Fun with Research for Next Release

IMG_1099Saddle up for some Fun with Research on my Next Release!

If you’ve heard me talk about research in the past, you know I consider it a necessary evil for writing.

The problem started in high school. Yeah, I know, you don’t want to go there. Neither do I, but that’s where it started. Remember those dreaded research/term papers? You had to make outlines, notecards, quote
s, bibliographies, works cited pages and the list goes on. The two worst parts for me were the outlines (I still get nauseous thinking about outlining) and research for the notecards. I honestly didn’t mind reading the books for information, but having to make note cards to PROVE that I did was really annoying. It wasn’t so much I had to prove I did the research as the fact that I wasn’t going to use those cards to write the paper. Once I handed them in for the ‘pre-work’ grade, I doubt I looked at them again.

HOWEVER, over the past few years I’ve come to realize I can have fun with research. Hallelujah!

Nowadays my research is much more hands on. I wrote another post about this subject almost two years ago as a guest on Jessica Aspen’s Blog. I wanted to give you an update on my latest research experience – Guest Ranches.

My current WIP (work in progress) will be the first of the new Masters Men series, Master Security. It features Chance Dugan who was introduced in Her Master Match, and Marley Jasper, owner of the Jasper Ranch. (If you need to brush up on the Masters Men, feel free to click here for information on the first Masters Men Series.) I figured if I was going to feature a guest ranch in my book, I should probably know what running one entailed. Cue research.

Okay, so I had to do a little, very little, searching on Google to get started. It didn’t take many keystrokes to find a place to contact. I sent an email to the General Manager of C Lazy U Ranch. It wasn’t long before he responded and we arranged for a call. I sent him some questions ahead of time. His answers weMain Lodge at C Lazy U Ranchre very helpful, but he suggested I really needed to see things for myself and invited me to visit. My niece went with me so when I ran out of questions or forgot to take pictures she could pick up the slack.

So, we went to the ranch and it was amazing. The C Lazy U is a premier guest ranch in the U.S. located in Granby, Colorado. Our cabin was unbelievably comfortable and had fireplaces in both rooms. We went ho
rseback riding and snowshoeing. We joined others in the community area of the main building for lunch, dinner, and breakfast. All the meals were good, but the dinner was definitely outstanding. All of the employees were friendly and welcoming. There must be a requirement that the cowboys are good looking, because they would all look great on a book cover. Also, the female wrangler (that’s her in the picture at the top of the post) who led our trail ride grew up on a dairy farm. If you remember ChancRiding at the C Lazy U Ranche from his cameo appearance in Her Master Match, he grew up on a dairy farm, too. So, now I have a contact to find out more about how a small dairy farm works. Bonus!

The only issue was the C Lazy U is so much more than my heroine could handle as a family guest ranch. It turned out, that wasn’t a problem either, because David Craig, C Lazy U’s General Manager, also arranged for us to visit a nearby family-owned and run guest ranch, the Drowsy Water Ranch. C Lazy U is huge and open year round while Drowsy Water is open from June through mid-September. That is much more likely what my heroine would be able to deal with as a family-owned guest ranch. Even though Drowsy Water wasn’t open right now, Justin Fosha, one of the owners gave us a tour through the knee high snow as well as giving us a better feel of what a family-owned and run guest ranch would entail.

So, if you want to see what all this FUN RESEARCH results in late this spring, you’ll keep an eye out for the first installment of the Master Security series. While I don’t have a final title yet, the working title is WRANGLING DUGAN. If you’d like a little teaser, keep reading. If you like that title, or have a suggestion for a different one, leave a comment.

Chance waited in silence for Marley to continue.

“Early this morning someone broke into the main house.”

The pencil he’d been tapping snapped in two. He stared at her. “The main house as in the one you and your parents live in?”

She shrugged. “It’s just me. My parents moved to Arizona when dad sold the ranch to me. I guess Colorado wasn’t dry enough for them.”

