Episode 38: Courses to Supercharge Your Author Life

Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!

In this episode, I share the top five courses that I’ve taken and recommend for supercharging your author life. Whether you’re looking at how to self-publish, craft a bestseller, increase your sales through rapid releasing, create an author business plan, or take back control of your time, I have you covered. As a bonus, I share the course I recommend for starting a podcast.

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Courses Mentioned in this Episode:

Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Launch Pad: https://learn.selfpublishingformula.com/p/launchpad

How To Write A Bestseller By Suzy K. Quinn: https://learn.selfpublishingformula.com/p/bestseller-1

Author Revolution’s Rapid Release Roadmap: Click here for my affiliate link or visit: https://author-revolution-academy.mykajabi.com/rapid-release-roadmap

The Creative Penn’s Your Author Business Plan: https://creative-penn-courses.teachable.com/p/author-business-plan

Marie Forleo’s Time Genius Course: https://www.marieforleo.com/time-genius

Cathy Heller’s Your Turn To Podcast: https://www.cathyheller.com/your-turn-to-podcast/

Connect with Me:

Instagram: @alchemyforauthors and @jobuerauthor.

Join the Alchemy for Authors Facebook Page here

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Find the full transcript of this episode below.

Episode 38: Courses to Supercharge Your Author Life

Hello, my lovelies. Welcome back to another episode of Alchemy for Authors. So I hope you have all been having an amazing writing week, and for those of you who are doing NaNoWriMo this November, I hope it is going really smoothly for you and you’re really enjoying the process. I have fallen really behind in my word count for it, as I’m trying to catch up with some day job things, but I am hoping that I will be able to get back on track again in the next couple of days. I still have that goal of completing NaNoWriMo this November, so I’m not out of the running yet, and I hope if you are feeling like you’ve fallen a little bit behind like I have that you don’t give up. Just keep on keeping on, as they say.

So this episode of Alchemy for Authors, I just wanted to share with you a couple of my top recommendations of courses that I have done that have really positively impacted upon my writing journey in some way or another. And what spurred this episode on is I quite often get an influx in my email box from a lot of amazing authors and that out there, promoting their courses and things like that. And one of my absolute favorite top recommendations of courses is open for enrollment. So I wanted to talk about that as well as some of my other recommendations.

So as a Indie published author, there is so much information out there right at our fingertips to help us on our journeys. There is amazing podcasts out there. There are fantastic groups on Facebook and people to follow on social media, and there are wonderful books too that can help guide you on your journey. But I personally have always been a huge advocate for doing courses. I love, love, love learning, and one of the positive aspects of actually enrolling in a course to help you is that all the information is collected for you. So you’re not having to scroll and Google and watch a million YouTube videos to work out how to do something. And so I like to save myself a bit of time and make life a little bit easier for myself by having all that information at my fingertips already. And if somebody’s already curated it for me, then that’s fantastic.

So I have been on the writing journey, I think I’ve mentioned before, most of my life, and I have done so many different writing courses. I did a degree in creative writing as well. I have dabbled in so many things and many times I don’t often finish the courses I started, and it might be just it’s not really filling my well, I’m not getting the information I need out of it, or it’s not keeping my focus. Or it might just be, and this is often the case, that the course is amazing, but I don’t need all of it, so I pick and choose and go back to it. And one of the cool thing with a lot of courses out there nowadays is that once you purchase them, you’ve got them there forever, so you can go back, dip in and out as you need the different information or as you need to refresh yourself on different things as well.

So here are my personal five top course recommendations, out of the feels like millions that I’ve done, that have really helped me with my writing life and my publishing and all the rest of it. You might be familiar with some of these courses. You might have done them yourself, you might have differing views to me and that is fine, these are just my personal recommendations. But I would love to hear if you had other recommendations too that you want to share with myself or with my audience. So make sure that you check out the show notes for how to connect with me so you can share those as well.

Just a heads up, for a majority of these, I am not an affiliate at all. I’m simply just telling you my personal experience and that I got a lot out of these courses. There is a course here that I am an affiliate for, but again, I’m only sharing it because I really believe in it and think it is amazing. So I will let you know as we go through them.

