Valerie Ihsan

author, editor, dog lover

Spring Equinox Business Planning

With the Spring Equinox fast approaching, I'm ready to check in with my author business and writing goals and ask myself some questions. Am I still on track? Do I need to course correct? Will this (whatever's in front of me) bring value to my readers?

One of my online mentors, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, created a business plan template for readers of her book, Business For Authors: How to be an author entrepreneur. Using the template, I set new goals each Spring Equinox and adjust my business plan accordingly.

My first change for 2016 is I'm setting up my own publishing imprint! I'm very excited about this, as it will make ordering my books for events and signings much easier. Plus, the name of my company is special to me because it reminds me of an inspirational time I spent on my very first writing retreat.

Please welcome Willow Bench Books to new registered businesses in Oregon. All my books will be published under this new imprint.


Another new change for 2016:

Those of you signed up for my newsletter already know that I'll be releasing my debut novel under a pen name. Valerie Ihsan. This means you'll see changes to a few things trickle in--edits to existing book covers and social media sites--not to mention this website--reflecting the new name.

One thing that I do during tough times (like during almost any stage of the writing process!) is to remember why I'm doing it. What is my why? And the answer is simple, and stays the same every year. Because it's me at my authentic self. Anything else, any other job or career choice, is making do.

My strategic business focus is probably not all that interesting to you, and I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say that, in a nutshell, it's write more books. You can count on that.

I have two new series in mind (one, romance; the other, urban fantasy/time travel) for the very near future, and I hope you'll get a kick out of them.

As far as new products, I'm still on track for the publication of Herbal Junction (working title) in June 2016. I'm taking the summer off to get married and do some research for the next book, and then will start writing the first book in the romance series November of 2016.

As I keep writing more books, I'll get faster at the process of writing and editing and can publish more frequently.

My first full length book took eight years. Egads!

This one will take me 17 months.

I'm hoping the next will take me a year.

(I'm also looking into writing more shorter pieces, like How to Grieve: Even when you don't want to, to bridge the gap between publication dates.)

My remaining goals for 2016 involve building up the number of readers I have, and creating more blog content. What would you like to hear about?

And one last thing:

I will be compiling the Deleted Scenes from Herbal Junction into one document, and giving it away for free on my website. Look for that coming soon!


I hope that by posting these goals online, you will all hold me accountable to reaching them, and that this post was useful in inspiring you to set up some of your own goals for the upcoming twelve months.

What are your goals/plans for this year? Leave a comment below and let me know.


Find more articles on my archived blog, Dust Yourself Off (also known as Insane Parents Unite!).

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