Source: Kira auf der Heide at Unsplashed.
Several recommendations from stalwart authors in indie publishing gave me pause recently.
Both Dave Chesson (Kindlepreneur) and Joanna Penn (The Creative Penn) recommended Joseph Michael’s Learning Scrivener Fast, Scrivener being the word processing software of choice for many indie authors and others.
The recommendations came even though the course is now dated—the video modules are for Scrivener 2; and even though the course is super expensive at $297 for the full version. While it might have been the bee’s knees in teaching Scrivener years ago when it was released, it is no more.
Instead, check out Karen Prince’s Scrivener 3 on Udemy, available for around $15.00, and which is superior in EVERY WAY. For instance:
I emailed Chesson about Prince's course, and to his credit, he has added it to his recommended Udemy courses, though it deserves better billing.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m a fan of both Chesson and Penn, and generally rate highly their advice and podcasts (ranked #4 and #5 respectively in my previous Top 10 Podcasts for Writers and Authors blog piece). I was just disappointed they would recommend something much inferior, given their words carry so much weight, especially with newbie indie authors.
I’m also a fan of author and internet marketer Paul Teague’ s Self-publishing Journeys podcast (ranked #3). His Paul’s Podcast Diary section is full of practical advice that shouldn’t be missed by newcomers to this Game of Books.
Yet even someone on the ball as this guy can drop it occasionally. In a newsletter from him recently, he recommended MailChimp over Mailerlite email marketing software, even though he uses the latter!
His advice omitted something so important, I was motivated to write back to him and explain why he needed to rethink things. And coming after the recommendations of the other two gurus above, his email motivated me to write this blog piece!
Having used both MailChimp and Mailerlite, I found them to have the same learning curve. So all square there. Okay, it’s a fact that MC is free for the first 2,000 subscribers, while ML’s pricing kicks in at 1,000. But that doesn’t mean much to a beginner with 10 subscribers when MC stops its support after just a few weeks. By comparison, ML provides 24-hour Chat support for free—and trust me, you will need it from time to time. ML also provides more free features. Therefore, ML wins hands down for newbie email list builders, in my opinion.
What I do want to stress in this blog is that for those of you counting every penny, you best keep in mind that even shining names in the indie author firmament may not be as up to date as you might think with their recommendations, or they may be blinded by their friendships, or they may simply not have checked to see what else is available at the time of writing. So you best Google and query around before taking any purchasing advice from anyone—including me—in this business, which can be quite incestuous.
Note that the podcasts and their authors mentioned here can be searched for on Apple's iTunes. And should you have a different opinion or see a blind spot in my own recommendations, then fire away in the Comments.
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I'm the author of two suspense crime thrillers set in Japan: The Girl Who Danced Her Tears Away, and Killing Time in Tokyo, . More details here.