So the very first course that I want to recommend, and this isn’t really in any order, it’s just the one that kind of pops out at me the most, particularly as it is now open for enrolment. So if it perks your interest too, go check it out, for sure. And that is Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Launchpad.

Now, this course used to be called Self-Publishing Formula 101, and when I purchased it, ooh, maybe a good four years ago or so, that’s what it was called, but it’s now been rebranded into the Self-Publishing Launchpad. And this is just an absolutely amazing, super comprehensive course that really covers the nuts and bolts of all aspects of self-publishing.

So if you are an author who is maybe starting out, and maybe you’ve just written your first book and you’re ready to get it out in the world, and have no idea what to do, then this is definitely a course for you. It is also, I personally believe, a course for those who have maybe been in the industry for a little while. It is one of these courses that I dip in and out of all the time. And it suits me perfectly too because I am not great with technology and there are lots of things with the author journey that if you’re not willing to hire out to other people, that you need to have an understanding of, like creating email lists, creating a website, uploading your books, formatting your books, getting them onto all the different platforms, stuff that absolutely terrified me at the beginning of this journey because I am not really a computer person at all. And this is where I found this course just absolutely invaluable to me.

As this goes to air, I think enrolment is open for another couple of weeks or a few weeks, and it’s usually open a couple of times a year. You will probably need to check out the website to get information or to stay on a mailing list to find out when it’s released if you are listening to this in the future. You can check out Mark Dawson’s self-publishing courses at selfpublishingformula.com/courses. Now, Mark Dawson is a bestselling author, he’s got a fantastic podcast, and he knows his stuff.

So this course, like I said, is really, really comprehensive. It goes over all aspects that you can really imagine on the self-publishing journey. So it goes through things like building your platform, building a website, creating a mailing list, email providers, and it breaks down the pros and cons of different email providers. What is super cool about this is there are lots of videos that really show you step by step, every single button to press to do what you need to do to create these things like your website and put together your mailing list and everything like that. So if you’re somebody like me and you need that visual step by step because computer stuff’s a little bit intimidating, then this is a fantastic course for that. So it has lots of videos. It also has transcripts as well, and it has a tech library to go into the real nitty gritty of how to do all that technical stuff as well.

So it starts off with building your platform, getting yourself ready to get your book out into the world. It covers aspects of pre-publication, such as formatting your book, getting the front and back matter ready, creating your blurb, doing all the research into things like metadata, pricing, creating your reader magnet, getting that set up so you can create a mailing list. It also talks to you step by step through the automation sequence of creating a email list and getting readers to sign up to your newsletter and be there for you really when you’re ready to launch your book. So it’s really essential for that too.

This course, Self-publishing Launchpad, also gives an oversight into considerations around whether you go Amazon exclusive or you go wide. So if you plan on just being exclusive to Amazon, or if you would prefer to be across platforms like Apple, Kobo, Google Books, Barnes and Noble and all the rest of them. So it gives you the positives and negatives towards that so that you can make a somewhat informed decision as to what’s going to suit you and your goals best. The course also goes through things like how to generate traffic, a little bit of marketing, creating an advanced team or arc readers, getting them on board, email sequencing, and it’s even got templates for you. Like if you’re really finding this really intimidating, Mark Dawson’s put together some templates that you can pretty much just take as your own and reword to suit. Like I said, there is a tech library, so if you struggle with some of the computer things or find it a little bit intimidating, there are step by step videos and transcripts that will talk you through how to load your book onto the different platforms, how to get it onto Kobo or Apple or Amazon, using other book platforms like Book Funnel to distribute your book or to create author swaps for your newsletter, those kinds of things as well.

So like I said, it’s a really, really comprehensive course that really does cover the nuts and bolts and everything you need to get your book out there in the world and published. There are some really cool payment plans, so if money is an issue, that might be able to help. And I think, I dunno if they still do, but in the past they used to, I think, have a scholarship program as well. Like I said, I’m not sure if they still do, but it is something to maybe do a bit of research around and checkout. Now, like I said, I purchased this course about four years ago and they are always updating the material in it, which is really cool. So it doesn’t really go outta date. And all those upgrades and that are free. Once you purchase it, you always get all the new material for free. So that is really neat. I have just gone onto the platform myself and I see that they’ve gifted me the brand new Self-publishing Launchpad because I was an original customer of the Self Publishing Formula 101. So I get all that new cool stuff.

