WHY HAVE A PLAN?
The first thing is to question everything you're doing-- to ask yourself why you're doing it.
WHY PUBLISH A BOOK?
Or-- what's your goal with it?
For most writers, publishing a book is an end in itself. They have no unique plan to sell the book. Most publishers today, even the big boys, give little promo support, unless you're wired to the establishment.
You have to know where you want to go. Visualize a map or a chessboard. How far along the board do you want to travel? All the way to fame and fortune? Or a more modest target?
Whatever it is, this is your Goal.
Now you have to know what objectives to hit to reach the Goal. You need to know if the Goal is attainable, and how. You have to see the road in front of you.
1.) Go it alone. Odds of success: 0.01%.
2.) Be part of a big, "Super ULA" campaign with all the trimmings. Odds of success: 10%. (Higher IF you can put and keep said campaign together-- the hard part.)
3.) Organize a smaller, tighter, more focused team. Odds of success: 33%.
How tight or loose the structure?
What's the goal?
The ULA's goal at the outset (2000) was insanely ambitious. Like the German army invading Russia. We made it to the gates of Moscow before being destroyed in the snow.
Outsider Writers goal was to be the anti-ULA. They wanted to build a huge membership, and feel good about doing so. They achieved this-- but haven't thought past it.
The nature of how they grew left them with
a.) a low level of commitment from their writers.
b.) lack of focus.
Also, their brand is unfocused. If everybody's an outsider, nobody is.
You also have to know what you're selling, and where.
What's the product? A book? Or YOU?
Where are you selling the product? CAN you stand out?
There's no alternative to having a plan. Or cooperating in some way on a plan. Otherwise it's Everybody Doing their Own Thing. It's micro-micro-marketing, which ultimately means everyone selling to five people.