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The Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans for Writers

Today my special guest Amy Denim is doing my Thursday Thirteen for me. I know—score! She’s here to tell us about business plans and her new release The Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans for Writers. Check out her easy 13 point plan below.

Oh, and Amy is giving away a copy of her book, so make sure you leave a comment below.

Welcome, Amy!

Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans by Amy Denim

Thirteen Questions to Build Yourself a Business Plan or The Thirteen Minute Business Plan

Have you thought about putting together a business plan? But, oh, it’s such a long and complicated process. Ugh. Why bother, when you could spend your valuable time writing. But, wait, what’s this? A guide to help authors write a business plan on coffee breaks?

Okay, so I find when things get boring and staid that some humor and creativity makes it all much more fun. And let’s admit that a traditional business plan is anything but fun. But having one can be an important part of taking control of your writing career. To get you started I’ve created a quick and easy set of questions that hit all the main parts of a plan and it really should only take you about a coffee break to complete it.

Okay, put your thinking cap/top hat/beanie with the helicopter rotor /tiara on. It’s time to think about what you really want from your writing career.

These questions are to get you started thinking about your goals, but don’t go crazy and spend hours making lists and/or daydreaming about your success as a writer, I want you to do these on a coffee break.

I call this the Coffee Break Business Plan. This is all about basic goals, which you can expand on to create a full-blown business plan, so spend only a few minutes thinking about each of these questions. Write a couple of sentences to answer them or make yourself a nice bullet-point list. If you’d like a template to print out to help you with this exercise, you can download one at www.coffeebreaksocialmedia.com/Books/Resources.

Grab a cup of coffee and a pen

Write down the answers to these questions.

1. How many books do you plan to write? In what genre?

2. What’s your projected word count?

3. When will you finish each project? Or, how much time will you need to complete each project? (Don’t forget to build in time for critiques, beta readers, editing, and all those other activities… besides actually writing the book.)

4. How will you publish these books? Traditionally, self-published, a hybrid approach?

5. If you’re self-publishing, what services will you need and how much will you spend on those?

6. Who is your competition? Who else writes books like yours?

7. How will you sell and market your books?

8. How much money will it cost you to publish and market? What services might you pay for to help you do that?

9. How much money do you plan to make, and when will you see that revenue?

10. When do you plan to achieve these goals?

11. What resources do you need (like a budget template, word count tracker, a reference book about business plans) to complete your plan?

12. When can you review your goals to see what you’ve accomplished and what you need to revise?

13. What rewards can you set up for yourself to say “Job well done!”

There you go. You just created a basic business plan. For real. Laminate that sucker and put it up big and pretty in front of your computer. Every time you sit down to write, take a look and focus on writing to achieve those goals. If the IRS comes knocking, you can wave it in their faces.

If you’d like assistance expanding your business plan I can help with that too. Leave a comment on the blog today, ask questions about business plans or anything else you’d like and one lucky commenter will win a copy my new book The Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans for Authors: The Step-By-Step Guide to Taking Control of Your Writing Career. But, if you can’t wait to win it, it’s available now on Amazon.

Amy DenimAmy Denim writes business books for writers and contemporary romance. She loves hot heroes (like chefs and cowboys) and curvy intelligent heroines (like chefs and cowgirls.)

She’s been a franchise sales coordinator, a lifeguard, a personal shopper, and a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. But now she spends her days reading and writing at her local library or in her book cave.

Amy started out her writer’s life scared out of her wits because she didn’t have a business plan, hadn’t yet created an online platform, wasn’t on Twitter, didn’t have a Facebook fanpage and had never even heard of Goodreads. She just wrote books. So she spent a year becoming a publishing industry information fiend and now does consulting for creatives on how to use take control of their writing careers. She started Coffee Break Social Media to help writers and artists learn to use SM platforms effectively (without the scare tactics) but still have time to create. She believes business plans and social media can be every writer’s friend, sometimes they just need an introduction.

Visit Amy on her author website at www.AmyDenim.com or for tips and tricks on the writing business at www.coffeebreaksocialmedia.com.

The Coffice and Alien Cats

Freesias

Freesias in our garden

Today I’m out visiting on the web. I’m making a stop at the RWA chapter Contemporary Romance Writers where I tell all about my coffice.

My second stop is with author Lynda Hilburn where I discuss alien cats.

