Sunday, January 9, 2011

Strategy is Choice

I've been thinking all wrong about this post on "strategy" -- I've been focusing on having a business strategy for (sixoneseven) books, conceiving of an approach to independent publishing that takes advantage of the changes in the industry, developments in technology, etc. All important, but what I really need and want is a strategy for my whole creative life -- all of it, not just the business side of it.

My general approach:
1) Keep my day job. This is the most consistent and important piece of advice for writers I've ever heard.
2) Replicate the usefulness of traditional publishers as best I can by assembling a team of freelance experts to perform the most important and differentiating services -- editing, proofreading, book design, publicity and promotion -- in the publishing process. Hire people to do the things I'm not good at, whenever possible.
3) Take advantage of the flexibility and freedom of being independent to do things cost effectively and quickly, and mostly online.
4) Invest disproportionately in developing insight about the market for my books and exploring creative approaches to reaching potential readers.

In addition to an overall strategy for my (sixoneseven) books publishing efforts, I also need a marketing strategy for Annie Begins, the book. The most critical aspect of this for me is focusing on the right audience, and to start I know that is women (though men are so very welcome to read AB, and the few who have so far have enjoyed it!) who read for enjoyment and connection (to characters, ideas) and who either own an E-Reader or who shop online for books. Simple as that, for now. As I get more insight about this group of people, I will refine my understanding of my target market. But an implicit part of my strategy, especially given how fast everything is changing, is to just do it: experiment and learn, experiment and learn.


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