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Thread: [Writers' Course] Publish with Confidence

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
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    Arrow [Writers' Course] Publish with Confidence

    Hey, guys! I just wanted to give you a heads-up that my publishing course is finally live.

    Course Description

    (Click here for the commercial.)


    You've been sitting on your manuscript for a while now, overwhelmed by the research you've put into getting it published—and hey, that's perfectly normal. The Internet is bursting with so-called expert opinions, riddled with industry jargon and outdated promises. Oh, and of course, they all contradict each other. So, where should you start? What lies ahead?

    Now, imagine you have a friend in the book industry—an award-winning author, who happens to have a marketing background and owns a graphic design company. Wouldn't it help to sit down with her and ask anything you wanted? She would break down the process in plain, conversational language and do her best to prepare you for a career as an author.


    That's basically how this course is run.


    Using my own experiences and those of fellow authors, I'm going to walk you through everything from choosing a publishing path (traditional v. independent) to navigating social minefields (like dealing with reviewers)—which is why experienced authors can benefit from the course, too.


    Everyone has a weak spot (or two). I can't tell you how many questions I've fielded from other authors about marketing alone, and you know what? I ask them questions, too! That's the key to survival in this industry. You can't stop learning and adapting. Ever.


    So, with that in mind, let's take a look at our course highlights:

    • A mix of formats keep the material entertaining, i.e. animated video presentations, screencasts, worksheets, etc.


    • I don't hold back. If I think something will be potentially harmful to your career, I'm going to tell you—even if it's popular right now.

    I don't know about you, but I'm excited. Are you ready to get started? uDemy has a 30-day money back guarantee, so there's nothing holding you back from giving it a try. If my course doesn't mesh with the way you learn, apply for a refund. It's as simple as that. I want my students to be happy.

    Note: I will update this course to make sure the information hasn't gone stale or outdated.

    Other Information

    This course contains 12 animated lectures (2 hours of content), 2 fill-in worksheets, 5 documents, a bonus e-book, and a PDF summary.

    Learning Objectives


    • You'll be able to make an informed decision regarding which publishing path to take for your next project.
    • I'll help you determine your manuscript's category, genre, and designation, i.e. a New Adult romantic suspense novel v. a YA fantasy novella.
    • You'll be able to write query letters and enter pitch/250 contests with confidence.
    • I'm going to show you the ropes and give you insider information on authorial netiquette—in other words, I'm going to help you avoid ticking off prospective readers, reviewers, and fellow authors.
    • Speaking of which, I'm also going to give you a heads-up on things you might need to brace yourself for, i.e. trolls, pirates, taxes, etc.
    • You'll gain the knowhow to avoid gimmicks and shortcuts that can really hurt your career in the long term.
    • For those of you who are interested in self-publishing, I'm going to give you my personal step-by-step process and time frame.
    • To complement that, I'm going to show you how to either outsource or DIY most of the necessary components, i.e. graphic design, editing, formatting, etc.
    • Then I'll point out some traditional methods you can tweak to market your books (and your brand) in our ever-changing industry.
    • You'll learn where and how to find a community, because you will need one. Believe me.
    • Finally, you'll learn how to treat your writing career as a small business—equipping you with the right mindset to succeed!

    Course Requirements

    This course is most helpful to those with a finished manuscript, but it's not mandatory—just know that writing craft will not be covered.

    Who Should Enroll?

    This course is aimed at pre-published fiction authors, but the information is relevant to all stages.

    Special Discount for my AW Friends

    The first 100 people to use this link will get 40% off the already discounted introductory price!

    https://www.udemy.com/publishwithcon...=absolutewrite
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 04-18-2015 at 09:02 PM. Reason: restoring at OP's request


  2. #2
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnn View Post
    Now, imagine you have a friend in the book industry—an award-winning author, who happens to have a marketing background and owns a graphic design company. Wouldn't it help to sit down with her and ask anything you wanted? She would break down the process in plain, conversational language and do her best to prepare you for a career as an author.
    I've had a look at the sites you link to here, and at your books on Amazon, and as far as I can see you don't work in "the book industry". You've self-published a few books, but that's as far as it goes.

    It might be that for some reason Amazon UK doesn't list your trade publications: if that is the case, could you let us know who you're published with?

    Because if you've not been trade published, and you're basing your CV on your self-publishing efforts then I'm not entirely sure what you are offering us which we can't already find on AW.

