A while back—okay, months ago—I asked you what you’d think of an on-demand, online self-publishing course. I’m planning to take the one-day self-publishing seminar I’ve done for the likes of Faber Academy and The Inkwell Group (and which I’ll be doing for The Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin on October 12th) and offer it to people who can’t feasibly travel to Dublin or London via videos and other online material which they can access whenever they want from wherever they want.
I asked you three questions, and this is what you said:
The results were surprising to me. Far more of you would turn to something like an online video course than I thought, which is great, and 66% of respondents thought the price was about right. (Although 26% thought it was ‘a joke’, so I might have to look at that again!!) I think the takeaway here is that if you’re in the business of dispensing self-publishing advice, the three main ways people want it are: blog, book and online course.
Some of the comments that questioned why I would charge money for them just left me dumbfounded. One in particular suggested that I turn to Kickstarter to raise funds for my costs and then offer the courses themselves for free.
Guys, this is a business venture. Its goal is to generate an income from providing a service that there’s a demand for. I’m a nice person and all, but I need to make a living too. It’s like the guy who harassed me via e-mail for a while looking for a free copy of Self-Printed 2.0 because he’d bought Self-Printed 1.0, and then told me not to ‘forget who your friends are’ when I didn’t reply.
I know people don’t like to talk about money and there’s plenty who say they don’t care about it, but GET REAL. You may not care, but I’m sure your landlord does. And the electricity company. And your credit card company. And as I’ve said before, if you don’t want to make money from your writing then I can only conclude that you don’t love writing as much as I do, because it’s the thing I love to do the most and I want to do it all the time, and if I don’t generate an income from it, I have to do something else, something I don’t love, for the majority of each and every day. And that would suck. That doesn’t mean I would only write if there was the promise of financial compensation, but if there is financial compensation, that’s obviously better, because it means more time to write.
With this blog and my book and talking about self-publishing, yes, helping people through the ocean of information on self-publishing does make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and I really enjoy doing it, but sadly, warm and fuzzy feelings isn’t on the list of payment methods the electricity company accepts.
I’m going to go ahead with this course, but in all likelihood it’ll be a 2014 thing now, and I’ve actually had another 2014 idea that could go hand-in-hand with this quite nicely…
So stay tuned!
(In the meantime, I wrote a 120,000-word book about all this, y’know.)