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SBDec
07-14-2017, 06:46 AM
Decided to just bite the bullet and start a thread.

What's this thread going to be about?

I'll be honest -- not sure what exactly I'm going to put here, in the long run, other than numbers. I've kind of got a Podcast in the plans, one that's going to be partially talking about this stuff, partially talking about writing. Then there's a Vlog, which is going to have weekly updates on how things are going.

Basically, what I'm saying is, if all goes as planned, then there's going to be a lot of this stuff talked about in other places, not here. Probably going to be quoting myself a lot, or at least linking to things. Be forewarned, even if I'll do my best to keep it relevant.

What's the plan?

It's complicated -- I literally have a 15 minute power point to try and explain the first year -- but think of it like this:

Every content platform out there has a different group of people using it. iTunes. Twitter. YouTube. Pinterest. Twitch. Tumblr. If you get big on one of them, or even have moderate success, that doesn't mean that people from other platforms are going to magically find you. You're stuck there.

To sort of counteract this, people tell you you need to be on all the social media platforms to really succeed. You need to have a Facebook page, and a LinkedIn, and Google+ (...okay, maybe not that one), and all these other things to really make it.

But, the thing is, if you don't have content to give people on all of these platforms, then you're not going to get followers on anything. And, making content for all these sites? That would be it's own full-time job.

Or, you know, part time job. I mean, if you do the math and target maybe five of them really well.

So, essentially, that's what I'm going to be doing -- targeting the heck out of three different market demographics on three different platforms using five different channels of communication.

So, there's going to be:


A Podcast
A Vlog
A Let's Play Channel
A Stream Channel
An Audiobook Podcast


Which will take a little more than 20 hours a week to produce for.

There's also plans to have a Patreon, so that there will be a limited but useful amount of funds coming in through there.

Now, let's go through the yearly breakdown.


2017

I start in September. I get all my ducks in a row -- including a loan -- and go from basically nothing.

I don't expect good things, from the first few months. I expect a lot of dead air. The podcast will probably do the best, realistically, based on promotional efforts and a episode campaign starting in October for NaNoWriMo. The one that will do the worst is likely the Stream.

In December is when the Audiobook will start coming out, a chapter per week. It'll be a while before there's enough backlog for a lot of ads to be worthwhile, but there will be a website for it for people to go to.


2018

In January I start Video Spring, where I try and upload a video every day. I also am hoping to go full-time with the business through to the end of the year, though now that I'm planning on getting Financial Aid with school, that plan might be shot.

In either February or March I start advertising for the book. The idea is to make a really convenient landing page where people can play the first episode and quickly flip to the next one, but the feasibility of that is... probably limited, since we'll be on a budget.

In April, we release the first alternate character perspective Ebook Novella ($2.99).

In May, going through August, we'll have Summer Streams, where I stream every day for a few hours at a certain time.

in June, we release the second alternative character perspective Ebook Novella ($2.99).

In August, we begin pre-orders on the book, and begin selling them in earnest in September. ($3.99 for the Ebook, $9.99 for a CreateSpace POD copy)

In November, we sell a Care Package for $50. Since this is the first trial test run, I'll probably have a Kickstarter or Indiegogo earlier than that, to see how many people will really buy or are willing to fund it. Sales continue into December. (approximately $10 profit per package, thought that's a guesstimate)

The goal for the first year is to make enough to fund the first month of 2019, which, without financial aid and including the cost of both the business and the loan, is about $3,000. Most of that will have to be reliant on the books, one way or another.

So, each book needs to make about $1,000 in the first year. Tall friggin' order. Good thing we aren't completely dependent on that number, because of financial aid, but let's play it out anyways.

First book in April -- nine months. Second book in June -- seven months. Third book in September -- four months. Or, really, five months, if you include pre-orders.

Amazon currently gives you %70 on ebooks that are $2.99 or more (up to a certain amount -- forgot the specifics). %70 of $2.99 is about $2.09. 70% of $3.99 is about $2.79.

So, with some rounding:

$1,000/2.09= 479 copies total

479/9= 53 copies per month

53/30= 1.76 copies per day


$1,000/2.09= 479 copies total

479/7= 68 copies per month

68/30= 2.26 copies per day.


$1,000/2.79= 358 copies total

358/5= 72 copies per month

72/30= 2.4 copies per day



So, about 2-3 copies per day. Seems... not totally impossible.

So, on to next year.


2019

This is where things get interesting. This is where the question of whether we succeed or fail really comes up.

So, I've got to ask -- what counts as a successful enough author to teach others? Do you have to be published once? Multiple times? Do you need to be traditionally published? Hit it big in Self-Publishing?

Because, essentially, I'm foregoing a lot of that and making a bunch of courses over the year. On what, you ask? Survey says: actually read the surveys.

So, this is business marketing stuff. You essentially take a whole bunch of people (AKA, my existing audience), ask them to fill out a survey, ask them questions meant to draw out their pain points ("If you could wave a wand and magically remove one thing from the writing experience, what would it be?"), and then build products around fixing that point of pain.