I know I’m really just raving about this course, but I really do believe if you’re starting on your author journey and you know that you want to be independently published, this course is so invaluable. But they do throw in some bonuses as well, some bonus modules. So you get things like Instagram for Authors, Pinterest for Authors, YouTube for Authors. They’ve got SPF University, which is short little episodes about different aspects of Indie publishing. They also, also, so excited about this, but they also give really cool discounts on various things. Once you purchase one of Mark Dawson’s courses, there’s always discounts for his other courses. They also usually offer really cool discounts once you are signed up to a course, on things like Prowriting Aid, which is editing software that I personally adore. Really, really cool. If you haven’t already, go check that out. They give discounts on Book Funnel, Book Brush, cover design. Gosh, there’s a whole range of things, and there’s usually new discounts every year. So once they expire and once they have a new cohort of people sign up to the course, there’s new discounts. Once you purchase the course, they tend to send out those discounts to you every single year. So yeah, can’t really rave about that enough. So that would be one of my top courses I recommend for super charging your author life if you want to go the indie publishing route.

Now Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Launchpad is not the only course of his that I’ve actually purchased, there is another one that I absolutely adore and that is How to Be a Best Seller by Susie K Quinn. Now, I just wanna mention, for any of Mark Dawson’s courses that I mentioned here on this podcast, I am not an affiliate. There is nobody paying me to say any of this stuff. It is just truly what I would recommend to anybody starting out who wanted to invest in themselves to better themselves in their author career. So there is no kickbacks for me in saying any of this so you can trust that I am honestly sharing with you my personal views with this.

So Susie K Quinn’s, How to Write a Bestseller, you can find that course also on Mark Dawson’s website, selfpublishingformula.com/courses. And this course is more on the craft and I found it so invaluable when I went to write my very first novel, Rest Easy Resort. I did this course just prior to it, and it is one of my books that most people comment on being a real page turner. So that’s a compliment to me, but also to Suzy K Quinn because it was me following her course that really got it that reputation.

 Susie has a really cool take on how to write a book and get your book out there. She really hones in at the very beginning on creating a book package. Looking at similar authors and books out there to what you want to write, creating a premise for your book, looking at covers, looking at taglines, so that you’re really solidifying what your book’s going to be about so you can keep yourself on track when it comes to the actual writing of it. She also shares really cool tips on how to create a likable hero, how to ensure your hero has emotional wounds, and some talents and flaws and what that looks like. She uses books that are out there in the world, be selling books and that as exemplars for what she teaches. She talks about villains. She talks about the hero’s journey. She talks about different ways of plotting and how that can help you move your book forward. And most importantly, how to create a page turning book, which is so important to keeping readers engaged nowadays. Right? Creating a marketable book package and looking at your taglines and premise and how to go about plotting your book is really invaluable, so it’s definitely worth checking it out. This is also another course that you can dip in and out of, which I do regularly, and although I purchased this a good few years ago, I’ll be revisiting it here shortly as I’m in the midst of creating my new work in progress as well.

So my third course recommendation is done by Author Revolution, which is founded by my friend, Chrissa Andrews. So this is a course that I am an affiliate for. Just wanna give the transparency around that. So I will put in the show notes, my affiliate links, as well as general links to get to her page as well. But just so you know, as an affiliate, I do get a little bit of a kickback, but there’s no extra hidden cost to you or anything like that. So it’s your choice whether you wanted to use my affiliate link or you can just go to authorrevolution.org and go to the little courses bar at the top there and it shows all her courses.

Now Carissa has some amazing courses. She has ones from mindset, like Write Frame of Mind. She has a course on plotting a series, which is also a fantastic one. I really love it. But the one that I wanted to talk about today that I highly recommend is the Rapid Release Roadmap, and this is her signature course. What I like about this is, although it covers a little bit of what Mark Dawson’s course, the Self-publishing Launchpad does, Carissa comes at it from a more succinct angle with mindset at the forefront. So she has created and done a lot of research around and found that a lot of people have been able to supercharge their writing lives and their writing careers through creating a rapid release roadmap for themselves where they publish four books a year using six week writing sprints throughout the year, and a real change in mindset.

