As an indie author, you become more than just a writer. You must manage every aspect of your business. Part of that is managing book contracts. You need to protect your rights and your book. You also know as a savvy business owner that you cannot do all the work yourself. You will hire many different contractors based on your budget, time, skills, and needs. Everything from editors to cover designers to marketing support and Personal Assistants.
You can hope that the people you hire will be professional enough to manage contracts, but in my experience, a lot of them work on the digital handshake method. This leaves you hanging if things don’t work out. You do not want to risk your masterpiece this way! You should have contracts drawn up for each project and have them signed before any money exchanges hands. But if you are working with contractors all over the world, (my cover artist for The Hunters Saga is based out of Greece.) How do you manage contracts? Do you let your work wait for a contract that was sent via certified mail and requires notaries? That could delay project start dates up to a whole month. In the publishing world, that is a long wait. Why not send a digital contract? They are considered as viable as a physical contract, and in a lot of ways are more secure and don’t require a notary because proving who is who becomes a lot easier! Digital contracts are as viable as paper contracts with less hassle.
I Sign Here is an electronic signature company that you can utilize month-to-month (only $15 a month for a single user) and will provide your e-signature needs. Get your contracts all lined up, and ready to go, get a one-month service contract, send out your contracts and get them signed, and then keep them on record. Or you can get a one-year service contract for only $180. That contract comes with 24/7 support services, unlimited contracts signed each month for one user. If you anticipate needing more than 4 contracts (typically 1 book per year) then this is a wise investment to protect your asset and is far cheaper than alternatives such as Docusign, or .E-signature by Adobe
I’ve used I Sign Here for several years now and absolutely love the service and Karl Ward has been great. It really is a fantastic deal and a great way to help you save money. Want to learn more about I Sign Here? Visit their website or contact owner Karl Ward. with your specific questions. Ready to get your own ISignHere Contract going today? Sign up and mention that Heidi Angell sent you to Karl. He will get your account set up within a few hours. Any questions about digital contracts or I Sign Here? Let us know in the comments below.
Happy New Year! For many of you, I know you’re bailing on Resolutions. I’ve already seen all the millions of posts regaling how resolutions don’t matter and it doesn’t work and they just don’t like feeling like failures. I totally appreciate that struggle. But I fully believe that I am able to achieve all that I do because I set New Years Resolutions, goals, and evaluate quarterly while having a beautiful reminder front and center on my desk. I have also found that accountability goes a long way in that as well. After all, we follow what we focus on, right? So, I have some fantastic New Year’s Resolutions for you, and some pretty pictures for me to help me stay focused on my dreams. I share these with you so that you can know what to expect from me in the coming year. Here are my resolutions:
These are my dreams for this year. They are a tighter focus than my 5-year dreams or my Someday I See Myself As dreams. (Sorry, not sharing those with you. Have to have some mystery!) But they feed those dreams and support those goals. Where I do my nitty-gritty smarter goals are in my quarterly goals designed to achieve those resolutions. Yeah, I have a handy print-up to help me keep that front-of-mind as well.
See how each of those can tie back to my Resolutions? They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable Relevant, Timely, Evaluated, and rewarded. (those that don’t seem to be, do have additional tracker sheets and SCRUM tables to achieve it, but I need an easy to print and hang on my wall thing. So… This reminds me to look at those things.) Let me know what you’re New Year’s Resolutions are if you’ve made any.
If you struggle with setting and achieving goals, be sure to check out the Dreammaker Challenge. It is a great 7-day challenge to help you make a focus on your personal development and guides you on how to set your goals.
For those who recall, at the beginning of 2018 I set some very public author goals for the year using the 90 day plan. And revised and tracked them in Q2. And again in Q3 And now it is time for the Q4 author goals check-in and annual wrap up. I know, many of you are probably thinking, but the year isn’t over yet! True, but to be honest, I started planning for next year back during Black Friday. Can’t plan without looking at last quarter stuff. Sure, there’s a bit of overlap but we know about where we were with things, don’t we?
Here’s a refresher of my goals: I’ve put my progress in italics at the end of each section a bit to show where I am with these goals.
