BookPlanner: The New Cure for Publishing Paralysis

POSTED ON Dec 7, 2015

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

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At a webinar being run today, Tracy Atkins and I will introduce a new tool for authors—or for anyone who is trying to find their way through the maze of book publishing—to bring a book to market.

It’s called BookPlanner, and you can get your first look at it near the end of today’s event.

The idea for BookPlanner arose directly from my talks with authors over the years.

As many of you know, I started self-publishing in 1986. In the 1990s I opened my book design business to other self-publishers, and for the past 6 years or so, I’ve devoted myself entirely to the indie authors who are publishing their own books.

Through talks, consulting sessions, presentations to publishing industry groups, blog questions, and the unending stream of questions in my inbox, authors have let me know the things that make publishing frustrating, confusing, and that even make them quit.

I hate that.

What I’ve learned from these authors is that the most pressing need is to understand the process of publishing. It’s only from seeing how all the pieces fit together that an author can feel confident moving forward toward publication.

But let me tell you a story that will explain something about this background.

How I Met One of My Heroes

A couple of years ago I received a request to consult with Michael Hyatt. Michael is an author, blogger, speaker, podcaster, and the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the largest religious publishers in the world.

Michael HyattThis gave me pause. While still at Thomas Nelson, Hyatt had started blogging. Soon after he became a full time blogger and internet marketer with a massive following, a great blog, and a number 1 New York Times bestseller.

In short, one of my heroes.

What could he want to talk about that he didn’t already know? And pay for the time??

The fact is that large publishers, like most large corporations, are organized hierarchically, and people who work there usually specialize in one part of the process.

But when you become a self-publisher, you need to know at least something about the whole process to get everything lined up and tackled in order to have the most efficient—and profitable—publication.

One thing that grew out of our conversation was a small spreadsheet I put together in Excel to create a kind of timeline of the tasks in the publishing process. What was most important about this was the dependencies.

In other words, you have to do some things before you can do other things. How to connect the many tasks it takes to produce a professional quality book, that was the problem.

Over the years since then I’ve played around with that spreadsheet, then turned it over to Tracy Atkins, my partner in and an experienced technologist. He and I have spent the last year creating a simple, easy to use software application based on that spreadsheet, with the help our developers at INSite Business Services, and the result is the BookPlanner application.

BookPlanner: A Book Project Manager with Expert Guidance Made for Self-Published Authors

The best way to get an idea of what BookPlanner is and how it can help you simplify your publishing life is to check out the BookPlanner page, it’s all explained in detail there.

Book PlannerHere are some highlights that I think will make this tool invaluable to indie authors:

  1. Expert Guidance
    Each task in Book Planner includes detailed expert guidance about what to do, how long it will take, where to get resources, and how to save time and money doing it. These comprehensive instructions are written to be easy to understand and simple to follow so you can focus on the task at hand.
  2. Automated Plan Builder
    Book Planner uses your input to build a complete task list customized for your schedule. All you do is pick from a list of pre-built plans the one that best fits your needs. Then Book Planner automatically creates a real-world schedule, complete with all of the tasks that will fit into the time you have available.
  3. Everywhere You Need It
    Book Planner is a web-enabled application that looks beautiful on your PC, Mac, Tablet or Smartphone. Use it anywhere you have a web browser—at your desk, or on the go, from all of your devices, making it even easier to stay on track.
  4. Easy to Use
    Making your book project quick and easy to manage is a top priority. Hey, book publishing should be fun, not an exercise is stressing you out. Your task list and calendar are up-front so you know exactly what you need to do and how long you have to get it done. We’re authors too, so we’ve made task and time management as simple as we possibly can.
  5. Customizable Book Project Manager
    Create and manage book plans for all of your books. It’s a flexible and customizable tool, so you can use it to manage a cover re-design, the editing of an anthology, or any other tasks in Book Planner.

BookPlanner-Calendar view

In Book Planner’s Calendar View, you see your tasks for the week, keeping you on track for pub date.

This week, we’re offering Charter Memberships in BookPlanner for only $5.99 per month. I realize this is about the same price as a turkey sandwich at Starbucks. It won’t stay that low for long, I can tell you that.

But BookPlanner is the first software app I’ve been involved with, and Tracy and I want to spend some quality time with the first group of people to use it. That way we’ll be able to continue to adjust its features, making it as useful as possible to as many authors as possible.

With BookPlanner you can plan an entire book production, or just a cover redesign, it’s very flexible.

If you’re reading this early on Monday December 7, 2015, come join us for the free webinar and the introduction to BookPlanner. Here’s the webinar registration page (it’s free): Book Planning for Indie Authors

If you’re reading it later than that, head over to the BookPlanner site and find out how this simple yet powerful tool can help you avoid the confusion and frustration in book publishing, putting you on track for even greater success in 2016.

Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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