Chance ignored her attempt to break the sudden tension. “They actually got inside? Your security system didn’t go off?”

“Oh, it went off. As soon as they stepped one foot in the kitchen, I pulled the trigger on my father’s old shotgun.”

“You shot them?” He knew his eyes were wide as saucers, but he hadn’t expected that.

“Maybe, I’m not sure if any of the buckshot hit him or not. I aimed at the door’s frame. It’s a ranch. Shotguns are the security system.”

He rubbed his temple again while he tried to come to terms with the image of her facing off with a would-be attacker in her kitchen with a shotgun.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Don’t forget to check out Sandra’s most recent release, A Chance Event – A Chain of Love novella.

#9 on SMJ’s Christmas Countdown

Find a Great Book for Christmas!

IMG_20151210_081114Hey everybody! I don’t know about you, but I love books. Of course, you already knew that since I help promote Sandra’s books. What you don’t know is I love going to the library. I think I got that from Granny. She lives behind a library and walks over a couple of times a week. Man, can that old lady read.

Anyway, I stopped into the local library the other day and took some pics with the trees theIMG_20151210_081031y have displayed around the place. This one was pretty cool with all different kinds of ornaments on it. I liked sitting by it. It made me feel as special as a present.

This one has hats and scarves on it. I think, but I’m not sure, the hats are going to be given to kids who don’t have hats to keep their heads warm in the cold. It was decorated by the Loomy Knitters and is appropriately called the “Hat Tree.” Pretty cool for the library to do something like that. I liked that they used the hats to decorate the tree. It looks like the tree is playing dress up.

This next one might be my favorite. It’s called the “Oragami Tree.’ All the ornaments, IMG_20151210_080928eve the gold star on top are made with paper. That’s a lot of folding and creasing. I hope it wasn’t one person doing all the work. Can you imagine how long that would take? Some of these ornaments are really detailed. Although I’m usually not into white trees, this one really shows off the paper ornaments.

These three trees were brought to you by the Loveland Public Library. Right now they have a special Winter reading program going on. Click the link above and you can learn all about it. Kids from K-12 can win prizes for reading this winter. Cool deal!

If you visit the library, I’ll bet you can find some of my favorite Christmas books. A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker, The Night Before Christmas, and of course the original The Christmas Story about baby Jesus. Sandra has a set of all four books and they’re pop-up books. In The Night Before Christmas one there’s a page where Santa pops up while putting presents under the tree. In The Christmas Story, the first page has a donkey and lamb that pop up. These were the books she read to her boys at Christmas time before they grew up. She still has them and someday her boys will probably read them to their kids. It’s one of those Christmas tradition things.

So, do you have a favorite Christmas book? Leave a comment telling me what it is so I can go to the library and check it out.

Time to go grab a book to read before I go to bed. Until next time!

SMJ

Your Next Favorite Book Sale!

Black Friday through Cyber Monday Romance Book Sale!

Hello happy readers,

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving if you’re American or just a happy Thursday for everyone else. Today starts the kick-off of the super serious shopping season with Black Friday.

Whether you’re shopping for presents for your book club or you need some escape time from the holiday hustle and bustle, have I got the books for you.

Seven of my favorite authors and I have gotten together to offer you a whole slew of romance books on sale for the next four days.

No matter the genre of romance you love, we’ve got something for everyone, from paranormal, to mystery, erotic to sweet, novella to anthology to full-length, and they’re all only 99 cents each!

 

Here’s our Black Friday offering especially for you. We hope you enjoy each and everyone of them, but remember, the sale only goes to Cyber Monday.

BC 1600x2400K+SMThe Butterfly Connection by Sandra S Kerns

Murder, encryption, and corporate espionage bring two strangers together to break codes and years of silence to solve a very personal case.

