An indie author/publisher strategic plan

If I hear “it’s the Wild West in publishing” right now, well, I don’t know what I’ll do.  It actually is.  But that doesn’t mean you have to meander around like Custer and end up on a hill above the Little Big Horn (or Greasy Grass) River.

We need a plan to succeed.  I’m going to share with you snippets of our growing new plan at Cool Gus Publishing as Jen and I hashed it out at a fast food Mexican plan last weekend after teaching for the Valley Forge Romance Writers.  Actually, we work on the plan in google docs for a while before hashing it out in person.  And it’s an organic document, meaning things will change.  Also, remember this is a plan for both Cool Gus Publishing and for me as a writer.

Cool Gus 2012-2013

Books to be done:

Chasing series I don’t think the Chase series will catch on unless we focus on it.  So that’s a decision to be made.  I do think merging Riley into Chase is smart but has flaws.  The reality is readers of the Riley Green Beret series want military books.  Chasing is not military, it’s suspense.  So we have a flaw right there.

I could do domestic terror thrillers with Riley.  I have two outlined that I could write where he’s perhaps with a little over 30 years in the army and getting ready to retire.  So maybe we shouldn’t merge them because it’s basically a marketing ploy that I don’t think will yield very good results and we have to respect the readers.

So this is saying:  Chasing the Lost or title it Chasing the Money since it’s based on gambling.

A new Riley with the militia taking over the town:  The Green Berets:  Mountain Terror or something very basic since it involves a snowstorm, the Rockies, and domestic terrorism.

Cellar series:  If Colin wants to write one, we send Gant and Neeley to Australia and they do something.  He’d have to read the first two and come up with an idea.  Remember, they chase the criminals in the world of covert operations.  So maybe they chase some ex-SEAL to Australia and have to work with an Australian version of the Cellar and some ex-SAS guy to track the SEAL down.

I could work on an outline with him on it.

Colin Falconer  I’m working on an email to him which I’ll run past you.  If we commit to collaborating on a Cellar book we need to talk about that at the same time, build up to its release.  It depends on when he thinks he can have it done.  But I think we work the ethnocentric angle of US publishing and how it blocks out great international writers like Colin.

Your Writing:  I’d have to read Harvester.  My thought is if I could use it as a stream and rewrite it, then we put both our names on the cover, perhaps that could get things going.  Here’s the deal on collabs though:  they don’t really help the individual author sales.  I got no bump from writing with Jenny and it actually lost her readers.  So we can’t think collabing with Colin or you will help your sales.  We have to be realistic about that.  The collab in itself has to work.

Nightstalkers:  I agree putting together a blog tour.  I’ve got to find out what Amazon has planned.  We could also put together a web page for it—with the people on the team, some info from what they do.  Put up teasers every week starting in October.  I can use sayings from the book:  Nada Yadas and others.  Do I need Amazon to give us a web page for this?

47North  My goal is to get them to coordinate KDP and Audible into this.  Push Atlantis.  Which brings us to can we do anything for Atlantis?  A short would be nice.  But even then, just tossing it out there doesn’t help.

Kindle Select two weekers:

DHC-Jefferson while releasing a couple of Duty, Honor, Country Between The Wars shorts.  I can do Grant, Lee, Sherman and maybe one or two others.  Grant  on the West Coast when he resigned his commission could be a great short.  No one knows what really happened there.

Chasing-Riley while releasing Chasing the Money

Nook First

Dark Water this month.  Then get a slot for Chasing The Money.

The Green Beret Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse, Zombies and other Lesser Disasters—release on 1 December with focus on end of world on 12 December.

Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Tactics for Success  we need to publish this

Online Teaching  Prepare 2013 schedule.

Conferences  Bob 2013: Love is Murder in Chicago 1-3 February

First Coast Romance Conference in Jacksonville 9-March

Washinton DC RWA Chapter 23-March

Toronto RWA chapter in Toronto 8-June

RomCon 21-23 June


Cool Gus Products
get rubber iPhone holders?
Black t-shirt with cool gus on front
Sign Jeep—  (Yes, we have trademarked Cool Gus and will be selling Cool Gus products because, well, he’s cool.)

Write on the River– once we get moved, prepare a 2013 schedule for this.  High end writers conference, limited to four people for three days.

Cool Gus fact sheet:  need to make this into a three fold brochure and have ready for the Sangria Military Conference.

Update keynotes, consulting info for Bob.

That’s just a sample of the way we work.  I’m being pretty honest there, showing you how we think things out.  This rough draft of a plan will soon be a locked in publishing, promoting, product schedule for the next 18 months.  Since I’m moving at the end of this month (my last move EVER as we are buying a house and settling down finally) things are in turmoil.  I also got the editorial letter back from 47North on Nightstalkers and the first line was:  “This was a ton of fun.”  And then the editor pointed out weak areas, which made me realize I needed to completely cut one character and her scenes, pump up the antagonist and pump up the action.  The feedback was great and it makes what was a good book into what’s going to be a great book.  I love working with a good editor.  My log line for this series is The Unit meets Warehouse 13.  Deb says it’s The Unit meets True Blood.  But there are no vampires!  Just a Special Ops team of unique individuals who deal with the things that go bump in the night.

About Bob Mayer

Bob Mayer is a NY Times Bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret (including commanding an A-Team) and the feeder of two Yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He's had over 60 books published including the #1 series Area 51, Atlantis and The Green Berets. Born in the Bronx, having traveled the world (usually not tourist spots), he now lives peacefully with his wife, and said labs, at Write on the River, TN.

Posted on August 7, 2012, in Write It forward and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. This sounds like a pretty good plan. Now to get all those various pieces to come together. :^)

    The next time I have a writer sniff at my self-imposed Series Schedule — no 47North here! — and the books I have planned up until and beyond mid- to late-2015, and then complain that they never want to “be a brand” (said with a note of derision, you know) but, just, you know, want to “be free to write and create”, I’ll think of this Post.

    Nice to know I’m not the only self-driven OCD author with a penchant for thinking of this as a business. (^~^)

    Jonathan Winn

  2. I love your business strategy planning sessions. I almost feel like I’m part of the team. Note to self: look for opportunity to create team. Beats going it all alone.

  3. Well, it is said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You certainly have got a plan. I sort of have a plan for this year – finish and self-epublish my third YA story, write a second book for 6-9s whilst trying to get trad publisher/agent for that (attending talks, parties and events that help), network more to find more readers, write a fourth romance story and get that ready for publication next year. Meet with the editor for to get marketing ideas. Promote my YA story, and also the anthology I will be in in October, hoping to get more readers.
    2013: Main aim to expand my readerships for YA and adults by writing more of my own books and writing for anthologies.

  4. Just wow. And sign me up for that writer’s conference. I want to be first in line. :-)

  5. Thanks bunches for sharing this, Bob! I begin my next year’s Production Plan each early Fall too. That way, I can make adjustments to my current year and take what I’ve learned into the new year.

    And congrats on your new home! Happy Moving!

  6. And I also am getting url and logo signs for my Jeep and our RV. They’ve been designed and are in production! :-) Great mobile billboards and tax deductions.

  7. Wow! Now that’s a plan!
    Congrats! on the new home.

  8. Mobile Billboard Advertising would be an excellent choice.

  9. Hi here. Great blog you have here. I will keep on visiting your site and will wait for your new post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 219,140 other followers

%d bloggers like this: