How Realistic Goals Help Achieve Your Publishing Dreams

May 28, 2024 | Market

How Realistic Goals Can Help You Achieve Your Publishing Dreams

woman writing realistic goals on sticky notes

It’s time to ditch the vague “I want to be a writer” resolutions and start setting realistic goals that will propel you toward a successful book launch. Let’s explore how goal setting can be the key to unlocking your publishing dreams and provide practical tips for making it happen. Get ready to transform your aspirations into achievable book launch goals and watch as your writing career takes off!


Unrealistic goals hinder your progress

Setting unrealistic goals can be a double-edged sword in the world of publishing. While aiming high is essential for growth, it’s crucial to ensure those launch goals are within reach. When your aspirations exceed what’s feasible, frustration and demotivation can quickly set in. 

It’s not about doing everything. It’s about doing the RIGHT things. And it’s also about knowing how MANY right things you need to do to meet your goals. 

Sorry, but there’s going to be MATH with this!

It starts with your goals. Sit down and ask yourself, HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU WANT TO SELL? 

I bet a bunch of you reading are hesitating when I ask the question. You want to be “reasonable,” and you want to give the “right” answer. You might be embarrassed that your goal is too big, or maybe too small.

But sit with the question and really think about it. 

Once you’ve set your goal, know that the only way to get there is with a real, concrete, actionable, metrics-based strategy for your launch (and beyond). Without a Big 5 publishing marketing machine behind you, be honest about what you can reasonably dedicate to this effort, in time, money or a combination of the two. This might change your goal.


How to set realistic goals for your book launch

Setting realistic  goals for your book launch is crucial to your success as an author. Start by defining clear objectives for what you want to accomplish with your publication. Whether it’s reaching a specific number of sales, gaining recognition in a certain genre, or building your author platform, make sure your goals are specific and measurable.

Consider breaking down large goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. This approach not only makes the process less overwhelming but also allows you to track progress more effectively. Establishing milestones along the way can help keep you motivated and on track towards achieving your ultimate goal.

Be flexible in adjusting your goals as needed based on feedback, market trends, or unforeseen circumstances. Setting a timeline with deadlines for each stage of the publishing process will help you stay organized and accountable. (Check out this video on the 6 Stages of Production and Launch). And don’t forget to celebrate each milestone and success along the way – it’s important to acknowledge your progress and hard work!


Next: the math.

Once you’ve established your goal for sales, you need to figure out how to get there.

Start with your email list: look at your total list number and your typical open rate. That’s your real average audience for each email. Only a small percentage of the people who open and read each email are going to make a purchase – likely somewhere between 1 to 10%, depending on how engaged your audience is. What does that number look like right now? And how many people would you need to get on your mailing list to reach your goal? 

This is just one piece of your launch prep calculation, though – you also have social media (a much lower conversion rate for purchase) to plan, an ad budget to set, and publicity to organize. Your launch planning is like a tree with many branches, all supported by reasonable, concrete goal setting.

When I talk about this challenge, I always think of my friend Deandra. The raw material for a great launch was all there for her – a great book, a gorgeous cover and she was passionate about getting this book to the people who needed it. But she didn’t have a launch strategy. It was overwhelming, and she found herself throwing her hands up and thinking, “Well, if the book is good, people will find it.”

Over coffee one afternoon, we broke it down.

When Deandra and I planned each branch of her launch using real metrics that reflected what she knew about her audience, we found so many opportunities to grow. And because we had our chat a few months before her book was released, we were able to figure out practical strategies to grow her audience and reach her goals. She actually ended up blowing right past her initial goal, thanks to strategic thinking, good old fashioned math and follow-through.

Our premium course for book launch planning, Book Launch in a Box, is currently open for enrollment.

What is Book Launch in a Box?

No matter when your book is launching, knowing how to create buzz around your book is something you can never start too early — and, even if your book is already launched, it’s something you’ll want to keep doing for a long time afterwards!

Book Launch in a Box is our comprehensive 6-month program covering 6 fundamentals to ensure both you and your book are ready for book launch and beyond.

We teach the strategy, provide the tools to implement, and help you create your own success through live (virtual) Q&A sessions, implementation, and accountability. 

In this program, you will get:

  • 6-month program with on demand training (access and complete whenever you want) supplemented with live support
  • 6 lesson modules – The Foundations of a solid pre-launch, launch, and post-launch marketing
  • Q&As with the experts to support the trainings
  • Instruction for using key marketing tools to grow your readers and reviewers
  • Worksheets, templates, resources we’ve created to save you time and energy
  • Private FB community for additional support
  • Guest experts and resources
  • No expiration date to training materials

Our June 2024 cohort is currently open for enrollment. Learn more here:


book launch

Celebrating milestones and successes along the way

As you journey towards your publishing dreams, remember to celebrate every milestone and success along the way. Each achievement, no matter how small, is a step closer to reaching your ultimate goal. Take the time to acknowledge your progress and give yourself credit for the hard work you’ve put in.

Whether it’s completing a chapter, receiving positive feedback from beta readers, or securing a book deal – these moments are worth celebrating. Share your achievements with friends and family, or treat yourself to something special as a reward for reaching each milestone.

By recognizing and appreciating the victories on your path to publication, you’ll stay motivated and inspired to keep pushing forward. Embrace the journey and take pride in how far you’ve come. Remember that every step counts towards making your publishing dreams a reality.

Setting realistic goals is the key to turning your publishing dreams into a reality. By breaking down larger objectives into manageable tasks, staying flexible, and celebrating each milestone along the way, you can stay motivated and on track. Remember to set timelines and deadlines to keep yourself accountable and adjust your goals as needed. With a strategic approach to goal setting, you can navigate the publishing journey with confidence and determination. Embrace the power of realistic goal setting and watch as your dreams take flight in the world of publishing.

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