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Encore Month: Why and How to Build a Book Project Plan

Writing and publishing a e-book can really feel like a monsterous process, especially should you’re not used to delivering such large tasks. However despair not, in at present’s encore submit, John Wagner-Stafford, co-founder of ALLi Associate Member Ingenium Books, explains how to do that super-efficiently by designing and following your personal guide undertaking plan.

John Wagner-Stafford talks you through the steps of making a e-book undertaking plan

A undertaking plan in your ebook serves the same function as the blueprints for the home you’ll construct, the trip plan in your year-long round-the-world trip, or the grocery record in your huge ceremonial dinner. It begins with an concept of what you need to achieve and ends with the last tasks wanted to successfully publish your guide.

At Ingenium Books, we consider that writing a e-book and self-publishing in at present’s market requires adopting some good small enterprise practices. In case you strategy your e-book writing and writer career like a small enterprise owner, you will improve your possibilities for fulfillment.

Most businesses at present pay particular attention to how they plan their tasks. They make use of at the very least a few challenge administration greatest practices and some kind of a venture management system. The overall notion of winging it with out a plan will in all probability not get you very far when operating your personal business, including when that enterprise includes publishing your personal e-book.

What is a venture plan on your ebook?

Primarily, a ebook undertaking plan is a standing gathering and reporting system.

An example

Once I labored at Ubisoft as a online game producer and the world entered into a new millennium in 2000, I and my workforce have been huddled round one in every of our open-space assembly tables establishing and planning a new challenge: Prince of Persia, The Sands of Time. We confronted many choices and decisions about know-how, methods, individuals, and cash. My duty was to type out how we have been going to report our progress. Which knowledge gathering and reporting system we might use to plan, monitor and report the progress and well being of this monumental venture? Ubisoft needed to make sure that every venture manager, all of the artistic leads, the sport designers, story writers, and the producer (me) have been all on the identical page. I chose a combination of Microsoft Project for the large picture and a system I developed for the every day deliverables.

The methods would wish a venture supervisor who would enter and replace the info every day to assist us manage dependencies and assets. We might literally do the rounds with each artist and enter into the database the % of their progress, pay attention to any anomalies or roadblocks in the best way of advancement, then the report would end up on my desk each afternoon, so I might have the opportunity to determine how to move forward with the subsequent day’s plan.

Your ebook challenge plan

You need to use these rules and ideas in your e-book undertaking too. There gained’t be quite so many shifting elements and there will probably be fewer individuals to cope with.

A guide undertaking plan could be a easy process listing on a piece of paper, several pieces of paper in a file folder, or a plan created with a software program. Either means, it is going to have some or all of these traits:

  • Could also be laid out on a timeline indicating when tasks are to be accomplished, how they relate to each other, and what happens if they are delayed.
  • Supplies a view of how long it’s going to take to get the job accomplished.
  • Provides a window into how a lot your undertaking will value.
  • Gathers collectively in a single place all the knowledge you want to reply the questions: why, what, when, who, and how.
  • Answers the question, what if? Your plan will permit you to check totally different situations and assist you to choose which one is true for any moment.

A plan makes it simpler to turn on a dime and head in a totally different course.

Without a plan, you’ll not see problems on the horizon that are slowing you down now.

And you’ll have no efficient method to course right when things will not be quite right.

Benefits of a ebook undertaking plan

Most authors come to us with an concept, or a manuscript of various high quality, in numerous levels of completion. They don’t, nevertheless arrive with plans. They typically haven’t thought of a advertising plan, or a distribution plan. Not one has ever thought-about a ebook undertaking plan. Properly, we consider—and deal with—the guide challenge plan.

Writing a plan is the first step to organizing your undertaking. It delivers a preventing probability in your guide to get revealed the best way you conceived it.

It helps you determine, prematurely, all the very elements that go into writing and publishing your personal guide. A e-book challenge plan focuses on getting the essential issues accomplished on the proper time and it helps you choose priorities.

Your plan will allow you to see which tasks are falling behind or which one need to be advanced. It allows you to see what occurs to your scheduled publish date if issues get delayed. (Like perhaps completing the primary draft of your manuscript is taking you method longer than you expected. It happens.)

Creating your e-book undertaking plan will help relieve the burden of continually questioning for those who’re on prime of each detail. It’ll allow you to give attention to the large picture.

How do you set a e-book venture plan together?

You’ll want to do a little bit of analysis, and it’ll take a little bit of time to get it all set up right. Listed here are some high-level challenge plan elements you can begin with to get you going.

  1. A plan/objective statement
  2. Huge-picture process record with estimated durations and dependencies (what other tasks are depending on this one)
  3. Assets record
  4. Deliverables record and their costs
  5. Timeline (might be Excel or Numbers, at Ingenium Books we use Aeon)
  1. A challenge function statement

Your function assertion consists of why you’re writing your e-book. It is going to handle what you anticipate to achieve personally and professionally as a result of writing your e-book and what are you in a position and prepared to make investments to get your ebook revealed (time and money).

