Your Book Publishing Goals: Year in Review

steps to your goal — bullseye

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

As you reflect on your book writing, book publishing, and book promotion efforts this year, there are some things you probably did well and some … not so well. If you take the time to analyze the “why” behind each action and result, you stand to increase the likelihood of success next year simply by doing more of what worked and changing (or abandoning) the things that didn’t.

An important first step is to take ownership of what happened — good and not-so-good. Your actions either created a successful conclusion, or not. If you do some self-analysis, you’re less likely to make the same mistakes and more able to apply what you’ve learned going forward to achieve your book publishing goals.

Seize this opportunity to rewind and reflect on the last 12 months to identify what worked and what didn’t — in your life in general, but specifically as it relates to your writing, promotion, and book publishing goals. Then look ahead to apply those lessons.

Slow down and zoom out

At this time of year, it often seems like time speeds up and we frantically try to keep up with planning and wrapping up our-end-of-year to-dos. In may seem counterintuitive, but slowing down often helps us get more done, and zooming out can give you the perspective to propel you forward.

When you identify what you’ve done well, you can apply these strengths more adeptly in the future. When you identify the mistakes you’ve made — or at least what actions didn’t produce the results you expected — you can learn from them rather than repeat them.

Take a few minutes to meditate on your failures and successes — for your life in general as well as for your book publishing goals. Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers.

  • What is the biggest lesson I learned this year?
  • What do I feel most proud of?
  • Who has helped me be my best?
  • How have my strengths helped me succeed?
  • What is one weakness I need to correct?
  • What is one thing I wish I had done differently?

Seek feedback

Our friends and peers often have insights that we can’t spot for ourselves. Ask a trusted colleague, friend, or family member for feedback. These conversations work best when there is a high level of trust between both people in the discussion, with both parties listening to and learning from each other.

Schedule time for you and your feedback partner to answer the following questions together.

  • What three words would you use to describe the last year?
  • What have you found most fulfilling — and most frustrating — over the last 12 months?
  • When do you think you have been at your best this year?
  • What negative beliefs have gotten in your way?

Visualize how you want to be

After evaluating your past, turn your new-found awareness into useful action for the future. Unrealistic resolutions or “to-do lists” become demotivating over time. Visualizing how you want to be helps you be specific about your commitment to your development.

Identify the single most important action you want to take for your day-to-day life as well as your book publishing goals. Use the words “I will” to commit. Write and keep your answers to these questions somewhere you will see them frequently as a regular reminder to act.

  • One learning goal I will make progress on in the coming year:
  • One habit I will commit to:
  • One way I will support someone else:

While the reality of recapitulation can feel overwhelming, it is the key to doing things differently in the year to come. Taking the time to review your past increases your self-awareness and provides insights to improve, which is perhaps the best gift you can give yourself at any time of the year.

Planning a Book Launch free guide

Related Posts
How to Get Good Writing Feedback from Beta Readers
Finding Writing Inspiration
How to Write Faster to Meet Your Writing Goals
For Non-Bookstore Marketing, Set SMART Goals
How to Make an Author Website in 8 Steps


  1. When you think back on your writing, publishing, and marketing efforts for your book this year, you probably accomplished some things fairly well and some—well, not so much. By focusing on understanding the “why” behind every action and outcome, you can improve your chances of success the following year by implementing the strategies that were successful and modifying or doing away with the ones that weren’t.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.