Will I sell a lot of them? Not really. Will I sell enough of them to make it worth while? I'd say it's fairly likely. It takes 150 courses sold at $20 to make $3,000 a month, but between financial aid, the Patreon, Twitch Subscriptions, and continued sales of the book, that number comes down to about 12 a month. And with a new course coming out essentially every other month, that means I can market new material to the same group of people.

That, and we also have the Big Project course, which is... hmm. I wonder how much I should share about that?

It's the only course I have partially planned out already. It's going to be affected by the surveys, but not as completely as the other ones are. Essentially, if you know anything about NaNoWriMo, you know that there's sponsors who show up on their site. I don't really know how it all works yet, but the plan is to put the Big Project course on the Sponsor Offers page at a discount.

I really need to go in and ask about what kind of numbers they get on that sponsor discount page, though. It really does seem like an idea too good to be true.

But anyways, first we have to actually *get to November*.

So, in January, we release the first course. (And hopefully have a second book start going the Audiobook rounds)

In March, we release the Big Project beta, ready to be debugged and souped up for November.

In May, we open a web store. (and release the first Novella at $2.99)

In June, we release the third course.

In July, we release a plush, because we can. (and release the second Novella at $2.99)

In August, we release the fourth course.

(In September we have pre-orders)

In October we begin offering Big Project at a discount. (and release the book)

In November we continue offering the Big Project at a discount, and have the Care Package for sale at $50.

In December we sell Care Packages for $50.

Aaand that's about it. I haven't done all the math for the second year yet -- all I know is we need $36,000 total to make the world go 'round. Financial aid should cover living expenses, even if I have to come by it through a student loan, and that just leaves the cost of upkeep for the business and the debt from the business loan, which should roughly be about $1,000 per month.

...Although, those numbers where before I added in advertising. And that $36,000 doesn't include the money it'd actually take to be a sponsor of NaNoWriMo, however much that would be. Hmm. Going to take some more work to get out all the kinks.

Ah well -- back to the drawing board again.

cornflake
07-14-2017, 07:05 AM
Decided to just bite the bullet and start a thread.

What's this thread going to be about?

I'll be honest -- not sure what exactly I'm going to put here, in the long run, other than numbers. I've kind of got a Podcast in the plans, one that's going to be partially talking about this stuff, partially talking about writing. Then there's a Vlog, which is going to have weekly updates on how things are going.

Basically, what I'm saying is, if all goes as planned, then there's going to be a lot of this stuff talked about in other places, not here. Probably going to be quoting myself a lot, or at least linking to things. Be forewarned, even if I'll do my best to keep it relevant.

What's the plan?

It's complicated -- I literally have a 15 minute power point to try and explain the first year -- but think of it like this:

Every content platform out there has a different group of people using it. iTunes. Twitter. YouTube. Pinterest. Twitch. Tumblr. If you get big on one of them, or even have moderate success, that doesn't mean that people from other platforms are going to magically find you. You're stuck there.

To sort of counteract this, people tell you you need to be on all the social media platforms to really succeed. You need to have a Facebook page, and a LinkedIn, and Google+ (...okay, maybe not that one), and all these other things to really make it.

But, the thing is, if you don't have content to give people on all of these platforms, then you're not going to get followers on anything. And, making content for all these sites? That would be it's own full-time job.

Or, you know, part time job. I mean, if you do the math and target maybe five of them really well.

So, essentially, that's what I'm going to be doing -- targeting the heck out of three different market demographics on three different platforms using five different channels of communication.

So, there's going to be:


A Podcast
A Vlog
A Let's Play Channel
A Stream Channel
An Audiobook Podcast


Which will take a little more than 20 hours a week to produce for.

There's also plans to have a Patreon, so that there will be a limited but useful amount of funds coming in through there.

Now, let's go through the yearly breakdown.


2017

I start in September. I get all my ducks in a row -- including a loan -- and go from basically nothing.

I don't expect good things, from the first few months. I expect a lot of dead air. The podcast will probably do the best, realistically, based on promotional efforts and a episode campaign starting in October for NaNoWriMo. The one that will do the worst is likely the Stream.

In December is when the Audiobook will start coming out, a chapter per week. It'll be a while before there's enough backlog for a lot of ads to be worthwhile, but there will be a website for it for people to go to.


2018

In January I start Video Spring, where I try and upload a video every day. I also am hoping to go full-time with the business through to the end of the year, though now that I'm planning on getting Financial Aid with school, that plan might be shot.

In either February or March I start advertising for the book. The idea is to make a really convenient landing page where people can play the first episode and quickly flip to the next one, but the feasibility of that is... probably limited, since we'll be on a budget.

In April, we release the first alternate character perspective Ebook Novella ($2.99).

In May, going through August, we'll have Summer Streams, where I stream every day for a few hours at a certain time.

in June, we release the second alternative character perspective Ebook Novella ($2.99).

