how much do authors make

How Much Do Authors Make? Complete Breakdown

If you’re looking to become an author, you might be thinking how much do authors make? Is it a sustainable career option?

Many will look at being an author as being a “starving artist.” And while this may have been true when the traditional publishing industry turned away almost everyone, it’s just not the reality anymore.

There are so many people out there making a living writing and publishing books. And not just barely making a living, making a full, healthy full-time income while pursuing something they truly enjoy.

With self-publishing becoming more and more relevant, people looking to become a full-time author can make more now than ever before, which is actually something we teach our students to do in our Become a Bestseller or Fundamental of Fiction & Story programs.

Free Book Marketing Training  Learn how to make a consistent ($4000 / month) income from your books, sell  more, and market your books for sustained sales and success!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

How much do authors make a year?

Authors can expect to make a full-time living provided they have multiple books, know how to market them well, and an active, engaged fan base.

There are a ton of factors that play a role in how much authors make in a year. No two authors will make the same amount, though we all wish we could be lumped with the income of J.K. Rowling or Stephen King.

How much an author makes per year depends on:

  • Royalty rate earned per book sale
  • Up-front advance offered (traditionally published only)
  • Scope of book marketing
  • Size of audience
  • How many books are published per year
  • How many books are currently out

While most people think traditionally published authors make more than self-published authors because of the fame of authors like Stephen King or George R.R. Martin, that’s not actually true.

The averages actually swing higher in favor of self-published authors.

You can see a real breakdown of each with our self-publishing vs traditional publishing analysis to see for yourself.

Here are the main differences in income for self-published authors versus traditionally published authors:

Self-Published Authors

Traditionally Published Authors

  • 40% – 60% royalties per book
  • Can publish 2-3 high-quality books a year
  • No advance, but you make money right away
  • 10% – 12% royalties per book
  • Can take 2-3 years to publish one book
  • Up-front advance (but you don’t make royalties until that advance is “paid back” to the publisher)

If you want a specific amount made per book between self-published authors and traditionally published authors (after printing costs as indicated by Amazon, etc.) at a $13.99 retail price and a 50% royalty rate for self-published authors and a 10% royalty rate for traditionally published authors, here you go:

Self-Published Authors – $13.99 retail priced book

$4.77 per book

Traditionally Published Authors – $13.99 retail priced book

$0.95

Note: Traditional publishing houses may have a lower printing cost through partnership deals or owning a printing press, but a $4.45 printing cost was used in the above calculations for both.

Regardless, you can see the major difference between the two: several dollars per book for a self-published author and sometimes not even a full dollar for traditionally published authors.

How much money does a new author make?

This is such a common question we get here at Self-Publishing School, and it’s understandable. Most people think you have to be really well-known to make money as an author.

However, that’s not true. All you need is the right process to increase visibility for your book on Amazon, which is what we do with our Become a Bestseller and Fiction Publishing program.

We even developed a calculator to help you see just how much you can make in profit right here:

This will help you understand how to price your book and help you calculate sales goals in order to reach an income level you really want.

Many of our students sell 2 -3 books per day through our Sell More Books program, and with many having multiple books, this number increases rapidly.

Ultimately, if you want to make money as a new author, your best bet is to write often, publish often, and create series or at a minimum, multiple books.

What are common author royalty earnings?

Since we covered this above for the most part, let’s give a quick overview of what author royalties look like.

Self-published authors can make between 40% – 60% royalties on a single book sale while traditionally published authors usually make between 10%-12% royalties.

First-time authors who want to traditionally publish can get an advance, which is usually $10,000 (usually not that much more for a first-timer). However, with traditional publishing, you do not start to earn royalties until you have sold $10,000 worth of books at your royalty rate.

Basically, you have to earn back that $10,000 before you actually start to earn a royalty check from your publisher. And many publishers make a deal with the author that if they sell X amount of books, their royalty rate will go up, hence the difference there.

For self-published authors, you start making money from your first sale.

Ways to Make More Money as an Author

So now that you have an understanding of how much authors make, we wanted to let you in on a few tips for making more money as an author.

Here are our best tips for becoming a full-time author.

#1 – Choose between self-publishing or traditional publishing

First and foremost, you’ve got to learn the difference between self-publishing vs traditional publishing, and then make the choice that will be best for you.

Setting yourself up for success with this is crucial if you want to make the most money you can as an author.

There are successful paths with both avenues. Just know that traditional publishing will take longer (2-3 years with the entire process it encompasses) and you might not see big returns unless you end up getting lucky with a bidding war between publishing houses.

Those bidding wars are what usually get authors massive advances, like those 6 or 7-figure deals you hear about.

We actually put together a deep, full analysis for you to decide for yourself. Just click the button in the image below!

#2 – Write to market

Did you know traditional publishing houses have staff who come up with book concepts that are “trending” or hitting really well in the market, and then they also employ writers to bring those ideas to life?

Sometimes it’s the same person, but not always. They do this in order to have the biggest chance of making money by capitalizing on what’s “hot” in literature right now.

The best part? You can do this yourself as a self-published author.

But how do you write to market? And is it a less “legitimate” form of being an author?

There’s an argument between some more entitled authors and those who write to market under the guise of writing to market being a “sell-out” or some of the equivalent.

That’s just people being, well, entitled.

The truth is that if you love to write and can come up with story ideas easily, can write quickly, and are able to publish quickly, then writing to market is a legitimate (and smart) career opportunity as an author.

As a self-published author, you can write to market by looking at categories you enjoy creating stories in and seeing what types of stories are doing really well.

An example would be the Age of Vampire Novels that was initially kicked off by books like Twilight, triggering an explosion on vampire stories by many authors and publishing houses. And these sold really well.

Today, vampires aren’t quite as popular as Urban Fantasy in the Young Adult category.

If you’re someone who likes fantasy, you can benefit from writing those types of books and publishing them frequently.

Here’s a great post that goes more in-depth about how to write to market.

Free Book Marketing Training  Learn how to make a consistent ($4000 / month) income from your books, sell  more, and market your books for sustained sales and success!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

#3 – Write every day and publish often

The coach for our Fundamentals of Fiction and Story program here at Self-Publishing School helps more than 30% of our students write and publish more than one book.

After they get one done and published, they’re itching to do it again, and again. This is our best advice for making a living writing.

Our coach actually started the InNoWriLife within our exclusive fiction Mastermind community, which is a knock off NaNoWriMo, and it stands for: International Novel Writing Life.

[Check out our Fundamentals of Fiction & Story program if you want to be a part of InNoWriLife]

The idea is to create a lifestyle with writing your novels. Instead of dedicating an entire month to it, you dedicate your life to building habits around writing every day.

Because if you want to make money as an author, you have to make it a habit, a part of your life, and a job.

So we recommend creating writing habits you can stick to in order to always be working on a story.

#4 – Publish series

If you truly want to “make it” as an author, writing and publishing a book series is a fast way to get there, especially if you publish multiple series.

The reason you make more money with publishing a series is simple: one customer is more likely to make multiple purchases.

If you have a great first book, they’ll buy the second and then the third, etc. This means you can make more money off of a single person.

Not only that, but if one customer buys every book in your series, they’ll also usually leave reviews as well as buy other books you’ve published that aren’t in the series.

Series establish a strong fanbase, which keeps you “employed” as a full-time author.

#5 – Put together an email list or other platform

Having a singular way you can communicate with people who have said “yes!” to wanting information from you is crucial. It’s like having a sales list.

We always recommend an email list because you own your list. Whereas with social media platforms, the company owns your followers, you don’t.

So if anything were to happen to a social platform and you lose all those followers, you’d have no way of communicating with them–just imagine if a social platform went down the DAY of your launch.

Email lists are also a great resource for recruiting beta readers, launch team members, and getting people excited about your book come launch time.

Here are a few things you need to create an email list:

  • Email provider like Convertkit (we have an SPS student exclusive deal through them!), Mailchimp, or other
  • A way to capture emails: like a website, a lead magnet in your book, etc.
  • That’s it! If you can capture an email address to a service provider, you’re done.

#6 – Commit to being an author

One of the best pieces of advice we have for you is to make a commitment. You can’t expect to make a full-time income if you’re only sort of interested in writing or you only work on writing when the mood strikes.

Just like with any other job, you have to work whether you’re in the mood or not.

This is the biggest mindset shift our fiction coach Ramy instills in our students. So much so that our exclusive community decided to take InNoWriLife a step further and track their progress with each other in a massive spreadsheet.

This is their dedication, and it’s why these students are so successful in being authors.

They wanted it and they made the changes needed to make it happen, like investing in Self-Publishing School to teach them the ropes.

But it’s not just our fiction students who are crushing this. Our Become a Bestseller nonfiction students are just as dedicated and have created the same habits.

SPS 051: Traffic Secrets Book Launch: A Behind The Scenes Look At How I’m Launching The Book with Russell Brunson (How I Use Books To Grow My Software Company)

Russell Brunson is the founder of ClickFunnels and the author of three books: Dot Com Secrets, Expert Secrets, and his most recent book, Traffic Secrets. He was also a guest on episode three, where he talked about how to outline a book. To date, Russell has sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books. Today we are going into how Russell is conducting his launch for book three of his trilogy.

As ClickFunnels grew, his business became less challenging and less exciting. For Russell, “Selling books extend my message more than anything else I’ve ever done.” Although never planning to write a trilogy, however, when he was offered to purchase Traffic Secrets from another offer, he realized he could easily create a trilogy series.

Russell brings us through his journey of writing, rewriting and republishing his books in hardcover. He tells how he revised his first two books while publishing the third in his series. Then, with his first advance from his new publisher, he realized he had to buckle down and write the third book by the deadline.

Although COVID has affected his book launch, his click funnel is sending thousands of people to his site, which is converting at a rate of 20,000 books per month sold for his latest edition. His book launch includes three phases, which involve social media, interviews on podcasts, and long-form content.

Listen in to find out how COVID affected his book launch, how he is using his click funnels, and the types of ads he is using for his funnel. Learn how Russell is using the content of his book to drive traffic to his book, the short term and long term strategies you can use to promote your book, and Russell’s plan to add radio, infomercials and social media buys into his three-phase book launch.

Show Notes

[02:37] Why books are the hardest project for Russell to make happen.

[03:46] Did Russell plan to have a trilogy from the very first book?

[06:06] Each book has its own stand alone funnel and how he manages his book funnels.

[08:25] How he manages so much content in a very short amount of time.

[11:12] Russell’s team and how they assisted him in writing his book. 

[13:48] The launch plan for his new book Traffic Secrets

[15:49] Phase II of his book launch and how COVID affected his launch, focusing on email traffic.

[17:29] Phase III of his book launch, which includes interviews on podcasts and social media.

[18:49] Short term and long term strategies for promoting your book.

[20:50] How to buy ads to target your market on other channels and platforms.

[25:43] Email marketing and click funnels.

[26:42] Russell’s thank you pages and how they lead into more sales.

[27:39] How Russell and his team have designed click funnels to be mobile-friendly.

[30:12] Lessons he has learned from writing his three books in his trilogy.

Links and Resources

Self-publishingschool.com

ClickFunnels’ Funnel Challenge

Spsfreetraining.com

Circle of Profit

Recorder Plus

Self Publishing School Episode 003 Video

Expert Secrets

Russell Brunson on the Web

Russell’s podcast Marketing Secrets

His three book trilogy and web classes

how to make an online coure from your book

How to Create an Online Course: 11 Clear Steps to SUCCEED

Learning how to create an online course is becoming more and more relevant as time goes on, and the coronavirus pandemic has proven just how valuable that is.

While we here at Self-Publishing School hopped on this trend much earlier than the pandemic by creating our Course Building for Authors program, we thought it would also be helpful to break down some tips for creating an online course for all of you.

While we obviously can’t give away all of the secrets for how our students of that program are launching their courses to $10,000+, we can give you a step-by-step rundown of how to create one for yourself.

Here’s how to create an online course:

  1. Make a course plan
  2. Know what your course outcome is
  3. Get feedback on your course idea
  4. Decide if you want course creating guidance
  5. Create a course outline
  6. Develop the entire course content
  7. Choose your course building platform
  8. Finish your course!
  9. Launch your course to a beta group
  10. Make course edits
  11. Launch and sell your course!

FREE TRAINING: Build and Launch an Online Course to $10,000  Learn the exact step-by-step methods our students are using to build and  launch theircourses to $10,000......WITHOUT Massive Lists, Sales Experience, or  Affiliate Connections!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

How to Develop an Online Course With NO Content Yet

If you have nothing and are starting from scratch, you’ll likely be a little more behind than others.

This blog post will help you but most of the time, having some sort of blog or a published book will make creating an online course much easier, faster, and overall better.

Our Course Building for Authors students often either come to us with a book published or another asset they’d like to turn into a higher revenue-generating business.

This gives them a solid base of content to turn into a course outline, an email list generated through a lead magnet inside their book, or a popular blog or other content asset they’ve been making for a while.

That said, if you truly don’t have any content, you can still learn how to create an online course! You’ll just have to understand that it may take a little longer to generate a solid outline.

Online Course Platforms to Use

While we’ll get into more of this specific step later (and how our students save 50% off a high-rated online course platform’s annual pricing), I wanted to drop a few options for you when it comes to where your course will live.

It’s important to have a reliable, trustworthy, and customer-service centered course platform in order to ensure your customers’ needs are met.

Here are some of the top online course platforms to consider:

  • Teachable
  • Kajabi
  • LearnWorlds
  • ThinkiFic
  • LearnDash

There are plenty of more out there, but those are the best from our research.

How to Create an Online Course Step-by-Step

So you have your idea, you know you want to use a course to create a passive income revenue source, and you’re ready to go!

Let’s get into how to create an online course that does well and sets you up for success when you launch in order to build your online business.

#1 – Make a plan

You could just put some content together and run with it, but we’ve found this is why most people fail with their online courses. They have the desire but don’t plan appropriately.

You should be aware of what you need, the expenses involved, and how you’ll make a return on that investment (ROI).