Wanted for the murder of her stepbrother, Emma Simms is on the run. She has to convince her brother’s reclusive partner in the FBI to help her find the real killer. If she can’t, she’ll end up in prison for killing the one person who ever believed in her. Her car breaks down just short of her goal and then a car tries to run her over. If not for the blaring of a driver’s horn, she’d be dead before she even gets a chance to talk to Artemis Jones.

The minute he pulls to the side of the road Artemis knows he’s in trouble. The woman is obviously out of her element. If he didn’t miss his guess, the car he scared off was aiming to run her down. He doesn’t need the trouble of helping a woman in distress, but he can’t turn his back on someone in need. It doesn’t take long to learn she’s not so much in distress as spitting mad and loaded for bear. Unfortunately, the bear she’s hunting is him.

Can the two of them put aside their distrust of others and themselves long enough to find the real murderer? Can the passion they discover survive the truths they find along the way?

Click a link below to get it now so you’re ready for the Christmas novella that stars these characters! There will also be a ‘game’ for a chance to win a free ebook copy of the novella. Keep checking my website for when the game starts!

Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, GooglePlay

 

Visit Sandra at www.SandraSKerns.com

GhostsofChristmasPast_432 (1)Ghosts of Christmas Past: A Haunted Holidays Novel by Jessica Aspen

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss.

And that’s not Jen’s only problem.

The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.

Click a link below to get it now!

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks, AllRomanceEbooks, Add to your Goodreads shelf.

Visit Jessica at www.JessicaAspen.com

 

 

Curvy Temptation WEBSITE USECurvy Temptation: Curvy Love Book One by Aidy Award

 Curvy girls deserve a happy ever after too.

Vanessa hasn’t let her curvylicious plus-size body keep her from having a solid career, great friends and a crappy love life. Oh, wait – yeah, her sex life blows, and not in the fun way. A string of unsatisfying relationships and a best friend who drags her to a BDSM club help her step full swing into her dirty thirties.
Cade the stoic Dom, always in control but never in love, is drawn to Vanessa’s size 20 submissive streak. He can’t keep his hands (or his tongue or any other part of his body) off this voluptuous new sub. Her open and honest exploration of her new found kinks excite him like no one else he’s ever been with.
Amazing orgasms and intimate cuddles soon grow into love for Vanessa, but Cade’s the one person everyone has told her not to develop feelings for. This Alpha male drops his subs the moment they express deeper feelings for him. What’s a girl to do?

She’ll have to dump his ass before he discovers how she feels or be the curvy temptation he can’t resist.

If you like curvy girl BBW romance, a hot alpha hero, and some BDSM power exhange between a sexy Dominant and a new submissive, you’ll love this book!

Click a link below to get it now!

Amazon, B&N, iBooks, AllRomanceEBooks, Kobo, GooglePlay

Visit Aidy at www.AidyAward.com

 

The Christmas Gift_Leslee Breene_2500The Christmas Gift by Leslee Breene

An Ebook short story for the holidays!

In 1883, Miriam Cole travels to Denver at Christmas to deliver her orphaned baby nephew to her married sister. The sweetness of his touch upon her cheek makes her heart tighten. When the time comes, how will she ever let him go?

“With both verve and delicacy, Ms. Breene reminds us that miracles are indeed possible.” ~ Jane Choate, RWA author of Keeping Watch – Harlequin Love Inspired

Click the link below to get it now!

Amazon

Visit Leslee at www.LesleeBreene.com

 

 

Premade cover artA Vampire’s Fallen Christmas Star by ML Guida

It’s the week before Christmas but the last thing Jayden Kye wants to do is celebrate. He blames himself for his twin brother’s death. He hikes up to Rainbow Lake to make peace with him, but Jayden slips down a snowy embankment and impales himself on a tree. He is dying.

Eleanor Baines has been a vampire for over a hundred years but she’s never been tempted to turn a human before. Now, facing the sexy rock star, she has a choice, let him die or let him live. She finds herself with a head-strong rock singer who breaks all the rules.