The Love of Reading

Pelican, Sydney

This photo was taken during our river cruise from Central Sydney to Parramatta. We don’t have pelicans in New Zealand, so we always snap a photo when we see one. They’re such curious looking birds.

Today I’m visiting NJ Walters, and I’m getting back to basics. I became a writer because of my love of books and reading, so today I’m talking about reading and what books I’m reading at present.

Matau, the Giant

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Like most countries, New Zealand has myths to explain the formation of various lakes and mountains. This is the legend of how Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand was formed.

Renowned beauty Manata lived in Otago in the South Island of New Zealand. She was popular with neighboring men and many of them wanted to take her as their wife. Manata’s father didn’t consider any of the suitors husband material.

One of her suitors was called Matakauri. He loved Manata and she loved him in return.

One day a giant called Matau stole Manata from her home and carried her away into the mountains. Manata’s father told Matakauri that if he could rescue his daughter, he’d approve of a marriage between them.

Matakauri knew that the giant always turned sleepy when the wind blew from the nor’west, and once conditions were right, he set out to rescue his love. When he arrived the giant was sound asleep.

“Come with me,” Matakauri said. “I’ll take you home.”

“The giant has tied me to him with a rope made from the skin of his two-headed dogs. It is impossible to break,” Manata cried.

Matakauri tried to cut it, but to no avail. Manata started weeping and when her tears fell on the rope it dissolved. Freed, the lovers fled to safety.

As promised, the couple married, but Matakauri worried about the giant returning and stealing his new wife. When the wind blew from the nor’west again, he sneaked up to the giant’s home and found the giant curled up and sleeping on a bed of bracken. Matakauri set fire to the bracken and the giant suffocated before he regained consciousness. The giant’s body sank deeper and deeper into the ground until he created an enormous chasm many kilometers long. His entire body was consumed by the flames, except the heart, which kept beating.

Rain began to fall and it flowed into the new chasm. The heat generated by the fiery giant bonfire melted the snow on the nearby mountains. Soon the chasm was full of water and it remains as a lake to this day—a lake shaped like a giant who has drawn up his knees in sleep.

Meanwhile the giant’s heart still beats beneath the surface of the water, sometimes so hard that the waves thunder against the shoreline.

I didn’t realize we had giant myths in New Zealand, and I’ve been enjoying reading through Taniwha, Giants, and Supernatural Creatures by Aw Reed and Ross Calman. Do you have any local giant myths?

Today I’m visiting Lissa Matthews where I’m discussing Maxwell’s, the fictional club in Past Regrets. There’s a giveaway too.

How Will The World End?

I’d like to welcome Hart Johnson to my blog. She has a new serial called A Flock of Ill Omens with the first part coming out today. Hart asked everyone who is helping her spread the word about her new release to say how we think the world will come to an end. Her suggestions ranged from Aliens, Zombies, Asteroid, A Giant Spaghetti Monster, or an Attack of the Interrobang!? Food for thought, right?

Once you’ve read about Hart’s serial, scroll down to see how I think the world might end…

Deadliest virus in a century, or a social experiment gone awry?

Every year they warned about the flu and more often than not, it amounted to nothing. Sidney Knight, a young freelance reporter had certainly never written on it. But a trip to Lincoln City, Oregon cut short by a beach full of dead seagulls and a panicked warning from her brother the scientist catch her attention. This batch is different. Deadlier. And the vaccine doesn’t seem to be helping. It almost looks like it’s making it worse…

A Flock of Ill Omens

A Flock of Ill Omens is the first episode of A Shot in the Light, an Apocalypse Conspiracy Tale about what happens when people play God for fun and profit. There will be approximately ten episodes, each the equivalent of about 100 pages.

Good Reads has a sneak peek posted. You can find the purchase link and more information about the book here. And if you want it FOR FREE, I will be offering it free on the release dates of at least the next two in the serial: September 19 and October 10.

Hart Johnson writes books from her bathtub and can be found at Confessions of a Watery Tart, though be warned. She is likely to lead you into shenanigans.

blogfestShot

HOW DO I THINK THE WORLD WILL END?

During the last two years, we’ve had a rash of earthquakes around the world and in New Zealand, my home country. While the majority of the quakes have occurred in the lower North and the South Islands of our country, we have a sleeping dragon in the Auckland region where I live.

