The other day, the CFO (Hubs) and the CEO (Moi) of B.E. Sanderson Publications (again, not a real company name, nor the one I would pick for an LLC if I ever went that way) sat down for an impromptu meeting. The CFO called the meeting at approximately 7am - as he is usually way more awake than the CEO. Since the CEO hadn't had nearly enough coffee and the secretary (also Me) wasn't inclined to take notes, there will not be a blow by blow of the deets.
Sales were discussed. For a breakdown of that report, go here. Marketing strategies were on the floor briefly. A production schedule was outlined as follows:
Expectations are that we will put out four books this year - at or near the quarters (i.e. March, June, September and December). Book one is already out - Dying Embers. Book two is at the editor - Wrongful Termination. Book three is in production. Book four will be contingent on whether Wish in One Hand gets picked up by Baen. If it does, then the fourth book will be another suspense. If it doesn't, then book four will be the first in my urban fantasy series - with the second and third books in that series coming out next year.
Then we sidebarred and talked about the potential of losing readers because of the genre switch from suspense to urban fantasy. It was decided in order to prevent that, we will leapfrog the genres - putting out the UF in December, and then another suspense in March, UF in June, etc.
It was at that point the CFO pulled the COO (also me) aside to ponder how exactly new books would fit into the schedule when the production team (also me) would be busy with getting the already-written books ready for publication. The COO provided assurances and talked about production schedules and pointed out ways to make the production floor more efficient. The CFO was not convinced, but agreed to hold off naysaying until he could see how this year went.
Then a discussion of finances ensued. The budget for this year looks good. The expectation is to have the first three books funding the next book at least by the time it's ready to go into production. If that isn't feasible, the financing issue will be revisited at that time.
The meeting then adjourned, and the CEO made the CFO breakfast. ;o)
I hope you enjoyed that peek into the business aspect of self-publishing. I wrote it that way to be funny, but also to underscore the fact that this is a business. At least, if I hope to be successful, I need to approach it that way. Money going out, money coming in and customers I have to think about to keep that money coming in - so I can continue to provide the product they want.