(By the way, you can check out the Self-Publishing School ROI Calculator to understand just what you can make and how much your business can grow by using one of our programs.)

Here are a few things to plan for if you want to create an online course:

  • Where will it be hosted? (Your own website = $ for hosting, domain name, etc.)
  • How will you collect leads to convert to course buyers?
  • Will you be the “face” of your course?
  • Do you have a platform with people asking for a course?
  • Do you have a platform to sell to? (We teach you how to do it without one in our program!)

These are just a few of the items you want to plan for while thinking about creating an online course.

From there, you should build an action-plan to tackle some of these prior to launching your course (though you can start developing the outline and content before).

#2 – Know what you want the course OUTCOME to be

Most people don’t think about what success looks like for their customers before they develop the course. This is a huge area of importance we cover in-depth in our Course Building for Authors program, mostly because it sets you up for the long-term.

The more of your customers who find success, the more likely they are to refer, give you a high rating, and ultimately grow your business.

After all, the course is about them. Not you or what you’ve made. It’s about their struggles and how you’re solving that problem for them.

So ask yourself: what will the outcome be? What will be changed from starting the course to finishing? What will they have when they’re done?

You can use our program promise as an example: Turn your book into an online course and get your first 10 sales.

The result of this program is that our students will walk away with a complete course based on their book, and a guaranteed first 10 sales (because we also cover how to SELL your course).

If they don’t receive that, then we have some serious making up to do.

This also gives us a clear line of sight into what success means, which allows us to track this in order to make sure our students are getting what they paid for.

#3 – Get feedback about your idea

This is most helpful if you have an actual platform to go to. One of our Course Building for Authors students had a bit of a large Facebook group, and she was able to use that to ask them exactly what they wanted.

While we don’t necessarily advise people to make a course only to give people what they want, you should absolutely make sure that what you are covering is needed.

If you create a course on how to create a solid morning routine when what your audience really needs is a method of getting their tasks done throughout the whole day, it won’t perform as well.

Ask your friends and family, search forums, take to social media and research the need for what you want to create. If there’s a great need and little help, that’s the idea to go for.

FREE TRAINING: Build and Launch an Online Course to $10,000  Learn the exact step-by-step methods our students are using to build and  launch theircourses to $10,000......WITHOUT Massive Lists, Sales Experience, or  Affiliate Connections!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

#4 – Decide if you want guidance creating your course

You’ve already read all about how we help people build online courses with our program. But this is where you should decide if you want that help, or if you want to risk the odds alone.

You can check out that program page linked all over this post, and you can also research other methods of creating an online course.

All I can really advise you on is this: if you want to succeed, to make money from your course, and create a course that truly makes a difference, getting guidance from someone experienced will make a difference.

Imagine yourself without any help, trying to navigate this by Google search…and then imagine if you had a program walk you through step-by-step how to make it, with 1-on-1 coaching for specific questions, as well as a large exclusive community to support you.

You can absoutely have success without going to a coach or program to teach you this. However, it’ll likely take a lot longer and you’ll have to put forth much more work.

As a company that’s gone from $0 – $16 Million in 5 years from online courses, we know a thing or two…or ten 🙂

And we’re teaching you our exact methods, our sales tactics, and more.

Click here to check out the program page and decide for yourself if you’d like a complimentary 1-hour strategy call.

#5 – Create a course outline

If you have a book, this step is likely a lot easier, though there are some major differences between a book’s content and a course’s content.

That being said, creating an outline is super important. Think of each line item in this outline as a module for your course.

Having a clear plan with your destination (what you’ve determined “success” to be for your course) will help you create a better course, faster.

And in the age of time being the most valuable resource, this is really important.

Here are the steps for outlining your course:

  • Create “modules” for each section that differentiates from the one before it
  • Then go through and list 2-5 topics for each module
  • Then go deeper and indicate the biggest “takeaway” for those unique topics as well as for each module
  • Don’t forget to make a section for proof, examples of someone or yourself accomplishing what you’re asking them to do
  • Review your outline to determine if it needs anything else in order for people to succeed in your course promise

#6 – Develop the entire course content

Now’s the time to dig deep and make your content!

There are a few options you can use to put the course together:

  • Written content
  • Audio content
  • Video content

We here at Self-Publishing School recommend have all three available. But first, start with the written content (unless you’re more of a speaker, in which case record, then transcribe).

The reason for having several different types is because people learn in all sorts of ways.

By giving them choices, you create a better user experience and will be more likely to have people succeed and then leave positive reviews, boosting your course sales (not to mention the testimonials you can use for marketing).

#7 – Choose your course building platform

As stated above, there are a lot of online course platforms to consider.

You want to make sure you find one that works for you and your needs, and also fits your financial budget on this project.

Here are some things to consider:

  • The price
  • Does it host your content for you (otherwise you’ll host it on your own website, increasing the hosting provider cost)?
  • Can you send emails from it?
  • Can you check customer’s progress / achievements?
  • Is it easy to use (for the tech challenged)?
  • Will you have to learn an excessive amount in order to create your course?
  • What kind of build is it–drag and drop or a single format?
  • Will you be able to customize your course with branding?
  • What’s the customer support like (AKA: will you be able to quickly solve issues making it hard for your customers)?

We encourage spending a lot of time considering these, goingthrough free trials, and more in order to find the course platform that suits you.

For Self-Publishing School Course Building for Authors students, they get 50% off an annual subscription with Teachable because of our partnership with them.

#8 – Finish your course

Take the time needed to get your course content created, uploaded, and in whatever course platform you want to use.

This will be the longest step simply because you have to sit down and do the work. Nobody can do this for you (unless you hire someone to transcribe videos).

The steps for finishing the course content are actually very similar to finishing the first draft of your book.

Remember to be clear with your instructions, use metaphors to make it easier, and use examples from your own life. People love authenticity. Be real about what you did and how it worked in order to get them to take action.

#9 – Launch to a BETA group

Before you go live, you should always launch your course to a beta group at a lower offer price than you plan to go public with. This is super important for setting your course up for success later on.

It can be hard for those of you without a platform, but even offering a discounted price and letting people know it’s for a testing phase can help you get conversions through your website.

This stage is really vital for understanding what people are actually getting out of your course. Much like with writing a book, you can’t always tell what’s working and what’s not because you created it.

Have others go through, let them tell you what’s confusing, what didn’t work, and what was even hardest for them.

This gives you a list of “fixes” you can make before launching publicly that will give your new customers the most success.

#10 – Make any adjustments from the beta group

This is pretty self-explanatory, but make those changes! Don’t just ignore the feedback you get.

While you don’t need to change everything, especially if only one person had an issue and others didn’t, you do want to make sure you’re adjusting things that several people spoke up about.

Make your course the best it can be for your customers, and remember you can always make tweaks and updates later on as well.

#11 – Launch & Sell!

Now’s the time! We know these are a lot of steps, but they’re necessary to build a course that will perform well and bring you and your customers success.

That being said, selling it all on you. Whether you’re selling straight from a landing page or you’re getting on sales calls, the important thing is to focus on their need and how your course helps them solve it.

In our course building program, we actually have an entire section on selling and how to do it without feeling “salesy,” with our own blueprint for what we do here at Self-Publishing School.

online course platforms

Best Online Course Platforms: 2020 Deep Comparison

If the Coronavirus pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that online course platforms and e-learning definitely has a bigger place in our future.

Panicked with what to do without school or work, a staggering amount of people have taken to the internet to educate themselves, their kids, as well as simply pass the time.

With that comes the need for online course platforms that perform reliably.

Since Self-Publishing School is an online education company featuring several programs all hosted with an online course platform, we’ve got some tips for you!

And if you’re new to online course creation and are looking to get your foot in the door of this online learning growth, you’ll need a reliable course platform.

While we cover this process of choosing a course platform and even creating a course in its entirety in our Course Building for Authors program, we also wanted to provide you with a list of the best online course platforms for you to decide for yourself.

FREE TRAINING: Build and Launch an Online Course to $10,000  Learn the exact step-by-step methods our students are using to build and  launch theircourses to $10,000......WITHOUT Massive Lists, Sales Experience, or  Affiliate Connections!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

Here are the best online course platforms:

Best Course Platform Criteria

• Price

• Special Features

• Tech level needed

• User rating

• Customer support

• Ease of starting

• Integrations

What are online course platforms?

Online course platforms are softwares and other technical programs used to host an online course you’ve created, including videos, photos, quizzes, and more.

Instead of learning how to code or hiring someone to code on your website in order to encompass everything you want for your online course, you can use one of these course platforms.

They usually have features of hosting, brand customization, email integrations, and more convenient features you can easily hit a button and use.

Online course platforms take a lot of the technical work out of creating and launching your course.

Questions to Ask to Choose the Best Online Course Platform for You

Knowing your goals, your own technical capabilities, as well as what you need in terms of features will go a long way in helping you decide which online course platforms will work for you.

Here are some questions to help you understand what you need in a course platform:

  1. What’s your budget for a course platform?
  2. What’s your current tech use level?
  3. What special features do you want your course platform to have (email integration, quizzes, etc.)?
  4. How much do you want to be automated?
  5. Do you need video, images, text, and other formatting features?
  6. What email provider will you be using (needed for special integrations)?
  7. Do you need an all-in-one payment and course platform?
  8. What type of customer support do you need (quantity, do you employ someone already, etc.)?
  9. Do you need your course platform to save user data and results?

For this blog post, you’ll see some boxes at the bottom of each course platform indicating the price, overall rating by users, as well as a “tech level” needed to use, on a scale of 1 – 5: five being “a lot of tech knowledge needed,” meaning coding, and extensive web development knowledge and one being so easy a chimp could do it.

So if you struggle with tech a little bit, look for a software with a lower score in that department.

How to Create an Online Course Platform

We have all of these steps covered, along with how to actually sell your course in our Course Building for Authors program, but we’ll give you the main steps here.

This is how to create an online course platform:

  • Decide on your course topic
  • Outline the content in full
  • Decide on what “success” looks like for your course
  • Choose a course platform that best fits your needs
  • Create the course content (quality is key!)
  • Upload materials to the course platform of your choosing
  • Make sure all integrations are set up and working flawlessly
  • Price your course to sell (& generate revenue)
  • Sell your course!

There are obviously many steps involved with creating a course, it’s why we have an entire program about it. However, the above steps can get you there if you know what you’re doing and what you want.

The Best Online Course Platforms

Let’s get to the good stuff!

Below you’ll find 11 of the best course platforms in 2020. These will have several categories covered along with a summary box at the end in order to help you choose with course software is best for you.

#1 – Teachable

This is the course platform we use here at Self-Publishing School, and have for years. We rate Teachable higher than others because it’s been really easy to use, is highly customizable, and you can even host it on your own website with certain plans.

We also have a 50% off of a yearly subscription deal for our Course Building for Authors students.

— Price

Teachable, like other course platforms, has a few different plan options you can choose from based on your own needs, business size, and more.

Below you’ll find a screenshot of their pricing tiers.

Teachable Pricing Tiers

Their tiers are based on different needs and sizes. If your business is just you, the Basic plan will likely fulfill the needs you have. But if you’re looking to grow your business or expect a large launch, the Professional plan is usually the way to go.

The Business plan is going to be best for larger buisnesses looking to switch to Teachable or those who have a very large platform launching a course.

Also note: there is a FREE plan with Teachable, but it’s very, very limited. For example, you can only. have 10 students with a free plan and an unlimited amount with all other plans.

So if you do want to try Teachable before paying, you can start with the free plan!

— Special Features

There are almost too many features to count with Teachable. You can check out a full list of features here, but we’ll touch on some of what we believe are the best ones.a

Here are some of Teachables best features:

  • Quizzes
  • Certificates
  • Course Compliance
  • Highly customizable, from landing pages to in-course branding
  • Student feedback
  • Coupons / promotions
  • Payment enabled
  • Great integrations (we’ll cover below)
  • Analytics
  • Data reports
  • Web hosting capabilities for your own domain
  • Mobile app

— Tech level needed

You don’t have to know a whole lot about tech or we development to create and launch a course with Teachable. They make it super easy to upload and edit content.

We’ll say you’d need about a 2/5 tech level in order to use this course platform.

— User Rating / Reviews

We love Teachable here at Self-Publishing School, which we’ve already mentioned.

So instead of rehashing that, I wanted to give you a few reviews and ratings from actual users from this site right here.

Overall, Teachable has a high rating with 4.6 out of 5 stars with 89 ratings from one site.

However, another review site has a lower rating of 3/5 stars.

Overall, teachable has a relatively high rating with a couple issues regarding cancellation, but they do seem receptive to this feedback and even replied in once case above.

— Customer Support

We’ve personally found it really easy to work with Teachable’s customer support team. Tickets are usually handled with a couple of days, which is saying something for a company of their size.

However, others in some reviews state having difficulty with support, so this may be an area that’s not as consistent as some would like.

In addition to tickets and support from an actual person, they do have a large knowledge base with really easy-to-follow articles.

Our suggestion would be to first search Teachable’s knowledge base before sending a customized help ticket. This can cut down on your own time, as well as theirs, which only increases ticket response for more urgent matters.

— Ease of Starting

We love Teachable for how easy they make it to start. It’s why we recommend this platform to our students.

Here are the steps from sign-up to creation:

  • Visit their site and click “create a course”
  • Make your account with name, email, and password
  • Confirm. your course’s name
  • Answer a few questions about you and your business
  • Access your dashboard and start!

It’s really that simple, and that few steps. So long as you can create your course content, you’re good to upload in minutes.

course-platform-teachable-dashboard
Teachable Dashboard – Course Creation

— Integrations

Teachable has really great integrations! We’ve found the better the course platform, the more integrations they likely have due to their size, which makes it easier for them to create partnerships between companies.

