The Big, Hairy, Audacious Writing Goal

This post has taken me a couple months to finish, here’s why: I’m still not sure what I can actually do as a writer.

As some of you may know, I started down this writing path in September of 2015. I had a funny situation happen that was one of those “moments” that pulled a story out of me. I decided to become a writer.

Being an action oriented person (and totally driven by my goals) I knew I had to set some goals… but I had no idea where to start and what I would actually be able to do.

Would a goal of 1000 words a day be too much, or too little? Would I be able to actually find an editor and understand how to self-publish? What is a realistic expectation for book sales for my first book?

These and many other questions were almost impossible to answer in the first week as a writer. It would take some time before I could set some goals. I soon had a decent sample from my writing attempts in September and October. Now I could start thinking about my goals – as a real writer.

My buddy recently posted an article about goal setting for cyclists. Then he challenged me to come up with some writing goals and they had to cover all the aspects from his article. He said he would take my first year as a writer and use it as a case study for something he has been working on – he said I could share it later…

Anyway, I tried to apply his thoughts on making SMARTER Goals meaning they would have to be S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Actionable, R – Realistic, T – Time-based, E – Exciting and have a R – Reward.

Without further ado, here are my 4 writing goals for 2016:

Goal 1 – I will successfully write and launch all three planned books in my Cole Austin Series by the end of 2016.

I define success as the following:

  • I will sell 100 copies of the first book in the series in the first month after launch
  • I will sell 1,000 copies of the second book in its first month after launch
  • I will sell 1,500 copies of the third book in the series in its first month after launch

Planned Launch Schedule:

  • Book 1: Take the Gun – Launch March 2016
  • Book 2: Hide the Gun – Launch July 2016
  • Book 3: Bury the Gun – Launch November 2016

Goal 2 – I will successfully write and launch three of the planned four books in The Consultants Series by the end of 2016.

I define success as the following:

  • I will sell 100 copies of the first book in the series in the first month after launch
  • I will sell 1,000 copies of the second book in its first month after launch
  • I will sell 1,500 copies of the third book in the series in its first month after launch

Planned Launch Schedule:

  • Book 1: Dream Job – Launch May 2016
  • Book 2: Land of Entrapment – Launch September 2016
  • Book 3: Buried Alive – Launch December 2016

And, the two Final Goals that will be the key to success:

Goal 3 – I will get 10,000 visitors per month on my website,, by December 2016 (this one seems difficult but manageable from past web experience)

Goal 4 – I will have a minimum of 4,000 subscribers on my email list by December 2016 (I’m freaking out about this one since I currently have 6. You read that right, I plan on adding 3,994 email subscribers to my email list in 2016! That’s an average of 11 per day… aaaaahhhhh!)

You’ll notice that I’m posting these goals for the world to see (of course only if they happen upon them somehow), making it really exciting and somewhat terrifying. Each of these goals have actions steps which I have outlined and documented. I have also planned some rad rewards for myself at various milestones.

As mentioned in the linked article, I’m pretty excited about the rewards so I’m incredibly motivated.

I’ll keep everyone posted on my progress at least monthly – we’ll see how it goes – keep me accountable!

I’m still a little nervous if these goals actually qualify as “Realistic” so I would love to hear some of your examples.

What are some of your goals for the coming year?

If you’re a writer or self-published author, what are some of the daily, weekly or monthly goals you set for yourself?

Here’s to your success in the coming year!

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If you have a similar experience or a great story to tell please put a comment below and let’s chat.

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Author: Ben

They call me Ben. I'm a Husband, Father, Cyclist, Business Owner, Author and Lover of Green Chile - Just to name a few.

2 thoughts on “The Big, Hairy, Audacious Writing Goal”

  1. A few notes:
    You don’t talk about pricing at all; usually the first book in a series is free or 99cents. I use free to build my platform. Free outsells 99cents by 40/1, so even charging 99cents you’re losing a lot of potential readers. I’d widen the funnel as much as possible. Also, it’s rare to sell more of the 2nd and 3rd book than the first book. People tend to look for the first book in the series and you lose them as you progress (which is why you usually charge more for the 2nd/3rd book). Good luck with everything!

    1. I’m flattered for a comment from THE Derek Murphy (and I’m not being sarcastic!). Thanks for stopping by.

      To answer your questions, I’ve put together some bullet points below:

      – I plan on having the first book in the series in KDP (not select) for the first 90 days. I’m going to price it at 99 cents to start. I probably won’t ever make it permafree since I do plan on writing a “prequel” to use as a lead magnet after the 3 books are finished. That will be permafree. Book 1 will be .99, book 2 will be 3.99 and book 3 will be 3.99. Then I will bundle the whole shebang and price it at 5.99 (these are all ebook prices obviously).
      – I’m fully aware that the second book doesn’t usually outsell the first book but my marketing strategy, if implemented correctly, should see a significant increase in book 1 sales in the few months leading up to the launch of the second book which will increase the likelihood that the second book sales are higher. My author platform will be larger and I think 1000 copies is going to be a long stretch but possible.
      – I intentionally left out my goals for the second and third month sales for book 1 but it will be (power of positive thinking) higher than 1000 copies.
      – I plan on loading the files and running some promos to my followers for the first few weeks before official launch. Note that launch date isn’t the same as published date.

      But, after all that, it’s still just hypotheses at this point. We’ll see how it actually happens.

      Thanks again for your thoughts – it made me nail down some of the details. If you feel so inclined, please join my mailing list and let me know if my autoresponder series is on point!


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