Dear Author Margo,
I wrote a novel, landed an agent and signed a publishing contract...now what?
Dear Lucky Duck,
Turn to page two of your five-year business plan. What? You haven't got one? Because you didn't think you needed a business plan? Because you’re a writer?
It really doesn’t matter if you wrote your novel in the woods of Vermont, high on cough medicine in a roach infested New York City tenement or even at a picture perfect café in Paris. You did the work because you wanted that writing to be published and for people to read it. And, yes, to make some decent scratch off of your efforts. For this you need a plan to figure out what you plan to do with yourself now that you're about to be a published writer. (Really, you should have started this process a long time ago, but I have a soft spot for late bloomers.)
Start by asking yourself a few questions. Do you want to win a prestigious award in ten years or be the featured speaker at Comic-Con within the next two? Piers Morgan or Charlie Rose? Do you want to your book to excerpted in Vanity Fair or be reviewed in the New Yorker? Do you just want to pay your mortgage?
Writing, it turns out, is a lot more than just typing. Especially nowadays when a writer has to wear many hats. And when someone (your agent, editor, Charlie) asks you what's next for you, you have bar graphs and bullet points to refer them to. Just because you don't have a "real job" it doesn't mean you shouldn't think of what you do as one.