Here are some of their featured integrations:

  • Zapier
  • MailChimp
  • AWeber
  • Infusionsoft
  • Mixpanel

Teachable Course Platform Overalls

PRICE: Free – $249 per month

USER RATING: ★★★★☆

TECH LEVEL: ⬤⬤◯◯◯

FREE TRAINING: Build and Launch an Online Course to $10,000  Learn the exact step-by-step methods our students are using to build and  launch theircourses to $10,000......WITHOUT Massive Lists, Sales Experience, or  Affiliate Connections!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

#2 – Kajabi

If you’re familiar with Jenna Kutcher or other big name business owners, you’ve probably heard of Kajabi promoted by them. It’s one of the most popular course platforms, rivaling Teachable and even ThinkiFic.

— Price

In terms of overall pricing comparison, Kajabi does run more expensive than Teachable for their Basic, Growth, and Pro plans.

However, Kajabi also markets themselves as an “all in one business platform” and not just a platform for courses.

Below you can see the pricing breakdown with what’s included, with the Growth plan being the most popular at $159 per month (billed annually), which breaks down to $199 per month if you choose to submit monthly payments.

They do offer a free trial period so you can test it out!

best online course platforms kajabi pricing
Kajabi Pricing Tiers

— Special Features

While there isn’t a specific page dedicated to all Kajabi’s features, their home page does a good job of breaking some of them down. Remember, this has far more capabilities than just course building.

Here are the best features:

  • Course creation and hosting
  • Many integrations, including your website hosting (WordPress, Squarespace, etc.), Infusionsoft, WooCommerce, and more we’ll cover below
  • Email creation and customization
  • Fully integrated sales pages (Leadpages, Clickfunnels, etc.)
  • Lead tracking
  • Mobile app
  • 24/7 support
  • Hours of detailed training

— Tech level needed

Because Kajabi is far more than just a course platform, the learning curve can be a bit steeper.

And that means you may benefit from being proficient in using tech and automations if you want to go with Kajabi. Remember, it does have its “Kajabi University,” which includes a ton of training for those of you who can learn quickly.

However, if you are rather tech challenged, this might not be the best option for you just yet.

Overall, we’d give this a 3.75 / 5 (rounded up to 4 in the overall score below) for tech knowledge needed to use and create.

— User Rating / Reviews

You can find a ton of great things said about Kajabi’s interface. However, we don’t just want the success stories posted on their homepage, so we did some digging for real user ratings and reviews, ranging from very happy to less than ecstatic.

Overall, ratings for Kajabi’s course platform do steer in the 4/5 star rating area, with a smaller number of users rating it less than 3-stars.

It seems that you really need to make sure you can handle the large interface and capabilities before going with Kajabi, like we said in the tech rating above.

— Customer Support

Some distaste for Kajabi comes from a lack of support, while others rave about how great their 24/7 support is.

One great thing to remember is the help center and articles and videos they already have that could answer your questions for you.

— Ease of Starting

The ease of starting for this course platform isn’t as seamless as it is for say, Teachable. But they do have more capabilities that you might want to set up before actually creating your course.

Getting signed up for an account is actually easy–all you need to enter is your name and email and you’ll have access to your account.

From there, you’ll have to choose integrations, get familiar with your portal, and watch some training videos to learn how it all works. It’s less straightforward than other course platforms.

— Integrations

This is really where Kajabi shines in terms of its integrations. It seems they can connect with most softwares your business may already be using.

Here are some of their integrations (you can also find listed here):

  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook
  • Aweber
  • Mailchimp
  • Drip
  • ConvertKit

Kajabi Course Platform Overalls

PRICE: $119 – $319 per month

USER RATING: ★★★★☆

TECH LEVEL: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◯

#3 – LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is a software specific to building online courses and monetizing them, specifically on your own website.

— Price

LearnWorlds offers very competitive pricing for what you get, plus an additional customized plan if your needs exceed their highest offering.

This is very convenient for those of you hoping to grow extensively and don’t want to have to switch to a larger platform (which can be a huge pain). You can see their overall pricing plans below.

They also have a free trial that’s 30-days long, which is double the time Kajabi gives you free, so you can really get a feel for the software before committing.

LearnWorlds Pricing

— Special Features

What I appreciated a ton about LearnWorld’s website is that they have a really thorough breakdown of each plan on their “Features” page, so you really understand what you get and which will work best for you.

Here’s a screenshot of what this looks like as well as another that’s what you get when you click “+ Expand All” button.

LearnWorlds Features
LearnWorlds Features Expanded

Overall, the pricing is very comprable with Teachable’s when it comes to what you get for the price. Having unlimited courses and students with their Starter tier is very convenient, with the loss of unlimited landing pages and you can’t use their hosting for a blog.

The Starter tier also only allows for 3 customizable pages (home, course cataglogue, and after login), which means if you want highly customizable options, you’ll want to go for their Pro Trainer or higher.

Another note: if you go with the Starter plan, you will have to pay a $5 fee per course sale. So doing some math to see if going with the Pro Trainer tier would end up saving you money is a good thing to consider.

— Tech level needed

Once you sign up, you’ll go to your dashboard, the typical view with the menu on the left of pages you can navigate to, as seen in the image below.

LearnWorlds Dashboard

In full honestly, this looks more intimidating than it is. However, because it does look complicated and has a lot of moving parts, the tech level needed to create and navigate would be a bit higher.

If you can log in to something and figure out where stuff is, you’ll be just fine with LearnWorlds. Just know that is can be a little overwhelming at first.

— User Rating / Reviews

On this review site, LearnWorlds has an overall 4.9/5 star rating, which is really good for software like one for course building.

You can find more detailed user reviews as well, covering the most helpful features along with some pros and cons as well.

One thing of importance to note: I’m trying to find some lower rated reviews to share some of the other end of experiences, but am having a hard time finding them. This is good!

Most people rate LearnWorlds 4-5 stars.

— Customer Support

All but the Starter plan come with 24/7 support, the starter plan with 24 hour support 5 days a week.

However, the only tier that has phone support is the Corporate High Volumne, which is their customized plan for larger entities.

All the tiers do have a Help Center you can access, but the Starter plan does not have any onboardng help, whereas the other plans do, along with increased time as you move up the tiers.

— Ease of Starting

It’s pretty simple to create your course and get started on your free trial. All you really have to do is hit a button and you’ll enter your email, school name, as well as answer a few questions to help set a few things up.

LearnWorlds Setup

From there, you can hit “finish” or “OK, take me to my school now” and be greeted with your dashboard, which you can hit “Courses” and “Create Course” to begin.

When you do the above, it’ll lead you to a pop-up questionairre to set your course up, which is really easy to navigate and it “plugs in” your answers where needed.

LearnWorlds Course Creation

— Integrations

LearnWorlds is another larger course platform, meaning it has more integrations than the average, which you can see a full list of details for here.

Here are some of the listed integrations for LearnWorlds:

  • Zapier
  • Mailchimp
  • ActiveCampaign
  • AWeber
  • Convertkit
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Mixpanel
  • Facebook-pixel
  • Sumome
  • Hubspot
  • ReferralCandy
  • FreshChat
  • Zendesk
  • Olark
  • Tawk To
  • Fomo
  • Intercom

They also have an area for businesses to connect with them to set up integrations, which may be why they have so many.

There’s also an option for getting an API for further integrations, which would require a bit more tech knowlege to get going.

LearnWorlds Course Platform Overalls

PRICE: $24 – $249+ per month

USER RATING: ★★★★☆

TECH LEVEL: ⬤⬤⬤◯◯

#4 – ThinkiFic

ThinkiFic is another top runner when it comes to the original course building platforms out there. You’ll find this one on most lists you end up researching due to its longer reputation.

— Price

Not only does ThinkiFic have a money-back guarantee, they also have a free version that allows up to 3 courses with quizzes and surveys, content hosting, as well as ulimited students.

Of the course platforms we’ve covered so far, this is the best unpaid offer for small creators.

They also have a 30 day money back guarantee if you do decide a paid version isn’t quite right for you.

ThinkiFic Pricing

The paid versions of ThinkiFic are a tad bit higher than other course platforms, but overall very good for what they offer, particularly getting Drip content and emails included in their Basic tier for $49 per month.

— Special Features

A feature many tech-challenged will love about ThinkiFic is their drag-and-drop building feature. It’s easier to design and edit than other types of course platforms.

What’s less great is that you can’t really view all of their features in a list format or comparatively very easily. Their “Features” page leads you to a landing-page style that goes through all the features without indicating which pricing tier it would be in.

However, if you navigate beneath the pricing table, you’ll see an option to view more comparisons, which is where they give you a thorough breakdown of what’s in each plan.

Overall, here are some of ThinkiFics key features:

  • Immediate payouts
  • Security
  • Website builder (Basic plan and up only)
  • Unlimited students
  • Quizzes
  • Drag-and-drop course creation
  • Video, PDF, and other content storage
  • Student progress tracking
  • Daily backups
  • Course packaging and payment options
  • Ability to host course on your own domain

— Tech level needed

ThinkiFic is a relateively user friendly course platforms, offering the ease of a drag-and-drop builder.

That said, we’d rate the tech level needed as a 2 out of 5. It’s easy to navigate, it’s clean and uncluttered, and most people with a working knowledge of the internet can likely maneauver it.

— User Rating / Reviews

This review site here has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars with 80 total submissions.

Below you can find a couple reviews from this site, one good and one with a couple issues highlighted you might want to think about.

— Customer Support

It’s a bit difficult to find how to gain support through ThinkiFic. If you go to the footer, you’ll find a “Support” column with a Help Center and other links, but nothing to contact them directly.

I had to search through their Help Center for “support ticket” in order to find this page that teaches you how to get help and how to contact the support team.

Overall, this could be improved with a button on your account dashboard to bring you directly to this page or others, as I can see this being difficult for some people who aren’t as tech knowledgable when it comes to searching for help and information.

— Ease of Starting

Getting started is just as easy as other course platforms, including a great questionairre to help tailor it a bit more.

ThinkiFic Starting Questionairre

Thankfully, the dashboard for ThinkiFic is far less overwhelming than that of LearnWorlds. It’s clean, clearly labeled, and also gives you a checklist for “onboarding” to learn the material better.

ThinkiFic Dashboard

— Integrations

Thinkific Course Platform Overalls

PRICE: $0 – $499 per month

USER RATING: ★★★★☆

TECH LEVEL: ⬤⬤◯◯◯

#5 – LearnDash

LearnDash is probably the most unique of the 5 best course platforms we’ll cover. Instead of logging into an account on thier site, it’s a paid plugin you can use to add to your WordPress website and manage in the backend.

This gives you high customization and complete ownership of the hosting, meaning if another course platform’s servers go down, it will be down for your students whereas with LearnDash, the plugin is more likely to avoid server problems, so long as your own domain and hosting provider are in good shape.

However, this also comes with a steeper learning curve, meaning the more tech and web development knowledge you have, the better for this program.

— Price

Since LeardDash isn’t a subscription model, you pay full price for the plugin to use this software. This also means you pay for this yearly, it’s a recurring annual purchase, not just a one-time purchase.

LearnDash Pricing

If you want to break down these packages to monthly rates, they’d be:

  • Basic – $13.25 / month
  • Plus – $15.75 / month
  • Pro – $27.41 / month

Comparing these prices with the monthly rates of other course platforms, LearnDash is actually very affordable for what it offers.

Plus, they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll be able to purchase, download, upload to your site, and try it out within 30 days before choosing to keep it for good.

NOTE: Because this is a plugin, all course content will need to be hosted on your own domain, meaning you will likely pay more for storage through your hosting provider than you would with a course software that allows for free content hosting, like Thinkific. So while these price breakdowns are really affordable, there may be other expenses elsewhere to think about.

— Special Features

Because LearnDash is a WordPress plugin, it does have certain features that are unique to it.

This includes the fact that you can host it directly on your website or multisite (yes, it has multisite capabilities!).

There are so many great features with LearnDash, especially the forums, where students can congregate, discuss, and learn even more.

Here’s a breakdown of the features listed on their Features page:

LearnDash Course Features
LearnDash Monetization Features

What’s really convenient about LearnDash’s monetization features is that you can set up subscriptions easily, you have a shopping cart, and you can also bundle and sell your courses.

LearnDash Admin Features

Another great feature is the “Expire Access” admin capability, which can help increase on-time payments in order to keep revenue coming in, without having to manually manage this.

— Tech level needed

Because LearnDash is a plugin and not an actual online platform, having a bit more tech knowledge, specifically that of using WordPress, is really handy.

I would not recommend this course platform for people who aren’t proficient in WordPress.

That being said, we rate this a 4 / 5 for technical capabilities.

However, if you know WordPress like the back of your hand (like me!), this platform offers so many customizable features you’d be crazy not to love it!

— User Rating / Reviews

Out of 85 submitted reviews on this site, LearnDash has an overall score of 4.6 / 5.

Most of the reviews listed boast about it’s customization and customer service. Others with lower ratings usually feel that way due to their tech challenges, which is just confirming that you should have more tech knowledge if you want to use this course platform seamlessly.

— Customer Support

LearnDash’s support isn’t quite up to the level of other online course platforms. However, it does have standard support, with their support conditions stating:

“Support is available from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays of the United States.”

Many reviews, however, praise the support and thoroughness of replies and feedback, which is good news! So while they don’t have 24/7 support, it sounds like their support thoroughly solves your problem quickly.

— Ease of Starting

This is where LearnDash does have some drawbacks, simply because it’s a WordPress plugin and requires a few steps to install and begin.

For a seasoned WordPress-er, they’re really simple steps:

course-platforms-learndash-
  1. Purchase the plugin
  2. Download the plugin
  3. Log in to your WordPress site (or create one if you don’t have one)
  4. Go to your dashboard
  5. Go to “Plugins” on the left sidebar
  6. Click the “Add New” button at the top left
  7. Click the “Upload Button” at the top left
  8. Click “Choose File” and select the zip file of LearnDash OR just draft the zip file over the “Choose File” button
  9. Click “Install Now”
  10. Wait until it’s done and then click “Activate”
  11. Your LearnDash section will be at the top left of your dashboard in those menu items
  12. Navigate to “Overview”
  13. Open the email you got when signing up, it should have your LearnDash license number
  14. Copy and paste that where indicated on the “Overview” section of LearnDash
  15. Your course platform should be goo to use now!

