Consulting Services…

So I just added a page to the website that covers consulting services. I’ve debated about doing something like this for over a year now, but there were some reasons I hesitated.

First was that the people who’d approached me about this generally were looking for someone to manage their AMS ads and I just don’t think that’s feasible for most authors. I love AMS and I would have very few sales without them, but they just are not that predictable. And, honestly, not all books sell well with AMS. So I could never see how to charge for that and have it be fair to both the author and myself.

(What I can do though is help find keywords for a new ad or give feedback on an existing sponsored product ad, for example.)

Second was the pricing issue. I knew that what I charge for regulatory consulting and so am used to receiving for “consulting” is far more than most people would be prepared to pay. And even though I’m willing to accept very low hourly income while I get my writing business launched I wasn’t sure if I could do the same for consulting. So I compromised. You’ll see that the rate I’m charging is not low. ($100/hour) But it’s also not even close to what the financial institutions I’ve consulted for have paid. I’ve also carved out regulatory and compliance consulting from that rate because of the legal implications involved with that kind of work. I’m not willing to do that kind of work without a team that includes at least one lawyer who reviews everything I do even if I do the bulk of the work.

Third was the “who do I want to be” issue. I want to be a writer. I want most of my time to be spent on creating new material whether that’s a non-fiction book, a novel, or a video course. I don’t want to become one of those people who gets sucked into doing classes and teaching others and stops doing the creative work themselves. So I’m going to be limiting the amount of this work I do.

There were a lot of reasons I hesitated to do this, but at the same time…

I see so many people who could use just a little bit of help to get unstuck. One thirty minute conversation could save them hours of research or keep them from going down the wrong path.

Or maybe they’re like me when I first started and they just want someone to take a quick look at their writing and say, “Is this good? What mistakes am I making?” I don’t want to be an editor, but I’d be happy to spend 25 minutes reading something someone has written and then giving them my honest (perhaps brutal) feedback. When I was getting started I spent $1,000 to get an edit on my first novel to get that kind of feedback and I honestly think it was way too much money spent for what I got. But there weren’t a lot of good alternatives. And peer critique is only as good as your peers.

(Now, you could argue I’m no better for that than anyone else. And that’s fine. Don’t use my services if you don’t think I can provide value.)

So we’ll see where this goes. It’s possible no one will want my help and that’s okay. But I look at, for example, Excel for Budgeting or Excel for Self-Publishers, and I think that there are people who could benefit from what’s covered in those books but who just don’t have it in them to wrestle with Excel that much. This is my stop-gap attempt to fill that void. (Without getting so busy consulting that I have no time left for the writing.)

If you want to see more about the nitty gritty details, click here. And if you think I can help, reach out.

Also, don’t think this means I won’t answer questions via email anymore. I most definitely will. This is for when we get beyond “How do I X?” to “Can you walk me through how to do X?” or “Can you do X for me?”

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…