Excel for Self-Publishers is Done!

Late yesterday the Excel for Self-Publishers video course went live. When all was said and done it was almost four hours long! Wowza. But nice thing is, even with the captions situation, this one went faster than the last one. I’m now at the point where I can pretty much just sit down, record, edit, do captions, and done.

Which means the next one will hopefully go even faster.

If anyone is interested in the course, here’s an early sign-up discount link: https://www.udemy.com/excel-for-self-publishers/?couponCode=E4SP_INTRO

And there will also always be some sort of discount link available on the video course page on this site.

(And because of how Udemy pays, please don’t hesitate to use those links. I have one good friend who refuses to buy my books when they’re on sale because they want to support me the best way they can. But in this case, I get 97% if someone uses one of those links and only 50% if they go to the website and buy the course without a coupon. So if I offer a 50% off coupon, I’m basically getting the same payout but a student only has to pay half as much.)

Also, if you’re enrolled in AMS Ads for Authors, you should’ve received an announcement about the Excel for Self-Publishers course that also comes with a link you can use for an even better discount. And it included an announcement of a new bonus video I added to the AMS course. So be sure to check that out even if you’re familiar with the subject already. The video includes a how-to as well as some pointers for making your ads more effective.

And now I should take a few days and rest. But in this sense I’m finally acting like someone who is self-employed. I look at my to-do list and think there’s just too much to be done to waste a whole two days. (I have a friend coming from out of town on Friday so am going to have a chance to relax and celebrate for at least a couple hours then.)

So much to do, so little time to do it all…

It’s Friday…

Which means I should say something about AMS. And I will in a minute.

First, Dave Higgins has a poll up on his website about which books from the NaNo bundle he should review. So if you are tempted by one of the titles in the bundle but not quite sure it’ll be what you’re looking for, get over there and vote. (You should also take a look around and read his other posts while you’re there.)

Also, when I was over there grabbing the link to the poll, I noticed he’d already reviewed my Excel guides. Reviews are here. I’d had someone ask about whether the books could be used with programs other than Excel and I couldn’t honestly answer them because I haven’t used other programs enough to judge that, but here’s Dave’s comment on it:

“Humphrey includes sufficient explanation of the intent behind a step that authors are likely to be able to reproduce the reports in other office suites (such as Open Office or Libre Office) [with] a little extra effort.”

I’d also had someone voice concern about their level of Excel ability since the introduction says you should be familiar with Excel to use the guides.  And here’s Dave’s comment on that aspect of things:

“…both books also include both a clear definition of terms and extensive appendices of methods and commands, and provide instructions for each report in fine detail, so authors with even basic experience of any Excel are likely to find each report easy enough to recreate.”

So there you have it. Keep an eye on his blog for perhaps more reviews over the next six weeks.

Alright, so AMS. As I’ve said before, they’re a bit of a moving target. They were wonderful for my romance novel for four months, but then ads on that book just sort of died off for me. It’s hard to say why. I think part of it was I tried lowering my bids because it just made me uncomfortable to spend $800 to make $1000. I know, the rational part of my brain says if that’s what’s happening, then find a way to spend $1600 to make $2000. But I’m just not sure when I’ll go back to that pen name, so I didn’t think it made sense to push too hard to attract all those readers when I only had one other title for them to go to.

Which is maybe the thought for the day which isn’t AMS-specific: In a weird sense you are better off the later in your writing journey you attract readers. Because they’re that much more likely to read the rest of your books. If you have one book out and it takes you a year to get book two out, every reader you attract to book one during that time has to like you enough to come back in a year.

And maybe they will. I’ve certainly circled back to writers (or musicians) years later to see what else they had out now. But they won’t all wait for you. So all that ad money you spent to get that reader to your first book ends up being wasted, whereas it would’ve been really profitable to bring in that same reader when you had four or five books available.

I constantly struggle with this.I don’t want to have low sales. It’s demoralizing to think no one wants what you’ve written. But at the same time, none of my pen names (except maybe now M.L. Humphrey) have enough titles out to really justify pushing hard to get in readers. I’m pushing on the Rider’s series now because the trilogy is complete, but even there I should be waiting until I have at least one more trilogy out and possibly two. That’s the difference between breaking even on a promo and making two to three times the promo cost.

That’s one of the reasons I like AMS ads. They let you get in a little trickle of sales that makes you feel good about where you are, but it isn’t like cranking out a Bookbub and generating 400+ sales in a day. (Although I still want them to burn a little hotter than they do most days, because I’m a fool and I like to make money.)

Anyway. That’s where my thoughts are today. I’ll tell you what I’m telling myself: Write more and publish more. The rest will follow.

(And sorry for anyone who saw this post while the formatting was messed up. Block quotes were not my friend today.)