If in case you have already created a function assertion, add it to your guide undertaking plan. You may be reminded of your objective every time you update your plan. Whenever you hit a tough patch, or turn out to be overwhelmed, having your objective assertion right up front on your guide venture plan will show you how to reply the query, “Why am doing this, and why now?”

  1. Huge-picture activity listing

What you add to your activity record will depend upon what stage you’re at in getting your ebook revealed. Your process listing may be affected by the subject and genre of your e-book. In case you have a lot of writing to do to finish the first draft of your manuscript, you may break down your writing duties by chapter. It’s going to also rely a bit on what enable you to are planning to get hold of from others:

  • Are you hiring a cowl designer?
  • Editor?
  • Advertising specialist?

When you have a lot of analysis to do, for instance, which may make its approach onto the duty listing.

Usually, though, the big-picture duties can be comparable for many authors and most books.  Right here is an example of a partial listing of starting-point tasks we add to our plans to get your e-book revealed:

✓    Project start

✓    Project objective

✓    Advertising plan

✓    Manuscript improvement

✓    Advertising implementation

✓    Distribution prep

✓    Pre-Launch advertising

✓    Launch week

✓    Publish-launch advertising

In fact, underneath any of those high-level duties, you’ll need to add subtasks. Including these subtasks to the venture plan on your e-book has pro and con implications, particularly related to manageability and clarity.

With more element comes extra effort. There shall be extra comply with up and more reporting, BUT you’re much less apt to miss out on the little issues.

With much less element, the method is far simpler to handle, comply with, and report on. But you may miss one thing essential.

task and subtask list screenshot

  1. Assets listing

Easy and straightforward. This is where you determine who will probably be doing what. You can do this in one in every of two methods. Use titles, or use individuals’s names. We use titles like writer, cover designer, editor, proofreader, formatter, and so on. If yours is a easy plan and you’re doing a lot of the work yourself, you then won’t want this. (A phrase of advice though, never underestimate the necessity for an editor. For those who hire nobody else to help together with your guide, a minimum of hire an editor!)

  1. Deliverables listing

Including a deliverables listing is important. It does not need to be exhaustive but will assist if you find yourself identifying dependencies. Assigning dependencies will assist to understand the impression of early or late delivery on other duties or deliverables, akin to your launch date.

Report the deliverable and who will probably be chargeable for the supply. Determine the period, the price, and what process(s) want to be finished earlier than this could start and which activity(s) can’t start till it’s delivered. The result of including deliverables to your venture timeline may appear to be this in your plan.

timeline screenshot

  1. Project timeline

The challenge timeline is a part of the system and can take on one among many types. It may be so simple as your Outlook or Google calendar. You should use an Excel spreadsheet or refined gantt chart software program. The necessary notion is to create a view of the progression of every process and the way it relates to time passing, when it ought to be completed, and the order in relation to the opposite tasks. As your undertaking progresses, modify the dates or place in your system to offer you a view of how the modifications affect what’s to come.  Listed here are a few examples:

google calendar screenshot

Google Calendar

Excel spreadsheet screenshot

Excel spreadsheet

screenshot of a Gantt chart

Gantt chart


By getting ready a ebook undertaking plan you will present your self with:

  • an effective means to monitor how your challenge is advancing
  • a view of which tasks are usually not panning out as planned
  • what impact which may have on the general challenge

It can assist you to higher manage your guide challenge in a skilled, business-like manner.

And, approaching your guide challenge with a small-business perspective will repay in spades by saving time and money. Additionally, you’ll appear to be organized and professional in the eyes of your suppliers and it can increase your personal confidence about getting your ebook revealed. Interval.

John is co-founder of Ingenium Books, which is a associate member of ALLi. He’s additionally a serial entrepreneur and a artistic venture producer. John’s artistic & entrepreneur accomplishments embrace professional musician (saxophone, vocals); recording engineer with artists like Peter Frampton, Celine Dion, Pat Metheny, and Leonard Cohen; soundtrack producer for movie and television; trainer and coach to the sound mixer staff at MSNBC when the New York-based community went reside for the primary time in 1997; producer of notable video games akin to Prince of Persia, Myst IV-Revelation, and Splinter Cell IV-Double Agent; COO in the course of the startup part for KANDY Outside Flooring Inc., licensed realtor in two Canadian provinces; a grasp canoeist; and ASA-certified sailor. John is co-author, together with his spouse and enterprise companion Boni Wagner-Stafford, of Rock Your Business: 26 Essential Classes to Start, Run, and Develop Your New Enterprise From the Ground Up.

OVER TO YOU Do you’ve got any additional concepts to add to John’s recommendation? We’d love to hear them.

How to use a ebook venture plan to manage the production of your self-published guide – by John Wagner-Stafford of @IngeniumBooks #selfpublishing #indieauthors Click on To Tweet

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