2015 – Sorry – these courses have been discontinued after several years of happy customers! You can find much of the information in my books for authors here.
Would you like to know the inside secrets of how to create a successful self-published book?
Do you want a step by step guide through self-publishing print and ebooks with authors who actually do this for a living?
In the fast-moving world of digital publishing, it can be hard to navigate the vast amount of information online to find the best practices, so in this course, we have tried to lead you through the journey step by step.
We are both authors who use self-publishing (which we call indie, or independent publishing) as an important income stream so we know the pitfalls you will face on the way.
We want to save you time, energy and money on your journey to create your own, fantastic, self-published books.
So who are we?
CJ Lyons is the author of 22 novels, described as Thrillers with Heart. She has a series of FBI thrillers, two series of medical thrillers, two books with environmental activist Erin Brockovitch and a number of stand-alone thrillers. CJ combines both traditional publishing deals with indie publishing to create a successful hybrid career.
In 2011, her self-published novel Blind Faith hit #2 on the NY Times bestseller list, #4 on the USA Today list and sold 240,000 copies in two months. CJ has gone on to combine traditional publishing with self-publishing in a successful hybrid career, and she is a highly sought after speaker.
CJ went into indie publishing in order to expand the number of books available to her fans and it was always in addition to her traditionally published books. She brings years of experience as a pro-writer to this course.
My own story is very different.
My novels have never been queried or rejected as I specifically chose the indie path of publication as a positive choice, although I continue to be open to all different ways of publication.
Back in 2008 when I started self-publishing, I made a lot of expensive mistakes with my first non-fiction book so with my novels, I made sure not to repeat them.
As of July 2014, over 250,000 copies have been sold in 42 countries and 3 languages.
In March 2014, my book, One Day in Budapest, was in a box-set that hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
I continue to experiment but indie publishing is definitely a fun and rewarding way to connect with readers directly and to have an additional income stream.
I love to share what I learn on my blog, but sometimes people want more in-depth information about this topic, so I have put everything I know about indie publishing into this course and am thrilled to have CJ’s knowledge and experience bringing a whole new angle to the project.
CJ has achieved incredible success with her books so I have been learning so much through working with her.
What you will learn on this Indie Publishing course:
- Why indie/ self-publish anyway?
- What’s the difference between self-publishing and indie publishing?
- What are the pros and cons of indie vs traditional publishing?
- What are the worst mistakes that self-published authors make?
- What are the top tips for self-publishing?
- Why professional editing and cover design are so important for indie authors
- How to evaluate print on demand companies vs. author services companies and how much you should budget for services
- What you need to do before you publish a print book
- How print on demand works and why it will save you time, money and effort in reaching readers
- Secrets of book cover design with expert Joel Friedlander from TheBookDesigner.com
- Top tips for page layout and what can go wrong with formatting the interior of your print book
- When you need an ISBN and whether free ones are ok to use
- How much self-publishing costs for a print book or an ebook and how this affects pricing
- How reading habits have changed with ebook readers and how you should publish ebooks even if you don’t read them
- Why piracy is less important than obscurity for authors
- What to consider when pricing your books
- Step by step guidance for print book publishing through Createspace
- Step by step guidance for ebook publishing through Amazon KDP, Barnes & Noble PubIt for Nook, Smashwords for iBookstore and other platforms
- How to produce your Kindle file using Scrivener software (saving you conversion and update costs)
- How to use KDP Select and the pros and cons of using free and exclusivity
- What to do once your book is live online
- How to maximize your Amazon sales page and use Amazon Central
- The importance of early reviews and how to maximize your chances at sales
- How to approach changes in your books later
- In depth analysis of sales figures from CJ’s initial foray into ebooks to the actual sales figures she made during the months of the New York Times bestseller list, plus the more modest sales of Joanna’s first novels and how the sales spiked because of various promotional activities
- How does the money work with indie? How do you actually get money into your bank account?
- How does the tax work for CJ as an American author, also selling overseas, and Joanna as a UK author selling in the US and other countries
- Reassessing your goals as your definition of success change
and so much more…
We will also continue to add to this material over time, either as things change or we answer your questions with new videos and information. If you join us now, you will always have continued access to the new material as it is added.