In August, we begin pre-orders on the book, and begin selling them in earnest in September. ($3.99 for the Ebook, $9.99 for a CreateSpace POD copy)

In November, we sell a Care Package for $50. Since this is the first trial test run, I'll probably have a Kickstarter or Indiegogo earlier than that, to see how many people will really buy or are willing to fund it. Sales continue into December. (approximately $10 profit per package, thought that's a guesstimate)

The goal for the first year is to make enough to fund the first month of 2019, which, without financial aid and including the cost of both the business and the loan, is about $3,000. Most of that will have to be reliant on the books, one way or another.

So, each book needs to make about $1,000 in the first year. Tall friggin' order. Good thing we aren't completely dependent on that number, because of financial aid, but let's play it out anyways.

First book in April -- nine months. Second book in June -- seven months. Third book in September -- four months. Or, really, five months, if you include pre-orders.

Amazon currently gives you %70 on ebooks that are $2.99 or more (up to a certain amount -- forgot the specifics). %70 of $2.99 is about $2.09. 70% of $3.99 is about $2.79.

So, with some rounding:

$1,000/2.09= 479 copies total

479/9= 53 copies per month

53/30= 1.76 copies per day


$1,000/2.09= 479 copies total

479/7= 68 copies per month

68/30= 2.26 copies per day.


$1,000/2.79= 358 copies total

358/5= 72 copies per month

72/30= 2.4 copies per day



So, about 2-3 copies per day. Seems... not totally impossible.

So, on to next year.


2019

This is where things get interesting. This is where the question of whether we succeed or fail really comes up.

So, I've got to ask -- what counts as a successful enough author to teach others? Do you have to be published once? Multiple times? Do you need to be traditionally published? Hit it big in Self-Publishing?

Because, essentially, I'm foregoing a lot of that and making a bunch of courses over the year. On what, you ask? Survey says: actually read the surveys.

So, this is business marketing stuff. You essentially take a whole bunch of people (AKA, my existing audience), ask them to fill out a survey, ask them questions meant to draw out their pain points ("If you could wave a wand and magically remove one thing from the writing experience, what would it be?"), and then build products around fixing that point of pain.

Will I sell a lot of them? Not really. Will I sell enough of them to make it worth while? I'd say it's fairly likely. It takes 150 courses sold at $20 to make $3,000 a month, but between financial aid, the Patreon, Twitch Subscriptions, and continued sales of the book, that number comes down to about 12 a month. And with a new course coming out essentially every other month, that means I can market new material to the same group of people.

That, and we also have the Big Project course, which is... hmm. I wonder how much I should share about that?

It's the only course I have partially planned out already. It's going to be affected by the surveys, but not as completely as the other ones are. Essentially, if you know anything about NaNoWriMo, you know that there's sponsors who show up on their site. I don't really know how it all works yet, but the plan is to put the Big Project course on the Sponsor Offers page at a discount.

I really need to go in and ask about what kind of numbers they get on that sponsor discount page, though. It really does seem like an idea too good to be true.

But anyways, first we have to actually *get to November*.

So, in January, we release the first course. (And hopefully have a second book start going the Audiobook rounds)

In March, we release the Big Project beta, ready to be debugged and souped up for November.

In May, we open a web store. (and release the first Novella at $2.99)

In June, we release the third course.

In July, we release a plush, because we can. (and release the second Novella at $2.99)

In August, we release the fourth course.

(In September we have pre-orders)

In October we begin offering Big Project at a discount. (and release the book)

In November we continue offering the Big Project at a discount, and have the Care Package for sale at $50.

In December we sell Care Packages for $50.

Aaand that's about it. I haven't done all the math for the second year yet -- all I know is we need $36,000 total to make the world go 'round. Financial aid should cover living expenses, even if I have to come by it through a student loan, and that just leaves the cost of upkeep for the business and the debt from the business loan, which should roughly be about $1,000 per month.

...Although, those numbers where before I added in advertising. And that $36,000 doesn't include the money it'd actually take to be a sponsor of NaNoWriMo, however much that would be. Hmm. Going to take some more work to get out all the kinks.

Ah well -- back to the drawing board again.

Sorry, I'm a bit confused. Is your plan to sell self-pubbed novellas, then ask the people who buy those to fill out surveys, hope they do, and then basically turn the entire thing into a scheme selling courses teaching people who bought your original ebooks how to... write ebooks?

Also, you want to advertise these courses to Nano people.

I don't understand, I guess, why you feel people who buy a random novella will want to buy a series of writing courses, or what qualifies you to teach a series of writing courses, but you didn't actually ask me I suppose.

This sounds like one of those 'put a dollar in the envelope and send it to the first five people on the list, then put your name on the bottom, and you'll get thousands in return!!' schemes.

mccardey
07-14-2017, 07:11 AM
Sorry, I'm a bit confused. Is your plan to sell self-pubbed novellas, then ask the people who buy those to fill out surveys, hope they do, and then basically turn the entire thing into a scheme selling courses teaching people who bought your original ebooks how to... write ebooks? . I think, but I'm not sure because OP is being extremely coy on the topic, that the plan is to sell merchandising attached to books and games that share characters or worlds. I think. Maybe. So - first the merch needs to be set up and then the storyboards will create a perceived niche that the merch can fill.

