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If you could buy just ONE book, course or template to help with your writing biz, what would it be?
Tricky question, right?
Because there is no single solution to the many things an author needs to learn in order to successfully write, publish and sell a book.
Depending on where you are on your writing journey, you may wish to invest in your craft. I may be an author marketing coach, but I know too well that a good book is easier to market than a bad one. So learning more about writing is an investment in marketing too, if you think about it.
But perhaps you have been writing for years, you have worked through the struggles of your early writing efforts and would prefer now to invest more in the publishing side of things. Editors, proofreaders, covers, formatting and software. When it comes to self-publishing, there’s a lot to learn and plenty of places to waste money, time and effort.
And then there’s marketing. Oh boy. This one can be the money pit. Whether you want to hire a marketing or PR agency to do the work for you, invest in paid advertising, or learn new skills, such as social media marketing or email marketing, there is no end of places to spend money. And few of them offer any guarantees of a return on investment.
So, if budget is tight, where is the best place to invest your limited funds? Let’s walk through your options.
*This post contains affiliate links.
If writing is your passion, then you may not begrudge investing money in uplevelling your skills. Writing courses can be fun as much as they may be valuable for your career. Whether you need to learn more about story structure or writing convincing dialogue, there will be a course out there for you.
Just keep an eye on the price tags and student reviews, as there can be huge swings in price for courses that on the surface look very similar.
The stronger your writing skills are, the less work there will be to do at the editing stage. And while it’s not impossible to successfully market a bad book, once it starts receiving negative reviews, it can be difficult to recover. So it’s always better to invest in your writing first, rather than throw money at advertising later.
The Energize Your Writing Toolkit: Cheat Sheets for Character Emotions ebook and mini-course by Stacy Juba (eCourse) $29.00Never struggle with character emotions again! Get this 100-page printable toolkit packed with more than 4,000 emotional phrases arranged into easy-to-digest lists.
Character Creation Crash Course by Kristina Adams (eCourse) $199.00Discover how to create realistic, believable, and three-dimensional characters that readers remember long after they've turned the final page.
Write Better, Right Now: The No-Nonsense Writing Course by Abigail King (eCourse) $300.00Learn the secrets that published writers know.
Now that you have honed your writing skills, it’s time to put those fully fleshed characters and elaborate worlds into a completed manuscript. For some writers, they never get this far. If you’re always writing but never finishing, investing in a course to help you get your book written may be your best next step.
There are programs out there for fiction and non-fiction authors, and some are even for specific types or genres of book, so be sure to shop around if you’re looking for something specific.
The 6 Day Book Outline by Todd Brison (eCourse) $197.00 Save six months of time when you write the book!
The Dapper Drafter by Loni Crittenden (eCourse) $74.00 Everything you need to finish your frickin' novel!
40 Days to a Finished Book by Leonie Dawson (eCourse) $199 It's time to get your book DONE, out of your head, into the world, helping the people it's meant to, and bringing YOU clients + abundance…
In this post I’m specifically talking about investing in your own skills and education. I highly recommend that you always budget for professional editing and cover design. That said, you can certainly save on your editing costs if you learn how to effectively self-edit before sending off your manuscript to a professional.
But editing and covers are just two of the things that you need to get right to ensure your self-published book looks professional and can hold its own alongside trade published books. Interior design and formatting, front and back matter are also important. And that’s before you even start thinking about the process of actually publishing your book and making it available on the various retail sites.
This stage can be the most tedious, and one reason why many authors would prefer to work with a publisher than figure it all out on their own. Most of your questions can be answered by a Google search or trawling through forums or Facebook groups - but who has time for that?
If this is the stumbling block that is preventing you from getting your book published, it may be the best use of your budget to invest it here.
Book Building: A Beginner's Guide to Crafting Your Book by C.E. Flores (eBook) $5.54 Has formatting your book turned into a nightmare? Fear not! The mystery of book organization is a thing of the past.
Build Your Book Cover by Friday by Abi Partridge (eCourse) $65.20 With this course you will finally give your book it's birthday in a cover that you love and are proud to share.
Copyright and Disclaimer Template for Ebooks by Amira Irfan (Template) $97 If you have an ebook or are considering creating one, this is the legal template you will need! You Must Include Proper Copyright Notice and Disclaimer Language in Your Book to Be Legally Protected. This template works for both printed and ebooks!
Make Publishing Profitable and Fun by Kathryn Guylay (eCourse) $198.00 How to successfully navigate the complex publishing industry and avoid mistakes that have cost other authors thousands of dollars.
As a book marketing coach, I know that authors are regularly bombarded with suggestions about how to market their books. There are dozens of tools and tactics to try - and there are courses and books available to learn about all of them. What makes matters more complicated, is that every author and every marketing ‘expert’ seems to have a different opinion about what works and what doesn’t - and what you absolutely must invest in!