Jayden discovers everything he thought he knew is wrong. His best friend and lead guitarist are legendary vampire killers bent on killing him and Eleanor. He must learn to trust Eleanor, a total stranger, to survive. When his manager kidnaps Jayden’s mother and threatens to kill her, Jayden is forced to kill his best friend, or hand over the woman he loves.

 

Click a link below to get it now!

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks

Visit ML www.MLGuida.com

 

 

heart-strong_cover_mccune emailHeart-Strong by Bonnie McCune

Can a ditzy soccer mom with a young son, whose kindness often attracts the wrong type, be heart-strong enough to admit her love to right guy?

* * *

Headstrong. Rachel Kinsey fits the description perfectly. The divorced soccer mom may be ditzy and as sympathetic to losers as a charity, but she knows what she wants. A man completely different from her unreliable ex-husband and the outrageous characters she’s usually doomed to attract.

 

Enter Jim Landers, the ideal candidate. An accidental encounter introduces her to the tall, dark attorney who loves soccer and kids. The only problem? He’s not prepared for a ready-made family and a woman as comfortable as a beloved sweater rather than a beauty queen. A woman whose kindness, enthusiasm for life, and unguarded honesty may disturb a man who values order, perfection, and serenity. Jim turns to the flawless yet distant Donna as a substitute for Rachel.

 

She should show him how much he means to her, but rejection from an absent father and a capricious ex-husband may have ruined Rachel’s ability to connect to Jim. Will she risk herself, her son and their future by revealing how much Jim means to her?

 

A touching, tender tale full of gentle humor, about thinking too much and feeling too little. Rachel must learn to be heart-strong in order to find her soul mate.

 

Click the link below to get it now!

Amazon

Visit Bonnie at www.BonnieMcCune.com

 

The Boy and his wolf v3The Boy and his Wolf by Sean Thomas

Tanner never thought he’d be back in Amber Pines or back in Dash’s bed.

But four years and 1,000 miles wasn’t enough distance to make him forget the power of first love. Sure, he spent his time training with one of the world’s top Hunters and he’s no longer the scrawny teenager he used to be. But now that his former pack is threatened, Tanner is again involved in the dangerous life he thought he left behind.
Do Tanner and Dash have a second chance or has his werewolf made his heart as impenetrable as his body? With an all-out battle raging, Tanner must find his place in the new Amber Pines or be shut out forever.

If you’re looking for Teen Wolf meets Queer As Folk, you’ll love this book.

 

Click the link below to get it now!

Amazon

Visit Sean at www.SeanThomasAuthor.com

 

 

LetItSnowThree Strikes in the Let It Snow Anthology By Holley Trent

The one woman the “Dark Dom” Max Fletcher wants is the one who doesn’t want him back. But magic has been known to happen during the Den of Sin’s Winterball. There, if he can warm his sometime-submissive Giselle’s heart for the night, he may be able to win her for good.

Read this sexy story and five more steamy holiday romances, including offerings by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, will keep you warm through winter’s coldest nights, so Let it Snow. Including Suzan Butler, Emily Ryan-Davis, Cari Quinn, Vivienne Westlake, Sadi Hallar, and Holley Trent.

Click a link below to get it now!

Amazon

Visit Holley at www.HolleyTrent.com

 

 

 

Be sure to pop to the comments and let me know which ones you got and I know all the authors would love to hear how you liked the books.

