The video shares a brief update, whilst the Blog Post offers more insight and detail - Take your pick!
Doesn't time fly! We've just been through 3 weeks of January. How have you found 2017 so far? Mine's been pretty hectic but I've really enjoyed it. I've been working full time on creating my course. Completing this bad boy is my number one priority this year, so I've made little time for anything else. I didn't succeed at releasing the course last year, despite publicly declaring it, so I want to give it some extra attention this year and make sure I follow through on my commitment. I'm going to use this Blog to document my progress as I edge towards the completion of it. Once I've produced the content for the first module - and have a better idea of timescales - I'll publicly declare a launch date. The difference this year is that I'm going to launch it no matter what happens..... even if it's not finished! What a difference a Coach makes I've now had 3 x coaching sessions in 2017 and I've been delighted with the investment so far. Not only is he a lovely man and a pleasure to work with, but I've noticed a significant increase in my drive and work output. I wish I had done it earlier.... but at least I'm doing it now. So why the noticeable difference? As most of you know, I work from home on my own, and have done since October 2015. I love my new existence and couldn't imagine going back to employment, but it's not been all bells and whistles. One of the biggest challenges I've found to solo working is not having any expectations set for me. I miss that! I used to love it when my manager would set me tasks to do. I'd do my best to achieve those tasks, and I'd try to find a way to over-deliver if I could. I got a real kick out of doing more than was expected of me and I believe it brought the best out of me. Coaching has brought this element back into my life and I'm grateful. During our sessions we discuss the progress I've made, he offers feedback, and we work together to create tasks for the week ahead. I then set the deadlines for the tasks and I do my best to surpass them. After just 3 sessions, I feel more positive, confident and satisfied about creating this course than I can remember. Let's hope the feeling continues! The Course Website One of the biggest decisions I've made during these last 3 weeks was deciding against using 'The Ebook Investor' name and URL. I like what it stands for, but I thought it added confusion by having a separate course name - 'Innovative Self Publishing'. I decided to simplify things and go with 'Innovative Self Publishing' for the course and URL. That might not seem a big deal, but it stressed me out for a few hours... which Lou could testify! The decision meant that I needed to set the site up again from scratch. The initial thought of redoing days and days of work took its toll but I was convinced by the advice from a book I've been listening to - 'Influence' by Robert Cialdini. I'll paraphrase (or more likely butcher) the said point... Robert suggests that many of us continue on unsatisfactory paths because we feel obligated to follow through. We fall into a subconscious 'commitment bias'. He suggests that when you feel uncomfortable about a certain action or decision, but feel compelled to continue, you should step back and take a moment. He recommends asking yourself: "What would I do if I had this information beforehand? Would I still do it?" Whilst fighting the urge to undo days and days of work I had done on the previous site, I decided that if I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't have set up 'The Ebook Investor' name and a separate course name. I would have just stuck to a single name that represented the URL and course name. So with that, I bit the bullet and started from scratch on the new URL - Innovative Self Publishing. The site is still under construction, but you're welcome to check it out if you like! If you do, please let me know what you think! The Purpose of Innovative Self Publishing Now I had the URL and basic site set up, I went to back to creating content. I've created pages and pages of content on Self Publishing already, but there are some areas I haven't started yet. My coach recommended I start from the beginning once again and reevaluate everything. I was hesitant about doing that initially, but now I'm glad that I did. It was time well spent, and I have a clear understanding of what I want to produce, and most importantly.... why. I've been able to define my course Purpose/Hook into the following:
INNOVATIVE SELF PUBLISHING HELPS YOU BUILD A PROFITABLE BOOK-BASED BUSINESS FROM THE BEGINNING
I believe my course's unique proposition is the following:
Innovative Self Publishing shows a complete beginner how to publish their first book, and how to turn that first book into a Business.
Many courses teach how to launch a book from scratch or how to improve your sales, but I'm yet to come across one that delivers zero to book-based business. Creating the Modules & Lessons I've already created a lot of content from last year which I based on the feedback I'd received from surveying coaching clients, fellow publishers and friends. I used that as my base and added other lessons I felt were appropriate for someone starting out. Next, I compared my content to the current competition. I reviewed the lessons in the publishing courses I had access to, and also did some youtube snooping and google searches to identify any I hadn't had access to to cover a broad spectrum. I wanted to make sure I was at least offering the same level of content (or value), but ideally, I wanted to offer more! :-) It was tough comparing the courses on a like-for-like basis because of the variety of the content. Some were perfect for beginners, but lacked depth. Some were ideal for advanced publishers but lacked the basics. Others lacked quality, but touched on great points. So, I created a monster spreadsheet which recorded the lot.
I proceeded to fill the squares with every lesson, from every course I knew. I even added my original 'The Ebook Investor' content to top it off. I started with the best course for overall content (beginner to advanced), which was Steve Scott's Authority Pub Academy. This was my reference point to what 'Good Looks Like'. I then added a new column and filled it with the next best course and its lessons, and I just repeated that process until I had recorded every lesson from each course. I then matched up the like-for-like lessons on the same row and created a new row for any unique lessons. The idea behind this was to chunk together popular or 'must have' content, and isolate the unique lessons or the 'little gems'. I worked through the 'little gems' and decided on which ones would add value to my course, and which ones I could do without. This was all quite a large undertaking but totally worth it. I now had a comprehensive list of lessons that matched the content from other leading courses, plus a full collection of 'little gems' that no other course could offer. (Insert Evil-Laugh) Some people still might prefer other courses to mine, but I don't think anyone could say that my course has less or inferior content. I feel confident that my course material could now rival any in the field, and that there's a strong case for it being the best. But, you'll be the judge of that, not me! In the last few days I've made a start on plotting the 'Lesson Objectives' for my extensive list. I'm writing out the purpose of each lesson, the key learning points, as well as how it links to the previous lesson and moves onto the next. It's a ball ache of a job to be honest, but once again, immensely useful! I've scrapped, added and combined some of the lessons as a result, but the biggest takeaway for me has been linking the process. My layout now has a smooth and logical flow that takes someone from:
Zero Experience → First Book Release → Book-Based Business
I've set myself the goal of completing the 'Lesson Objection' write up in the next 2 weeks, which is going to be challenging, but doable. I've then committed to my coach that I'll record and upload Module 1 to the site and test it's functionality before doing the rest. There's still plenty of work to be done, but each day I'm getting that bit closer.
Would you like to test the course?
Once I've finished setting up the entire course (not just Module 1) - which is likely to be in end March/April - I'm going to be looking for some people to test it before it goes live. I'd like between 10-20 people to use it and provide feedback for me in exchange for a very low price. The testers will become my Founding Member's. What an honour! :-) That essentially means lifetime membership (including any future updates at no extra cost) for you in exchange for feedback for me. I'm going to offer a substantial discount for the Founding Members to encourage volunteers. I've not confirmed what the final course price will be yet, but it'll be in the region of £400-£600. The Founding Members will have full, lifetime access to Innovative Self Publishing for £99. That's between a 75% - 83% discount off the course price- Which I think is pretty fair for what I'm offering. If you're interested in becoming a Founding Member please email me at the address below, leave me your name and publishing experience to date. I'm looking for rough numbers at this stage to see how viable it is. If I have less than 20 (likely!) - you get the gig. If I have 50 volunteers (unlikely) - I'll have to run a competition or something. If you're interested, email me your name and publishing experience to:
Thanks to everyone that's offered support for this project. I promise I won't let you down (this time!)