Am I right, OP?

ETA: I'm assuming that 'courses' doesn't mean actual educational courses, because you've already said (and demonstrated) than explaining things is not your strongest point. Which it would need to be, if what you were selling was information. I would have thought.

Helix
07-14-2017, 07:30 AM
Blimey. Good luck if you're planning to do a full time uni course, racking up thousands of dollars of student debt, and run a full time creative business at the same time.

SBDec
07-14-2017, 08:26 AM
Sorry, I'm a bit confused.

I'd say -- you literally copied the whole post in your quote.


I think, but I'm not sure because OP is being extremely coy on the topic, that the plan is to sell merchandising attached to books and games that share characters or worlds. I think. Maybe. So - first the merch needs to be set up and then the storyboards will create a perceived niche that the merch can fill.

Am I right, OP?

ETA: I'm assuming that 'courses' doesn't mean actual educational courses, because you've already said (and demonstrated) than explaining things is not your strongest point. Which it would need to be, if what you were selling was information. I would have thought.

Wrong on all counts. And, also, you don't have to be so snide about it.

*sigh* So, we're doing the long explanation tonight.

Okay. So, remember when I said we would be talking on three different platforms to three different audiences? Yes, that -- that's the key here.

We're talking about readers, writers, and gamers.

Readers are covered by the books. They're the hardest to find, and the hardest to market towards.

Writers are covered by the Podcast and the Vlog. They're easier to find than the readers, but just as hard to please.

Gamers are covered by the Let's Plays and the Streams. Their market is the most saturated, but they're, in some ways, the easiest to make content for.


Is your plan to sell self-pubbed novellas, then ask the people who buy those to fill out surveys, hope they do, and then basically turn the entire thing into a scheme selling courses teaching people who bought your original ebooks how to... write ebooks?

Let's reword that, because you're totally off the mark.

My plan is to:


Make a Podcast and Vlog geared towards writers.
Off in another corner, sell Self-Published Novellas and Novels.
In about a year, when I've got a decent number of people subscribed on various platforms, ask them to fill out a survey.
Expect that some small fraction out of thousands of them will.
And then turn the entire thing into a "scheme" selling courses teaching people how to write.


Which has totally nothing to do with books, and at this point I'm half sorry I even brought it up.

Also, side note -- why is it every single time I talk business with authors, they act like the devil has come to town? Business is not evil -- asking people what they want and need is not evil.

So, hopefully, that explains the courses.

As for merchandise, that's actually for the gamer side of things. Really, it's the only way I could think of to directly make money off of that market demographic, outside of subscriptions -- my game making skills are limited, and the only thing they'd be interested in learning is possibly how to make games and how to grow their channel, which, while I'm not opposed to, I can't really say I'd be 100% successful as a Streamer/Let's Player, considering the time constraints I'm under.

Mind you, the store isn't only for them, but I'm considering them first when it comes to content for it. Might not even be the smartest move, really, but at the same time, I don't think writers would be as into merchandise, and readers could honestly go either way.


Blimey. Good luck if you're planning to do a full time uni course, racking up thousands of dollars of student debt, and run a full time creative business at the same time.

Part time creative business -- except maybe for next year, if things turn out right. But, if that happens I'll only be in school part time, so.

mccardey
07-14-2017, 08:31 AM
*sigh* So, we're doing the long explanation tonight.

<<snip >>

Also, side note -- why is it every single time I talk business with authors, they act like the devil has come to town? Business is not evil -- asking people what they want and need is not evil. Oh, I can help you with that. It's the tone you use when you ask, and then it's the way you brush off most of the answers as being entirely worthless - without taking a moment to wonder whether the lack of clarity in your question might be the common factor in all the worthlessness of those responses.


Hope that helped :)

be frank
07-14-2017, 08:38 AM
So, I've got to ask -- what counts as a successful enough author to teach others? Do you have to be published once? Multiple times? Do you need to be traditionally published? Hit it big in Self-Publishing?


What do you think qualifies someone to teach others how to write? What qualifies you to teach anyone how to write?


And then turn the entire thing into a "scheme" selling courses teaching people how to write.


Yep, "scheme" sounds pretty accurate.

ajaye
07-14-2017, 08:40 AM
I still have no idea of the point of this actual thread.

*sigh*

cornflake
07-14-2017, 08:50 AM
I'd say -- you literally copied the whole post in your quote.

I'm well aware. I've no idea why you think that indicates confusion.


Wrong on all counts. And, also, you don't have to be so snide about it.

*sigh* So, we're doing the long explanation tonight.

Okay. So, remember when I said we would be talking on three different platforms to three different audiences? Yes, that -- that's the key here.

We're talking about readers, writers, and gamers.

Readers are covered by the books. They're the hardest to find, and the hardest to market towards.

Writers are covered by the Podcast and the Vlog. They're easier to find than the readers, but just as hard to please.

Gamers are covered by the Let's Plays and the Streams. Their market is the most saturated, but they're, in some ways, the easiest to make content for.



Let's reword that, because you're totally off the mark.

