Frameworks To Fire You Up!
Your writing business and author style is not like anyone else’s. So why copycat what other authors are doing with regards to writing, publishing, and marketing?
What you need is frameworks—basic principles of what works that leave plenty of wiggle room for you to explore, get creative, and speak your truth.
The Inferno Kit is just that.
In this kit, I share a ton of stuff that just plain works with regards to business strategy, writing strategy, and sales and marketing strategy.
Nothing is housed as advice or how-to. Everything is presented as considerations and questions that will help shape your opinion on the topics important to building a writing career on your terms. You can start wherever you want, skip whatever’s irrelevant, and finish on your own time.
Each framework is designed to engage, connect, and push your thinking forward in the areas of writing craft, personal growth, business, and marketing. I firmly believe that mindset is EVERYTHING in this business. We are all trying to accomplish something that is truly hard, that few people are able or even driven to do. That requires new ways of thinking that will help us take bold, fearless daily action.
You can come back to each framework as often as you want; these tools are repeatable and evergreen, so your next breakthrough is only a worksheet away.
There are over 15 frameworks in this toolkit, which you can read about below.
Part 1: The Inner Work
Inspiration comes from knowing oneself and staying true to who you are. I’ve created and curated a collection of tools in The Inferno Toolkit to help writers rediscover themselves, their styles, and their writing career strategy.
Part 1 spans two sections:
- Tools to Clarify Your Strategy
- Tools to Discover Your Unique Writer Path
Here are just some of the tools included:
- The Killer Goals Worksheet – This is a one-page brainstorm that will seriously kick your butt when it comes to your BIG goals. I’ve used this dozens of times to bring clarity to the big decisions in my business—you know, those ones that you spin and drown in for months on end, stuck in analysis paralysis? Included in the kit is the one-pager, a fully-filled out example of it, and an audio file where I explain exactly why this activity is so powerful and how to complete it.
- Who’s On Your Team? – A writer’s career needs tons of support, and a lot of writers who are still spinning their wheels are often fighting against outside forces in their lives. We need teams of people on our side, and this quick exercise will help you identify places to seek the support you need. Get this team in place, and you will very suddenly see yourself jump forward; personally, I’ve seen it myself. (Note: this goes way beyond the team you’re often told you need: editors, cover designers, etc. I don’t have any of these people on my team, and this has been my best publishing year ever, with six books out and many more due in the next two months.)
- My Ideal Day – This exercise is one of my favorite ones to journal through, and I come back to it often. It has removed so much stress from my life! And it has shifted me more toward being the person I want to be now, rather than thinking I’ll be that person in the unreachable “someday.” You’ve probably seen this tool online before, but I believe that I’ve customized it to be not only more useful to writers, but also to account for people’s personal preferences (for example, accounting for people who prefer to work slow-and-steady vs. in one big flurry on energy—I’m the latter, which means my ideal day is never the same!).
Part 2: The Level Up
You can learn to write a book, but how do you give it that special edge that makes readers crazy excited to read more?
I’m not one to teach people how to tell stories, because I think there are hundreds of books out there that already do this very, very well. Instead, I’ve put together tools that I actually use regularly whenever I write fiction. Most of them are helpful self-editing tools, some are little checklists and inventories I keep, and all focus on create a book that is marketable, and that readers can truly embrace and fall in love with.
Here are just some of the tools included:
- First 1000 Words Scorecard – I used to run this as a consult several years ago and it still works crazy well for me, especially as a feedback questionnaire with editors and beta readers. The premise is that we know the first 1000 words of a book are an important part of the decision-making process of whether or not to buy… so we know we’ve got to hook readers right away. But it’s hard to quantify whether we’ve achieved that… until now. The scorecard has 10 areas that are really easy to score… any editor or beta reader will feel specific, gut reactions to these questions in seconds. You can either use it while self-editing or you can send it to your betas, critique partners, or editors to fill out. What you’ll receive back is tremendous, actionable insight that will help you kill your intro. You know what they say… it’s not important to have all the answers, but rather to ask great questions. This scorecard does that.
- Characters We Love Inventory – Forget about a character’s favorite food, or the fact that they played flute when they were seven—no one cares! The things we love about characters greatly transcend these little tidbits that make up most of the terrible character inventories spewed across the internet. This inventory will dig crazy deep into your character(s) by exploring things like how she reacts in situations, how her past connects to her future, and how her relationships have changed her. This is what people want to read about, and what makes characters come to life much more than their eye color and their favorite brand of perfume. Also, I keep the inventory short and sweet, so you can actually get through the damn thing—unlike those 101 Questions About Your Character posts. ( Can you tell I feel strongly about this topic? :))
- Tension Cheat Sheet – Tension is the reason that people keep reading. This one-pager provides a checklist of easy-to-implement tension devices that will improve the pace of your story, no matter what genre you’re writing. You can pick and choose just a few to add in, or simply make sure you’ve included a few as one of your self-edit checks. I use these little devices all the time in my stories, which is why my fiction has really gained traction this year.
Part 3: The Value-Add
If a tree lands in a forest and no one hears it, did it really happen? When it comes to value, I believe it doesn’t exist until it is given by one, and then taken by someone else.
When I stopped seeing my books as things to sell and instead moved toward trying to add value, my business finally started seeing traction.
This section focuses heavily on marketing, promotion, and sales, with one goal in mind: expand impact, reach the right readers, and create an amazing overall experience for them.
Here are just some of the tools included:
- Sales Funnel Gap Analysis – For writers who have trickling sales or no sales, this analysis helps you easily and quickly diagnose problems in your sales funnel. Once you identify your gaps, you’ll know exactly what marketing efforts make the most sense for you to tackle next. This analysis always produces serious a-ha! moments for me when I go through it. I have done the exercise for my pen names, my series, and even my individual books. It comes with a ~50 page PDF and an hour-long audio explaining exactly how to use it, since it’s one of the more complicated tools I provide!
- Virality Scorecard – Want to know if your book will sell? It’s all in the virality of the elements on your product page! I used just two of the ten in this scorecard to hit the Top 1000 in iTunes earlier this year, with zero promotion and no following. My next project will hopefully incorporate virality into all ten elements! This scorecard is similar to my First 1000 Words scorecard (see above under Part 2), in that you and anyone else you want feedback from can easily score these 10 areas (often knowing their gut reaction within seconds). It’s an amazing way to get feedback, and I’ve even used it to sneakily get my current readers to score me without knowing about it. Again, the beauty is in asking the right questions!
- The Mailing List Framework – Is it just me, or is a mailing list one of the most difficult things in the world to do correctly? It was driving me mad, so in typical Monica fashion, I had to create a framework for it. I recently shared this 3-part framework with a friend who is trying to land a book deal at Hay House, and he was blown away by the insights. He took action, like, immediately, and saw an immediate uptick in his list! I’m currently using the framework to fix my own email lists… it’s a long road, but I know I will be thrilled with the results of doing it correctly.
Say “Hell Yes!”
If you are tingling with “Yes, please!” for any of the tools I’ve listed here, grab The Inferno Kit today. The first wave of tools will drop on Tuesday, November 11th. I’ll add a few tools every week on Tuesdays until I’ve shared everything I have.
The Toolkit Self-Study:Grab the tools—the inventories, gap analyses, scorecards, frameworks, and activities. $60. Get it here »
Ring in the new year by ending the current year with a bang!