Author Suzan Harden: Ebook Business Plan

This morning I've got Suzan Harden, author of Seasons of Magick: Spring here for a Coffee Chat.

About Season of Magick Series

Welcome to Morrigan's Cauldron! But be careful what you ask for because this little Greenwich Village shop can deliver your heart's desire. Or your greatest nightmare.

Season of Magick: Spring

Tessa McClain's life has spun out of control. Thanks to her con artist ex, she's lost her job, her money and her reputation. Desperate, she talks her way into job at a local New Age shop. There's just one problem – Adrian Holloway, the hunky store manager. The last thing she needs is another bad boy in her life. But her body hungers to break her brain's ‘no men' rule.

After the death of his wife, Adrian abandoned his Wall Street world and found peace in the quirky Greenwich shop, Morrigan's Cauldron. Or he did until an April wind blew smart-mouthed Tessa McClain through the front door. While he's ready to take another crack at love, convincing Tessa may be more trouble than he bargained.

Let's Dish

Instead of serving Danish, we're going to dish about some of the things it takes to make it as an ebook indie author and publisher.

Suzan's ebook is a volume of Erotica. Since that's such a popular genre, and because Suzan's a good writer, I fully expect her book to fly off the cyber shelves.

Now, here's Suzan to tell you what she thinks is vitally important for anyone who wants a career as an indie author and publisher of ebooks.

Suzan Harden: In Her Own Words

As soon as I had an e-book up for sale, I was hit with questions. So, following Joan’s Takeaway Truths, here’s mine: Have a business plan.

“But why? Writing is art.” Um, no. Not exactly. Not if you want to publish and make money.

The minute you decide to publish, no matter the route you take, you’ve just become a small business owner. Which means you need a business plan.

It doesn’t have to be some fancy, perfect-bound 500-page opus. You’re a writer, not a Fortune 100 company. (Though I think J.K. Rowling may be considered both.)

My business plan is written in a $5 journal I picked up in a bookstore. My husband and his partners wrote theirs on a cocktail napkin. (Seriously. He still has the napkin.) Scribble it on the back of your kid’s detention slip if you have to, but have one.

First thing to write down? Your ultimate goal. Mine is to make a sufficient yearly income through my fiction writing to cover living expenses and put my kid through college should something unfortunate happen to my husband. I have the specific number in my journal.

Your goal can be anything your heart pleases. Write yours down. Now. Don’t stop to think about it.

How are you going to make that goal? Looks a little overwhelming, doesn’t it? Don’t think of doing it all in one chunk. Break it down. I estimate I’ll need at least ten novels and twice as many novellas through three different e-retailers to make X dollars a month.

Still have that drowning feeling? Break it down further. Start at the beginning. Do you have a completed novel? If not, how will you schedule time to finish? If the novel’s completed, is it edited? Are you planning to self-publish or will you submit the manuscript to a traditional publisher? Add additional steps to your plan for each track you plan to follow.

Make your little goals as specific as possible. My first two novels were literally written two pages a day during my lunch hour because I was practicing law full-time. Yeah, it took a whole year to write each one, but that tiny goal of two pages a day got me started.

Now, add in editing and marketing steps to your business plan. Regardless of the route you take, you will be required to do these yourself. If you go the self-publishing route, don’t forget cover art and formatting.

And now you have your very own business plan. Just remember your plan isn’t written in stone. Unless you actually did chisel it into a piece of granite. In which case, keep the chisel and hammer handy for alterations. At the rate the publishing business is changing, you may need a whole new plan tomorrow.

Readers, just in case you'd like to know, Seasons of Magick: Summer is Suzan's work in progress. She's aiming for publication in late summer of course.

Thanks, Suzan. I, and all my readers, wish you many sales.

Takeaway Truth

If you find this advice given by Suzan Harden worthwhile -- and, trust me, it is very good advice -- buy a copy of her book. If you don't read erotica, buy it anyway. After all, it's only $.99, and that's less than a cup of coffee.

(If you have a buck left, buy my book too! Since I've become an indie author, I'm shameless.*G*)


  1. Great post! I'm going to sit down and write down my plan. Today! Thanks, Susan!! And yes, wishing you tons and tons of sales!

    Love your blog, Joan! :) Best of luck with your sales as well!

    Got my copies and hoping to find some reading time this weekend. ;)

  2. Good morning, Melissa. Thanks for the compliment about SlingWords. *blush*

    Suzan has some great advice that everyone should follow.

    Best wishes,

  3. This is a terrific post! Thanks for all the good advice, Suzan. I will work on that plan today. I need to do something to get me back in the saddle. I've hit a wall since my mom died and haven't been able to find my mojo. If I have a plan, make myself do it...maybe my mojo will find me!
    Today will be a day of new beginnings!

  4. Hi, Stacey, thanks for dropping by.

    My heart goes out to you. I lost my mom a year ago January. I know exactly how you're feeling and what you mean by hitting a wall.

    Not a day goes by that I don't think about my mom and wish I'd had more time with her. She was one of my biggest supporters so I know she must be looking down from heaven and laughing with delight about this ebook thing which I'd discussed with her when Kindle first emerged.

    Hang in there. Sometimes you have to hit a wall and keep on hitting it until it crumbles.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves

  5. Great advice!!!!! Great post!!! I've had a plan from the beginning...Now, if life would cooperate, I could live by the plan...but, then again, what fun would that be??

  6. Good morning,everyone! Joan, thanks again for having me!

    @Melissa - Yes! Don't forget to read! The downtime helps to recharge those creative batteries.

    @Stacey - Ah, girl! It's okay to give yourself some time to grieve. You and your mom were very close. Try writing about her, your memories about her, fun things. . .

    @Tess - Any plan needs some flexibility for those times when the dog throws up on the carpet, the car won't start, etc. Been there, understand that.

  7. TessStJohn said...what fun would that be?

    I don't know, but I'm sure willing to give it a shot!


  8. I have a plan, too. I'm kinda shy about sharing it, because I think, What if I can't make it happen?

    I wonder if other writers feel this way, too?

  9. Hi, Anita!

    Hey, everyone feels that way about sharing something important. Doesn't matter if you're a writer or a coal miner. If you say, "This is what I want to achieve, and this is how I'm going to do it." someone, somewhere will be happy to tell you that you can't do it. They'll also be happy to tell you "I told you so" if you fail. But the weird thing is, if you do make it, they'll be the first to say, "I knew you could."

    Go figure. Just human nature I guess.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves

  10. Suzan has excellent advice--as usual. And as someone who has read her story, I can tell you that it is wonderful!

  11. Excellent, Suzan. I'm taking notes. Since losing my job, I've become much more focused and goal oriented with regards to my writing and this puts actually 'having a plan' in focus. Thanks.


  12. Sorry, folks. I meant to peek in yesterday, but the water pump on the 'Vette froze up after I met a friend for lunch.

    @Anita - #^*$ the naysayers! 99% of your success is up to you. If you want it, you'll find a way. (That one percent only applies to Hillary Clinton and the office of the president BTW.)

  13. Thanks, Tea! And your review on Amazon was so sweet!

  14. Oh, damn, Sheila! I'm so sorry about your job. Hunker down, get a plan together, and get moving on that book. Good luck!

  15. Hi, Sheila, thanks for dropping by. Good luck in the job search if you go looking, and good luck with getting your book to THE END.

    Best wishes,