So, why do you need a plan?
Once upon a time, the unspoken rule for submitting to a traditional publisher was that you should have at least three books completed, and that still holds true for any writer. Why?
- It shows you’re a serious writer
- Readers like to see a writer they like has more than one book in them
- Each book is a learning experience, as you get the books back from beta readers and editors you’ll learn about some of your bad habits like comma splices, overused words, etc.
- No book is universally loved, books two and three will give you a buffer for that rare bad review.
Have that plan – Having a plan helps you stay focused on writing, you have a goal. If you keep your eyes on that goal, even the occasional setback won’t throw you for a loop. Things will happen.
Do not ever consider that you don’t need professional editors and cover artists, especially as a new writer. Budget for it (another part of the plan). To save money purchase a pre-made cover(s) made by a professional that fits your genre(s), you can always change it. For example, Stephen King has many times. Download a copy of The Elements of Style, it will save your editor from common mistakes that new writers (and old) make and possibly save your wallet.
Both will make your book look more professional. (Consider also hiring a formatter.)
The only constant is change. If you’re an indie writer, you can go back and re-edit as you learn ways to make your book better, tighten your sentences, clarify your prose, develop your characters more fully.
Take half of any sales and put it in a savings account to reinvest in your books, take the rest and buy yourself a cup of coffee.
Then start the next book.