Updated: Nov 23
Make your expectations and goals
explicit to reap proper rewards
It’s not that simple, except when it is.
Rather, it’s not easy, but it is simple.
Making your author expectations and goals explicit is the first step in reaping proper rewards.
One of the most interesting and complex aspects of having been a small-press publisher for over 25 years, one who had lots of direct contact with her authors at all stages of the publishing process, were authors’ expectations.
As you might know from firsthand experience, authors have an assortment of hopes, expectations, and big plans pinned on their book. This is not a problem and, as a fan of authors, I say, you deserve all the things you want considering the time, effort, expertise, polish, and passion you put into your book. But start a wish list. And be specific. And turn those into goals. Because without a bit of reflection, those author desires may remain ethereal, grand, and amorphous: to be wildly successful, to be a life-changing experience, and — the one we all think but often barely admit to even ourselves — to make a lot of money. Sure, and to squash the existential pain inside too while we’re at it.
Lofty expectations are not in themselves a problem, but non-specific, non-explicit lofty expectations can be. How else can you measure whether what you’re doing is bringing you closer to your desired outcome? How else will you know that you have met them? When can you savor the wins and take proper satisfaction at that?
Here is my evolving list of 52 benefits I’ve seen different authors enjoy over more than two decades and hundreds of books, whether or not these results of writing a book were specifically desired or made explicit.
My not-so-crazy idea is that the earlier in the publishing process you as an author define for yourself what you want out of your book, the better able you are to marshal the resources necessary to achieve them (including the publisher where appropriate), the greater your results, and the greater your satisfaction. And, bonus, you will also enjoy plenty of unexpected rewards as well.
In future blog posts I will delve deeply into the what and the how of many of the below. Please follow me here if you want to increase income, exposure, and general satisfaction from your book(s), your knowledge, your experience, and your author-hood. I will be focusing on the hard truths, the soft skills, the inner game, and the creative workarounds of business for authorpreneurs, reluctant entrepreneurs, and the sales-and-marketing curious!
Feel free to send me your questions and I will try to answer them in a future article.
As for 50+ ways to be an author, to benefit from having written a book, here they are in no particular order…
Gaining entry into the club of writers.
Participating in the community interested in one’s topic.
Joining the conversations related to one’s book/topic.
Making a difference in the lives of others.
Winning converts to a cause.
Popularizing one’s ideas.
Swaying public opinion.
Entertaining and delighting others.
Capturing stories before they’re lost.
Preserving history before it’s lost.
Bringing attention to local businesses.
Meeting interesting, new people.
Amplifying one’s social network.
Creating something original, beautiful, provocative, important, and __________ (fill in the blank).
Experiencing elevated self-esteem.
Enjoying personal satisfaction for having written a book.
Achieving something significant.
Accomplishing one of the top goals of your fellow human beings, rather than just talking or thinking about doing it.
Springboarding to bigger and better things.
Opening doors (public speaking, media interviews, and business opportunities).
Practising a hobby more fully.
Learning new skills (blogging, public speaking, being media savvy, mastering social media, networking, etc.).
Enhancing existing skills (writing, editing, speaking, etc.).
Overcoming personal obstacles (procrastination, shyness, etc.).
Making a name for oneself.
Sharing unique experiences and perspectives.
Becoming better-known, well-known, or famous.
Basking in the prestige.
Living a fuller life.
Leaving a legacy.
Establishing one’s authority on a subject.
Showing expertise in a field.
Defining one’s position (role) and position (perspective) in some area.
Contributing to a body of knowledge.
Boosting one’s reputation.
Leveraging the power of the printed word.
Complementing one’s primary business.
Advancing in one’s field.
Enlarging one’s professional network.
Having something to give away (a calling card, gift, or premium).
Developing a side business.
Building a platform, growing an ongoing audience.
Earning passive income  (royalties).
Increasing income through turning one’s book into a cottage industry  (re-selling, speaking fees, etc.).
Reaping the rewards of the content’s secondary markets (movie rights, reprint rights, etc.).
Finding a better-paying job (with new skills and an enhanced resumé).
Justifying a pay raise (increased value to one’s company).
Extending the reach of one’s business (passively locating new customers).
 It’s only passive income after you’ve done loads of unpaid work first, right?  A home-based, creative, and/or small-scale side hustle, enterprise, business.