My plan is to:


Make a Podcast and Vlog geared towards writers.
Off in another corner, sell Self-Published Novellas and Novels.
In about a year, when I've got a decent number of people subscribed on various platforms, ask them to fill out a survey.
Expect that some small fraction out of thousands of them will.
And then turn the entire thing into a "scheme" selling courses teaching people how to write.


Which has totally nothing to do with books, and at this point I'm half sorry I even brought it up.

Also, side note -- why is it every single time I talk business with authors, they act like the devil has come to town? Business is not evil -- asking people what they want and need is not evil.

So, hopefully, that explains the courses.

Not so much, no. Nor does business equal anything like that. Business is discussed literally all over AW. All aspects of the writing business, in fact, are discussed all over the place here.

You know we didn't start this thread, right?


As for merchandise, that's actually for the gamer side of things. Really, it's the only way I could think of to directly make money off of that market demographic, outside of subscriptions -- my game making skills are limited, and the only thing they'd be interested in learning is possibly how to make games and how to grow their channel, which, while I'm not opposed to, I can't really say I'd be 100% successful as a Streamer/Let's Player, considering the time constraints I'm under.

Mind you, the store isn't only for them, but I'm considering them first when it comes to content for it. Might not even be the smartest move, really, but at the same time, I don't think writers would be as into merchandise, and readers could honestly go either way.


Part time creative business -- except maybe for next year, if things turn out right. But, if that happens I'll only be in school part time, so.

Well, good luck with that.

Helix
07-14-2017, 08:53 AM
I'd say -- you literally copied the whole post in your quote.

There's a reason for that.




Wrong on all counts. And, also, you don't have to be so snide about it.

*sigh* So, we're doing the long explanation tonight.

No need for the long explanation. What you need is the clear explanation. I mean, it could be that everyone in this thread is not as bright as you, but, yanno, that's not a horse I'm backing. And the idea that people in this thread aren't business savvy? That one's not even getting to the gates.



Okay. So, remember when I said we would be talking on three different platforms to three different audiences? Yes, that -- that's the key here.

We're talking about readers, writers, and gamers.

Readers are covered by the books. They're the hardest to find, and the hardest to market towards.

Writers are covered by the Podcast and the Vlog. They're easier to find than the readers, but just as hard to please.

Gamers are covered by the Let's Plays and the Streams. Their market is the most saturated, but they're, in some ways, the easiest to make content for.


So, that's your prospective market. That's poor characterisation of your target audience. Readers like different books. Writers write different books. Gamers play different games. You'll need to narrow your targets.




Let's reword that, because you're totally off the mark.

Off the mark? I wonder why?


My plan is to:


Make a Podcast and Vlog geared towards writers.
Off in another corner, sell Self-Published Novellas and Novels.
In about a year, when I've got a decent number of people subscribed on various platforms, ask them to fill out a survey.
Expect that some small fraction out of thousands of them will.
And then turn the entire thing into a "scheme" selling courses teaching people how to write.


Which has totally nothing to do with books, and at this point I'm half sorry I even brought it up.

Half sorry? Isn't this your business plan?


Also, side note -- why is it every single time I talk business with authors, they act like the devil has come to town? Business is not evil -- asking people what they want and need is not evil.

I can't even.


So, hopefully, that explains the courses.

As for merchandise, that's actually for the gamer side of things. Really, it's the only way I could think of to directly make money off of that market demographic, outside of subscriptions -- my game making skills are limited, and the only thing they'd be interested in learning is possibly how to make games and how to grow their channel, which, while I'm not opposed to, I can't really say I'd be 100% successful as a Streamer/Let's Player, considering the time constraints I'm under.

You will be somewhere between 0 and 100% successful.



Mind you, the store isn't only for them, but I'm considering them first when it comes to content for it. Might not even be the smartest move, really, but at the same time, I don't think writers would be as into merchandise, and readers could honestly go either way.

Do you have a product? Do you have the skills required to create a product? Do you have the organisational skills to do any of this?



Part time creative business -- except maybe for next year, if things turn out right. But, if that happens I'll only be in school part time, so.

And if things don't turn out right? That's what you should be planning for.

SBDec
07-14-2017, 10:30 AM
No need for the long explanation. What you need is the clear explanation. I mean, it could be that everyone in this thread is not as bright as you, but, yanno, that's not a horse I'm backing. And the idea that people in this thread aren't business savvy? That one's not even getting to the gates.

What everyone is asking for is the long explanation. Everyone seems to be assuming that, just because I didn't bring up X, Y, or Z, that I didn't think about it.



So, that's your prospective market. That's poor characterisation of your target audience. Readers like different books. Writers write different books. Gamers play different games. You'll need to narrow your targets.

I'll give you that that was an oversimplification, but that doesn't mean that I haven't already done that.


Half sorry? Isn't this your business plan?

Well on the way to full-blown sorry, really. Mostly because I actually need sleep, and don't need a forum dogpile on my mind while doing it.


Do you have a product? Do you have the skills required to create a product? Do you have the organisational skills to do any of this?