The whole premise around this Rapid Release Roadmap is to be a prolific author without suffering the burnout, which is so important nowadays. So it’s standing up against the idea that we need to write a book a month, 12 books a year. Which just is not possible for the majority of us, particularly if you’re somebody who has other responsibilities, like a day job, or children, or family, or anything like that. Carissa is about establishing a prolific author life without burnout. And so that’s what I really love about this course. She does hone in on mindset, which I think is really important. She helps with planning out your writing schedule, editing schedule, marketing schedule, and what promotion would look like as well. She also has some bonus modules that helps you to brainstorm, like a series concept, how to do some of the market research, build believable characters, what world building looks like, and how to outline a novel as well. So it’s a smaller course than Self-Publishing Launchpad by Mark Dawson, but I find it really invaluable in other ways and it’s hard to make those distinctions. But I think I really appreciate Carissa’s a fun, upbeat, relaxed way of offering all this information and the fact that she really bases it around ensuring that we’ve got the mindset to have a successful author career as well.

So, If you are considering rapid releasing, then I do recommend you check it out. And don’t be put off if you are thinking, Oh yeah, but four books a year still seems unattainable, because you can adapt that to one or two or three books a year, or you could up it to five or six, but she gives you a really solid foundation as to how about creating a flow of production that will work for you. So again, you can just check out her website, authorrevolution.org or check out the show notes for my affiliate links. And while you’re there, when you do, check out her website, Author Revolution, have a bit of a browse of her other courses as well, cuz she’s got some really fantastic ones there. And Carissa also has a strong foundation in the law of attraction and manifestation, and using that in your writing practice. So she will be releasing shortly here, a millionaire author manifestation course that you should totally check out. I’ve been on the back end of following her with that and one of her beta team members for that. So that’s really fun. Her Author Revolution podcast is fantastic to check out too, if you haven’t already. That will give you a little bit of an idea of Carissa’s kind of flavor, the way that she offers information, and you’ll find, I’m sure, that she’s just such a wonderful, likable person that just gets you so excited to dive into the world of writing and publishing.

Another thing I just wanted to mention when you do check out her website, is that if you’re not sure about purchasing her courses, she does have tiers of monthly memberships that might be worth checking out as well. So there’s like an Apprentice Author Success Accelerator membership with I think three or so courses that will help somebody just beginning on the journey. There’s a Prolific Author Success Accelerator bundle as well that you could check out, and an All Access Pass, which is actually a membership that I have of hers, which gives me access to all of her courses, which I really love, because they’re just really cool.

Now, number four is a mini course that I’ve really enjoyed and actually need to get back into because I did this a couple of years ago and need to redo it as to where I am now. And it is called Your Author Business Plan, and it’s done by Joanna Penn, who is the host of The Creative Penn podcast. And you can find this course at thecreativepenn.com/courses. So it is a mini course. And it’s really there to help you roadmap your author career. So it works for both fiction and nonfiction authors, and it helps you in a creative way, create a business plan to lead you forward in your author career towards the success that you want. So she helps you get really, really clear on your why. And then you look deeper into the how; how you’re going to get there. So she discusses things in this course and helps you reflect on things such as your brand, what comparison authors are out there already that you can learn from, creating a production strategy around publishing and licensing, how to best market your books. She talks about the financial aspects as any good business plan should have. You should be thinking about the financials, both your business and your investments, but also your money mindset, which is so important. And creating for yourself a really solid model of what you want your author career to look like, and the values and your why behind it that will keep that momentum and motivation for you to achieve it, and then breaking that down into the steps to get there as well.

So having a author business plan, I think is so essential to anybody who is wanting longevity in their author career. And so this is definitely something worth checking out. It’s not a huge investment at all, and again, like these other courses, it’s something you can dip in and out of as you please, and come back to, as you probably should do with any business, come back, reflect, change things up, and create new plans as you need to.

