Tag: 10k readers

My Two Favourite Online Courses For Authors

I love learning. I’ve read tons of books on writing craft and marketing books, as well as taken several online courses. There are many good options out there, but to save on space (lest I overwhelm with too many good options) I’ve narrowed it down to my two absolute favourites.

  1. Learn Scrivener Fast by Joseph Michael

I’d been using Scrivener for about five years, give or take a few months. I loved it from the moment I started just for the way it organized my writing, but I never used it much beyond a word processing tool. Last summer I watched a free online video by Scrivener coach Joseph Michael. I realized there were so many more things Scrivener could do – including formatting everything from epubs to mobi files to paperbacks to plays and more!

But, as a long time Scrivener user, I thought I should be able to figure things out for myself. The software comes with tutorials and there are tons of videos online, so I took those free tidbits from Joseph Michael and continued on my merry Scrivener way.

Things changed drastically when I tried to format a book. About forty hours later, bleary eyed from watching confusing youtube tutorials and upmteen ‘trial and error’ compilations, I gave up. Compiling my files for publication just wasn’t as intuitive as I had thought. In desperation, I signed up for Joseph Michael’s course.

AND IT HAS BEEN THE BEST INVESTMENT I HAVE EVER MADE FOR MY WRITING CAREER!

I’ve managed to format and publish multiple ebooks, paperbacks, and pdfs. I organize my blog posts using Scrivener, and I even do a lot of my outlining using the corkboard function. I can’t imagine writing without it and whenever I run into a snag, all I need to do is go to Joseph Michael’s easy to follow videos and – voila! Problem solved!

If you’re planning to delve into indie publishing, this is the course for you. It is worth every penny hundreds of times over!

  1. Your First 10k Readers by Nick Stephenson

I’m sad to list this course second, because it has also been such a good investment for me. Nick Stephenson has appeared on multiple podcasts with the likes of Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, Joel Freidlander and others. He talks about ‘lead magnets’, permafree books, automations etc. all with step-by-step videos and very useful cheat sheets and other helpful resources. You can find many similar courses out there on creating ‘systems’ for writing and marketing, (like Shelley Hitz’s ‘Author Audience Academy”) but I happened to come across Nick’s back in the summer of 2015. I took the risk and signed up – my first time actually spending hard earned cash on an online course.

It has been worth the cost ten times over. It’s not that I’m now rolling in cash. Nick cautions students right up front that his system takes work. It is not a get rich quick scheme or a fly-by-the-seat-of your-pants way to fool people into buying your books. What it is, is a really smart and well laid out system for growing your audience while offering value to your readers – all in a step-by-step format that keeps that ‘overwhelmed’ feeling from taking over.

I voraciously listened to the entire course in the first week or two upon receiving it, but there is so much content and so much detail that there is no way I could implement everything at once. Heck, I’m still taking baby steps two years later, but I’ve managed to make some significant inroads. Another wonderful thing about Nick’s course is that he continues to add new content and update old information without adding to the cost. Plus, he’s a very funny guy, so it’s quite entertaining to listen to him teach. You’ll see what I mean if you watch his free training videos. (Excellent, but the entire course is so much more in depth.)

Of course, there are many more valuable resources out there but these are my two all time favourites.

Hard Work vs. Effective Work

I am quoting from an email I received not long ago from author Nick Stephenson. (If you’ve never heard of Nick, check out his website here. he is literally a marketing guru.)

“How many times have you spent HOURS on something that brought you ZERO results?

But because it felt like “work” you thought you were doing something productive?

It happens all the time. And it happens because people lose sight of what’s important – and confuse hard work with effective work

The truth is, there are three goals you need to focus on if you want to grow your business.

So, next time you’re planning on doing some work… ask yourself:

  1. Does this help me create new products to sell (ie, “writing more books”)?
  2. Does this help me build my email list?
  3. Does this bring me more sales?

If the answer is “no” to any of those things, move on. I promise you will find yourself less ‘busy’ and more successful as a result – and you’ll be better placed to listen to what your readers really want.”

– Nick Stephenson

Great advice!

Step By Step – the Nick Stephenson Way

Screen-Shot-2015-01-12-at-2.49.02-pmOne year ago I took a giant step and signed up for Nick Stephenson’s online marketing course called ‘Your First 10k Readers’. I’d come across Nick’s course through another source, the ‘Self Publishing Podcast with Sean Plett, Johnny B. Truant, and Dave Wright- a sometimes irreverent but highly entertaining and useful podcast on the indie publishing industry. I heard about SPP after reading a book written by the hosts called Write. Publish. Repeat recommended to me, interestingly enough, by Amazon. (See purchase link below. If you can get past the profanity that crops up occasionally, this book is an absolute gold mine.)

As you can see, it was a bit of a rabbit trail that got me from point A to point B which is part of the moral of the story. 😃

Anyway, signing up for Nick’s course was risky. It cost money – real cold hard cash which I had not been earning enough of through my book sales to justify such an expense. Except… I’d come to a crossroads in my writing career. It was time to take the plunge and invest in myself and my writing if I ever wanted to get beyond break-even status.

As I said, that was one year ago. Twelve months later I can safely say it was one of the best investments I’ve ever made. (Right up there with learning how to actually use Scrivener to it’s full potential. But that’s a topic for another post.)

It’s not that I’m suddenly rolling in cash or anything (unfortunately) and Nick cautions students right up front that his system takes WORK. It is not a get rich quick scheme or a fly-by-the-seat-of your-pants way to fool people into buying your books. What it is, is a really smart and well laid out system for growing your audience while offering value to your readers – all in a step by step format that keeps that ‘overwhelmed’ feeling from taking over.

I voraciously listened to the entire course in the first week or two, but there is so much content and so much detail that there was no way I could implement everything at once. Heck, I’m still taking baby steps compared to many others, but I’ve managed to make some significant inroads this summer.

Part of the delay is that many of Nick’s recommendations are best applied if you have control over your own work. Sure, I contacted my publishers to try and get keywords and categories on Amazon changed, but there is only so much you can do when you don’t have control. I’m happy to report that now that I’ve gotten the rights back for some of my already published work, I am making huge strides forward.

As part of the process, the entire NEIGHBOURS Series has been republished in ebook format and the paperback is in the review process. I’ve learned how to format to multiple platforms, automate my email sequences, create landing pages, plan book events, install, upload, download and cross-load (if that actually was a thing) and so much more. I can’t even begin to express how valuable this training has been. There is still so much more I need to learn, but I finally feel like I’m moving forward instead of just spinning in a void.

Thanks Nick Stephenson and all the other contributors to the 10k course. This is stuff that you will keep coming back to again and again. The investment was minuscule to the benefits. Watch the first couple of videos FREE and even if you don’t buy, you will see what I mean about value. I’m not one to try to push stuff on people, but if it’s something that is actually worth it, then I don’t mind. And this is worth it. Trust me.

Also worth reading: Write. Publish. Repeat. Here is the link:

 So, the moral to all of this is:
RABBIT TRAILS CAN BE A GOOD THING IF THEY LEAD SOMEWHERE AWESOME.

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