What Do You Expect To Happen?

October 12, 2016
October 12, 2016 Anita Henderson

What gets measured gets doneIsn’t that the saying? That quote has been attributed to a number of people, and really, does it matter who said it? What really matters is that it’s true.

I’m a words person. I love the way sentences are blended together in the written word. I listen attentively to the spoken word in speeches, news spin, and instructions (often to my husband’s dismay). Yet somewhere deep inside of me there’s a numbers cruncher. Chalk it up to my college minor: economics. So it’s not so much equations that I enjoy, but measurements and percentages and comparisons.

Thankfully, I’ve found a crossroads for my two loves. In my work with authors, I encourage them to define and measure success.

“What does success look like for you and your book project?” I ask. “How will you know you’ve succeeded?”

I don’t mean simply writing and publishing the book. Oh sure, that’s all fine and well. Of course you’ll feel accomplished having realized a dream come true and once you’ve blessed others with your awesome knowledge or experience, yadda, yadda, yadda.

What I mean is that authors should have some expectation of an outcome; some measure of success. Something quantifiable. Essentially, what do you expect to happen?

I know, that’s goal setting and most people pretty much hate it, but it’s the foundation for determining the success of your efforts beyond the feel-good stuff.

So what could you measure to decide whether all the blood, sweat, cursing, tears, screaming, crying, sleepless nights, procrastination, writer’s block, and everything else you’ve gone through to write your book was worth it?

Assuming you’re the entrepreneur (coach, consultant, speaker) or corporate professional I target as an ideal client, here are a few measures to consider:

# of books sold within a specified timeframe
# of book awards earned
# of leads generated
# of articles written about you and/or your book
# of clients gained as a direct result of your book
# of invitations to speak
# of paid speaking gigs
$ revenue/income earned speaking
$ new contracts awarded or client projects earned
% increase in annual revenue and profit since publishing your book
# or % increase in your tribe (subscribers, social media followers, etc.)
# of offers made to you to influence others (partnerships, board positions, etc.)
$ increase in salary
# of industry influencers you’ve met or otherwise engaged with since publishing your book
# of times someone tells you your book changed their life!

I could go on. My point is that you should be measuring some things as you go into this book publishing process. Don’t do it merely for the feel-good factor. Heck, if you just want to feel good, get a massage or eat a great meal. If you want to profit, progress, and make a real mark for yourself, have some measurable expectations and work in that direction.

So, what do you expect to happen with your book?

Get clear on your book goals with my simple Clarity Assessment.


Anita HendersonAnita Henderson helps entrepreneurs and executives enhance their platforms, and build their brands by becoming published authors. Through her  Write Your Life program, new authors overcome the struggles of writing, publishing, and marketing books, and learn to leverage their books to achieve success.

Anita is the author of three books, including Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life And The Book You’ve Been Wanting to Write; and co-author of five books including Write Books That Sell Now and Building a Business, Building a Life: Incredible Stories of Women Entrepreneurs. She owns The Write Image, a boutique book publishing services company that created the proprietary Write Your Life book production process. Her freelance articles have appeared in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also co-creator of the Write Books That Sell Now online course for aspiring authors, and co-host of the Write Books That Sell Now weekly podcast.

, ,

Anita Henderson

Writer, storyteller, The Author's Midwife. Founder of Write Your Life and The Genealogist's Writing Room.

Comments (5)

  1. Kathy Marshall

    Thought-provoking. I only went as far as wanting to commemorate the lives of my ancestors and come up with a reason why my skin lacks so much melanin (i.e., who are the Caucasians in my family line?) But this article makes me think a little more deeply about what I actually want to do with this book. So thanks!

  2. The focus of my book is trying to affirm or deny a connection between my second great grandfather, Otho Williams – a slave – to the white Otho Holland Williams family who likely owned him. My over-arching goal is to find out where my 45% European DNA comes from, the resultant light skin color has caused me so much angst all my life. My initial writings will likely be seen as too much information, but I want to write a few pages of detail about each generation of Williams down to me. I am fully prepared to possibly cull out a lot of that detail for this first book, but I can use the detail in future books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *