Have a plan

“If you don’t have a plan for yourself, you’ll be a part of someone else’s.”

I love this because it’s simplistically brilliant and sage. I bagged it off one of my author’s manuscripts that I’m editing. It resonates because I see so many authors, excited by a story, sit down to write…only to finish and begin bumping into walls. Many of those walls are filled with publishers who don’t provide authors what they’d hoped for.

And this is because those authors haven’t created a plan and became a part of someone else’s…like an inferior publisher, or crummy agent.

Dear, dear authors, you MUST have a plan for your literary career. And I’m not talking about the one where you sell your book for a gabajillion dollars, buy Hawaii, and sip margaritas all day long while cabana men peel you grapes and tell you how utterly brilliant and beautiful you are.

No. The plan I’m talking about focuses on researching the industry (I hear The Writer’s Essential Tackle Box is a stellar choice) so you have enough information that allows you to make informed choices. There has to be a reason why you query those particular agents, or those particular editors. Authors who send me cookbook or fiction queries don’t have a plan. They’re little pinball machines that bump up against any agent or editor that happens to be in their current field of vision. And that can spell disaster for you and your book if one of those are scams.

Don’t be a part of someone else’s plan. Have your own. That’s the only way you can publish on your own terms. And who knows…maybe you will buy Hawaii…

4 Responses to Have a plan

  1. Hey, leave Hawaii out of this… I don’t want to be evicted 🙂

  2. authorguy says:

    My boss used to say, “We don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan.” Which maybe explains why he’s a boss and I’m not. I don’t even outline. But querying the wrong type of agent isn’t lack of planning, it’s just stupid.

  3. Authorguy, I prefer to think that authors who blunder aren’t stupid, but they lack a plan, which would have included researching the industry.

    And Mark, if I owned Hawaii, you wouldn’t be evicted…I’d make you court jester.

  4. […] For today I have a couple of links to share. I liked this one because it reminded me of why I want to develop my plan. I read this blog for insight to the industry, although this particular publisher doesn’t publish my genre: https://behlerblog.com/2012/01/23/have-a-plan/. […]

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