Now, the fifth course that I want to recommend is not actually a writing or publishing course at all, and it is one that I am presently actually delving into. I’m only partially through it, but it has already been just over the last few weeks, life changing in ways that I hadn’t expected. So this course is Marie Forleo’s Time Genius Course.

So Marie Forleo has been named a thought leader for the next generation by Oprah. She is just out there as the most amazing entrepreneurial person. She also has, a podcast as well, she has Marie TV. You can find her pretty much anywhere if you just Google Marie Forleo, and she is like life coach, business coach, mindset guru.

So I enrolled a handful of weeks back in her Time Genius Program, which you can find at marieforleo.com/time-genius. This is another one that I am not an affiliate for at all, but I am already seeing the rewards to and in my mind it is already paid for itself, and I know as I finish this course, it will continue to do so.

So this course, although not about writing or publishing, is about time, and I don’t wanna say time management, but it is for those of us that for whatever reason, struggle with time. We feel like there is not enough time, not enough time to do the things that we love, or we’re always overwhelmed by our to-do lists, or we are finding it really hard to juggle all aspects of our life, and if you’re listening to this, maybe a writing career or a writing passion as well. So for me, I have been struggling for so many years, probably most of my life, with being a high achiever, and wanting to do all the things, and living in this constant state of overwhelm because of it. So for myself, I juggle a full-time day job that quite often of its own accord, also goes into evenings and weekends. I started this podcast this year, which is a huge time commitment, and I’m also trying to establish a writing career on top of it, and that’s just in the work aspect of my life. I’m also trying to get back into going to the gym, which was a regular thing for me up until Covid, and I have a family as well, and friends in that that I wanna spend time with, and a garden that I want to just be able to relax in and read a good book sometimes. This year in particular has been a real struggle. I have felt like I’ve been in perpetual burnout for a good portion of it. And so if any of that resonates with you, where you’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the demands put on you, or you just feel real time strapped for some reason, or like you just aren’t able to devote the time and energy that you want to your writing and your writing career, then this course could be of real benefit to you.

Now, Marie describes it as helping you become joyfully productive on your own terms. And so I don’t wanna call it a time management system, it’s a little bit of a hard course actually to describe. Because it’s not about managing your time as much as taking back control of your time, readjusting your mindset, and helping you up level all areas of your life based around the things that you really value.

So it helps you get some real clarity around what is most important to you. It helps you get clarity around your purpose and your why for the doing the things that you do. And it helps you reconsider those things that you need to continue to do, and those things that you can maybe let go of. And those things that maybe you need to hold onto if you are not enjoying them, how you can find better solutions so that you are enjoying your life, that you are happy. Because sometimes I think when we get so overwhelmed or time strapped or stuck in time stress, our happiness goes out the window because we are kind of just running on adrenaline, jumping from one thing to the next and never really feeling a satisfying sense of accomplishment with anything. So this course for me, just within the period of a couple of weeks that I’ve embarked on it, and like I said, I haven’t completed it, it’s a whole lot of, short videos that are so jam packed with information, I’m actually, as I watch the videos, I’m taking lots of notes from it. But there are also lots of fun sheets, which are reflection sheets or like a workbook kind of thing that you work through as well. Like I said, it has really changed my mindset in a lot of ways, and even just having embarked on part of this course, I’ve already noticed myself considerably less stressed, more relaxed, and surprisingly more productive as well. It’s kind of surprised me as somebody who’s delved into the world of personal development for so long, I didn’t know that it could be almost as easy as it has been to change those very deeply embedded concepts around time and struggles with time. So if you are looking for something that might hit on those pain points, if you’re somebody who has been resonating with some of the things I’ve just said, it is definitely something to check out. I don’t think the course is open right now, but you can get on a wait list. Just go visit her website and all these links will be in the show notes as well. And you can sign up for a wait list, and Marie will let you know as soon as the course opens up again, But, even having not finished it, I’m finding it so invaluable.