Happy reading,

Sandra

 

What I Learned this Morning

wakeupI admit; I’m a morning person. Ask my sister, she’s probably wanted to throw shoes at my head since I was five. FYI, she’s NOT a morning person. IF I set an aalarm clocklarm, I pop out of bed when it goes off and the day begins. The idea about staying in bed after the alarm and easing into my day doesn’t work. My brain immediately starts listing all of the things I could be doing and the ‘ease’ part of the scenario goes out the window. Hitting snooze i s a sacrilege in my book (hubby does not agree). If I wanted to sleep for fifteen more minutes, I would have set the alarm for fifteen minutes later. Just doesn’t make sense to interrupt my sleep with an alarm so I can get a few more winks.

teaSo, I hit the floor and am ready to roll. This does not mean I want noise, conversation, or company at that time, just that I am up and mobile. I may be a morning person, but I am not, as a rule, a loud one. I like to fix my tea (yes, coffee drinking friends, I start out the day with tea, coffee comes later) and head downstairs to quietly start clearing out the ‘busyness’ (read as email and other social media, etc.) that built up overnight. Then feed the dog at 6:30, refill my teacup, eat some breakfast (although that sometimes comes much later), send hubby off to his job (he doesn’t get to work from home as I do), and head back downstairs to write.???????????

Sounds great, right? Here’s the problem – some days I pop out of bed with a headache. Even a small just letting you know I’m here headache can set a bad tone for my day.

nanoThis is where the ‘What I Learned this Morning’ part comes in.

Today was such a day. I woke up a minute or two before the dog. I rolled over debating the merits of trading my warm bed for getting tea in a cold kitchen and BAM – it hit me. No, no, no, no, no! I do not have time for a headache today. It’s Thanksgiving week for crying out loud. I have an upcoming promotional event this weekend, a novella due to my editor, pies to bake, soup to make, NANOWRIMO to catch-up on, a scuba class, an the list goes on. I don’t have TIME for a danged headache.

I climb out of bed, grumbling in my head and put the tea water on to boil in my electric teapot. After letting the dog out, and popping 3 aspirin, I pour the now ready water into my cup that holds 2 Morning Thunder Celestial Seasonings and 1 Green Tea with Ginger, teabags (both contain ample amounts of caffeine) and let it steep for a minute. While I wait, I pick up FullSizeRender (4)the Sunset magazine that came in the mail last week and is still sitting on the kitchen table unread. I walk back to the counter and stand beside my steeping tea hoping proximity will pull some of the caffeine into my system. I start thumbing through the magazine and find an article about living a ‘celebrity’ life for a day. Intrigued, I set the magazine on the stovetop and start reading.

Half a cup of tea and ten minutes later, I smile and chuckle. As I close the magazine, I realize my headache is gone. What’s more? I’m relaxed. Hmmm, maybe there is something to this easing into the day.

There you have it; what I learned this morning. Sometimes, I don’t have to rush into the day. Point of fact, I may end up getting more done than expected (or required) because I feel well and relaxed. MAYBE, taking that ten extra minutes to read something fun rather than actually doing something I’m supposed to was smarter than I ever imagined.

Maybe and maybe not, you decide. Here’s my overall take on the situation.

Tea (or coffee) + slow time focused on something unimportant = no headache + positive attitude + more energy to do the important things.

Author Sandra KernsI’m taking it under advisement. More testing of the hypothesis is probably required, but I’m feeling pretty good about the outcome. I’m ready to get to work!

Have a great day everyone! If you don’t happen to have a Sunset magazine to pick up, you can check out one of my books by clicking on this link: Published Novels.  Or check out #beezeebooks for all kinds of books from myself and other authors.

Happy reading!

 

Unexpected Surprises

Don’t you love it when you open your email and get something like the ad below? It’s so cool to have your OWN book (or books) recommended to you. This was definitely a great way to start my busy day, AND inspire me to get finished with the next book due out the end of July!  I posted the entire email here hoping to give the other authors featured a hand with sales as well. Enjoy!