If you’re using a multisite through WordPress, make sure to first navigate to the site you want to use’s dashboard before uploading the plugin.

From there, it’s as easy as navigating to your specific area and adding course content. They also have helpful videos on how to use each section and how to proceed.

— Integrations

Because this is a WordPress plugin, that integration is the most important. However, there are other integrations for payments, emails, and more.

Here are some of LearnDash’s integrations:

  • Zapier
  • WooCommerce
  • SamCart
  • Slack
  • Stripe
  • MemberPress
  • Gravity Forms
  • GamiPress
  • MailChimp
  • Visual Composer (WordPress plugin for display/theme layout)
  • ConvertKit

You can see more integrations and extensions for LearnDash here.

LearnDash Course Platform Overalls

PRICE: $13.25 – $27.41 per month (annual payment options only)

USER RATING: ★★★★☆

TECH LEVEL: ⬤⬤⬤⬤◯

Which online course platform do you think you’re going with? If you want to save up to 50% off of a Teachable annual subscription, you can do so by becoming a student of our Course Building for Authors program.

SPS 050: How To Land Sports Teams & Corporate Consulting Clients From A Book with Jon Gordon (Lessons Learned From 20 Books & 2M+ copies sold)

Jon Gordon, an author of 20 books, speaker, and consultant, comes on the show today. His clients include Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Heat, and Publix. Over his career, he has used books for his business marketing. Books have also been a big driver for clients and businesses.

He always knew he wanted to be a writer and a speaker. However, he had a very negative mindset. Until one day, when his wife told him to change his mindset or their relationship was finished. Jon researched ways to be more positive and began his journey of writing with a newsletter, “A Weekly Positive Tip,” with five subscribers, all of which were his family and friends.

A publisher came across Jon’s weekly newsletter and reached out to him to write a book. His first book, “101 Ways to Get Addicted to Positive Energy,” was tip-driven and did not go well. Another publisher brought him to the Today Show, and his second book, “The Ten Minute Energy Solution.” His career started to slump, then one day, while walking and praying, he came up with the idea for his next book, “The Energy Bus.”

Writing this book in three and a half weeks, his book was rejected by 30 publishers. This is the book that started Jon’s career. Jon’s advice is to continue to do the work, continue to write, and eventually, you’ll find your voice. He discovered his voice when at a book signing with the author of Marley and Me, he realized he wanted to try and write a story. Jon explains how the characters took on a voice of their own while he was writing his book.

Listen in to find out Jon’s trigger point for the Energy Bus to take off, when and how Jon gets his best ideas for books, and the types of positive impacts made when you author several books. Learn why you shouldn’t write to make money, why speaking and consulting assist you with book writing ideas, and why you should think about additional sources of revenue when writing your book.

Show Notes

[01:53] Jon remembers his first book and what spurred his motivation to write his first book.

[05:00] He comes up with the idea for the book, “The Energy Bus”.

[06:42] How Jon found his voice with his books and realized he needed to make a shift in his genre.

[08:13] What Jon put in place to get the The Energy Bus written in under one month.

[10:02] The differences between writing a story and his first two book genres.

[12:48] How his business came from writing his book. 

[15:32] Jon’s favorite book that he has published and why this book is his favorite.

[17:52] Was there a correlation between The Energy Bus sales and previous books?

[20:10] Why he thinks his book The Energy Bus sells so well.

[20:22] Jon doesn’t write just to write, he writes because he loves to write and what he is meant to share.

[24:12] Do what you are called to write is Jon’s message to other writers. 

[26:26] How Jon and Chad Morris became a team from Chad’s training camp.

[30:33] Chad’s training camp videos and Chandler’s take on the videos.

[34:24] The power of writing and why more people don’t become authors.

[37:48] While writing, think of an additional source of revenue such as a playbook.

[40:12] What happened to Jon’s business when COVID hit.

[43:35] The effects of Jon’s books on other leaders in business.

Links and Resources

Self-publishingschool.com

Spsfreetraining.com

Circle of Profit

Recorder Plus

Rev

Find Jon’s books here

About Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon on Twitter

Jon Gordon on LinkedIn

how to become a speaker

How to Become a Speaker at Events: By a Speaker of 40+ Events (Templates)

When it comes to your career, your business, and even your author goals, learning how to become a speaker at events might be on your mind.

After all, thousands of people go to events to hear from authorities on topics they’re interested in learning more about. In order to place yourself as that authority, speaking at these events is important.

Over the past couple years, I’ve spoken at over 40 events on the topic of writing and publishing a book successfully.

This had brought in over 7-figures for my business, not to mention all the people who are now aware of me, what I do, and Self-Publishing School as a whole.

We recently launched a new product here called PR & Speaking for Authors on this very topic, with even more information. But in this post, I’m going to unveil our own process for becoming a speaker at events.

Here’s how to become a speaker at events:

  1. Finding events to speak at through networking
  2. Finding events to speak at cold research
  3. Reaching out to networked events
  4. Cold event outreach – with templates
  5. Follow Up
  6. Your first call with event coordinators
  7. Call recap email
  8. Confirming the event!

BOOK MARKETING TRAINING: Using Publicity to Grow Book Sales  Learn the exact step-by-step methods I've used to speak at over 40 stages and  generate more than $1.5 Million in revenue over the past two years. I'm giving  away my secrets!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

How to Get Paid to Speak at Events

This might be a hard pill to swallow but the truth is that if you want to get paid to speak at events, you have to have experience, a message worth the price tag, and authority.

Usually, people pay to speak at events when they first start. Sometimes you pay to “sponsor” the event, which you then get to speak at.

Until you become someone who has a platform and can bring more people to the event. In most cases, being able to show extreme authority in your field can also benefit getting paid to speak at events.

And for authority, we always recommend at a minimum, publishing a book. Being a published author is like having an immediate “authority” stamp on your forehead.

Here are other ways you can get paid to speak at events:

  • Publish that book 😉
  • Grow your platform
  • Build a resumé of high-quality events you’ve spoken at
  • Network with people who can vouche for you

How to Become a Speaker at Events: Our Foolproof Methods

I’m basically handing you our playbook for booking stages and becoming a speaker at events. Most of this was formulated by my Head of Business Development, Pedro Mattos.

He’s been largely responsible for this process and booking speaking events that have generated over $1.5 Million in sales for our business.

You’ll see a couple different types of steps for becoming a speaker at stages. These are separated by “networked” steps as well as “cold”.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar, networked steps involve getting speaking gigs from people you’ve met and connected you to the right people whereas cold research and outreach are the opposite, where you find the information and reach out without having any prior connection to the event or coordinator.

Both are really important, though networking will usually get you the most bang for your buck down the road. When you’re starting out, cold outreach will be your most lucrative, since you likely don’t know many people in the event business…yet 🙂

#1 – Finding events to speak at through networking

Say you’re in a position where you’ve been able to connect with people who are in the event business. By that, I mean they either work at events, throw them, or speak at them regularly.

These people can also be a past or current client, colleague, or strategic partner or someone’s event you’ve already spoken at.

Here are some people you can get in touch with in the “event business”:

  • Think customers
  • donors
  • subscribers
  • raving fans
  • mastermind groups
  • past stages
  • social networks
  • board members
  • associations you’re a part of
  • professional clubs
  • online groups or forums
  • bloggers
  • podcasters
  • authors
  • experts you know

We recommend listing some names you can think of and putting those all in one place where you can track the progress of this before actually reaching out.

Organization is KEY for becoming a speaker at events. You’d be surprised how many opportunities can fall by the wayside without organized outreach and follow up, which we’ll cover.

For Self-Publishing School, we use Asana’s “Board” structure, as you can see below:

This way, it’s super organized. You know exactly who is in what stage so you know which steps you need to take next to become a speaker at their event.

You can also create something similar in a spreadsheet if you don’t want to use other software. Either way, make your list, label each step, and keep track!

#2 – Finding events via cold research

This is where the majority of you will likely fall if you’re just getting into the speaking world. You’ll do “cold” work when you don’t have any prior connections to people who work at the event, the event itself, or speakers.

Most of this requires good, old-fashioned online research, and we have a few tips for that.

Here are the top places to look:

  • National Organization Document (See Gold Mining Folder of the Google Drive)
  • Google:  Determine our Search Criteria 
    • Topic 
    • Types and Names of Stages 
    • Niches & Industries 
    • Geography 
    • Example: |Chiropractic| conferences| in San Diego|
  • Market Place Lists   
  • Social media
    • You can use some of these hashtags to find posts: conference, event, keynotes, speakers, motivationalspeaker, meetingplanners, associationevents, eventplanner, organization
  • Associations: you can find some here
  • Online conference directories:
    • Allconferences.com
    • Eventsinamerica.com 
    • Lanyrd.com 
    • Conferensum.com
    • Conferize.com
  • Google alerts: set up a Google alert for certain keywords that pipe right into your email inbox

This will take some work. It’s not an instant result. That said, it’s worth it and you’ll likely make some connections within your niche that allows for other opportunities as well.

Keep track of these events and contact information in a spreadsheet or task organization software like Asana.

#3 – Outreach for networked events

You should have two lists at this point, one for people you know/of and another for cold outreaches. Once you’ve got that research down, start with the people know you, since these are usually the best chances of becoming a speaker at events.

When getting in touch with these people, there are certain methods that work better than others.

Reach out via channels in this particular order until you get a response: 

  1. Text (ideally voice memo) 
  2. In-person meeting 
  3. Facebook messenger 
  4. Email 
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Direct mail via a hand-written letter 

Here’s an example of a message Pedro sent out about an event.

We like to follow a specific formula for outreaches that we’ve figured out gets the most responses.

Here are a few things to remember for this:

  • Mention how you know them 
  • Don’t ask for a referral, instead ask where they are going (and give a reason for your ask)!
  • BONUS: End by asking for their address and sending a gift 

#4 – Cold outreach to speak at events

Your cold outreach will be a little different than messaging those you already know. While a little more of an uphill battle, there are a few ways you can put yourself ahead of others.

Knowing event planners main problems can help you craft your outreach to get attention.

Here are their 3 main problems:

  • They need to fill their event (aka sell tickets) 
  • They need to provide amazing content that solves a problem for their audience
  • They need to cover their overhead / make revenue from the event through means other than ticket sales (sponsorship revenue, back-end sales revenue, etc)

With that stuff in mind, you need to at least mention and cover one of those needs in your first outreach, specifically how you can solve that problem.

Remember that with an initial outreach, you are not selling the event planner on having you on their stage. You’re selling them on getting on the phone with you for a 15-minute call. 

Here are all of the components I would cover in the initial email: 

  1.  Direct subject line that talks about the opportunity of you and them working together. Ex: Partnership Opportunity  
  2. In the first line two lines, explain who you are and why they should care (hit on one of the 3 pain points above)
  3. In the next line, explain why you believe that would be a good fit for their stage, and what your ideal scenario would look like. 
  4. End with a CTA to book a short 15-minute call or an opened ended question asking if they have completely filled their speaking slots (this really works)
  5. Add a PS. with a link to something that proves your credibility (if you have a book, this should always be linked in your signature to begin with)

COLD OUTREACH TEMPLATES: Book Speaking Gigs  Get 4 different types of email outreach templates for speaking opportunities,  formulated by our own Head of Business Development, and are responsible for generating over $1.5M in revenue over the past 2 years.  YES! GET THE TEMPLATES!

#5 Following up with initial outreaches

Follow-ups are arguably even more important than anything else. If you don’t bake this into your system, you’ll lose out on a lot of opportunity.

Our philosophy is “the money is in the follow up”. 

If you are not getting a response, it’s probably one of three reasons: 

  • Your message is not relevant for them right now 
  • You are not talking to the right person 
  • You are not using the right medium (Facebook vs. email vs. text)

With that said, it is important to address all three of those points in your follow up – which means: 

  • Reach out to different people in the organization and ask to be directed to the correct person
  • Change your ask, subject line, etc
  • Try multiple mediums until someone replies (but don’t annoy them, spread out your contacts over some time to give them a chance to look at your messages)

#6 – Navigating your first call with event coordinators

We’ll cover two things in this point: how to schedule your first call and how to execute it to book the event.

How to Schedule Your First Call

If and when someone replies to your initial outreach positively, you’ll want to get on an actual phone (or video chat) call with them as soon as you can to close the deal while you’re fresh in their mind.

Your initial outreach should have included something about hopping on a quick call to chat details (since that was the purpose of it). Now when they respond, try to make that call happen in the next 48 hours to increase your chances of booking the event.

From here, you’ll include a link to a calendar where they can book, or you’ll confirm the time and send out a detailed calendar invite.

You’ll see an example of a Google invite below:

What to do While on Your First Call

The goal of this call is to familiarize yourself with the meeting planners and get a better understanding of their goals, challenges, and really anything you could help solve.

The second purpose is to get some logistics around stages and offer a solution that includes you speaking at or “sponsoring” their event.

Here’s an “outline” of what you should be shooting for during this conversion:

Step 1 – Introduction and rapport

  • Ask where they’re from
  • Introduce everyone on the call and provide:
    • Context for who you are and what you’re doing
    • How what you do relates to them and their event

Step 2 – Give context and figure out their goals

  • “It’s so great to connect, and I really appreciate you taking the time to hop on this call. I know we don’t have a ton of time scheduled and I want to be respectful of yours, so to give you some context…”[give context around the call, sample below]
    • Provide them with some more details about your mission, passion, and overall purpose, as well as why you want to grow our event connections and speaking resumé
  • End this bit with: “So with that said, I’d love it if you could give a quick overview of the top projects / goals you’re working towards over the next few months, and we can see if there’s a way we can help.”

