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.
Bestseller Blueprint: Write Books That Sell by Derek Murphy (eCourse) $197 Templates and book outlines, a starter library of writing guides, and a deep investigation into story structure to help you write your best book, faster.
Book Writing Lab by Shelley Hitz (eCourse) $27 Get your book out of your head and onto paper by the end of this 90-minute workshop using our 3 simple book writing formulas.
The Simple Roadmap for Writing Your First Book by Katri Soikkeli (eBook) $15 The easiest way to get started writing the novel you've always wanted to write.
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.
How to Rock Self-Publishing by Steff Green (eCourse) $397 Publish your story. Find your readers. Build a badass author brand.
7 Day Bestseller Formula by Jyotsna Ramachandran (eCourse) $297 The proven step-by-step plan to achieve the #1 position in Amazon's bestseller list inside at least 1 relevant category.
The Stages of a Book by Mike Michalowicz (eCourse) $495.99 Becoming a published author doesn't have to be a mystery. Follow Mike's step-by-step guide and make your authorship dream a reality.
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.
20 Ebook Cover Designs by Caroline Vencil (Template) $47 Get customizable Canva book cover templates to make your products stand out.
A Beginner's Guide to Book Formatting by C.E. Flores (eCourse) $37 Design a book that shines with these practical suggestions and tools.
Easy as A-B-C Editing by Naomi D. Nakashima (eCourse) $497 Learn how to self edit your book or novel like a pro.
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?
Target Readers Academy by Belinda K Griffin (yes, that’s me!) (eCourse) $147 The proven step-by-step system that reveals how you can identify your ideal readers, so you can sell more books.
A Book Marketer's Guide to Creating Your Marketing Message by Lindsey Hartz (eCourse) $97 Learn how to craft the perfect marketing message in order to attract the right audience for your book.
Instagram for Authors by Write|Publish|Sell (eCourse) $147 Instagram is a great tool to grow your author platform. Let us show you how!
Twitter Spaces for Authors by Ruth L. Snyder (eCourse) $97 Learn behind-the-scenes tricks to exponentially increase engagement, attract readers, and create true fans faster using Twitter Spaces.
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 and good habits are key, and 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 and your productivity.
You Can, Toucan! Do More in Less Time by Claire L. Fishback (eBook + Workbook) $15.99 Get focused! Get motivated! Get more done!
The Writing Progress Tracker by Kate Motaung (Printable) $7 Includes over 18 different tracking charts and practical methods to help writers make significant progress in their writing lives and reach their writing goals.
Writer's Block Relief: Get Words Flowing by Joseph Michael (eCourse) $197 How You Can Leverage Proven Brain Science Techniques To Turn Yourself Into A Writing Machine And Feel Completely In Control Of your Writing Process (even if you lack willpower and rarely 'feel' motivated)
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 2022 - is it worth it?
In this post I have mentioned 12 courses, 2 ebooks, 1 template and 1 printable. If you wanted to buy all of them, it would cost you an eye-watering $2,717.98.
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.
The Writer's Toolkit 2022 from Ultimate Bundles costs just $97 but in total includes 41 resources worth $4088.91, plus 7 bonus offers and special discounts worth $777!
Even if you don’t want everything listed here, if you only want one or two of the programs included in The Writer’s Toolkit, you’re likely to make a huge saving.
Some of my favorite bonuses not already mentioned:
30 day free trial plus 25% off next payment from Nrdly worth $400 Nrdly is the website platform for professional authors - with built-in support for your book catalogue, reader magnets, email list building, and more, Nrdly makes it simple to build a beautiful, optimized author website with everything you need out of the box.
2-month trial to Hope*Writers community from Hope*Writers worth $94 Hope*writers is dedicated to helping writers make progress without feeling lost, discouraged, or overwhelmed. Through live weekly teachings with industry experts, a resource library filled with more than 150 videos and how-to articles, and an encouraging private community, you'll find the direction and connection you need for your writing life.
50% discount for 3 months from Social Bee worth $118 SocialBee is a social media management tool that empowers its customers to share content across multiple social networks from one place: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google My Business, and TikTok.
So it should be fairly clear to see that yes, I believe The Writer's Toolkit 2022 from Ultimate Bundles 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.