How does the course work?
The course is a self-study series of videos, audios and text-based information (PDFs) that you work through at your own pace. The videos are a combination of discussions with CJ Lyons and Joanna Penn, as well as behind the scenes screen capture of the publishing platforms. After your payment is processed, you will download a PDF document with the secret member’s page and password where you can download the material or watch the videos online if you prefer.
You will receive:
Lesson 1: Secrets of Indie Authors Exposed
- 3 videos of interviews [1 hour 10 mins] with CJ and Joanna talking about their reasons for indie publishing, the pros and cons of indie, lessons learned, tips and much more.
- Audio mp3 of Lesson 1 if you would rather listen
- 6 pages of PDF notes with the highlights of the interviews including links to further material
Lesson 2: Nuts & Bolts of Indie Publishing
- 20 page PDF – Indie Print Book Publishing Notes. Lots of information on the main questions asked about print book self-publishing
- 10 page PDF – Indie Ebook Publishing Notes. Lots of information on the main questions asked about ebook publishing
- 6 behind-the-scenes videos of the publishing services that CJ & I use so you can see what needs to be done to publish on each. Includes Amazon KDP, PubIt for Nook, Createspace for print and Smashwords as well as using Scrivener to format your ebook for the Kindle and behind the scenes of KDP Select. Over 1 hour 10 mins video.
Lesson 3: What Happens Next?
- 3 videos of interviews with CJ and Joanna discussing what to do once your books are live in terms of optimizing your Amazon sales pages. Plus we work through our sales figures for the last year. CJ talks about her period of hitting the NY Times bestseller list and Joanna gives a perspective of a newbie author with just 2 books for sale. Over 1 hour 10 mins video.
- Audio mp3 of the interviews in case you prefer listening
- 9 pages of PDF notes including screen-prints of sales figures for CJ and Joanna’s books and analysis of how the sales occurred, as well as further links
40 min video interview with Joel Friedlander, from TheBookDesigner.com on top tips for book cover design. We analyze the progression of CJ’s Blind Faith book covers from amateur to professional and along the way give lots of tips for your book.
- Audio mp3 of the interview in case you prefer listening
- 5 page PDF of notes from the interview with Joel including links to further information on book cover design
- 3 page PDF – Secrets to writing a great Amazon sales page, with CJ Lyons
- 4 page PDF– 7 worst mistakes of indie authors, with Joanna Penn.
In total, this course is over 4 hours of video and audio and over 50 pages of text information. Plus, CJ and I will answer any additional questions from participants in the course and provide extra video material as it is required. You will continue to have access to any additional material we add later.
There is 100% money back guarantee if you are not happy with the material, or if you find it is not useful to you. It is very important to us that you get value for money so I absolutely stand by this guarantee.
Once you click the Add to Cart button, you will be directed to payment through Paypal which is a trusted, secure internet sales provider. After payment, you will be directed to download a PDF Welcome page which includes the logon details for the online materials so you can get started straight away.
Please also email me with any questions or problems: joanna@TheCreativePenn.com
What others have said about CJ and Joanna’s courses and teaching
“CJ goes the extra mile with her willingness to help struggling writers, like myself.” Judith Gilbert
Joanna Penn’s knowledge on writing, publishing and marketing is mind boggling. She is so generous to share this hard-earned knowledge with others – a real inspiration.” Benison Anne O’Reilly, author of ‘Happily Ever After’,
“Tremendously helpful. CJ is a fine teacher, with the patience of a saint.” Award-winning author Corrina Lavitts
“Joanna is in the business of turning dreams into reality. With her practical advice and extensive knowledge, you can’t go wrong.” Tammie Day
“CJ Lyons is a master teacher! She made my transition into Indy self-publishing and taking charge of my career a breeze!” National Bestseller Debra Webb
“Joanna’s enthusiasm for her subject was inspiring and refreshing. She demonstrated a thorough and extensive knowledge of self-publishing and the digital world information was exceptional.” Susan Clarke
“CJ Lyons is known for her fast-paced thrillers, but she should also be known for her amazing teaching skills. I learned so much! I highly recommend her classes.” Lynn Franklin
Read more testimonials for Joanna Penn here.