Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

Book Publishing Goals: 5 Steps to Setting Ones You Will Reach

It's the middle of January, and that means you either:

A) Are moving full-steam ahead with the 2008 book publishing goals you set,

B) Have already given up on the New Year's resolutions you made, or ...

C) Never set goals and vowed to make this a great year to begin with.

Even if you're getting a slow start this year, it's never too late to dream big, set goals for yourself as an author, and start making progress right now. To help you toward that end, here are five quick tips on goal setting, productivity and motivation:

1) What's your big WHY? You want to sell tons of books, get major media exposure, and have throngs of fans. That's great. But why do you want those things? What's the bigger reason? What's your grand vision? What's your life's mission and purpose ... and how does being a successful author fulfill that? Yes, these are deep questions. But having a clear answer will make all the difference in the world.

2) Write them down to make them happen. And write them in ink. Don't keep your goals in your head. Commit them to paper (or at least type them into a computer program and print them out, which is still producing them on paper). The idea is to make your goals tangible, and getting them on paper is the first step.

3) Make your goals specific and measurable. Saying "I want to be a wildly successful author" is admirable, but what is that exactly and how do you know when you've arrived? Instead, make your goals concrete: "I want to do five public speaking events and build my mailing list to 1,000 people by the end of May." That kind of goal is also measurable. By the end of May, you'll know how close you came to reaching (or exceeding or falling short of) it.

4) Focus on the little chunk at hand. Don't get overwhelmed by the entire scope of a daunting project. For each of your big book publishing goals, ask yourself, "What's the very first thing I should do on this project?" or "What's the very next thing that needs to be done?" The answer may be as simple as "Call Sue to get the name of the web designer she used for her site." Put that -- and only that -- on your list of next action steps. Don't expend mental energy on the many steps that will follow. Just focus on that one phone call until it's completed. After it is completed, ask, "What next?"

Effective goal setting, then, is simply a matter of taking micro action steps, one at a time.

5) Just do it for 5 minutes. Wanna know the best way to overcome procrastination, hands down? Tell yourself that you'll spend just five minutes working on the thing you know you should be doing ... but don't really feel like doing now. What stops you is the thought of working for hours on end. But anyone, no matter how lethargic, can muster the strength to play around with something for five measly minutes.

What you'll find, though, is that once you get started, you'll get into a flow that will carry you well beyond the first five minutes. I've done this for years with my writing projects. It works. And it works for marketing and sales too. The trick is just starting.


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  • Mr. Baker, good post! Okay, you wanna know what my WHY is? I am working to change the world! Within the first 5 years of the publication of the book I am writing, I see 50 million people reading my book. I see 50 percent of them thinking about the world and themselves differently after reading the book I am writing. How's that?

    By Blogger TomGallinipper, At Wednesday, January 16, 2008  

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