Some of you might have seen a variation of this chart before. I’m going to be discussing each of these over the next few weeks and how you could manage a publishing career when you have multiple series.  However, this is basically how I recommend you look at the various series that you have.

Things to note:

  • series profitability is important, and I use the term here excluding sunk costs (i.e. costs already paid for, in most cases, for the production of the work. Example, editing, cover costs, formatting, an audiobook narrator, etc.).

If your series (excluding sunk cost) is losing you money still as you undertake marketing, you will not want to have them on this list at all. You’re going to have go back to the basics to work out how to make the series profitable (potentially it’s a craft issue, or a product packaging issue or even a genre (market size) problem). This is really meant to be used for series that are and can make money.

  • initially, I recommend you use pure financial $’s to estimate which is more profitable. Later on, if you find that you cannot differentiate your series sufficiently, you can add time and effort costs. If a particular series is more emotionally draining to manage or promote, add that as a cost to the series profitability because if you can’t / won’t promote anything else; it is an expense (even if it is a mental / emotional expense).
  • Untapped market size in this case, is about how much or how easy it is to connect with your readers. In this case, one of the things I’d add (that is hard to do on a 2-axis graph) is how much work there is to do on a new release. Often, Evergreens are series where your ability to tap into new readers might not be high, or you’ve finished the series and so the opportunities that a new release are no longer available. But this is not always the case (for example, the superhero genre is well known to be small, but tightknit. You could write a low cost work there and if you can access them easily, such a series could be an evergreen series for you that provides good income and revenue for low work).
  • Most of all, the allocation of series on this chart is entirely subjective and in relation to your other series. The goal of the chart and this entire discussion is time and cost management as an individual or business. It is NOT about how well you’re doing compared to someone else.

This is entirely internal looking.

Okay, more in the next blog post.

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