Step 3 – Let them know what you’re working on and why you’re building partnerships

  • Give an overview of a few projects we have in the works that lend themselves to partnership opportunities
  • Your goals
  • Start off with a content sponsorship pitch “I think one easy win to start this relationship off is to start with a sponsorship. I’m sure you’re always looking for new sponsors, we’d love to see what would make sense”
    • Go with an assumptive / “this-is-a-no-brainer-and-the-obvious-next-step” tone and you’ll pretty much get a 100% conversion on this
  • Then ask them what it would look like to have you do a 45-60 minute presentation on your speech topic
  • Finally, if it’s a fit and they have a decent-sized list (10k+ for bigger platforms, smaller if you’re just starting out), pitch an affiliate webinar:
    • “Last thing that I think could be really cool for your audience and this relationship, is I’d love to do a live training around [your niche topic/speech]. We’ll set it all up, your audience gets access to some great content, and the best part to you is you get $x for any person you send to the training who becomes a student. Is that something we could get on the calendar in the next couple of months?”

The idea with these steps is to move through the conversation seamlessly and in a way that makes sense to them.

As with any professional call, don’t interrupt or ignore questions, etc. You want to have a cordial conversation that’s upbeat, fun, and makes them want to be around you, which will help with their decision to include you in their speaker lineup.

#7 – First call recap email

Yes, even your call needs a recap email. This helps to clear up any confusion and have a physical reference for both of you for what needs to happen next.

Ideally, this recap email should be sent to ALL relevant parties less than 3 hours after the call takes place.

It should recap EVERYTHING that was discussed, and specifically note dates, percentages (for discounts), specific next steps, and the names of people responsible for those steps.

If additional intros need to be made (content teams, for example), include everyone on the recap email, and indicate that the introductions will be made in a separate thread.

Be hyper-specific here. It might feel unnecessary or OCD. It almost certainly won’t come across that way.

Here’s an example of a solid recap email:

#8 – Confirming the event!

Now, don’t just go taking any event you can. It’s tempting but remember, you’re also vetting the event owners, their mission, and ensuring it aligns with what you’re doing.

BUT, if the event checks all of your boxes and meets all the requirements you set up for yourself, here’s what you’ll do next:

  1. Email the meeting planner confirming that you will be attending the stage
  2. Send an email to connecting anyone within your business (if there’s more than you) to the event planner
  3. Add the event to your personal calendar so you don’t forget 
  4. Move this event over in your planning / tracking software or spreadsheet
  5. Transfer all known information, contracts, etc into the task you have in order to have all the info in a single place. 

That’s how you become a speaker at events! It seems complicated, but this process isn’t as simple as sending one email.

We’ve nailed down this process and our Head of Business Development swears by it. Let us know how it works for you!

publishing programs

Book Publishing Programs: Top Picks & What to Look For

When you make the decision to write and publish a book, for whatever your unique reason is, like growing your business, establishing authority, or just wanting to make an impact, having the right program to assist you makes all the difference.

You can do it all by yourself. But the level of success you have will mostly depend on the strategies you implement.

And if you’ve never done this before, you’d want to work with someone who has to get it right.

That means you’re likely searching for the best publishing course or program to get you there.

We’ll cover some of the best publishing educational programs over a few different fields and certain publishing software programs, along with what you should look for in one to make it worth your time, investment, and effort.

Here are book publishing programs to consider:

  1. Education – Self-Publishing School
  2. Education – Balboa Press
  3. Education – LuLu
  4. Education – Book Baby
  5. Education – Outskirts Press
  6. Software – Scrivener
  7. Software – Blurb
  8. Software – KDP Wizard
  9. Software – Press Books

Find the BEST Publishing Path For Your Needs!  Take this 2-minute assessment to learn which of our publishing paths will be  the best for your and your unique needs as an aspiring author. Answers  delivered immediately!  TAKE THE ASSESSMENT!

What’s the difference between a book publishing program and a publisher?

A book publisher will basically do everything but write the book for you…including taking the majority of your royalty earnings.

On the other hand, a book publishing program that’s education-based, meant to teach you how to do it, shows you the process and allows you to keep all of your royalties.

If you’re looking for a publishing program like a software that helps you take your book from a document to a published piece of work, that’s a whole other set of needs you can learn about below.

What’s the difference between a publishing course and a publishing program?

Some people use the term “course” and “program” interchangeably but they’re actually very different.

A book publishing course is often pre-made or pre-recorded that you can go through in your own time without the assistance of its creators or support.

A book publishing program, on the other hand, often has the course plus other materials or assistance, like our Become a Bestseller program that has 1-on-1 coaching along with group coaching calls, a community, and more.

So the main difference is the level of content and assistance you get with each. A book publishing program will likely be more interactive with support and interaction whereas a course will likely only be online content with nothing else, unless it’s an in-person course like at a college.

Book publishing program for education or a book publishing software program?

You may be in both camps or you may just be in one. Are you looking for a computer software to help you publish? We’ll cover that here!

But we’ll also go into some book publishing programs that are actually education-based where you’ll learn the entire process, start to finish.

Click here to look over book publishing software.

Click here to learn more about book publishing programs that are educational.

What to Look for in a Book Publishing Program

Obviously you want to make sure you get what you need in order to publish a book successfully. But what we’ve learned through working with thousands of students is that most don’t exactly know what they should be looking for.

It’s one of those “you don’t know what you don’t know” situations, and we want to clear up a few things.

Here’s what you should look for in a book publishing program for education:

  • Ample support
  • A community of some sort
  • Thorough, up-to-date content
  • Lifetime access to the information
  • NO royalties taken (if you self-publish, you should never sign over royalties to a company with a publishing program–those are YOURS)

Here’s what to look for in a book publishing program software:

  • Ease of use
  • Editing capabilities
  • Outlining capabilities (for the writing–a “nice to have”)
  • Formatting capabilities
  • Access-anywhere features (like Google Docs)
  • Multiple document formats (.pdf, .png, .txt, .mobi, .azw,)
  • Low cost
  • Multi-device functionality (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop)
  • Great customer support
  • Auto-save feature (probably the most important!!!)

Book Writing & Publishing Programs

Are you looking for something that encompasses both writing and publishing all in one?

Since these two are so closely related, and you should often write the book to go along with your publishing plan, having a program with both can be even more beneficial.

Here are some book publishing programs that also cover the book writing process and how to write a great book (especially for self-published authors!).

Online Book Publishing Programs

Want to work on your book without having to go anywhere? There are a ton of book publishing programs online.

These mostly allow you to log in from home, work on it in your own time, and give you the flexibility most of us need to get something like writing a book done.

#1 – Self-Publishing School

That’s us! We’re actually a self-publishing education company, dedicated to teaching you how to write, market, and self-publish your book successfully.

Here are some program details:

  • Several self-publishing paths to take: including Nonfiction, Fiction, Specific Marketing, PR & Speaking for Authors, Course Building for Authors
  • 1-on-1 coaching with each program
  • Lifetime access to materials
  • Exclusive Mastermind Community Facebook group
  • Up to 4 additional free coaching calls within the community weekly–including 1 per week with Chandler himself
  • Expert interviews by industry experts in the Mastermind Community
  • From blank page to published author, and everything in between
  • Over $1000 in exclusive Self-Publishing School author discounts for services like editing, cover design, and more!

While we may be biased since this is our program, we truly believe it’s the best, and we continuously upgrade and improve our programs in order to ensure this by keeping track of industry trends, Amazon’s updates, and listening to the needs of our authors.

Check out the image below for a sneak peek of a portion of our program (we don’t share these often!):

Self-Publishing School Program Sneak Peek

Our specialty here is 1-on-1 coaching as well as a Bestseller status guarantee on Amazon (in as little as 90 days if you follow the program!), which increases exposure, boosts your book in Amazon’s rankings, and helps you sell more!

You can check out more about our baseline Become a Bestseller publishing program here.

Check out some of our student success stories to hear it from them!

#2 – Balboa Press

If you’re searching for publishing options and programs, you’ll likely come across Balboa Press at some point.

This publishing program has several options, including “done for you” services that allow you to sit back and let someone else take care of the majority of the work, aside from the actual book topic and contents.

Below is a chart for their services along with price points.

Balboa Press Services & Prices

This publishing program has services from hardcover publishing to copyright information, social media setup guides, and more depending on the package you choose to go with.

Full Balboa Press Review

More Balboa Press Frist-Hand Experiences

#3 – LuLu

LuLu Press has been around for a while now, since 2002! While it’s not exclusive to just books, it’s a good option for those looking for a book publishing program that has several features.

In the image below, you can see the different options they have available to you, including printing, distribution, selling, and more.

Book Publishing Services from LuLu

While this is less of an educational platform and certainly not a course-like program, it does offer plenty of helpful blog posts to get you going.

However, it does lack the expertise of a more robust educational publishing program that can help you rank and sell more books.

Full LuLu Publishing Review

More LuLu First-Hand Experiences

#4 – Book Baby

BookBaby has a lot of options on their site. It may even be a little confusing as to what they do and how you can benefit from it, but we’ll break it down for you.

This book publishing program does a few main things for you:

  1. Prints books
  2. eBook services, including formatting and more
  3. Book design
  4. Editing
  5. Bookselling services

As you can see, this is a wide range of different options for the self-publishers out there. They have a lot of great reviews and also some complaints, as is the case with something this big.

Among the biggest complaints, however, is that if you want to make changes to your manuscript, you do have to pay a fee.

Image Courtesy of SelfPublishing.com

Pricing for BookBaby can be hard to find. We grabbed this information from SelfPublishing.com for you:

  • Express Package: $890
  • Complete Package: $1,790
  • Deluxe Package: $2,290

Full Book Baby Review

More BookBaby First-Hand Experiences

#5 – Outskirts Press

Outskirts Press has been around for a long time, another publishing company taking advantage of the self-publishing boom since 2002.

They offer a variety of services, including publishing, marketing, and book production assistance.

I had a hard time finding any prices for Outskirts Press and their website was a little hard to navigate, making me think I’d likely have to go through channels to get prices for what they offer, and even find everything they offer.

Below you’ll see a screenshot from their “All Publishing Packages” menu item in the “Publishing” dropdown menu item.

Outskirts Press Publishing Package Options

If you do some digging, you’ll be able to find the pricing for specific packages, ranging from marketing information to genre-specific “done for you” services, as you can see in the images below.

Outskirts Press “Marketing Discounted Bundle”
Outskirts Press “Spiritual Books” Publishing & Marketing Suite Price

As you can see, it looks like pricing for their services ranges widely, from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on what you’re looking for.

First-Hand Outskirts Press Experiences

Book Publishing Software Programs

On the other side of book publishing programs that are full of educational materials and “how-tos” are the software programs you can use to write, edit, format, and even upload to Amazon.

Let’s take a look at some of the best publishing programs out there.

Which writing software is BEST for you?  Take this 2-minute assessment to determine which software is the best fit for  your unique needs—and waste no more time in deciding!  TAKE THE ASSESSMENT NOW!

#1 – Scrivener

If you’re starting to write a book but haven’t heard of Scrivener, I’d be surprised! This is one of the most popular writing softwares out there right now.

If you want to keep your writing highly organized, outline it effectively, and write directly inside the software, this is a great one for you.

We’ve got a video detailing a few of their features below:

#2 – Blurb

If you’re looking for more of a book formatting software, and not necessarily a writing one, BookWright by Blurb.

This publishing program boasts features like customizable templates, really high quality, and that it’s free! You can upload the content you need, add images, and formulate a layout that works for what you want.

If you head to their “Sell & Self-Publish” menu item, it’ll show you the various things you can do with this platform.

Check out the image below for a few ideas:

From what I could conjure, this service really does look free. Blurb doesn’t charge fees for using its platform for distribution. However, if you sell through the Blurb Bookstore, they’ll obviously take a cut of your royalties there, similarly to Amazon and other retailers.

Here’s another handy comparison chart on Blurb’s website that compares its services to other book publishing programs.

Blurb Publishing Services Comparison Chart

#3 – KDP Wizard

KDP Wizard is a publishing program that keeps all your KDP data, books, and information in a single place for you to keep track of it.

It saves data ranging from descriptions to reviews to categories, and more, all in one place.

You can see the pricing and plan options below:

KDP Wizard Pricing and Plan Options

While these are monthly subscriptions, you can actually get the entire thing for a lifetime for $699. So if you’re looking to be a career author, this might be an option worth considering.

#4 – Press Books

If you’re looking for a quick publishing program that allows you to upload, “click a few buttons,” and have a great looking book, Press Books allows for just that.

Here’s an image of their prices if you want the paid options:

Press Books Self-Publisher Program Options

As you can see, they’re pretty affordable and according to them, super easy to work with.

College Book Publishing Programs

There are more and more courses being developed at colleges for learning how to publish a book successfully. While you’re probably already aware of creative writing or journalism majors, book publishing programs are newer in terms of their content.

More and more, universities are including content surrounding self-publishing and the know-how surrounding this.

If you’re going to college or you want to and publishing is your focus, know that you can get the information you need with online programs, unless you want to end up at a traditional publishing house. In which case, it helps to have a degree in publishing.

Ultimately, the publishing program that’s best for you will meet your unique needs as an author or author-to-be.

book deal

How to Get a Book Deal: The Complete Process

The only reason you’d need to learn how to get a book deal is if you’re pursuing traditional publishing, which means not self-publishing.

Book deals are when a traditional publishing company offers you a contract selling your book to them under certain conditions, like an advance, a specific royalty rate, and other requirements and specifications.

Ultimately, it means you’re going to be a traditionally published author!

But it typically takes a long time to land a book deal and if you’re writing a nonfiction book, it’s even longer with fewer chances you’ll be able to publish. Either way, our hopes are to detail the process for you so you really understand everything that goes into traditional publishing…

Everything that you could avoid if you were to self-publish a book (but that’s a topic for this blog post).

Here’s how to get a book deal:

  1. Be sure you want a traditional book deal
  2. Write a book proposal
  3. Find an agent / query an agent
  4. Wait
  5. Get your agent!
  6. Get your proposal to publishing companies
  7. Wait
  8. Book deal offered
  9. Book deal acquired

ANALYSIS: Self Publishing vs Traditional  Get a full, deep-dive self-publishing vs traditional publishing analysis  including royalty rates, book sales, marketing details, and more! Make an  informed decision and set yourself up for success with your book.  YES! GET THE ANALYSIS!