Amazon.com
Your Amazon.com Today’s Deals See All Departments

 

Sandra S Kerns,Are you looking for something in our Suspense Romance eBooks department? If so, you might be interested in these items.
Suspense Romance eBooks
A Daring Proposal (Colorado Dreams and Desires)
A Daring Proposal (Colorado Dreams and Desires)
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $4.99
Learn more

Add to Wish List

Eenie, Meanie, Minie, No! (The Colorado Skies Series)
Eenie, Meanie, Minie, No! (The Colorado Skies Series)
Sandra S. KernsJoy A. Clintsman
Price: $4.99
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Gathering Clouds (Colorado Dreams and Desires)
Gathering Clouds (Colorado Dreams and Desires)
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $4.99
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Callaghan's Conundrum (Colorado Skies)
Callaghan’s Conundrum (Colorado Skies)
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $4.99
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The Butterfly Connection (Colorado Skies)
The Butterfly Connection (Colorado Skies)
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $4.99
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Dream Stalker (Colorado Skies Book 1)
Dream Stalker (Colorado Skies Book 1)
Joy A. Clintsman
Price: $4.99
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Last Chance for Love - A Masters Men Christmas Story (The Masters Men Series)
Last Chance for Love – A Masters Men Christmas Story
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $1.99
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Her Master Detective (The Masters Men Series)
Her Master Detective (The Masters Men Series)
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $3.99
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Rose of Steele (Colorado Skies)
Rose of Steele (Colorado Skies)
Sandra Kerns
Price: $4.99
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Her Master Defender (The Masters Men Series)
Her Master Defender (The Masters Men Series)
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $3.99
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Her Master of Hearts (The Masters Men Series)
Her Master of Hearts (The Masters Men Series)
Sandra S. Kerns
Price: $3.99
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Innocent Prey
Innocent Prey
Maggie Shayne
Price: $6.15
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Redeeming (PAVAD: FBI Romantic Suspense)
Redeeming (PAVAD: FBI Romantic Suspense)
Calle J. Brookes
Price: $2.99
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The Perfect Hostage (A Super Agent Novella) (Entangled Edge)
The Perfect Hostage (A Super Agent Novella) (Entangled Edge)
Misty Evans
Price: $0.99
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CRIES IN THE NIGHT, A Denver After Dark Romantic Suspense
CRIES IN THE NIGHT, A Denver After Dark Romantic Suspense
Kathy Clark
Price: $4.99
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Extreme Measures
Extreme Measures
Rachel Carrington
Price: $0.99
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Five Reasons you need an Author Business Plan

Picture of me 1 (1)

Please welcome author Amy Denim. Amy is joining us to discuss the importance of a business plan for our writing careers. Amy will be available to answer any questions you may have after reading the post.

Five Reasons you need an Author’s Business Plan

Thanks for having me on your blog to kick off the Coffee Break blog tour, Sandra. I love talking the business of being a writer, which is, of course, why I write books about it!

Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans copy

The second book in my series of business books for writers, Coffee Break Guides, just released on Christmas day. The Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans for Writers: The Step-By-Step Guide to Taking Control of Your Writing Career came about when I started out to write my own business plan.

Why would an author need a business plan? I’m glad you asked. *wink*

1) You are a business. No, really.

The second you made the decision to get your work published you became a business. Unless you truly are just writing for yourself, your grandma, and your dog and don’t plan to ever sell your work, than welcome to the publishing industry. It’s big business. We may write for years and years before getting published, and it could be years after that before you actually make any money from your efforts, but every business has a start-up phase. No, we aren’t a traditional business that goes to the bank to get an SBA loan that required a spreadsheet-filled tome. But applying for funding is only one small part of why you might want a plan. What that means is that you, writer, don’t need a boring traditional business plan. Because you’re in a creative industry, you get to create a right-brain business plan. Yay!

 2) Keep the taxman happy.

Okay, you’re on board with the whole “I’m a business” thing now, right? Right. And what do businesses do? They file business taxes. *cue scary slasher movie music*

The IRS has a really “interesting” page on their website with questions to help you determine if your writing is classified as a hobby or a business. Having a business plan can help you answer “yes, I’m a business” to five out of the eight questions. Here’s an example:

The IRS: Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?