No, that would be foolish -- this is two years out. Where would I even have the money for that? No, I don't have the skills to make a product on that scale. And I've certainly pulled off stuff that seemed impossible from the outside before, even if dealing with a wholesaler or a printer or a product designer isn't on that list.


And if things don't turn out right? That's what you should be planning for.

Okay then.

First off, since we're here and this has already blown up in my face, I might as well be honest. I originally planned to get a loan big enough to live on for a year and a few months. The plans for the first two years already have an allowance in then for a monthly debt-bill of about $700, though with financial aid being what it is, it probably doesn't need that.

So, if by some chance it turns out that I have to take a full load of classes and a full time job at the same time, I'll drop the classes. Probably only to a half load, but, we've already gotten to that point, so let's assume we drop all of them. Even then, I should have a six month window to re-enroll in school before starting to pay off any student loans, and even if I mess that up, there's still conveniently enough debt-money put to the side to pay off a student loan bill.

What do I do about living expenses? Well, that depends on when this is happening. If it's the first year, I'm a bit screwed -- going back to the shelter. If it happens in the second year, still a bit screwed, though not as much -- probably still going to the shelter.

If it's the third year... then, that's completely dependent on sales figures I haven't predicted yet. I'm assuming the Big Project can make enough money to last a few months, so, assuming the worst, maybe we don't slack so much. Maybe we work at the same rate we did in the second year -- just with a smidge less noise about it.

But, let's be honest -- if we make it so that we're never forced to work more than part time, that's a lot better than having to drop school and go back to the homeless shelter. Planning for that is integral, because if my time management is off, then everything is off.

On the other hand, if it turns out that there's no way to cut down the hours it takes to do everything needed to get the book ready, and it's interfering with other things like school work, then we have to consider cutting something from the schedule. Probably the Let's Plays and the Streams.

I'd keep going, but it's 11:30 at night, and I need sleep. So, bye.

be frank
07-14-2017, 10:42 AM
What everyone is asking for is the long explanation.

People are asking for the clear explanation, not the long one. And if you don't know the difference, you have no business teaching anyone how to write.

mccardey
07-14-2017, 10:52 AM
don't need a forum dogpile on my mind while doing it.
<snip>I'd keep going, but it's 11:30 at night

Seriously, but bless you for thinking Helix was a dog-pile.

Now go to bed. :granny:

Helix
07-14-2017, 11:07 AM
Seriously, but bless you for thinking Helix was a dog-pile.

I contain multitudes.

Apparently.

Harlequin
07-14-2017, 11:10 AM
The only content I'm interested in consuming as a reader/writer is a quality book.

The only content I am interested in consuming as a gamer is a quality game.

In both cases I have very specific genre preferences to boot.


None of the other things you mention interest me as a consumer. Your core product needs to be saleable first and foremost.

Old Hack
07-14-2017, 11:21 AM
SBDec, you've responded with snark to several reasonable comments. For example:


I'd say -- you literally copied the whole post in your quote.

Wrong on all counts. And, also, you don't have to be so snide about it.

*sigh* So, we're doing the long explanation tonight.

Let's reword that, because you're totally off the mark.

I want you to go and read the Newbie Guide right now (there's a link to it at the top of every page) and pay particular attention to AW's one rule: Respect Your Fellow Writer. Because your tone and your words are not respectful, and I won't allow that to continue. I hope that's clear.


My plan is to:


Make a Podcast and Vlog geared towards writers.
Off in another corner, sell Self-Published Novellas and Novels.
In about a year, when I've got a decent number of people subscribed on various platforms, ask them to fill out a survey.
Expect that some small fraction out of thousands of them will.
And then turn the entire thing into a "scheme" selling courses teaching people how to write.



That big old wall of text which made up your first post in this thread could have been replaced by this.

If you are seriously going to sell courses teaching people how to write I suggest you work on your own skills first. Because at the moment your writing is overly verbose, confusing, and almost entirely content-free.


Also, side note -- why is it every single time I talk business with authors, they act like the devil has come to town? Business is not evil -- asking people what they want and need is not evil.

No one has suggested that business is evil. People with a lot more writing, publishing and business experience than you are just trying to work out what the hell you're talking about, and pointing out the flaws in your plans.


As for merchandise, that's actually for the gamer side of things. Really, it's the only way I could think of to directly make money off of that market demographic, outside of subscriptions -- my game making skills are limited, and the only thing they'd be interested in learning is possibly how to make games and how to grow their channel, which, while I'm not opposed to, I can't really say I'd be 100% successful as a Streamer/Let's Player, considering the time constraints I'm under.

Do you have any experience working in the games industry? I do. I've seen many people rock up and think they're going to make money out of it when they have no experience or skills. It's never ended well.

There's a very strong whiff of Dunning-Kruger in the air, I fear.


Well on the way to full-blown sorry, really. Mostly because I actually need sleep, and don't need a forum dogpile on my mind while doing it.

I see no dogpile here. Just several of AW's good members trying to understand you so they can help you.

If you object to a post, report it. Don't snark.


