Product Life Cycle for a New Book



I am looking at my Goals for next year, and came across some notes from last year re the Stages I need to plan for each book – taken straight from Management Book 101, Product Life Cycle – A very basic plan  people use whether they are making cars or widgets or jam.

PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE – the Fiction Book Equivalent

1. WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?  Define who your customer truly is. For a new writer, this is going to be ‘The Gatekeeper’ who could be Literary Agent or Editor or Specific Publisher. **

2. WHAT ARE THE CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS? What does this Editor need? What are they looking for? Are there specific Guidelines for the type of book you want to write [ length, genre, sub-genre etc]

3. INITIATE THE MODEL. Brainstorm story ideas/premise

4. DESIGN THE CONTENT. Expand on the premise and build the storyline

5. CONSTRUCT THE MODEL. Write the story – at least the first 3 chapters and an Outline

6. TEST THE MODEL. Send your first 3 chapters and outline to the Literary Agent/ critique friend/ Editor and get the feedback you need to re-define the model if you have to.

7.COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION. Finish the rest of the book, incorporating any feedback.

8. DELIVERY OF MODEL. Submit your book.

9. FINAL MODIFICATIONS. Revisions and polishing.

10. FINAL TEST MODEL. Submit revised finished book for final approval.

11. SALES. Sign contract following acceptance and receive adance from publisher.

12. MARKETING. Generate marketing material in conjunction with the publisher and prepare for publication.

13. MASS PRODUCTION. Final book covers and publication schedule complete. Book Launched.

14. MAINTAIN SALES. More Formats and more markets.


**Note: – as far as the planning goes, for me, the customer at this point is the ‘Gatekeeper’ who will determine whether an end point reader will actually hold your book in her hands. This is the person I have to convince to take a risk with my work in an increasingly harsh economic environment in the publishing world.

 For my crime writing – this is going to be a literary agent or a specific editor who I have met before.

 For my HMB writing  – this is going to be a specific editor who I have been working with, and I already know the guidelines for that publishing line.


Okay. I confess. I am a nerdie geek woman. Scientist and proud. 

So – Of course I have created a simple spreadsheet with these 14 points for each book = I do not know if I will use it effectively but I think it does give me some idea of  the steps I have to work through and I can put target dates against each step, allowing for time for feedback .

It also allows me to have metrics to measure what I have completed, and how long it ACTUALLY took which I can use for future planning.  Should be interesting. And it also means that I don’t stress myself by missing a step and not alloctating sufficient time to complete a quality job.


Phew – well that should keep me busy for the rest of the week!

Good news.

One goal for 2009 has alread been initiated. My present from Mr Ray-Anne is gym membership for a gymn I can walk to, and yesterday I signed up, paid, sorted. Done for the  next 8 months.   They run great dance classes as well as gymn and a spa. Tick against Health and Fitness.

Not so good news.

My sister in law slipped on an icey pavement last Friday, totally panicked, and broke BOTH her wrists. She has had surgery and is now at home.

I don’t think her family appreciate what the impact of having  a mum with TWO broken wrists in plaster and metal plates is going to mean to their daily lives.

Apparently she is feeling a bit sorry for herself. Really?

Luckily she has family in the town who can help her- but most of the burden will fall on her mother.

I can only imagine how incredibly frustrating and difficult my life would be with two broken wrists for the next few months. No work, no cooking, no dressing yourself, no lifting – no driving. Probably no feeding yourself. It would be the nearest I could come to being disabled.

So today I am counting my blessings and painting walls while thinking up grandiose schemes. LOL.