    For example, I'm an award-winning author (I've won more than thirty prizes for my short fiction and poetry; and some of the books I've ghosted have won significant prizes); I'm a best-selling writer too; I've worked in publishing for thirty years, as an editor and as a marketing and sales person at director level. I don't own a graphic design company but I have briefed hundreds, if not thousands, of designers over the years.

    People can ask me anything they like here. I answer them. And so do our other members, many of whom have far more stellar publishing histories than I do.

    What does your course give AW members which they can't already get here for free?

  3. #3
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    Hi, Old Hack! How kind of you to stop by and lend your encouragement. You know, I used to frequent the forums here, but I found myself getting more and more disenchanted by all the bickering in the threads. I went from participating to lurking, and then from lurking to sporadic visits.

    This post was not intended as promotion, though I can see how it might have appeared that way. (My apologies.) Really, I just wanted to come back and tell you guys about my latest project. I was proud and exhausted. I needed to interact with people who would understand the heart that goes into something like this. That's why I initially posted it in Announcements. I thought I could find a place here again.

    (The coupon code was in case anyone—especially lurkers—felt interested, but couldn't afford the investment.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    I've had a look at the sites you link to here, and at your books on Amazon, and as far as I can see you don't work in "the book industry". You've self-published a few books, but that's as far as it goes.

    It might be that for some reason Amazon UK doesn't list your trade publications: if that is the case, could you let us know who you're published with?
    I’m afraid I don’t understand your definition of “the book industry,” unless the comment was intended as a jab at the legitimacy of self-publishing. Without authors, there are no books. Without books, there is no book industry.

    That fact aside, I do design things like covers, trailers, advertisements, and swag for both self-published and Big 5 authors/publishers. I also contract marketing consultation and help run a massive category-based website.

    As for my publisher, I left them in 2013 to independently publish my PNR/UF series. The first editions likely won’t show up on Amazon. I’m sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Because if you've not been trade published, and you're basing your CV on your self-publishing efforts then I'm not entirely sure what you are offering us which we can't already find on AW.
    I hope I didn’t make it sound like a simple Q & A session. I spent months researching paths beyond my own experiences, talking to professionals all over the spectrum. From my notes, I created lesson plans that I converted into conversational scripts and recorded. I synced those recordings with animations I designed to keep the information from getting too serious or overwhelming, and then I designed worksheets to be downloaded alongside the other material.

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    For example, I'm an award-winning author (I've won more than thirty prizes for my short fiction and poetry; and some of the books I've ghosted have won significant prizes); I'm a best-selling writer too; I've worked in publishing for thirty years, as an editor and as a marketing and sales person at director level. I don't own a graphic design company but I have briefed hundreds, if not thousands, of designers over the years.


    Congratulations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    People can ask me anything they like here. I answer them. And so do our other members, many of whom have far more stellar publishing histories than I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    What does your course give AW members which they can't already get here for free?
    The thing about teaching—and stop me here if you don't think I’m qualified to speak on that either—is it doesn’t always hinge on individual educators’ credentials. It’s about finding a way to reach and interact with students. I’ve invested serious time and money in this course, because I know how it feels to be on the outside of this process looking in. It’s daunting. That’s why I did everything in my power to outline things in a positive light.

    I hope writers will ask AW members questions—I actually recommended that in the course—but not everyone feels comfortable doing that right off the bat. Some people need a little hand-holding, and that’s okay.

    My apologies if this ran long. I requested that the thread be deleted, but I wanted to reply first in hopes that you would understand my intentions. Best wishes.


  4. #4
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnn View Post
    Hi, Old Hack! How kind of you to stop by and lend your encouragement. You know, I used to frequent the forums here, but I found myself getting more and more disenchanted by all the bickering in the threads. I went from participating to lurking, and then from lurking to sporadic visits.
    I didn't bicker with you. I questioned you. There's a big difference.

    This post was not intended as promotion, though I can see how it might have appeared that way. (My apologies.) Really, I just wanted to come back and tell you guys about my latest project. I was proud and exhausted. I needed to interact with people who would understand the heart that goes into something like this. That's why I initially posted it in Announcements. I thought I could find a place here again.

    (The coupon code was in case anyone—especially lurkers—felt interested, but couldn't afford the investment.)
    I don't see how your post could be anything other than promotion.

    Most of your recent posts have been promotional too.