First off, since we're here and this has already blown up in my face, I might as well be honest. I originally planned to get a loan big enough to live on for a year and a few months. The plans for the first two years already have an allowance in then for a monthly debt-bill of about $700, though with financial aid being what it is, it probably doesn't need that.

So, if by some chance it turns out that I have to take a full load of classes and a full time job at the same time, I'll drop the classes. Probably only to a half load, but, we've already gotten to that point, so let's assume we drop all of them. Even then, I should have a six month window to re-enroll in school before starting to pay off any student loans, and even if I mess that up, there's still conveniently enough debt-money put to the side to pay off a student loan bill.

What do I do about living expenses? Well, that depends on when this is happening. If it's the first year, I'm a bit screwed -- going back to the shelter. If it happens in the second year, still a bit screwed, though not as much -- probably still going to the shelter.

If it's the third year... then, that's completely dependent on sales figures I haven't predicted yet. I'm assuming the Big Project can make enough money to last a few months, so, assuming the worst, maybe we don't slack so much. Maybe we work at the same rate we did in the second year -- just with a smidge less noise about it.

But, let's be honest -- if we make it so that we're never forced to work more than part time, that's a lot better than having to drop school and go back to the homeless shelter. Planning for that is integral, because if my time management is off, then everything is off.

On the other hand, if it turns out that there's no way to cut down the hours it takes to do everything needed to get the book ready, and it's interfering with other things like school work, then we have to consider cutting something from the schedule. Probably the Let's Plays and the Streams.

I'd keep going, but it's 11:30 at night, and I need sleep. So, bye.

Oh dear lord.

This is a terrible plan. An awful, disastrous plan. If you go through with this you are not only heading for financial disaster, you are going to drop out of school, become responsible for paying off student loans for a qualification you didn't get, and you're going to be homeless.

I can see you're keen and you have this wonderful scheme all worked out, and here I am pissing on it. I'm sorry to be so negative, I really am. But I am really concerned for you. You have planned the whole thing out, but you don't seem to have asked yourself one really important question.

What happens if your original products--the book, the game, the merchandise--aren't good enough?

Your whole scheme depends on your book being successful enough to support spin-offs and related products, ending in your teaching others how to write. But it's clear from what you've said that you don't know enough about publishing of any sort to make your book or games or merchandise a success. Your posts here show that you can't write clearly enough to write a coherent book, you've said you're going to draw your own book jackets even though you can't draw, and that you can't write good games but you're going to make your own games and make them a huge success. I know of multi-award-winning writers who can barely scrape together a living despite writing books and running how-to-write courses; I know brilliant coders who struggle to support themselves. How do you expect to earn heaps of cash at this when they can't?

I'm sorry. But your plan has disaster stamped all over it. I do hope you'll reconsider and at least delay borrowing that money until you have a solid book ready to go.

PeteMC
07-14-2017, 12:04 PM
I do understand business and I always admire an entrepreneur, but Iím still confused by what your product is never mind your USP. Have you written any books before, much less been published?

Iíll leave the gaming side out of it because thatís not my field (and it appears to be completely unrelated to the rest of your business model, which even in a transmedia company seems odd) but if you honestly think you can self-publish an audiobook and some spin-off novellas and have people beat a path to your door to buy ďhow to be a writerĒ courses from you 18 months later then I think you need to reconsider your business plan.

You say (bolding mine):





Make a Podcast and Vlog geared towards writers.
Off in another corner, sell Self-Published Novellas and Novels.
In about a year, when I've got a decent number of people subscribed on various platforms, ask them to fill out a survey.
Expect that some small fraction out of thousands of them will.
And then turn the entire thing into a "scheme" selling courses teaching people how to write.



Assuming youíre researched your prospective market, you already know how many podcasts, blogs and vlogs already exist geared towards writers, many of them hosted by people who have serious industry credentials that you donít have. What drives traffic to yours?

Your engagement/sales projections are pure fantasy. Again, having done your market research, youíll be aware that most self-published books are lucky to sell a few hundred copies over their entire lifetime, and youíre projecting more than that in year 1.

Thereís also no visible costings for editorial, cover design or audio production expenses. These things donít have to cost the earth if youíre on a tight budget but theyíre not free.

Add to that, I donít understand where your financing is coming from, because you arenít going to get a business loan for this. Youíre just not.

I donít mean to piss on your parade but as Old Hack says above, you could seriously destroy several years of your life if youíre not careful and no one here wants that to happen.

J. Tanner
07-14-2017, 12:12 PM
Also, side note -- why is it every single time I talk business with authors, they act like the devil has come to town? Business is not evil -- asking people what they want and need is not evil.

Hm. I think you've misunderstood pretty terribly here. (Can't speak to your other interactions.) I haven't seen a single comment that I would consider an author talking negatively about business. I do see a lot of reasonable (to my eye) skepticism about your specific plan.

I think you have the cart way out in front of the horse. You mentioned in the other thread you took a glance at R. T. Leone's thread and noticed the warning signs that many others noticed as well at the time that eventually turned out to be pretty accurate. Your plan is ringing those exact same bells for me. (I could share some specifics, but given the rest of the feedback here, it would just feel a bit too much like piling on even if I'm covering some different items.)