Consequently, I regularly talk to authors who have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on marketing courses and tools, with little to show for it.
As a coach, I prefer to educate authors about a marketing system, which then gives them the freedom to select the most appropriate tools and tactics for themselves and their readers. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to book marketing.
So if you could invest in just one marketing resource, I would have to say a book marketing coach is your best option. But 1:1 coaching doesn’t suit everyone’s learning style or budget, so what other options are there?
It’s important to think about your overall goals. Are you looking for information about book launching, or about long-term book marketing, for example? Do you need to brush up on a particular skill or area of knowledge, such as Amazon optimization or how to use Instagram? Would it be better to invest in a high ticket program that can help you with your overall strategy, or do you prefer to piece together smaller courses?
Publicist in a Box by Larissa Banting (eCourse) $141.00 The #1 strategy to get free top-tier media exposure without a publicist.
The 10-Day Smart Author Publicity Challenge by Belinda K Griffin (yes, that’s me!) (eCourse) $97.00 Secure your first or next guest post or podcast interview in just 10 days, so you can get in front of your ideal readers, grow your platform and sell more books.
Mastering Keywords and Categories by Dave Chesson (eCourse) $49.99 Through this course, you'll be able to look over my shoulder as I show you how to find the best Amazon keywords and categories and use them to your advantage.
Of course, there comes a point where we know all there is to know. We have the information and tools at our fingertips and yet we still fail to take action.
Sometimes this is due to overwhelm, sometimes it’s a case of not knowing where to focus or what action to take first. Other times life throws us off course and it’s difficult to get moving again.
Mindset is key, and is often what separates successful authors from wannabe writers. Success is not down to talent or resources, but the ability to keep taking action when things get difficult.
It’s for this reason there are numerous courses out there aimed at helping you get organized, stay accountable and keep moving forward.
If you have already invested in numerous practical books and programs but are still struggling to knuckle down and #dothework, then I recommend focusing on some mindset work.
Believe, Plan, Act: A Platform + Productivity Planner for Writers by Kimberley Grabas (eCourse) $37.00 The complete productivity + planning system for your author business.
The Writer's Deadline Formula by Marion Roach Smith (eCourse)$97.00 Discover how to develop a daily writing habit.
Finally Write That Book! by JJ Conway (eCourse) $49 How to overcome mental blocks, fund your book project, stop saying "one day" and FINALLY write that book
Perfect Writing Day by Hope Writers (eCourse) $197 A digital course that includes ten modules to help you create your perfect writing day.
Invest in yourself
It’s easy to see there are plenty of areas where you can invest in your author business, and within each area, there are dozens of choices. And while you may only need to invest in one area now, it’s likely you will need to invest in another area further down the line.
I’m a big believer in personal education and investing in self-improvement. Whenever I choose to invest in a new program, I always think about what difference it will make to me personally - how much I will enjoy learning and implementing the new skill or strategy - and what difference it will make to my business. Sometimes it’s hard to quantify how much money it will save or generate in the long-run, but if I know it will make my life easier or free me up to do something more quickly or effectively on my own, rather than outsourcing, then I consider it a worthwhile investment.
When books are such low-cost items, I advise against weighing up the value of a course by thinking about how many books you’ll need to sell in order to pay for it. Instead, consider how valuable it would be to you to learn the new skill, and how much more difficult or costly or time-consuming it will be to learn on your own.
The Writer’s Toolkit 2021 - is it worth it?
In this post I have mentioned 15 courses, 1 ebook and 1 template. If you wanted to buy all of them, it would cost you an eye-watering $2,031.73.
Fortunately, there is a way you can get your hands on ALL of the above resources, plus a whole lot more, for less than $100.
Even if you don’t want everything listed here, if you just want one or two of the programs included in The Writer’s Toolkit, you’re likely to make a huge saving.
I have only given you a brief sample of what’s included in The Writer’s Toolkit 2021. In total there are 39 resources worth $5354.73, plus bonuses worth $836.99!
Some of my favorites not already mentioned:
ProWritingAid University by ProWritingAid (1-Year Membership) worth $499
50% off all book cover packages from 100 Covers worth $150
30% discount on the yearly plan for the first year from StoryOrigin worth $30
30 Day Trial and exclusive $15 discount code for Scrivener from Literature & Latte Ltd
3 Months Trial of ProWritingAid Premium from ProWritingAid worth $60
So it should be fairly clear to see that yes, I believe The Writer's Toolkit 2021 is a totally worthwhile investment, even if you don't want or need everything included. This will be hands down one of the best investments you make in your author career this year. And quite possibly, it may be the only one you need to make.