Writer’s Business Plan Defined

Shonna Slayton — 

During one of our Retro blogs in December I talked about my Snap Plan from Author MBA, a now defunct website. One of our readers asked for more information about what is in such a plan. Because there is too much to explain to just leave an answer in the comments section, I’m going to create a three-part blog. Part one is about creating a Vision plan, part two is the Action plan, and part three is putting the Routines for Writer’s spin on the whole thing.

First off, let me explain that the Snap Plan became the final document from a two-week (?) online class the three of us took years ago. I’ll talk in generalities about it, and point you to some new references to help you develop your own writer’s business plan. Smarter people than me have talked about this and I’ll point you to them!

Basically, the Snap Plan is one sheet of paper that lists your Vision Plan on one side and your Action Plan on the other.

1. A Vision Statement:

  • Helps you define WHY you write.
  • Provides focus for your work.
  • Becomes your touchstone when the work gets hard.

For example, Mitali Perkins, a YA writer, formulated this Vision Statement:

To create and celebrate good stories, especially about children and teens in the margins of life.

You can see this vision statement lived out in the books she writes (her latest, Bamboo People, where “A refugee and a child soldier challenge the rules of war.”) and in the topics she blogs and tweets about (cultural diversity in children’s and YA books).

Mitali gives a quick 3-step guide to writing a vision statement on her blog What’s Your Vision Statement.

If you are up for a more detailed analysis, check out the Shrinking Violet Promotion’s Online Personal Workshop, an 11-blog series focused on helping writers figure out their online presence with topics like “The many layers of YOU” and “Connecting the Dots.”

My Snap plan not only has a pithy vision statement, but also talks about career goals and branding.

2. Career Goals

For your career goals, dream big, and think about what you’d like to accomplish by the end of your career. Write it down.

3. Branding

Branding is all about defining who you are as a writer and how you portray that to your audience. For branding help, check out these tips on the Seekerville blog:

The Power of Author Branding with Jenn Stark (who was part of my original Author MBA experience.) She talks about creating your Industry Brand, your Writing Brand, and your Slogan.

Author Branding and Author Tags –plenty of examples to get you started.

Okay, have fun thinking about the WHY of your career this week. If you’ve gotten any insight or want to hash through some ideas, feel free to leave some comments and we can all brainstorm together.  Next Friday we’ll talk about the Action plan–the HOW of your business plan.


Shonna Slayton

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Shonna Slayton is the author of the 1940's YA novel Cinderella's Dress (2014, Entangled Teen) and its sequel, Cinderella's Shoes (Fall 2015) . Visit her website at ShonnaSlayton.com sign up for her newsletter.

4 responses to Writer’s Business Plan Defined

  1. Thanks for this post — these are the types of things I’m thinking through right now as a writer, and this helps me to have a few focused questions to help refine my thinking and planning. Looking forward to the follow-up posts!

  2. Kitty Bucholtz at

    Great post, Shonna! Good way to boil down what we learned into bite-size pieces. :)

  3. Excellent post! Thanks for the useful links- will have some fun following them up, I can see.

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  1. Reinventing myself « Seven Sassy Sisters -

    […] saw a post here on the Routines for Writers blog on creating and following a Writer’s Business Plan (I highly recommend this site, BTW. I took a workshop in January with Kitty Bucholtz which was […]