    And while I understand the "heart" that goes into work like this, I also understand that it's difficult to understand the ins and outs of publishing and that the Dunning-Kruger effect is a real thing. Our members need to know the strengths AND the weaknesses in your course if they're going to give it the consideration it deserves, and they can't do that if we don't question you.

    I’m afraid I don’t understand your definition of “the book industry,” unless the comment was intended as a jab at the legitimacy of self-publishing. Without authors, there are no books. Without books, there is no book industry.
    It wasn't a jab at anything. You really need to stop putting words into my mouth.

    You're right that without authors there would be no books. But that doesn't mean that authors are the book industry. Writers write; publishers, in my view, are at the centre of "the book industry". Writing and the book business are two very different things. I know, because I've worked in both areas for decades. And one of the things I've seen demonstrated over and over again in that time is that some people who work outside publishing, or on its fringes, often think they understand the business when they don't have a clue. Now that's not a problem usually, but when they start teaching other people how publishing works, and charging money for it, then it does become a problem.

    Please realise I am not saying you are one of these people. You might really know your stuff, and if you do, then great: the more help authors get the better. The thing is, I'm not sure which category you fit into yet. And that's why I asked the questions I did.

    That fact aside, I do design things like covers, trailers, advertisements, and swag for both self-published and Big 5 authors/publishers. I also contract marketing consultation and help run a massive category-based website.
    So you don't work within publishing now. Have you ever?

    As for my publisher, I left them in 2013 to independently publish my PNR/UF series. The first editions likely won’t show up on Amazon. I’m sorry.
    Do you mean you left your publisher to self-publish? (In trade publishing, independent publishers are those which are not part of the Big Five: I just want to be clear.) I don't understand why your books don't still show up on Amazon, as Amazon keeps books up even when they go out of print. How odd.

    The thing about teaching—and stop me here if you don't think I’m qualified to speak on that either—is it doesn’t always hinge on individual educators’ credentials. It’s about finding a way to reach and interact with students.
    Again, you're putting words into my mouth. I didn't say you weren't qualified to do anything. I asked questions to find out how qualified you were. There's a big difference.

    I agree that good teachers find a way to engage their students. But a good teacher also needs to know her subject inside and out, and without having actually worked in publishing, it's difficult to know enough about it to be able to teach others about it.

    My apologies if this ran long. I requested that the thread be deleted, but I wanted to reply first in hopes that you would understand my intentions. Best wishes.
    We don't delete threads here.

    I appreciate your response but despite its length, you haven't answered my central question, so I'll ask it again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    What does your course give AW members which they can't already get here for free?

  5. #5
    Two cups sugar with a dash of crazy oceansoul's Avatar
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    I agree with all of Old Hack's questions.

    I have a job in the 'book industry' in that I work in the marketing/sales department of a distributor and I am a writer. While both occupations are auspiciously 'book related' from what I've seen so far as a writer, even now that I've started working with a publisher and doing some self-marketing, if I relied on what I knew from my own writing and research -- I would not understand the 'book trade' in any kind of wholistic sense.

    I've been working at my current job for several months now, and I sell thousands of £s a week in other people's books. I realise every day by talking with my colleagues who have been in this industry for years just how much there is to learn. On the basis of this, I really would only pay for courses in publishing if they were a) extremely specific -- i.e. a publicist of 10 years talking about publicity, i.e. an kid's agent of 10 years talking about agenting kid's fiction.

    Of course, you're more than free to write about your experiences and share them in any format you want -- paid or otherwise. But I wouldn't buy it, and I wouldn't encourage writers here to pay for it either.

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  6. #6
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnn View Post
    Please disregard this thread.
    Yeah, deleting posts when there's a legitimate conversation going on is completely unfair. I had to piece together where you're coming from based on Old Hack's responses to your initial post. You're a writer so you're expected to own your words here; about the only time threads are closed and posts get deleted is if there's spam involved. Even the more contentious threads get ported out to the TIO graveyard.

  7. #7
    Undistractable (on deadline) mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    get ported out to the TIO graveyard.
    which is actually one of the coolest places on AW.

    Just sayin'....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    Yeah, deleting posts when there's a legitimate conversation going on is completely unfair. I had to piece together where you're coming from based on Old Hack's responses to your initial post. You're a writer so you're expected to own your words here; about the only time threads are closed and posts get deleted is if there's spam involved. Even the more contentious threads get ported out to the TIO graveyard.
    Well, Karma's still a bitch so the title "Disregard" sparks even more curiosity in readers here and nothing goes disregarded

    Yeah also sounds like promotion to me. "Imagine there's a magical solution to all problems, also here's my profile, bye". Yeeaaaah bit transparent.
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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
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    Isn't there a self-promotional forum somewhere on this site, so people who have new business/projects can put it out there?

