Yesterday and today, I attended free webinars online because I want to do a better job launching my next book. Each was provided by an authority I know and respect. Each one was (of course) a sales pitch. However, that doesn't mean they were useless.
The first was Carla King's "Your unstoppable 2024 Book Publishing Plan." It was of course a pitch for her six-week Book Publishing Master Course, which is presented in association with the Non Fiction Authors Association. That's a legitimate group and Carla was already a presenter at major conferences when I was new to self-publishing, nearly two decades ago. I was a beta reader for the fourth edition of her Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide. So I was already familiar with a lot of the material she was sharing, but I still came away with a page of notes.
More important to me, she followed up today with a copy of her Book Publishing 12-Month Roadmap 2024 - which includes a list of activities for each quarter if I want to launch my book in November. I could have come up with that plan myself, but having it come from an external source is a bit of a nudge to get off my duff and do it as scheduled. The course she runs would also be nice as it would provide a support group through the process as well as her guidance. However, while she assured me fiction authors have used it successfully, it is slanted for non-fiction - and a lot of it covers things I already know how to do. $697 is too much for the amount of new knowledge I'd be getting.
"Everything You Need to Know to Sell More Books on Amazon", was presented by Writer's Digest University (WD's online education), a free preview of their course Mastering Amazon for Authors. I didn't know the presenter, Rob Eagar, but his credentials are impressive and Writer's Digest is a solid resource. I grew up with their materials on the table as my mother tried her hand at selling her stories. As a preview, it was of course a sales pitch for the course.
Again, I've been self-publishing with Amazon long enough to know a large portion of the material. However, marketing is not my strength (an understatement if ever there was one) and Amazon has made some major changes recently of which I'd been unaware. I have four pages of notes from this brief webinar. If I parted easily with $399 (minus $50 for participating today), I'd be tempted to sign up. Except, since I already know much of the material they'll cover, it wouldn't be the best use of my limited funds. I may instead buy a Kindle edition of his books - because he updates them as needed.
Publishing at Amazon's KDP is FREE and not difficult. If you're a first-time self-publisher, either of these courses would be a good investment to help you avoid the rip-off artists and know what to expect of anyone you do hire.
What I took away from both webinars for myself is that it would be helpful to have a support group who are also self-publishing a new book later this year - to keep each other on task and share knowledge. It would be awesome if this group was led by an experienced marketer like Carla or Rob, but if we each have different areas of expertise, it might be as effective. Better than going it alone, in any case.