Thursday, July 16, 2020

Evaluation of Annual Writing Plan

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

We are halfway through the year, and it’s time to do a midyear writing/business goal assessment. It has been a tumultuous year for everyone. If you launched a book in 2020, you might want to reassess how to navigate the new climate. Consumer disposable income is scarce. Where are you with your writing business?

To evaluate my business plan, I reviewed my 2020 goals that I created in January (check out New Goals & A New Writing You blog). My biggest accomplishment for this year was to create a course, 7 Steps to Reclaim Your Health and Optimal Weight. It took a pandemic to get me to stay home and complete it as I was not attending writer conferences. What did you accomplish during the pandemic shut down? At first, I was paralyzed and couldn’t work (see Fighting Pandemic Burnout article). Then I acclimated and enjoyed the uninterrupted time.

As authors it is prudent to diversify our income. Courses are an excellent way to do that. To help me create my first course, I took Saundra Dalton Smith’s course “Launch Your 1st Course in 30 Days. I launched my course in June, which ended up being a terrible time, as many other authors have experienced with their book launches during the pandemic. 

The next goal I accomplished was updating and adding Amazon categories for all my books. This change catapulted my book, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, to become a #1 Amazon bestseller, and it continues to rank #1 four months later. Check out my article, Improve Your Book’s Amazon Rank, to find out how you can improve your book’s rank too!

Even though I am attaining success as an author, it is frustrating when Amazon takes a chunk of the profits through Amazon ads. Have you experienced this? There has to be a better way to make the writing business profitable. I sought God’s guidance on how to expand my business. 

In June I took an online course, Wellness Business Boot Camp. We should attend writer conferences and gain wisdom through courses. I was at a turning point and needed new ideas. Since all the writer conferences for the past six months were canceled, an online course was the perfect option. This course helped me polish my website and course sales page. There is always room for improvement. Have you attended an online conference recently? Here are several that I recommend:

As I tweaked my 2020 writing goals, I looked for ways to expand my reach. Therefore, in the second half of this year, I will hire a search engine optimization (SEO) analyst to help move my website ranking higher in Google. There’s a strategy to this such as ensuring that you have at least one “do follow” link back to your website in every article or guest blog that you write. This shows Google that your website is important. Unfortunately, in many of my articles, I linked my book to Amazon instead of my website. Acquiring knowledge is crucial as we travel this writing journey.

Instead of writing my next book, I’ve decided to pursue creating additional courses to correspond with my Christian healthy living theme. You can make more money from a course than a book. Our writing business needs to make a profit so it can sustain itself and our corresponding ministries. 

Once you are an author, you have established yourself as an expert in the subject of your book. Many readers may need assistance with going deeper into your book’s subject matter, especially nonfiction. If you create more than one course, make sure they are not competing but instead complimentary. 

As an expert you can offer additional solutions to people who struggle with topics from your book. Have you thought of other products you could create associated with your book’s theme? There is no better time to create those products because in-person conferences and travel is limited. Please share your product and course ideas below.


Susan U. Neal, RN, MBA, MHS
Susan’s mission is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She has her RN and MBA degrees, as well as a master’s in health science. She is a CERTIFIED HEALTH AND WELLNESS COACH with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She published five books, the Selah award winner 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESCHRISTIAN STUDY GUIDE FOR 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESHEALTHY LIVING JOURNALSCRIPTURE YOGA a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, and YOGA FOR BEGINNERS which ranked #3. She published two sets of Christian Yoga Card Decks and two Christian Yoga DVDs that are available at CHRISTINAYOGA.COM. Her digital product HOW TO PREVENT, IMPROVE, AND REVERSE ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA is a great resource. To learn more about Susan visit her website SUSANUNEAL.COM You can also connect with Susan on FACEBOOKTWITTER, and INSTAGRAM.


  1. This post is fantastic, Susan. I plan to read it a second time and click through all the information you've made available. Congrats on your successes (and all those to come!)

    1. Thank you! You are very kind. May God bless your work and ministry.

  2. Susan,
    Your post offers such wonderful food for thought! I have read it over a couple of times already to better digest all the great insights. I am particularly taken with your insight that many readers need help to go deeper into the book's subject matter. I just published my first book, and the feedback I have been receiving is very much in line with your directive to develop materials to support the first book before jumping into writing a second. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!
    Blessings, Susan, author of Divine Reversal

  3. Hi Joy, I am glad my post gave you insight. Congratulations on the publication of your book! I will friend you on Facebook. Blessings!