So those are my five top recommendations personally of courses that I have absolutely adored and have really impacted in a positive way upon my writing life, and my writing goals and my author career. I just wanna throw in one other quick mention, and this also isn’t about writing or publishing, but another course that I highly recommend if you are looking at podcasting, and it’s the one that kind of got me on this route doing this podcast, which I absolutely love, that is Cathy Heller’s Your Turn to Podcast course.

It might be open at the moment for enrollment, I’m not sure. I think that opens up a few times a year as well. She will cover all aspects of podcasting. It’s quite similar in some ways to Mark Dawson’s Self-publishing Launchpad course and that you get the videos, the tech library that breaks down how to do all the bits and pieces from connecting the mic, to editing an interview. Things that I honestly had no idea about before I embarked on this course. But what’s more, it puts you in touch with some amazing high vibe positive people. It helps you network in a way that I found really surprising through Facebook groups and things like that. So much so that a year on from taking that course, I’m still in touch with a lot of the people that I did this original course with, so I’m still in touch with a lot of the cohort, and it’s a really supportive bunch of people that tend to be led to do Cathy Heller’s courses. Again, she covers all aspects of podcasting. Another cool thing with her is that she is very, very, very into manifestation, law of attraction, money mindset, abundance mindset. So she comes at all aspects of podcasting, including monetizing it, and creating an audience, and social media, and branding and all of that, as well as ensuring that your mindset is also aligned with success. And so I won’t go too much in depth, but that’s something for you to check out and you can always connect with me if you wanted to hear a little bit more about it. Again, I’m not an affiliate. These are just some of the courses that have really resonated with me.

So I hope that you’ve found this as a little bit of food for thought for you, if you are considering investing in yourself, in your author career. I do recommend if you’re on the fence about investing in yourself, it really is so important to do it is. So important to give yourself permission to succeed, to get the help that you need to succeed. When you are following your passion, it doesn’t have to be as hard as we sometimes make it for ourselves. Sometimes I think we can get stuck believing that we’ve got to do it all ourselves. And that’s not the case. There are so many amazing people out there who want to help you learn. And yes, you can just go online and Google and probably find all the information out there yourself, and that’s absolutely fine. But if you’re looking for some just really well curated, engaging courses, then the ones I’ve just shared with you, I can’t really recommend them enough.

So just as a quick overview, those courses were Mark Dawson’s Self-publishing Launchpad for all the nuts and bolts and technical know-how of all aspects of self-publishing.

I also recommend under his brand How to Write a bestseller by Susie K Quinn, which is a fantastic course on the craft of writing and creating fantastic books, particularly novels, but also I think she goes into some of the non-fiction as well.

Number three, definitely go check out Carissa Andrew’s Author Revolution website. Her courses are amazing and upbeat and succinct. And there’ll be a course there for you regardless of what you’re looking for. But again, I recommend her Rapid Release Roadmap to help create for yourself a sustainable, prolific author career going forward.

Number four, I absolutely love Joanna Penn. I love her podcast, The Creative Penn. So make sure you go check out her courses as well. She has a whole range. The one that I’m recommending on this show is Your Author Business Plan so that you can get really focused on what it is that you want to achieve and what you want your author career and writing journey to look like.

And number five, although not a writing and publishing course, if you’re a person like me who struggles with time and overwhelm and not feeling like you’re achieving what you want to achieve, then do check out Marie Forleo’s Time Genius course. I am just finding it so enjoyable and utterly life changing.

And then as a bonus, like I said, if you’re interested in podcasting, maybe go look into Cathy Heller’s Your Turn to Podcast Course too.

So I hope you found this episode of interest and it’s got you considering how to uplevel your own life or areas that you may need to look a little bit deeper into. Like I said, I would love if you had other recommendations that you wanted to share with me or share with my audience, please do connect with me. You can find me primarily on Instagram, I’m @jobuerauthor. I’ve also got an account where I’m trying to shift people over to, which is @alchemyforauthors. I do have a Facebook page, Alchemy for Authors, so you can check that out as well. Or you can sign up to my newsletter on my website, jobuer.com and email me through there as well.

 So I am wishing you a wonderful week ahead, my friends. Good luck. Continue to keep persevering if you’re doing the NaNoWriMo challenge at the moment. Otherwise, until next week, happy writing.