Tonya D. Price holds an MBA from Cornell University. She has worked in the Internet industry for over 15 years in online marketing and project management. She is the author of the popular Business Books for Writers series including The Writer's Business Plan and The Profitable Writer. She started the series to share her knowledge of entrepreneurial business skills with indie publishers because writing is serious business.

Tonya enjoys sharing her knowledge on her website where she posts helpful information and business resources for writers. She points authors to the latest blog posts on entrepreneurship and business conferences for writers in the free Writing Entrepreneur newsletter.

Tonya is also a full-time fiction writer and writing entrepreneur who has published a number of short stories in magazines and fiction anthologies. Her Fiction River story, "Payback," originally published in Hard Choices, was selected for The Best American Mystery Stories 2019.

The Writer's Business Plan: A Plain English Guidebook by Tonya D. Price, MBA

Attract readers! Increase sales! Make more money!

Everything you need to know to create your unique business plan.

Traditional, indie, fiction or non-fiction The Writer's Business Plan is for you. Fellow writer and MBA, Tonya Price guides you in plain English to a business plan that works for you.

Easy to follow worksheets. Fool-proof templates. Seven short chapters to a writer specific business plan.


I've known Tonya Price for a long time. When she told me in February that she wanted to write a book on business plans for writers, I asked her if she could have it done by May. Of course she could, she said, and she did.

I jumped on this book because Tonya has consulted with small business startups for decades. I've wanted to know her secrets since she first told me what she did, years ago, at a writing workshop, when she was just starting out as a writer. She combines all her skills here, taking tricks that have worked in the business world and applying them to writing. You won't want to miss this book. Period. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch



  • "An essential resource for those of us still flying by the seat of our pants in business."

    – Dashiel Crowe, Mystery Author
  • "Clear and concise. I think this will be a useful resource for many writers."

    – Anthea Sharp, USA Today Best Selling Fantasy Author
  • "The Writer's Business Plan contains clear and easy to follow steps on how to put together a concise business plan. Detailed information is provided explaining how to create each piece, and why each one is needed. It includes worksheets which make putting everything together easy, and it's got a very positive, encouraging tone."

    – Jamie Ferguson, Fiction Author




Almost all writers begin writing because we have something we want to share with the world: a story, an idea, information we believe others will enjoy or profit from. I wrote this book because I saw so many of my fellow authors working away at writing and growing frustrated that they were not selling their work.

If you are reading this book I am assuming you want to approach your writing as a business. However, while you may have spent years working for someone else, you may never have had the experience of starting a company from scratch. This book will help you think about your writing business and create a purposeful plan designed to help you identify your business goals and provide you with an identified path to follow toward your business success.

Tonya D. Price

After thirty years of learning how to set up businesses, both helping others and successfully undertaking two business ventures of my own, I wanted to give back to the writing community.

Drawing on my MBA in Marketing and Finance from Cornell's Johnson School of Business, my twenty years as director of various service, marketing and IT departments, and ten years of getting paid as an independent consultant to work with small and medium businesses on their strategic plans, I launched Strategic Ideas in 1996. Within nine months, an Internet service provider acquired the company.

In 2009, I launched Tonya Price Consulting, which teaches the web teams of small- and medium-sized agencies and in-house design firms to get their projects done on time and on budget. The success of Tonya Price Consulting has allowed me to write this book for writers and launch Magnolia Lane Press (, which publishes my fiction and non-fiction books.

What You Will Learn in The Writer's Business Plan

The goal of this book is to provide a process for achieving success with your writing business, through the use of your time, money and efforts. The chapters are arranged to accommodate the completion of your business plan in a week if you can only devote a couple of hours a day to it. If you work full-time on your business plan, you can probably complete it in a weekend.

Worksheets and templates appear at the end of each chapter to save you time. These are compiled into a "working business plan." This business plan is a roadmap for writers like you, to help you set your business goals and achieve them so you can grow your business over time. You can and should update the plan as needed to address new goals and build on your success.

You must first define what you want your business to be and what you want it to achieve. Once you do that, you need a plan to help you realize your ambitions. This book describes how to create that plan, how to implement that plan and how to keep that plan current over time.

Tip: A business plan is not a static document!

A business plan changes over time. To maximize the effectiveness of your business plan you will need to revise it as you learn what works and what does not work. In the process you might change your mind about your goals AND THAT IS OKAY! In fact that is wonderful. It means you are learning and gaining valuable experience that you can use to improve your plan.

If you write for the pleasure of writing and aren't worried about others reading your work, you don't need to read this book – although you might still want to read books 2 and 3 in this series, Finishing Your Book On Time and On Budget and Completing the Writer's To-Do List.

If you love to write and want to make money off your writing, this book will describe the techniques that entrepreneurs use to make their businesses successful.

If you write as a hobby, then you should expect to spend money without breaking even. That is a perfectly acceptable approach to writing. Many people who love to write and enjoy their day job don't worry about recouping their writing expenses.

If you want to pursue a career writing fiction or non-fiction with the goal of supporting yourself as a writer, you need to know how much are you spending to write and have a plan to break even and eventually turn a profit.

These days, there are three approaches one can take to establish a writing career:

  • Obtain a literary agent and sell to a traditional publisher

  • Publish your work through an e-publishing company (your own or through someone else's), as e-books online and in print through bookstores

  • Follow a hybrid approach: e-publish your work as an indie publisher and send it out to traditional publishers

  • Deciding which way works best for you is one of the first things you do when crafting a business plan.

  • What do you want to accomplish with your writing?

  • How much can you afford to spend on your writing?

  • What strategies will you follow to make a profit off your writing?

    A Word of Caution: Plan to avoid failure, but also plan for success!

    When I started my first company in 1996,, I created a business plan for my web design company.

    Strategic Ideas was one of the first web design companies in New England, and none of the business experts I approached had a clue about how to create a business plan for a web company. Armed with an MBA from Cornell's Johnson School of Business, I set out to create one anyway.

    I worked hard on that plan because I was determined my company would not fail. What I didn't do was plan for the company becoming very successful. We doubled our client base every month and made a net profit within sixty days, despite the fact that we followed a mid-range pricing policy.

    After nine months, I was turning down business from Fortune 500 companies because I had more people wanting websites than I could handle. To maintain the excellent reputation of Strategic Ideas, I needed to find someone to acquire the company because I hadn't set up my business model for such rapid growth.

    My Lesson Learned: Plan to avoid failure, but also plan for success!

    This book will offer a template for creating your writing business plan, including sections of a business plan such as:

    • Template for a strategic plan
    • Template for a marketing plan
    • Template for a financial plan

    In addition, the book offers:

    • Tips
    • Hints
    • Case Studies
    • Further Resources

    I would love to hear what you find helpful and any suggestions for improvements in the content, or even additional materials or resources you think would improve this book. Please send your comments to TPrice at

    Here's to your Writing Success! May your travels always be profitable!

    Tonya D. Price

    A Glimpse Ahead
In Chapter 1 you will learn how to write a mission statement and a vision statement, and you will identify your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

    In Chapter 2 you will learn how to do a market analysis.

    Do the worksheets that correspond to each chapter? When you complete Chapter 7, you will have a plan that covers the next three years of your business.