The city of Auckland is built on a field of volcanoes.

Rangitoto, Mt Victoria, North Head

See the three peaks/mounds in the photo above? They’re all dormant volcanoes and there are hundreds more. The volcano in the far left of this photo is Rangitoto, which erupted a mere 600 years ago and is the “youngest” in the region. Mt Victoria (middle) and North Head (right) are much older.

Volcanoes within a field do not usually erupt again. Instead a new one pops up somewhere else, and scientists say that this could happen at any time. We’re due.

I think the huge number of earthquakes occurring worldwide is an early warning, and New Zealand is in the midst of the problem. One big volcano will obliterate Auckland for sure, but I’m thinking a super volcano. One that will cause earthquakes, maybe cause other volcanoes around the ring of fire to flare, trigger large tsunamis and send ripple effects across the globe.

How do you think the world might end? Do you go with my theory, Hart’s theory, or do you have one of your own?

Oops, I almost forgot – today I’m visiting Felicity Heaton where I’m discussing another thing unique to New Zealand—The Terrifying Taniwha! I hope to see you there!

Step Back With the Pharaohs

Donkey Ride, Valley of the Kings, Egypt

When we visited Egypt a few years ago, one of the things I worried about most was the excursion to the Valley of the Kings via donkey. I’d never ridden a donkey before and my concern was that I’d fall off! The donkey ride from Luxor up into the hills and down into the Valley of the Kings turned out to be the highlight of my trip. It certainly beat the coaches that took most of the tourists to the site. My donkey was called Michael Jackson and that’s us in the middle of the photo. The other two girls were part of our group.

The donkeys ambled on the way there, but on the journey home they trotted, setting a brisk pace. We arrived home in time for lunch after exploring several of the tombs which once housed the royals. It was a fun excursion, and I loved it.

Today I’m visiting Mari Carr. I’m talking about the friends to lovers trope and there’s a giveaway. I hope to see you there!

It’s our wedding anniversary today. Thirty-one years of married life seem to have flown past in the blink of an eye. Happy anniversary, Mr. Munro!

Stepping Back in Time

Shelley, Bangui, CAR

I’m stepping back in time today with a photo of me taken in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Several local ladies visited our camp and offered to braid hair. I kept mine in for about three weeks. When I’d had enough of braids and unfastened them, I had the hair style from hell. The worst hair day ever!

Today I’m visiting Keira Kohl with Julia Maxwell, the heroine of Past Regrets. There’s also a giveaway.

Have you ever had your hair done in braids?

The King of Threadneedle Street

I bring you a historical with a very interesting title today—The King of Threadneedle Street. It was the title that grabbed my attention and made me look closer. Please welcome, Moriah Densley, and make sure you leave a comment to go into the draw to win some beautiful jewelry.

BBT The King of Threadneedle Street Banner copy

King of Threadneedle StreetTHE KING OF THREADNEEDLE STREET

By

Moriah Densley

BLURB:

He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.
He knows Portuguese, Hindu, Mandarin and Morse code.
His assets net thirteen million.

Lord Preston wants the one thing money can’t buy…

Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street” wants the one prize out of reach: his childhood sweetheart. The papers can waste a sea of ink scandalizing over his lavender-eyed Alysia; so what if she is the daughter of his father’s mistress?

Alysia Villier learned the craft of the courtesan from her infamous mother―by osmosis apparently. A gifted artist who almost won the Prix de Rome, Alysia is not interested in following in her mother’s footsteps, since Andrew ruined her for any other man. But with her legal guardian—Andrew’s father―in control of her inheritance, she has little choice in the matter.

Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew. Not his old-fashioned family, the disapproval of the ton, nor even Alysia’s dedication to duty and propriety will stop him. Playing newspapers and investors like pawns, tumbling world markets, inciting riots… has he gone too far?

EXCERPT: Ballroom scene

After being threatened with ruin by Andrew Tilmore Lord Preston’s parents, Alysia Villier runs away to Paris. With the help of people she thinks are her friends, she makes a living as a painter and an artist’s model. The same night she learns she’s in danger, her knight in shining armor comes to the rescue…

Perhaps the people around her were speaking; she couldn’t say, for she was momentarily stunned and not sure why. Then she heard the voice again. A British, bass voice. “Excuse me, pardon.”

Was it her imagination? She shook her head.