Curlz
07-14-2017, 02:55 PM
SBDec, I hope you continue to share your experience here, I'm awfully curious how this plan will unfold in the real world. It's a great plan but omits one important detail - the actual products you are going to sell. You sort of assume that whatever you produce will be saleable. Podcasts, vlogs, e-book etc you just seem to assume that whatever you put out there is entitled to some sort of average sales. But having a thing available does not equal sales. You'll need to be an amazing social media person and an amazing writer. But are you? Do you have amazing things to say? Do you have amazing stories to tell? Social media requires you to engage the audience and this thread is failing to do so.

Even if we look at the above as just a "business plan", there are lots of weak points in it. Firstly, your plan depends on your skills as a writer, podcaster etc. Anybody offering a loan will need you to demonstrate you have such skills. You can't just walk in and claim you got skills and expect people to believe. So, financing may only come after you've produced something that's shown to make money. Patreon and Kickstarter are full of people asking for money for creative projects and receiving nothing.

Secondly, even if you assume that the various platforms (podcast, vlog, steam etc) will reach out to different audiences, in fact, you are reaching to much the same audience - the college kids with lots of free time. At the same time you are missing out on other audiences, some of which may be actually more interested in the things you sell (e-books, writing courses) and also better able to afford the merchandise. I'm puzzled how you expect to sell a care package for $50 for a nonexistent product (after having only two novellas out?).

Thirdly, there are much simpler and easier ways to attract attention on social media, and subsequently creating an audience for your future projects.

writeonleanne
07-14-2017, 05:45 PM
To be honest, I was on board up until you got to the 'writing courses' part of your business plan. I dealt with an agency who did something like that. "Submit your novel—but ONLY if you sign up for our writing courses." Bleh.

I like podcasts, stories that are updated weekly, and audiobooks. I'd be a little annoyed if the audiobook was bogged down by ads, but if I liked it enough, I'd power through. If the product was good enough, I'd happily support it through donations or Kickstarter.

I don't really understand why you need a business loan though. From what I can see, to begin with you're going to need:
- Podcast mic (~$150)
- Website (small monthly fee for domain plus annual fee for server—though it'll add up later if you're hosting podcasts and audio books)
- Createspace (I admittedly don't know how much this costs, but I assume a thousand or so—and not totally necessary in the beginning if you're going the Andy Weir way and releasing your novel in serial format on your website)

Why wouldn't you just start a Kickstarter or include Adsense to your site to fund your future products? Start small, amass a following, and then build your way up, letting your product pay for itself?

Also, have you included email in your marketing plan?

Anna Iguana
07-14-2017, 06:24 PM
I don't really understand why you need a business loan though.


I might as well be honest. I originally planned to get a loan big enough to live on for a year and a few months.

This is the key piece to me, Leanne. If I understand correctly (please correct me if I don't), SBDec wants the loan to pay himself/herself a salary so that s/he doesn't have to work elsewhere while trying to build a business.

ASeiple
07-14-2017, 06:38 PM
I'm not gonna piss on your dream, but I think you're going to need to lay better foundations to see it come to fruition. I'll tell you why I think this is so. You are free to do as you please, but I really think you should consider my advice.

If you want to build castles in the sky, you have to have your feet on the ground.

Look at the most basic part of this plan; you need to be able to write and publish a good book. Then you need to be able to repeat the process. Everything else is dependent upon this.

You don't need money or even to make it a full-time career. Lots of us on here, and hell, most published writers who aren't big name and aren't married to money, have day jobs. There's no shame in it. We're all still writers. We write, that's all it takes to be a writer.

So first, write that book. Make it good. If it's not good, rework the manuscript until it is. Then self-publish it. Then repeat.

Once you've got that process down, then look at expanding. But don't jump immediately to the full castle that is your dream until you've proven that you can hack building the foundations.

And building the foundations starts with that first book.

rwm4768
07-14-2017, 06:39 PM
If you have to take out a loan to get started on your self-publishing career, you are probably not in the right financial situation to embark on this career. Most self-published novels do not sell well. You'll find yourself in a ton of debt with no way to pay it off.

Of course, I'm not really sure why you'd need the loan. It's possible to self-publish without spending a ton of money.

AW Admin
07-14-2017, 07:24 PM
SBDec has left the building.

My tolerance for rudeness, exploitation, rank arrogance mated with rank idiocy, and prose detrimental to the long-term survival of the English language is at an end.

The basic make-money-fast concept is not new.

Also? SBDec can't handle a basic English sentence; subject-verb agreement seems to be a heresy in SBDec's view, and reading the threads SBDec has started got stupid all over me, and now, with today's episode, I can't even . . .


This is a marketing plan for a produce that does not exist. It's absolutely all about make money fast with a nod at the Underpants Gnomes.

Here; have some Underpants Gnomes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts).

Al X.
07-14-2017, 09:11 PM
Interesting. I learned a new word today. Tosspot. Incurable drinker. I think I am going to start using that in normal conversation.

That's what I took away from the thread.