I Want...Eric or Julia or Mel?
What are your publishing goals? Fame? Fortune? Or lifestyle?
What actor has the most acting credits? Here are some top contenders as verified on the Imdb.com (This is not an all inclusive, exhaustive list - just handpicking some):
Morgan Freeman - 141, with 6 forthcoming
Anthony Hopkins - 143 with 4 forthcoming
Susan Sarandon - 162, with 5 forthcoming
James Earl Jones - 189
Richard Rhiele - 407, with 18 forthcoming
Eric Roberts - 620, with 95 forthcoming
OK, who is Eric Roberts with 715 credits? He’s Julia Roberts big brother. I had to look him up, even with 715 credits to his name.
Julia has 66, with 2 forthcoming.
Eric is worth (depending on who you believe) around $9 million.
Julia is worth (depending on who you believe) around $250 million.
So - who would you rather be? Julia or Eric?
Oh, there’s one more option. Mel Blanc has never been on film, but if you watch cartoons, you know his voice. Mel Blanc has 1227 acting credits; he’s the voice behind Porky Pig and many other cartoon characters; he’s known as the Man with a Thousand Voices. Never on stage, just voice acting. Do you specialize in something (like voice acting), and want to be at the top of that game?
Eric or Julia or Mel?
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Your Publishing Goals are Important
That’s not a fluff question. Your publishing goals determine much of what you publish, how you market, and how you strategize about your books. Let’s look at some broad categories for goals.
I Want to Earn $XXX,XXX Every Year. Finances are certainly a legitimate goal because we all need to earn a living. Can you earn a living from children’s books? Yes! But it takes a couple years to get to that level, and one book won’t be enough. You may strategize around book series, shorter books which can be produced faster, popular topics and categories, and so on. It would be important to find the best sales platform for your stories and optimize there.
I Want to Win the XXX Award. Do you want to be well-known for your children’s books? You’ll likely focus on important book awards, perhaps the Newbery awards. Or you’ll plan to get XX newspaper/blog/mentions for each book. TikTok fame might be your goal. You want your books talked about everywhere, and everyone to know your name.
I Want to Be Creative in THIS Way. Lifestyle choices can be a major goal of a publishing program, and these can be very specific. Maybe you only want to work three days a week writing children’s middle grade mysteries, and still earn a modest $XX,XXX.
Fame, fortune, or lifestyle? What do you want? Write it down! Make it concrete so you can hit your target
STRATEGIZE AROUND YOUR GOALS
Once you write out your overall goals, experts advice you set quarterly goals that are SMART.
S - Specific. I want to complete writing of a 40,000-60,000 word novel this quarter.
M - Measurable. How do you determine if you’ve met that goal? Make it easy! Yes, I finished the novel.
A - Achievable. Can you actually achieve the goal in the time period? Is it a realistic goal? Yes, I often write 60,000 words in a three-month period.
R - Relevant. Will this goal help me achieve my overall goals (of fame, fortune, or life style)? Yes, this novel will add to my XXX series, which will add to my income.
T - Time bound. Set monthly or quarterly goals. It ‘s important to set short time boundaries to stay accountable.
Then, you’ll need to find ways to stay accountable for the goals.
I’m not as structured as this, but I certainly set short, middle and long term goals. Overall, I’m working for the lifestyle. I want to continue to be creative by writing and publishing four to six picture books each year, plus one short chapter book. My goal is to make enough money to comfortably keep doing that and have something left over for a modest salary.
While my overall goal is lifestyle, I still submit to awards because if my books earn a little fame that makes them successful enough to try again. The reviews and awards keep me motivated, and let me know that I’m producing books that will sell for a long time. For me, awards are a way to a sustainable lifestyle.
Money motivates me much more than it used to! In the end, though, I want to be comfortable enough to hire a great illustrator, to pay for appropriate advertising, to do an offset run when needed, and so on. I have no debt, keep my expenses modest, and don’t stress out over money. Lifestyle goals for me.
Eric or Julia or Mel? Who do you want to be?
I love reading your blogs because you simplify things! (I am bombarded with email offers for advice and info that can be overwhelming.) I self published two books last year and am publishing 3 this year. Four of these five books are a series - Seasons in the Forest. The first won an award from Reader's Choice. I don't know where that ranks but the review and award was well written and is very helpful in marketing. I'm still in debt because I hired a graphic designer to help me with all the uploads. Not huge debt but now I need to figure out my marketing, (I have not sold very many books and I've given away a lot as ARC's for reviews.) It is a lot of work and a big learning curve. I really value the studio time when I can carve it out, (author/illustrator here.) Thanks so much for your help, Darcy.
Maybe we DO need them all. But I keep thinking about Eric. He works a lot, always getting new scripts, signing contracts, and acting in a new movie. To me, that's more lifestyle. He wants to be creative in THIS way. The question is whether $9 million is enough to be content?