Self-Publishing VS Traditional When it Comes to Book Deals

You only need a book deal if you’re traditionally publishing, so that’s what this blog post will follow. And while we self-publish books here at Self-Publishing School, we ensure to know and understand traditional publishing in order to better help our students (many of whom come to us after waiting years with no word on a book deal).

Here are the main differences between traditional and self-publishing:

What You GetSelf-PublishingTraditional Publishing
Sole control of your book's outcome
X
Sole control of your book's rightsX
Control over the story X
Control over the coverX
100% of royaltiesX
Editing includedX
Cover designX
MarketingXX
DeadlinesX

How do book deals work?

A book deal works by a writer querying an agent for representation, that agent pitching the project to traditional publishers, and publishers buying the rights to that book from the author.

There are a few main components of getting a book deal we’ll go over in this post:

  1. Creating a book worth buying
  2. Querying an agent for representation
  3. Your agent pitching your book to publishing companies
  4. The publishers either accepting or denying the proposal

This is a very simplified explanation, which we’ll explain in much further detail below.

How long does it take to get a book deal?

It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to get a book deal, so it varies greatly. Because of the long process and subjectivity within the traditional publishing industry, there are many hands your proposal must “pass through” before you can get a book deal.

We actually recommend that if traditionally publishing is your end-goal, your dream, that you self-publish in order to build social proof that your books sell and in order to build an audience.

While you should not query a book that’s self-published, you can pitch a brand new book to an agent and provide details about your book sales, email list, and overall platform size, which can increase your chances of an agent taking interest in you.

This happened to an SPS friend, Hal Elrod. You can hear all about how he got foreign book deals from the success of his self-published book, The Miracle Morning, here.

More than ever, both agents and publishing companies are looking to your online platform/presence in order to determine if you’ll be a good “bet” to publish.

How much do you get for a book deal?

Most first-time authors with a traditional publishing company will get between $5,000 to $10,000 as an advance. While outliers do make much more, those cases are very far and very few between and their advance is often the result of a “bidding war” between publishers.

The more offers you get for your book, the bigger your advance. This only really happens if you have the next big book idea or series and your agent is very well connected.

But ultimately, your first advance likely won’t be enough to quit your job. You’ll usually have to keep a full-time job while finishing your book and waiting for publication.

How to Get a Book Deal: Step by Step

The time has come! Let’s get into the details about how to get a book deal, broken down step by step so you can ensure the best chance of getting published.

Remember, some of these steps may vary per agent, but the overall structure of the process is the same.

#1 – Be 100% sure of your publishing decision

Nowadays, the biggest publishing decision you’ll make is choosing self-publishing or traditional publishing.

The self-publishing industry is soaring, it’s growing, and it’s very lucrative for people now. It’s nothing like it was when it first started, where books were of poor quality and anyone with Microsoft Word uploaded ramblings they called a book.

Now, there are more great books than ever (especially by people who have the right process to follow to self-publish), and they’re rivaling traditional publishing.

So why would anyone want to traditionally publish then?

Well, there’s the lure of the NYT Bestsellers list, for one. As well as the “prestige” still connected to traditional publishing because of the fact that your book has to pass through several hands, making people think your book is “better” than others.

The above is the main reason people still want to traditionally publish.

But if you’re a business owner looking to grow your business with a book or a nonfiction writer in general, self-publishing is almost always the better route unless you’re famous, very highly known, or have a massive platform.

So before going through the work and time to traditionally publish, make sure it will really work for you.

ANALYSIS: Self Publishing vs Traditional  Get a full, deep-dive self-publishing vs traditional publishing analysis  including royalty rates, book sales, marketing details, and more! Make an  informed decision and set yourself up for success with your book.  YES! GET THE ANALYSIS!

#2 – Write a killer book proposal

You want your book to sell, right?

Then you need to have something that will sell it. In this case, it’s a book proposal. This is what will convince the people with decision-making power to give your book a chance, to prove that it will sell.

You want a combination of your personality, writing skill, and a strong book description in this letter.

#3 – Find a book agent / Query and agent

This is a really long, arduous path to traditional publishing that does take some luck and situational advantages into account.

The truth is that a lot of the time, knowing someone who knows someone who can get you in touch with an agent is the quickest way to find out. Otherwise, you’ll be left with the old fashioned method, which is somehow finding agents online, getting their contact info, and sending a query letter.

What’s a query letter?

A query letter is something a writer sends to literary magazines, literary agents, or other publications in order for them to request their full work. This query letter is essentially “selling” both you and your work so they’ll want to know more.

There’s a specific structure that works best for query letters in order to better sell your idea.

Here’s a basic structure of a query letter:

  1. Opening: Start with any credentials, awards, and more that would basically “qualify” you as someone worth taking a chance on.
  2. Tell then what you want them to take on. List the title, word count length, and book genre.
  3. Describe your book, but the main hook! What will set your book apart from something else? Make this concise and yes, you can include some spoilers here. Overall, you should communicate who the main character is, why we care about them, and what the overall plot is.
  4. Write a short bio with details like other published works, self-published books, what you do, maybe even a fun fact about you.
  5. Conclude the letter with some more details about if you have a series in mind, and any other requirements listed if there are guidelines for that specific agent available.
  6. Follow. The. Guidelines. You should do enough research about the agent to know if they have certain guidelines. Follow these. It only increases your chances.

If you want to increase your “luck” in terms of landing an agent, network. Figure out where these agents and editors are hanging out and make yourself available to connect with them.

Tips for networking to find an agent:

  • Go to writing conferences where editors frequent
  • Ask great questions at panels
  • Get on Twitter! So. Many. Agents.
  • Participate in writing-related hashtag games on Twitter
  • Embed yourself in the publishing world
  • Guest post on authority websites around writing and publishing (to increase credentials)

Ultimately, querying can be difficult and it’s all up to whether or not the agent is interested in your idea…or how well connected you are to people in the publishing world.

Example of a hashtag game on Twitter: #SlapDashSat, weekly themed writing sample

#4 – Wait…and wait…and wait some more

It’s a torturous part of the book deal process, but you do have to wait a while.

For the agent to check their email and get back to you.

For any agent to show interest.

And even for the agent to read your full manuscript if they requested it, which is something that may happen and is a great sign! It means they liked your query and book idea and want to see your overall writing abilities and how the story you told them about plays out.

While you’re waiting, work on your manuscript or start writing a new book!

#5 – An agent loved you, yay!

If you get an agent, congratulations!!! That is a very difficult step some writers never, ever get to. Many give up before this happens.

Having an agent means that you will most likely sell a book, but not necessarily the one you pitched to them. After you land the agent, the ball is in their court and now they get to do what they do best: their job, selling your book.

#6 – Push your proposal out via your agent

You do nothing right now, except maybe work on the second book (if this is a series) or move on to your next project.

Let your agent do their job, check in with them to see if they need anything, and keep doing what you have been and keep writing!

#7 – Wait and wait for a publisher to pick up your book

It’s a waiting game, like I said earlier. I’m not an agent and have not worked with an agent, so I don’t have all the details about how they go about selling your book, how long this takes, and what that process looks like.

But this is a great post all about what a literary agent does to actually sell your book.

The overall process is this: the book agent typically knows editors at publishing houses that specialize in the books they usually represent (which is also your book). They send these manuscripts off to them in order to gauge interest in the project based on market trends, current events, and what’s simply “hot” right now.

#8 – A deal has been offered!

If your book has interest from a publishing company, your literary agent will do the negotiating. This is another thing that comes in handy with an agent: they have the sales skills to get you the best deal.

And they will, because their pay comes as a result of your overall deal. The more you get, the more they get.

If your book has interest from more than one publishing house, a bidding war could commence! And this is great, because that’s how you get those massive, 7-figure advances.

#9 – Book deal acquired

Once you and your agent are good with the contract, you sign and BOOM, you now have a book deal!

After this, you’ll likely work with an editor, meet deadlines, and then wait until your book is up next in the publishing queue. This can take up to two or three years at times, depending on how much work the book will take to get publish-ready.

Usually, you’ll have to wait over one year minimum after you have a book deal in order for it to launch.

That’s how you get a book deal. Remember, it can take years to get a book deal for a single piece of work. Oftentimes, writers query a project while working on another project so if they don’t hear back, they can query another project.

This is one the longest processes for publishing a book and usually, publishers don’t take nonfiction books unless you have serious clout or backing.

So good luck, and let us know if you have any tips below in the comments!

how to write a nonfiction book

How to Write a Nonfiction Book: 6-Time Bestseller’s Guide

There’s a specific way you should learn how to write a nonfiction book if you want it to do well.

Whether you’re looking to write and publish a book to grow your business or if you just want to write a book to make an impact, doing it well the first time makes a major difference.

Imagine throwing a book together with no rhyme or reason…and then wondering why it isn’t selling. That won’t be your reality if you follow this system.

Here’s how to write a nonfiction book:

  1. Come up with your nonfiction book idea
  2. Do some market research
  3. Nail down your book’s target audience
  4. Mindmap and outline your nonfiction book
  5. Schedule book writing time
  6. Write a strong book introduction
  7. Write your nonfiction book in order
  8. Write your first draft straight through
  9. Do book research
  10. Self-edit your book
  11. Choose a nonfiction book title
  12. Send to betas for feedback
  13. Go through the production process or query agents

FREE 25-page Book Outline Template  Finish your book FASTER by downloading this FREE template that's  pre-formatted, easy to use, and you can fill-in-the-blank!  YES! GET MY OUTLINE!

What is An Example of A Nonfiction Book?

A Nonfiction book is a piece of written document that is focused on facts. It’s opposed to fictional stories such as Harry Potter or Chronicles of Narnia. It can be a memoir, a captivating biography, an instructional book on how to make a coffee table, or even a travel guide to Chile. As long as the content is real and none of it is made up, it can be considered a nonfiction book.

Writing a Nonfiction Book for Beginners: Quick Tips

The biggest reason most people don’t write a book is because they think they’re not a good writer. But as a C- English student who used to hate writing… Trust me, you can do it.

Even though I didn’t have the best English skills, I still wrote and published 6 bestselling books. That’s why I started Self-Publishing School and our Become a Bestseller program to begin with.

I figured out how to write a high quality book despite writing skills, and that’s what I want you to know: you don’t need to be a good writer to product a good book.

All you need is an idea…and we here at Self-Publishing School believe that everyone has a book in them. We just specialize in getting it out and published to its best form.

But in addition to that, I wanted to drop some other tips for beginners, those looking to start writing a book for the first time:

  • Don’t compare yourself
  • Don’t try to copy or recreate a popular book
  • Write about what you know, have experienced, and what people ask you about often
  • Be honest with yourself (and therefore, the readers)
  • Look to those with experience to go through this process correctly (think of: How vs Who…you always want to look for the Who to solve things)
  • Get some support from friends or family (our students usually make an accountability buddy in our exclusive Mastermind Community)
  • Commit to it, that’s one of the hardest parts

Ultimately, it’s a learning curve, but that’s why we have this content available on the blog, plus my free book writing and publishing training.

Template for Writing a Nonfiction Book

We actually have a book outline template generator created by one of our coaches who has written and published 30 books.

That’s right, she has a ton of experience and knows what she’s doing.

You can fill out the generator below and the template will be emailed to you right away. You will have to go do File > Make a copy in order to save this template for yourself, otherwise you can’t edit it since this is used for everyone needing a template.

Book Outline Template Generator

Choose your book type to receive a "fill-in-the-blank" book outline template you can use to plan your book.

Enter your information below to receive your free outline template!

Book Outline Template Generator

Thanks for submitting! Check your email for your book outline template.

In the meantime, check out our Book Outline Challenge.

How to Write a Nonfiction Book That Actually Sells

We’re finally to the great stuff! Let’s go through how to write a nonfiction book step by step.

I’ve been through this several times and am breaking it down to the essential steps only. Save some time and stick to these basic principles of writing a nonfiction book.

#1 – Choose your nonfiction book idea

If you’re here, you likely have a book idea… Or maybe a few. This can be really difficult if you have more than one idea ready to go that you think is important.

Here’s what we tell our students in terms of choosing which book idea to tackle first:

  1. Write the one that will be the easiest for you
  2. Write the one that you can finish the quickest

It’s really that easy. That’s the best way to choose a book idea to go with if you’ve got too many or aren’t sure which should be done first.

But if you need to generate ideas, here are a few tips to come up with a book idea:

  • Use some writing prompts or check out this post on things to write about
  • Sit down with a sheet of paper and jot down subjects you consider yourself an authority on (you know a ton of accurate information)
  • Write down a few things people often ask you questions about (I originally wrote The Productive Person because many people wanted to know how I got so much done)
  • Think about the topics that make you talk a bunch during get-togethers/gatherings
  • What are you crazy passionate about?

This is a great start and you’ll likely even have a few ideas pop up as you read this. Make sure to write them down and choose the one that falls into the above two criteria I mentioned.

#2 – Do market research

One thing we do a little differently here at Self-Publishing School is teach our students how to ensure your book is hot in the market. While this isn’t necessarily “writing to market”, it does ensure you’ll bring in some income from it.

If you’re not worried about that, then this isn’t necessarily something you need to do, but we still recommend it to understand what books in your genre are doing as far as the cover, title, etc.

Here’s my process for market research for the book idea/s I’m planning to write:

  1. Go on Amazon
  2. Choose “Books” from the search dropdown departments
  3. Search for something in the range of what you want to write, keywords help (publishing, paleo recipes, mental health self-help, etc.)
  4. Take note and even save some titles/topics that are close to what you want to do
  5. To go deeper, click on a book that is close to what you want to write about
  6. Scroll down to the “Product Details” section view the categories they’re ranking in under “Amazon Best Sellers Rank”

Repeat that exercise with various categories related to your idea.

The reason we do this is to see what’s working so you can build off of an already stable foundation.

Step 1
Step 2

Additionally, if you want to know more about Amazon Categories, check out Dave Chesson’s PublisherRocket service.


#3 – Nail down your target audience

This is one of the most crucial steps for your book’s longevity. The more you can create a clear picture of who your avatar is, the better your book will perform and the better Amazon reviews you’ll get.