    The Announcements forum? Or, would this be spam? (Not entirely sure of the difference between promotion and spam)

    David

  10. #10
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    ETA: pending OP restoration, this post will be edited. Looking forward to seeing you back here, CarrieAnn.

    Earlier post : Sigh. And now you've gone and deleted *all* your posts, CarrieAnn. Do you know how the Internet archive services work? I'm not even a moderator, and I can bring them back.

    But I won't. AW can be an intense place. There have been times when I step aside, or leave entire threads, or put members on 'ignore' because I recognize I can't help responding negatively to their posts. Knowing the difference between lively argument and 'bickering' can be tricky, especially when we're emotionally invested in a discussion.

    I thought your course, as outlined, had some interesting points. Like Old Hack, I wanted to see what you offered that was worth paying for. Was it clearly and accurately presented? What were your credentials? Do your methods work? I'm bracing for the strong possibility of self-publishing a fantasy series, so I'm collecting links and information about the process.

    Thanks to you 'disregarding' your posts, I can't judge that now. It's totally unfair to do so, but basic psychology prompts me to assume 'Oh, she can't face an adult argument' or 'Oh, she's got something to hide'.

    I'm sure that's not the case. But that won't matter, because you seem to have flounced off to somewhere 'kinder', where you can presumably complain about those meanies over on AW. Okay. Your call.

    Part of being an adult and doing actual business is being able to answer the same kinds of questions asked here. Are you going to shut down and refuse to work with any skeptical students who ask about your credentials?
    Last edited by Filigree; 04-17-2015 at 11:56 PM. Reason: Added info

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  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW chompers's Avatar
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    I'll play the devil's advocate. I saw the original conversation. Now, I do think that AW tends to be...shall we say more suspicious than other places? So I get where she was coming from. At the same time, it was most definitely a promotion. When you've laid things out in bullet form and tack on at the end that AW members get an additional discount, that's straight promotion right there. Otherwise, why would AW even be offered a discount if it's not specifically targeted toward them? Now, I will say the post/course was well written and sounded interesting. But if someone more knowledgeable comes along to pick apart the points, the OP should have been prepared to answer any and all questions. After all, I'm sure lots of people will ask questions. AW was probably just not the best place to place this "ad." Like I said, it was well written. But it seemed more fitting for people who weren't as knowledgeable about the industry or who are just starting out. AW has too many people here who know their stuff and they WILL ask the difficult questions.

  12. #12
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    I just caught up on this, and wow, what a lot of "disregard". But this seems to be CarrieAnn's site.

    It’s no longer a secret that I’ve been working on a sugar-free guide to modern publishing. Sometime this year, I plan on releasing the book along with courses/workshops for writers looking for straight talk from a friend with a little business perspective.
    I can't say "delete all your posts and leave a forum if you're asked questions" is good advice for anyone.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 04-17-2015 at 06:08 PM.
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  13. #13
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chompers View Post
    AW was probably just not the best place to place this "ad." Like I said, it was well written. But it seemed more fitting for people who weren't as knowledgeable about the industry or who are just starting out. AW has too many people here who know their stuff and they WILL ask the difficult questions.
    All the more reason for the information to be verified. I can't protect the vast ranks of the 'just starting out' writers. I've even stopped trying to do so. But my hackles still go up when I see them targeted.

    ETA: OP restored. I'm not singling out CarrieAnn's promo as one of the above sites, just giving my general opinion on many 'writers aid' sites.
    Last edited by Filigree; 04-17-2015 at 11:51 PM. Reason: New info

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  14. #14
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marian Perera View Post
    I just caught up on this, and wow, what a lot of "disregard". But this seems to be CarrieAnn's site.

    I can't say "delete all your posts and leave a forum if you're asked questions" is good advice for anyone.

    Nope. Which is a shame because her blog is fairly interesting from a marketing angle.
    ETA: OP restored. I still think her blog is worth looking at.
    Last edited by Filigree; 04-17-2015 at 11:47 PM.

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  15. #15
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    I read the original post, too. I found it interesting, but had many of the same questions Old Hack did. Reason is: I've been stung twice on workshops where the presenter talked a really good game but didn't deliver.

