One of the tools I leaned heavily on to shape the launch strategy for my first book is an online course by Nick Stephenson.
In a nutshell, a comprehensive course on how to get off to a roaring start in online book sales and build a solid readership. There are several other good courses out there on specific topics, but Your First 10K Readers is a phenomenal all-round foundation course, packed full of goodies, for the fledgling author, or the author who has not built much traction yet.
Is it worth it?
The short answer is absolutely yes sirree if you implement what you learn.
- Nick is an excellent teacher. Painstaking, methodical, genial, clear, and easy to follow. He has a knack for distilling things down into bite-sized chunks that still pack a punch in terms of information delivered.
- He covers a lot of different aspects of self-publishing such as platform, reviews, merchandising, pricing, Facebook ads, launch, and promotion in a logical sequence.
- He does an outstanding job of explaining the various online book retailers, and analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of going wide versus exclusive with Amazon. He emphasizes how critical it is to hone your keywords and categories, and goes into great detail on how to do this well.
- Nick is transparent and generous in sharing his own successes, failures, charts, figures and results.
- He includes several practical how-to videos on installation and operation of plugins, basic website setup, and programs such as KindleSpy and Kindle Samurai.
- There are a variety of useful downloads and cheat sheets that accompany the course.
- All of the modules are easily downloadable, in either video or audio format, and can be transferred to iTunes. A huge plus for me as I like to bring my iPad everywhere with me and learn on the go.
- And then there’s the British accent …
- Not much if you ask me. You could argue that if you are not using his particular choice of email subscription service, file storage and plug-ins, the step-by-step tutorials for these items are not going to be particularly helpful.
- You need to jump on the information right away. Things date very quickly! This is especially true for Facebook, so if you buy a course like this and sit on it for six months, you will end up frustrating yourself by trying to follow something on the screen that may well have been phased out or upgraded by the time you get around to watching that segment.
The Bottom Line
This is a robust foundation course. Build on it by doing your own research, and test what works for you, your genre and your budget. You can’t really put a price on the value of courses like this that offer indies a helping hand in making their work visible.
What are your thoughts on Your First 10K Readers?