This is something that’s really special about our programs. Every one of them has 1-on-1 coaching with a highly experienced bestseller, and they go through a big deep dive on your target audience, before you even start your outline with us.

Ultimately, you want to get to the point where, when you’re writing your book, you’re speaking to one person: your ideal audience member.

This helps the book be concise, highly targetted so it will be received better by people who need it, and those who do read it will review it highly because it’s made for them.

But how do you nail down your target audience details when writing a nonfiction book?

Check out these steps:

  1. How old are they?
  2. What do they do for fun?
  3. What’s their financial status?
  4. Are they aware of their problem?
  5. What have they done already to try to solve the problem that didn’t work?
  6. Where have they been looking for help with this problem?
  7. What type of style do they have?
  8. What’s their vocabulary like?
  9. What will their name be for your own reference?

These questions can help you get started so you know exactly who you’re writing for, what type of writing/style they respond to, and what problems and objections you’ll have to face when writing your nonfiction book.

#4 – Mindmap and outline your nonfiction book

Mindmap first, then outline.

That’s the system we follow and it’s by far the best because when your mindmap is complete, you can just pull over each topic into an orderly outline like one you (hopefully) downloaded earlier.

You can learn how to mindmap a book right here, and download your free printable mindmap here.

When it comes to this tactic, you have to sit down with no distractions and jot down everything and anything you can think of in your mindmap. Go nuts! This is not the time for thoughts like, “is this necessary here?” No.

The idea is to get out every piece of knowledge you have on the main topic that’s in the middle of your mindmap.

Then when that’s done, move on to filling out your outline in order of what topics you think should go in what order. Once your book outline is done, it’s (mostly) smooth sailing from there.

#5 – Schedule time to write your book

If you don’t put it on the calendar somewhere, it probably won’t get done.

Writing a nonfiction book isn’t something you can just shrug at and say, “I’ll get to it when I get to it,” because you and I both know there are a million things that could get in the way of that—like watching Tiger King on Netflix.

But if you give it space in your calendar, you’re announcing to you and everyone else that it’s a priority, it’s something you’re committed to.

Check out this great video about building a writing habit if you want to get this down better:

#6 – Write a strong book introduction

We actually have a blog post completely dedicated to this topic you can check out here: how to write an introduction for a book.

But we’ll also go over the main details here as well, so you can get started right away. You can also download our book outline template if you haven’t already, which has an introduction detailed and outlined (developed by one of our coaches who has 30 self-published books).

Really what you’re doing with a book introduction is selling your book. It’s more in line with copywriting than anything else. Copywriting meaning salesmanship in writing.

Which is what you need your introduction to be. Otherwise, why would they buy the book? Why else would they read the whole thing?

Now onto your introduction…

  1. Identify the problem you’re going to solve
  2. Present the solution you have to that problem
  3. Reassert your credibility and why you can solve this
  4. Show them the benefits of solving this issue
  5. Give your reader proof as to how and why this works
  6. Give them a huge promise, a major, bold promise
  7. Warn them against waiting to start/reading
  8. Prompt them to start the first chapter (if someone’s only peeking at the Amazon “Look Inside” this can prompt them to buy!)

Check out this video I filmed for y’all for more details:

#7 – Write your nonfiction book in order

Once you know the order you’ll keep your book in from the outline, write it exactly in that order. This is really important because there needs to be a sense of progression and cohesiveness overall.

If your book reads like it skips around, people will be put off by the lack of consistency in the style.

That’s why we always recommend writing it in order and not just writing whatever you want first. Trust us on this one.

It seems simple but being able to mention previous parts of the book for reference is super important for refreshing a reader’s memory and pulling them back into that same frame of mind.

FREE 25-page Book Outline Template  Finish your book FASTER by downloading this FREE template that's  pre-formatted, easy to use, and you can fill-in-the-blank!  YES! GET MY OUTLINE!

#8 – Write the first draft straight through

This means no stopping to research or edit. Nope. We write our drafts completely through because this is the fastest way to make sure your draft gets done.

What we’ve found that the biggest obstacle between someone who has a book idea and someone who becomes an author is finishing that first draft.

Too many writers get caught up in making the first draft perfect and when it’s not (because it’s a first draft) they throw in the towel. Don’t be that person.

Don’t be someone who just wanted to write a book…be the person who did, and then published it successfully.

If you have places where you need to do some factual research, put the letters TK in place of data you need, and move on. You can later do a Command/Ctrl+F in order to search each of these places and provide the right information.

#9 – Do nonfiction book research

After you completed your draft and put that TK in place of research, do a Command/Ctrl+F and search those letters.

You’ll find all the areas of research you need to complete and you can go through in order, same as you did when writing. This is the best way to do research because you’ll only spend time finding exactly what you need to find instead of spending hours digging through information for stuff to “pull” into your book.

Research should be used to confirm and validate your own experiences, not as a starting point for you to start writing. It comes off as much more authentic and authoritative this way.

#10 – Self-edit your book

You’ll both love and hate this part. Going back over your first draft can be a little emotionally troubling because you’ll want it to be perfect the first time.

It can feel like a setback but this is why we self-edit!

First, you got out what you needed to. Now, you chisel away the excess, sharpen the message, and drill your solution home. This is the part where you make everything merge together.

We have a full blog post on how to self-edit your book you can read to learn more about the process and what specifically you should be looking for.

#11 – Choose a nonfiction book title

You might be wondering why this is so far down on the list. Most people come up with the title before they even write…don’t they?

If they do, it’s likely not a fitting title. When students go through our Become a Bestseller program, they’re most shocked by this because our coaches instruct them to not title their book until they’re finished and have edited it.

The main reason for this is because so much can change from your idea to your outline to the finished product itself. So instead of trying to fit your book to a title that just might not work, write the book and then craft a compelling title that will actually encompass and sell the book’s content.

Here are our overall tips for choosing a book title:

  • Make your title searchable
  • Make it clear and concise: your reader should know exactly what they’re getting
  • Write 5-10 main titles and then narrow it down to your favorite 5
  • Push those out for feedback in writing groups or to your friends/family. Our students often post polls for feedback in our exclusive Mastermind Community for upwards of 25 responses.
  • Craft your subtitle only after you have the main title
  • Make sure this goes deeper into what content your book will cover, using keywords people search is also highly encouraged
  • Here’s an example of what a strong title would be – The Mental Health Mindshift: How to Take Control of Your Mental Health, Manage it Easily, & Shift Your Point of View

Do you have any special tactics for coming up with great titles? Drop a comment below with your own process!

Here’s another great video overview of the process with more tips:

#12 – Send to betas for feedback (optional)

Not all books need this and it’s certainly more important for fiction than a nonfiction book. However, if you have a few weeks to spare, it can help uplevel your book significantly.

What you really want here is a group of people who fit your target audience who can read through your book and answer questions and give feedback about it.

This helps you see your book through the eyes of a “fresh” reader because as much as we wish we could, we just can’t read our book as if we’ve never seen its contents before.

Making sure it all makes sense, is clear, and there isn’t any confusion goes a long way to producing a high-quality book.

#13 – Go through the production process or query agents

I won’t detail the process from editing to cover design to formatting for those of you looking to self-publish a book, since this is mainly about how to write the book.

But here are our best resources covering the production process:

If you’re self-publishing, you’ll have to go through all of these yourself before publishing.

If you’re someone who wants to go the traditional route, you’d bypass this stage, write a book blurb and synopsis, and then query agents until you land one (this could take months to years).

publishing courses

The Best Self Publishing Courses: Top 5 Publishing Courses

The time has never been better to write and publish a book. If you are thinking of writing a book but you are stressing out over all the steps to write, publish and launch to market, you should seriously consider enrolling in one of the best self-publishing courses available today.

Why take an online publishing course?

There is a lot to know beyond writing a book. Not to say the writing part is easy, but you will have greater confidence in writing and publishing your book with connections to a support network walking you through the steps.

Now we will take an inside tour of each best self-publishing course, the benefits of each course, and the best online publishing program for you.

Here is a list of the best self-publishing courses we will cover:

  1. Self-Publishing vs Traditional
  2. How to Choose the Best Online Course for you
  3. Criteria to Choose the Best Self-publishing Course
  4. Self Publishing School with Chandler Bolt
  5. Authority Pub with Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport
  6. Self Publishing 101 with Mark Dawson
  7. Your First 10,000 Readers with Nick Stephenson
  8. Tribe Writers with Jeff Goins

Although all the best online courses here come highly recommended, the course content and purpose of each course varies depending on:

  • What you need as an author. Are you writing your first book? Scaling up your author platform to 6 figures a year?
  • Your budget. How much cash are you willing to invest in your self-publishing business?
  • Your expectations. What are you expecting by taking an online publishing program? A strong return on ROI? Can the course deliver on its promise?

If you’re a business owner looking to make a solid ROI and see how a book can help grow you business, just fill out the ROI calculator below.

Find the BEST Publishing Path For Your Needs!  Take this 2-minute assessment to learn which of our publishing paths will be  the best for your and your unique needs as an aspiring author. Answers  delivered immediately!  TAKE THE ASSESSMENT!

But, before we dive into the best self-publishing courses on the market today, let me ask you this:

Depending how you responded to the above, this should give you an idea what course to enroll in.

Every day, thousands of books are self-published through various publishing companies: Amazon KDP, Barnes and Noble Press, or Apple iBooks to name a few.

Thousands of authors—just like you—have a dream to see their books in print, on a bookshelf, or for sale online in the Amazon store, the largest ebook retailer in the world.

To get your book to the publishing stage takes a lot of work. If you are not familiar with everything needed to self publish a book, you could end up spending more money than planned or, unknowingly fall into the hands of a deceiving vanity press publisher that waits for new authors desperate to publish.

Don’t let haste or desperation lead you to a bad decision. Check out the best courses here and any questions, contact support through the course so you can be confident you’re making the right decision.

Why Self-Publish Instead of Traditional Publishing?

Here are 7 reasons to consider self-publishing your book instead of traditional publishing:

  1. Writing a book makes you an authority in your area of expertise.
  2. Self-publishing a book, or series of books, creates an additional income stream that could lead to you making a living from writing in 6 months to a year. Publishing your book through one of the big 5 trade publishers could take years.
  3. Self-publishing lets you build your own business at your pace with the freedom to make key business decisions.
  4. Potentially you can earn more because it is easier to scale up when you have control over marketing and book launch pacing.
  5. Tax breaks by forming your own business and working from home.
  6. Publish more, publish faster. This means the potential to earn more in a shorter amount of time and scale up your email list at a faster rate: The key point here is, it’s faster all around.
  7. 0 rejection letters. That’s right, you can never be rejected as a self-published author. 

Some of the big titles available today started out as self-published books before being picked up by a major publishing house.

Recognize any of these self-published books?

  • Fifty Shades of Grey—E.L.James
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit—Beatrix Potter
  • The Martian—Andy Weir
  • The Shack by William P. Young
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • Swann’s Song by Marcel Proust
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • Switched by Amanda Hocking
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
  • Hacker series by Meredith Wilder

So yes, self-publishing can be a great path to launch your writing career. You can work from home, set up a writer’s temporary workstation at your local Starbucks, or hunker down in a library hammering away at perennial bestseller after bestseller.

How Do I Choose the Best Online Course?

As a self-published author of 12+ books, I know firsthand what it is like to navigate through all the steps involved in writing a book. And writing the book can be the easy part!

Now, you might be thinking to just do it yourself without any help from a self-publishing course. I did this too, and I made a lot of mistakes that could have been avoided had I invested in a course with a built-in blueprint.

This is why I have put together a solid list of the best self-publishing courses on the market today. Only the best made this list because I know what it is like to waste money on courses that went nowhere.

I have personally been inside each of these courses so I can share with you first hand the pros and cons of each.

Why take a self-publishing course?

Good question. Take into account the marketing, networking, and getting the book ready for print. The steps are many and it is a big investment of your time and effort.

Do I need a course to write a book? Can’t I do this myself?

Yes, you can. But…

Publishing can be difficult with lots of moving parts. You start to feel like a juggler with too many balls in the air! And if you’re already spending the time to get it done, why not do it right.

That’s what we do here, and you can check out our bestselling Become a Bestseller program right here.

The good point of joining a course is, you are not alone. And, without support, a launch team to help launch your book, it is easy to make a lot mistakes could otherwise be avoided.

So, this is why we bring you this list of professional experts, each with years of book writing experience and marketing confidence, sharing with you the best strategies for writing, launching and selling more books. And yes, despite the flood of material out there these days, you can make money from self-publishing…if you do it right and learn from the best.

Making the Cut: The 7-Point Criteria for Choosing the Best Self Publishing Course

  1. The instructors for each course are multi-bestselling authors with the sales and platform to show it. They are trusted by the industry with solid reputations for being honest and driving their business with integrity.
  2. The course content is current and up to date. In an industry that is constantly changing, publishing courses can become outdated within a year. The courses here are updated regularly with additions and updates every few months. 
  3. Based on industry reviews and student satisfaction, the courses are praised and recommended by authors who have been through the programs.
  4. The strategies and business practices of the owners do not break any rules pertaining to Amazon’s rules and are morally sound.
  5. I have personally taken these courses and recommend each one.
  6. The material, content and overall course is professionally packaged and high quality.
  7. Support: When you run into trouble, you want to know that you can talk to someone and get everything sorted quickly and efficiently. No-fuss. 

Take note: Several courses are open for a limited time only at certain times of the year. The enrollment period is usually every three months, but this varies. 

Self Publishing School with Chandler Bolt

self-publishing-school

Self-published entrepreneur and bestselling author Chandler Bolt quit college back in 2014 and set out to write a book called The Productive Person. The book was hugely successful and Chandler soon set up an online course to help authors self publish their books…in just 90 days! 

Yes, the professionals at Self Publishing School are making big claims: You can go from blank page to published book in as little as 90 days. To date, close to 5000 authors have been through the course since it started in late 2014.

The online publishing course has been featured by INC 5000 as one of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America.