    In the first case, the presenter charged an assload of money for a week-long conference but wasn't the "industry insider" he claimed to be; in the second the presenter had no actual experience with the subject and simply handed out material she'd found on the internet. In the first and more expensive case, I realized too late what was going on; in the second, I demanded my money back and got it.

    CarrieAnn's promotion (and it was a promotion, make no mistake about that) was presented well enough that it piqued my interest. I was looking forward to hearing more about her service. But the fact that she flew off the handle when questioned and then flounced after doing as much collateral damage as she could told me plenty.

    Bottom line: if you are offering a service, and you expect people to pay for that service, you'd better be prepared to show your credentials. Otherwise, at least in my jaded eyes, you're just another person setting me up to rip me off.
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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW
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    Hey, guys! For the past two hours, I’ve been debating whether or not to follow up. I deleted my original post, because I realized how skeevy and promotional it came across. (Note to self: Copying and pasting from the course overview was not a good idea.) I thought I had addressed Old Hack’s question in my second post. Basically, the only reason I’m charging for this particular project—I never charge for things like this—is because I had to invest serious time and money in its completion. I spent months researching paths beyond my own experiences, talking to professionals all over the spectrum. From my notes, I created lesson plans that I converted into conversational scripts and recorded. I synced those recordings with animations I designed to keep the information from getting too serious or overwhelming, and then I created worksheets to be downloaded alongside the other material.


    As Chompers correctly ascertained, the course it for those just starting out. I know how it feels to be on the outside of this process looking in. It can be downright daunting. That’s why I took the time to go step by step and outline things in as positive of a light as possible.


    My attempt to put the topic to bed via deletion, however, was a fail—a massive, massive fail—and I get that. I just know how quickly these things can get out of hand, so I didn’t want to engage any further. What I went through and deleted beyond this post was anything that seemed promotional in nature, because I now see how it looks. Everything else is still there.


    I apologize to anyone put off by this thread, and I apologize to Old Hack for how defensive some of my replies came across. Her phrasing made me feel like she was looking to discredit anything other than what she felt was an appropriate qualification, and I got my feelings hurt. (Darn you time-release, Paxil!) If anyone needs me, I’ll be banging my head on my desk at my own stupidity...


  17. #17
    Undistractable (on deadline) mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnn View Post
    My attempt to put the topic to bed via deletion, however, was a fail—a massive, massive fail—and I get that. I just know how quickly these things can get out of hand, so I didn’t want to engage any further.
    I think I did thatonce, when I was a new bug. It seemed like the right thing to do. As it turned out - well, life goes on.
    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnn View Post
    If anyone needs me, I’ll be banging my head on my desk at my own stupidity...
    I've done that, too. Makes headaches. Stop it, now.

  18. #18
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    You know, some entrepreneur could make a fortune selling amusing, brightly colored pads which affix to desk or brick wall as needed. Too bad that's not me.

    Maryn, who'd like a fortune, though
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  19. #19
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    CarrieAnn, I can roll your posts back for you if you'd like, I think. I have all sorts of modly powers round here. And if you'd like me to do that, I am sure that the people who have commented on your deletion-spree could be convinced to edit their posts. Just a thought.

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    CarrieAnn, I can roll your posts back for you if you'd like, I think. I have all sorts of modly powers round here. And if you'd like me to do that, I am sure that the people who have commented on your deletion-spree could be convinced to edit their posts. Just a thought.
    That would be wonderful. Thank you!


  21. #21
    Got the hang of it, here tbrosz's Avatar
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    Heh. "Streisand Effect."

  22. #22
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I'm certainly happy to edit my posts, CarrieAnn. Reason: I like marketing and marketers, and too many authors go into self-publishing with a marketing plan that reads '...and then the magic happens and I make more money than Hugh Howey.'

    So I'm delighted to discuss topics with *anyone* who can provide useful marketing insights.

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  23. #23
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnn View Post
    That would be wonderful. Thank you!
    Nice to see this actually work out reasonably well.
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  24. #24
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    1,293
    Hey, CarrieAnn, you earned my respect for treating this kerfluffle with grace and wry self-deprecation. I'm a sucker for the wry self-deprecation, always have been. And grace is too rarely seen not to get a nod and a friendly smile.
    Gone Fishin' (February 25, 2013)

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    981
    Thanks for understanding, guys. I appreciate it.


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