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So you’ve written a book? Congratulations! That’s an awesome achievement. Where to from here?

Before going any further you’ll need to define what your goals are for your book. This way you can know how much time, money and effort to put into the production and distribution of your book, and measure your success. Each author and each book is going to be different, so here are some potential goals you might want to consider for yourself.

I want to:

  • hold a finished copy of my book in my hands.
  • have a book I can give to my children, grandchildren, or other significant people.
  • see my book on the shelf of a bookshop or library.
  • have this story/information available to future generations.
  • make a difference.
  • win awards and be recognised.
  • connect with others who have similar interests or issues.
  • quit my job and become a full-time author.
  • use self-publishing to land me a deal with a traditional publisher.
  • use this book to build an audience.

Goal setting goes hand in hand with figuring out the quality and commercial viability of your book. You need to be realistic with the kinds of goals you set and make clear plans on how to reach them.

You will also need to find out what resources you will need to achieve these goals. For instance, quitting your job to become a full-time author, or landing a traditional publishing deal will require a lot more effort and skill than creating a book for your kids. 

Once you are clear on your goals you will be able to use them to create a budget and marketing plan for your book.

This article has been adapted from an extract from Self Publishing in New Zealand, a guide to marketing, publishing and distributing your book.

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