Evigny and Ramsgate were pushed aside, and there stood Andrew, a head taller than the others and gloriously angry. Her heart stalled then kicked. She couldn’t breathe.

He gave her a low, formal bow. Pressed a slow kiss on the back of her gloved hand before turning it to press the palm to his face. Closed his eyes and inhaled deeply at her wrist. Grazed his nose along the inside of her forearm, as though hundreds of eyes were not observing.

One of the men nearby, probably Ramsgate, scoffed, “And without an introduction! Such presumption! Come now, who is—”

“We have met,” Andrew took her glass, and for the second time that evening, Leduc found himself holding it while another man cut in.

“Andrew.” Her voice caught, and her throat felt swollen. A dozen gasps sounded around her, seeming to echo.

She became aware of a chorus of lowered voices. “That is Lord Preston!” or jealously, “How does he know Miss Villier?” said as though her name meant horse manure.

“Lord Preston, The King of Threadneedle Street.”

“Lord Preston, youngest peer to sit in the House of Lords.”

All hail Lord Preston, the demi-god. Who should not be here.

She was suddenly conscious of how she must look to him, no longer the plump, modest country maiden to whom he had bid farewell over a year before. After a year of Madame Desmarais’ strict diet of vegetable juices, sprouts, and deprivation of sweets, Alysia was a noticeable one or two stone lighter. She thought she was an inch taller, as well.

But that wasn’t mortifying. Alysia resisted the urge to cover herself with her fan. She didn’t want him to see the pleated silver bodice in translucent gossamer, wasp-waist corset and low Parisian décolleté. Wisps of gossamer—a poor excuse for sleeves—sat low on her arms, exposing her shoulders and half her back. The cosmetics, the exotic perfume, her hair coiffed in semi-dishabille topped with jeweled combs…

She must truly look a harlot to him. Did he think so? He was certainly staring.

Ignoring the protests of her so-called admirers, he led her to the dance floor just in time for the next waltz, oblivious to her wooden movements. He pulled their dance position completely closed. Pressed against him from shoulder to knee — oh, the shock! His thighs rubbed hers, leading the steps as he had over a year before at his sister’s wedding. It seemed ages ago.

Constrained in the corset, she couldn’t draw a clear breath. If the dizziness grew worse, she would faint in his arms. At least his shoulder blocked her view of the room. Alysia had no desire to survey all the curious and accusing glares she knew were aimed at her.

Oh, why did Andrew have to appear this evening? She felt like an opium addict locked in a closet saturated with the scent, smoke, and juice. Tentatively his fingers moved over the exposed skin of her back, across her shoulders, blazing a sensation strangely like fire and ice together. His head turned a little and rested against hers. He hummed softly in her ear as though it was perfectly ordinary that they should be waltzing at a ball in Paris on a random autumn evening.

CONTEST: Go into a draw to win a genuine Victorian-style pearl jewelry set inspired by the book, including necklace, bracelet, and earrings. To receive more chances of winning follow the rest of Moriah’s The King of Threadneedle Street tour.

MEDIA KIT Reader Prize KTS_BlogTourPrizeJewelry_READER

AUTHOR INFORMATION:Moriah Densley

Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award “Best First Book” finalist, and 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist in historical romance. She loves hearing from readers!

LINKS

GIVEAWAY LINK (picture of Victorian-style jewelry set + entry info):

http://moriahdensley.com/2013/05/26/win-this-victorian-pearl-jewelry-set/

Website + blog: http://moriahdensley.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoriahDensley

Twitter: http://twitter.com/moriahdensley

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/moriahdensley/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826397-the-king-of-threadneedle-street

Available now in e-book:

Astraea Press

Amazon

B&N

Smashwords

A Writer’s Life – The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line, the first book in my Love and Friendship series is out a blog tour this week, and Past Regrets, the second book in the series is due out on 10 September.

Today I’m visiting:

The-Bottom-Line-Banner-AUTHORS-FB

Sky Purington at A Writer’s Mind – interview

Fierce Romance Author Group – interview

Booker Like A Hooker – review

I bet you can’t guess what the least glamorous thing I do every day is…find the answer in the Fierce Romance interview!

Earthquakes and Art Deco!

I’m visiting Heart-Shaped Glasses where I’m talking about earthquakes among other things. Heart-Shaped Glasses has a travel theme this month and there are lots of excellent posts to check out.