With this comprehensive go-at-your-own-pace blueprint, the school has created an easy-to-follow system to take you from first time author to course creator with three pillar courses available.

Breakdown of Course Content

When self-publishing school first started out they had a basic course for writing and publishing a book. There are now four premium courses to choose from on the platform, including a full fiction course piloted by successful self-published fiction author RE Vance.

Become a Bestseller—Blank Page to Published Author and Everything Inbetween: From blank page to published author, write your book in 90 days with this course. There are 3 modules to walk you through the program with over 4 hours of video, bonus content and an outsourcer rolodex to assist with hiring professionals for all phases of the book production along with over $1,000 in exclusive Self-Publishing School student discounts and specials.

  • Mindmap / Outlining
  • Target Audience Deep-Dive
  • Writing
  • Book Production Instructions/Guides
  • Marketing and Publishing
  • Expert Interviews with Industry Experts
  • Milestones to Track Your Progress
  • 1-on-1 Tailored Coaching for YOUR Book
A Peek Inside the Self-Publishing School Become a Bestseller Program
best-self-publishing-programs
Modules 3-5 out of 12 of Self-Publishing School’s Become a Bestseller Program

Fundamentals of Fiction & Story: For all the fiction writers looking to learn everything you need to in order to write a high-quality fiction book that actually sells! Fiction is a different game than non-fiction, and Self-Publishing School knows that, employing a bestselling fiction coach to work through plot, the craft of writing, and selling.

  • Writing, editing, and mindset
  • Launching your book
  • The business of writing
  • Children’s book module
  • Memoir module
  • Expert Interviews with Industry Experts
  • Milestones to Track Your Progress
  • 1-on-1 Tailored Coaching for YOUR Book

Sell More Books: For authors that have already published a book and are focusing on book marketing and promotion to achieve sales results. Most often, these are business builders using their book to grow their business or those looking to make being an author their full-time job.

best-self-publishing-course-marketing
  • Launch Strategies
  • Email Marketing Strategies
  • Foundation Strategies
  • Author Brand Strategies
  • Advanced Marketing Strategies
  • Expert Interviews with Industry Experts
  • Milestones to Track Your Progress
  • 1-on-1 Tailored Coaching for YOUR Book

Course Building for Authors: Building a course from your book? This premium course is made specially for those authors ready to take their platform to the next level.

  • Plan & Develop Your Course
  • Create and Upload Your Course
  • Market and Sell Your Course
  • Expert Interviews with Industry Experts
  • Milestones to Track Your Progress
  • 1-on-1 Tailored Coaching for YOUR Book

Each course comes with its own customized, professional workbook. The best part of these courses is that you will be assigned a personal coach after being accepted into the program.

Course Details

Cost to Enroll: Speak to an SPS representative to discuss best course options and pricing, as each program price varies.

Availability: If you meet the course requirements you can start right away

Target Author: Writing your first book, advanced or pro authors, business owners or future business owners. SPS has courses to cover any level.

Enrollment Availability: If you qualify for access to the course, you will speak to a self-publishing representative who will set you up with the best course to meet your publishing goals.

Sound like something you want to do? Click here to schedule your FREE 1-hour Breakthrough Sessions with a Publishing Success Strategist.

6 Reasons to Enroll with Self Publishing School

  • The one-on-one personal coaching that comes with each course. You will get the best results by working with a professional student success coach.
  • One hour clarity call with your coach to drill down into your book idea.
  • Up to 4 weekly live online mastermind group trainings & Q&A, one with Chandler Bolt himself
  • Customized workbook comes with each course
  • Mastermind Facebook Community of 2500+ active participants.
  • 4 premium courses to meet your publishing goals

Self Publishing School has a long track record of successful students that have written, launched and turned their dreams of being published into a reality. The course is fast-paced and doesn’t waste time on details.

Authority Pub Academy With Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport

publishing courses

Steve Scott [also known as S.J. Scott] is one of the biggest names when it comes to self-publishing. He has been marketing online for a long time and when the eBook craze started back in 2011, Steve was one of the first authors that as in there doing it.

Steve Scott has published over 70 books and has been branded as the “Heavyweight of Self Publishing.” He runs the blog Develop Good Habits. Together with his writing partner Barrie Davenport [Live Bold and Bloom], Steve and Barrie created Authority Pub Academy.

With the combined talents of two bestselling authors, Authority Pub is everything you would expect it to be: A self publishing course that is focused on teaching authors to write and publish, not just a book, but focuses on building out an author platform.

self-publishing-courses

In today’s overwhelming jungle of books, with thousands being published daily, Steve Scott recognised the importance of turning your book platform into a brand and a book business.

This is the strength and focus of this course, and there is loads of videos, downloads and information taught from two authors that have been engaged in the self-publishing business from the beginning.

Breakdown of Course Content

Authority Pub Academy is made up of 6 modules:

  • Module 1: Setting the Author Mindset and Building a Writing Habit
  • Module 2: Niche Focus and Researching a Perennial Bestseller
  • Module 3: Outlining, Writing a First Draft and Editing
  • Module 4: Pre-Publishing and Setting Up Your Book in KDP
  • Module 5: Lead Magnets, Reviews and launch Strategies
  • Module 6: Advanced marketing and Scaling Up Your Author Library

Authority Pub is a plethora of knowledge and both Steve and Barrie have learned everything through years of trial and error. Authority pub is a “one-stop resource to help writers streamline the whole process.”

Course Details

Cost to Enroll: $597 or 2 payments of $348

Availability: Anytime

Target Author: If you are just writing your first book, or already published and looking to scale up your author platform with more content and strategies that increase long term growth, Authority Pub is for you.

6 Reasons to Enroll with Authority Pub Academy:

  • Advanced supplementary materials includes WordPress blog setup mastery, Canva tutorial, email walkthrough using Aweber and Evernote tips for productive writing
  • Course content professionally delivered via high definition videos supported by quality downloads
  • Solid case studies and examples of writers who have made it work
  • Effective advanced marketing strategies to scale up your books
  • The course removes any guesswork and provides students with a clear roadmap
  • 30 day “try it, test it, apply it” money-back guarantee

Self Publishing 101 with Mark Dawson

publishing courses

I became interested in Mark Dawson’s platform as a big fan of his John Milton action series books and Isabella Rose thrillers. If you’re looking for a great read this weekend, I’d highly recommend these books.

As a traditionally published author who used to write for a big firm, Mark Dawson started self-publishing his action and thrillers and, to date, has sold over a million copies. Mark has published 25+ books, has three series in the works, and is constantly launching bestseller after bestseller. His monthly earnings in 2015, according to an interview in Forbes.com, Mark Dawson was being paid $450,000 a year for his works.

So, who better to learn the craft of self-publishing than an established author with both a library of successful bestsellers and the income to show it. This brings us to Self Publishing 101, Mark Dawson’s course for authors.

If you are new at self-publishing or have been publishing for a while, this course has something for everyone. You will learn the basics as well as advanced marketing strategies to scale up your author platform.

With Self Publishing 101, you’ll write, launch and market a quality book that sells. Although Mark Dawson is mainly a fiction author, the course can be customized for nonfiction writers. The same marketing strategies apply to both.

Breakdown of Course Content

Inside Self Publishing 101, the course is broken up into 8 modules that includes:

  • Build Your Platform
  • Pre-Publication
  • Amazon Exclusive or Go Wide
  • Go Wide
  • Generating Traffic
  • Advanced Teams & Launching
  • Getting Reviews

As additional bonuses, there is also a tech module that walks through how to build a website, lead magnets, email service providers, and formatting your book. 

The best part of this course is the system Mark teaches for email list building through an author website. Building an email list is critical to the success of any author, and Mark and his team have these bases covered.

Course Details

  • Cost to Enroll: $497 or 12 monthly payments of $49.00. Comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Availability: Closed after enrollment begins. Cycle is every 3-4 months.
  • Target Author: Beginner, intermediate and advanced authors looking to build a rock-solid fan base through email list building and advertising.

6 Reasons to Enroll with Self Publishing 101

  • Deep dive into the Amazon algorithm
  • Focuses on subscriber communication and building an email list
  • Bonus tech library with an introduction to using advanced apps and tools
  • Active Facebook group with high response time
  • Additional “Writing Copy for Facebook Ads” module
  • Reasonably priced course for the value it delivers 

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Your First 10k Readers with Nick Stephenson

self publishing options

If you are looking for a comprehensive, in-depth, no-holds-barred course on marketing tactics, Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10,000 Readers is that course.

Created by a bestselling fiction author, Your First 10k Readers is a different beast from the other best courses listed here for one defining reason: It isn’t about writing your first book.

The course assumes you already have a book, or a library of books, and now you want to take what you’ve got and line it all up in order to grow your list to a 10k readership…and beyond. 

Your First 10k Readers is really better suited for the more seasoned author. It gets into the nitty-gritty of the Amazon algorithm, merchandising, keywords and niche marketing, email marketing, landing pages, giveaways, and what Nick calls “You’re secret sauce.”

So yeah, there’s a lot going on here.

Let’s take a look inside.

Breakdown of the Course Content

The course consists of 6 modules that you can work on at your own pace. The modules are:

  • Module 1: Rule the Retainers.

This includes Amazon Algorithms, Merchandising, Broad Reach VS KDP Select, and Pricing.

  • Module 2: Generate Endless Traffic.

This includes Keywords & Niches, Using Free Books, Smart Promotions, and The Author Dream Team

  • Module 3: Convert Traffic Into Fans

This includes Traffic Funnels, Optimize Your Website, Giveaways, and Events Marketing

  • Module 4: Build Engagement and Sell—Without Being “Salesy”

This module includes Why Readers Don’t Buy, Priming the sale, Scarcity, the Secret Sauce, Social Media Mastery, Getting Reviews, and Auto-Responders

  • Module 5: Launch Strategies

This module includes Launch Teams, Building Buzz, and Launch Day

  • Module 6: Facebook Advertising

This module includes Intro to Power Editor, How to Track Results With Pixels, and Ninja Tricks.

writing and publishing courses

In addition to the 6 core modules, there is also a wide range of bonus content that includes rock star author interviews, email swipe files, and tools of the trade bonus section.

Course Details

  • Cost to Enroll: $597 or 12 monthly payments of $59.00. Comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Availability: Enrollment anytime.
  • Target Author: Intermediate and advanced authors needing advanced tactics to scale up author platform and build your publishing business into an empire

6 Reasons to Enroll with Your First 10k Readers

  • Membership includes author interviews with big industry authors Mark Dawson, Joanna Penn, Simon Whistler, Bryan Cohen, and Nick Loper
  • A powerhouse of book marketing tactics for both fiction and nonfiction authors
  • Video content is high quality, fast-paced and engaging
  • Comes with a highly-engaged private Facebook group
  • Includes a BONUS course “The 60-Day Author” for writers who haven’t published yet
  • Includes a members cheat sheet that breaks the course down into a comprehensive blueprint

Tribe Writers with Jeff Goins

publishing courses

Jeff Goins is the best-selling author of five books including The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve. He is the owner of Goinswriter.com where he shares his thoughts on writing, life and creativity.

With a successful blog and five bestselling books, it isn’t any surprise that Jeff has a writing course to market to his raving fans of authors: Tribe Writers

Jeff’s course is packed with material. With the formula presented in Tribe Writers, you as the author can create your own path to creativity. There are twelve steps of a tribe writer that allows you to tailor fit the best plan while keeping your unique voice.

Tribe Writers is broken up into four individual modules:

  • Module 1: Honing Your Voice
  • Module 2: Establishing a Platform
  • Module 3: Expanding Your Reach
  • Module 4: Getting Published

In addition to the four modules, you also get:

  • Exclusive interviews with over a dozen authors, bloggers, and publishing experts
  • Access to the Tribe Writers community of 6000+ members
  • Live conference calls to ask questions and get help
  • Downloadable PDF workbook that summarizes every lesson
  • Admission to a private Facebook group only for students

The modules take about 2 weeks to get through but you can move at your pace.

This course comes with five additional bonuses to support you including You Are a Writer eBook + Audiobook and The Perfect Book Launch.

Where Jeff’s Tribe Writers is different from the other courses is, a strong emphasis on honing your ideas and creativity as a writer to create a unique brand. There is a strong foundation for support and networking with hundreds of other authors.

Best 6 Reasons to Enroll with Tribe Writers

  • Loaded with tools to help get you started
  • Community of writers to help you when you get stuck
  • Lots of valuable content and expert interviews included
  • Designed to show you how to find your voice and audience
  • Monthly conference calls to keep you on track
  • “12 steps of a Tribe Writer” that clearly outlines the expectations of the course.

Ready to Write and Publish Your Bestseller?

All of these courses are excellent in their own way. Depending on your budget and writing goals, you might choose one over the other.

Now that we have taken an in- depth look at the best self publishing courses for you to write your bestseller, you have a solid idea of what to expect from each course. The question is: Are you ready to write your book?

The best writing course you decide depends largely on your goals as a writer.

Are you writing one book only and need a step by step process to guide you through to published author? Self Publishing School could be a match. Keep in mind they do have additional courses for marketing and business including Sell More Books and Course Building for Authors.

Do you want to build a solid library of books and focus on your author platform? Authority Pub Academy could be your best match. Let Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport guide you towards your success of being a multiple bestselling author.

Do you want to learn the essence of email list building, creating an author website and setting up landing pages that convert readers into subscribers? Self Publishing 101 could be the best choice to make.

Need more advanced marketing tools from one of the best in the business? Your First 10k Readers is the path you might consider, and…

Interested in a course that focuses on honing your creative writing talent while showing you how to connect with your unique voice? Tribe Writers with Jeff could be the best option.

Or, you might decide you need two courses and combine together for maximum impact. Self Publishing School can show you how to go from blank page to published author in 90 days. But Nick Stephenson’s course can teach you the more advanced analytics and how to really build out an online book business.

So now, make a choice. You have been sitting on this long enough. Your book won’t write itself and if you have written it already, take it to the next level.

Your move.

Life is short.

Take action now.

It’s your time to write that next perennial bestseller!