Ensign’s Log, Entry 1: Ranking My Author Goals

Ensign’s Log, Entry 1: Ranking My Author Goals

What tv shows do you enjoy?

I’m a huge fan of Star Trek, and one of the things I like about the shows is the occasional inclusion of a “Captain’s Log” (or Commander’s, or Ensign’s, depending on who is making the log.)

Sadly, I’m not an ranking officer of Starfleet. I am, however, a writer and author with many goals for the future. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of goals and the ranks they correspond to. My plan is to make the occasional report on my progress via (b)log (post)s, which will be tagged with my current rank–right now I’m an Ensign.

This rank list may require modification in the future, since there is no way of knowing how long it will take me to reach certain goals or in what order. Because of this, I am avoiding any mention of time in my goals, although I hope to reach the rank of Lieutenant within a couple of years and the rank of Captain within five years. Admiral–or Fleet Admiral–is quite a ways down the road, but I like to plan for the long term, so they are included along with what I see as appropriate goals for such high-level ranks.

Except for the rank Ensign, advancement is received should any of the goals be reached (for example, if I only have two books published but am selling 100 copies a month, I will be made Lieutenant, and if the rate increases to 300 copies a month I’ll be advanced to Lieutenant Commander.)

Once I am made Lieutenant Commander I must meet all the requirements for advancement unless I reach the books/month goal of the next rank. Three months of maintaining the books/month goal is required before I can be advanced (this applies for all ranks.)

Fleet Admiral is the only exception–all goals must be met to advance to this.

# books/month assumes $3.99 Kindle books–obviously I would expect some paperback sales as well, not to mention I would have some shorter works for sale at $0.99 as well as the occasional free or $0.99 promotion.

Rank — Author Goal(s)

Ensign — First book published and 20 copies sold.

I met this goal in early April, 2015, when I published Augment, a YA science fiction novella.

Lieutenant Junior Grade — Three books published. 100 copies sold.

By this point I’ll have several works out but won’t have done a lot of marketing yet. I’ll still be playing around with KDP Select and Smashwords.

Lieutenant — First Trilogy complete and published. Eight books total published. Selling 100 books/month.

I hope to have decided to go with either KDP Select or Smashwords or a mixture thereof at this point. I’ll also have expanded my marketing, which will result in more sales.

Lieutenant Commander — Ten books published. Selling 300 books/month.

300 books sounds like a lot, but it’s only ten per day and I’ll have almost a dozen books on the market, many of which will be trilogies or have sequels which helps increase sales.

Commander — Twelve books published. Selling 600 books/month.

At this point I’ll be making enough money that with some care I should be able to quit my job completely or switch to part-time work.

Captain — Twenty books published. Selling 1000 books/month (~34 a day in a 30 day month)

I can quit my job now and focus completely on writing and marketing my books. This is the life I’ve been working toward for the past few years!

Commodore — Twenty five books published. 1500 books/month.

Twenty five books is a major landmark in my opinion. I could have five trilogies, four standalone books (anthologies? novellas?), and three books with sequels published by now, with a good mix of science fiction and fantasy. (Ratios may vary…I haven’t planned out my publications although I hope to do so soon, in a different log.)

Rear Admiral — Thirty books published. 2000 books/month sold.

Vice Admiral — Forty books published. 3000 books/month sold.

Admiral — Fifty books published. 5000 books/month sold.

Fifty books — or selling 5000 copies a month — is another major landmark. At this point, I will hopefully be making enough to spend part of each year traveling to new countries, gaining new experiences that will influence my writing and inspire my imagination.

Fleet Admiral — 100 books published. 10,000 books/month sold. 1,000,000 books sold.

A million books sold. Sounds like a pipe dream right now, but as a starry-eyed novice in the publishing world, I’m going to remain optimistic as I move forward in my writing career. Who knows, a few years from now I could look back at this log and laugh.


What sort of author goals do you have? How do you organize them?


  1. Tee

    I love this idea and actually had hand-written something similar for myself way back when. I think it was ranks of Gummi Bears or some such. LoL I have to find that…anyway, great idea!

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