Your Business Plan: Why, yes. Just look at my word count/time tracker, my detailed ten-year goals plan, my budget, my marketing plan, and my competitive analysis.

(All the resources listed in that answer are available as templates you can download at www.coffeebreaksocialmedia.com/books/resources.)

I really, really, really recommend you get yourself an accountant to help you file your taxes, especially if it’s the first year you’re going to file for your business. It will cost a little bit more than say, buying TurboTax, but not too much. And in the end, it’s totally worth it when you avoid (or win) the audit game.

 3) Keep yourself accountable.

I have manuscript ADD. A shiny new idea for a book easily steals my attention from my current work in progress. Instead of Ritalin, I have a business plan to keep me on task. And if I use that plan to hold me accountable, at the end of the year I’ll have three beautiful manuscripts completed instead of twelve half –finished, semi-plotted, next best-sellers waiting for me to find the time and dedication to write them. An important part of any business plan is a production schedule. If you’re traditionally published you already know that publishing waits for no (wo)man. If you don’t turn your next book in on time, you’re book’s release day could get pushed anywhere from a month to two years! If you haven’t sold or published a book yet, it’s a great idea to get into the habit of creating deadlines for yourself and keeping to them to practice up. You won’t need Jiminy Cricket to keep you on task. Always let your business plan be your guide.

 4) Increase your productivity.

Accountability and productivity are totally BFFs. I know when I first started writing seriously I had grand goals (and they were all over the place – see the previous comment about ADD.) But did I achieve them? Not even close. Why? Because I hadn’t written them down and didn’t really keep track of what I had to do, or what I had actually gotten done. When you create a business plan those things you need to be successful become much more real (and easier to keep track of.). If you laminate that sucker and put it up on your wall/mirror in your bathroom/mobile above your bed you’ll be able to check items off as you complete them. How great would it feel at the end of the year to know you actually accomplished your career goals? Yeah, that’s right. It feels party on, excellent.

 5) Measure your success.

Have you ever told someone you’re a writer and have him or her ask you how it’s going? What was your answer? Anything like, “Umm. It’s good.” But did you really know? I didn’t used to. How do you measure your success? I know a great way. Create a business plan and at the end of the year evaluate how you did. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?) The great thing about creating your own goals, budgets, and evaluations is you get to decide what success means to you. The Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans for Writers can help you make those decisions and even has a whole section on evaluating yourself at the end of the year. The next time someone asks you how your writing career is going you can answer with a resounding “amazeballs!”

What do these five reasons for having a business plan mean when you put them all together? It’s about you taking control of your writing career. Really successful businesses have really strong business plans. Really successful authors do too. I encourage you to become the writer you really want to be, to realize your dreams this year, be it to publish your first book or become a NYT best-selling author. And let a business plan help you do it. Make your 2014 ROCK!

 

Amy Denim’s Bio:

Amy Denim writes business books for writers and contemporary romance. She loves hot heroes (like chefs and cowboys) and curvy intelligent heroines (like chefs and cowgirls.)  She’s been a franchise sales coordinator, a lifeguard, a personal shopper, and a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. But now she spends her days reading and writing at her local library or in her book cave.

Amy started out her writer’s life scared out of her wits because she didn’t have a business plan, hadn’t yet created an online platform, wasn’t on twitter, didn’t have a Facebook fanpage and had never even heard of Goodreads. She just wrote books. So she spent a year becoming a publishing industry information fiend and now does consulting for creatives on how to use take control of their writing careers. She started Coffee Break Social Media to help writers and artists learn to use SM platforms effectively (without the scare tactics) but still have time to create. She believes business plans and social media can be every writer’s friend, sometimes they just need an introduction.

Visit Amy on her author website at www.AmyDenim.com or for tips and tricks on the writing business at www.coffeebreaksocialmedia.com.