end-goal, theres a dozen different
ways of getting there. Thats why you need to
research, and build your strategy.
Do it. (Execute your strategy)
Put your plan into action. Dedicate yourself to working
your strategy, and celebrating your progress. And write
your butt off.
Measure your progress and adjust accordingly.
This is a critical step that many plans fail to include.
Its called a feedback loop in business and
information system circles, and it makes your strategy
Keep statistics of your progress: Pages written,
submissions made, sales made, reader feedback, website
traffic....anything that gives you objective feedback on
your writing and marketing efforts. And analyse your
data. Are you continuously improving? Is the tactic or
activity moving you towards your end-goal? (It
doesnt matter how fabulously something works, if it
isnt taking you where you want to go.)
Persist until you succeed, or until the evidence tells
you to chose another strategy.
The other major advantage about measuring your progress
is that youll quickly realize if the strategy
youve chosen is working. If, after a decent trial
period, your statistics say youre not making
progress, or heading in the wrong direction, its
time to reassess. This may involve changing the way you
write, how you market your work, or how you publish it.
Try tweaking aspects of your strategy, and if that
doesnt work, off-load it altogether, and pick
another strategy. This isnt a bad thing.
Youll have learned a lot with your first foray, and
can apply that experience to your next strategy.
On the other hand, if youre moving towards your
goal, no matter how slowly youre progressing, then
stick with it! Do not switch tracks and head off in
Commit yourself to the time it will take to reach your
end-goal, and hang in there. The statistics youre
keeping will help assure you that youll get to
quitting the day job as long as you keep doing what
Tracy Cooper-Posey. All Rights Reserved.
Did you find this article useful or thought-provoking?
Visit Tracys Anchored Authors blog (www.anchoredauthors.com), for more
strategies and survival skill tips for fiction authors
with day jobs.
Tracy is a national award-winning author of seventeen
titles, including romantic suspense, mystery, and
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