Publish 4 books in 2018—The Survivalist Bible Serial launched (I have the first part of the serial in an anthology with M.L.S. Weech, and the second segment released in November, but with chaos ensuing I did not do the December release. Prepping to do better in 2019 though.), Clear Angel Chronicles 3, Hell School 2, and Hell School 3. (Hell School 2 and Clear Angel Chronicles are getting moved to next year. It’s been very emotionally difficult writing the Hell School series and I really need to remember that before setting goals for it. ). So with this goal, I only achieved half of it.
Increase my social reach by 50%. This one is a bit messy for you to see in action. I created a lovely graph in Excel (that I am not going to share, because it’s really not that lovely) with my starting point for each of my social media platforms’ current reach. I will track each stat weekly. This is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. I’m actually not going to mess with this one because it’s a good goal.
(I didn’t increase all of them by 50%, but I did with my Facebook groups that I manage, my Facebook page got close at 48%, my Youtube page hit 35%, Twitter and goodreads were not great this year which is weird as they used to be my fastest growing platforms. Instagram exceeded my goals.)
Re-release my specific previous 5 titles that fit the OWS brand under OWS as part of my partner contract. We’ve only missed The Hunted as part of this goal. So I’m gonna count this solidly as a win.
Expand my OWS-U course offerings by one course each semester. Well, I released 3 courses, but they weren’t in the order of semesters like I’d hoped. OWS U is a big focus for me for next year as well and I’m planning on releasing at least another three courses so I call this one a win as well.
Increase my book sales by 25%. I hate setting monetary goals. Truly, I do. Yeah, nowhere close.However I’ve got solid plans for next year now that everything is re-released on Ingram Spark and we’ve got merchandising on our OWS Shop. I’ve got some crazy goals monetarily for OWS as a whole, and me personally.
I am definitely on track with Q3 to achieve most of my author goals for 2018.
90 Day Plan Q3 goals and Check-In
My goals for quarter 3.
Plan and execute tours for the books I have re-released through OWS- I will plan a week long tour for Hell School to re-fresh it’s SEO as soon as we get it on Ingram Spark, and a tour for Clear Angel Chronicles as soon as Angel’s Dance is back up. I will also look at doing local book store promotion in August as I should be all healed up from surgery by then. This didn’t happen. I was so focused on getting the new shop site up for Black Friday and the releases we had scheduled that no tour stuff for me happened.
Keep Building that Social Media Platform- I will keep using the social media tracker, though pairing back to once a month because I am re-launching my website on WordPress and that will have me quite busy this month. Did this, despite my own website not getting transferred to WP like I’d hoped.
Write 2K words a day on my WIP- Man, being a publisher has you running so many different directions and I am really bad about getthing my word count in on MY projects. I am going to start making writing my first activity of the day before things get hairy, going back to the way I was doing it when I had a full timejob, because being a publisher is MORE than a full-time job and my authoring dreams are kind of getting pushed to the back burner. This didn’t happen either.
And guess what? It is that time of year again, to start planning your New Year’s Resolutions and planning your year. I will be updating all of last year’s posts to reflect goals and plans for this year, but if you would like some extra personal support, come join us on Patreon for $5 a month. Not only will you get great exclusive content from the board guiding the magic at OWS (Amanda Lynn Hester, Rebekah Jonesy, Isa McLaren, JK Allen and Your’s Truly), but I am also starting a 90 Day Year Support group where we will share and support one another’s goals. Join us today!
The reality is that in a lot of ways, 2018 really sucked. If I just looked at what I missed out on (about half my goals, if we’re being honest.) it was a crappy year. But reflecting on OWS’s goals and mine, I realize I achieved a hell of a lot, even with a back injury that left me working at half steam for more than half the year. Even with surgery, family crisis, financial struggles, and the drama of the national stage. If I didn’t have my goals to reflect on, I might really feel like a failure (might, yeah, right. I totally was feeling like a failure 2 days before Black Friday as I was mad dashing and still trying to get the site set up.)
And that is a huge part of what these goals are all about. Because we all dream of making millions as writers. We all dream of being famous. We all dream of making a difference. But if we’re so busy focusing on the top of the mountain and that dream, we might not see how far up the mountain we have actually made it and get discouraged and slide back down. I know, I’ve done it. I would’ve done it again this year if I didn’t have this to reflect on. So stay tuned for the first week of January where I will have an update on the 90 Day year. And if you don’t want to wait, go check it out on our Patreon.
Until next time,
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