Source: Kira auf der Heide at Unsplashed.
Several recommendations from well-known indie-book-publishing gurus gave me pause recently.
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 despite the course being dated (as of February 2018), as the video modules are for Scrivener 2 only, and despite the course being super expensive at $297 for the full version. While it might have been the bee’s knees in teaching Scrivener five or six years ago when it was released, it no longer is.
Instead, check out Karen Prince’s Scrivener 3 on Udemy, available for around $15.00, which is superior in EVERY WAY.
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 for all the above reasons.
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). But in this instance, I was disappointed they would recommend something inferior, outdated and far more expensive, given their words carry so much weight, especially with indie authors new to the scene.
I’m also a fan of author and internet marketer Paul Teague and his Self-publishing Journeys podcast (ranked #3 in my list). His Paul’s Podcast Diary section is full of practical advice that shouldn’t be missed by newcomers to this Game of Books we indie authors are playing.
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 emailed him to suggest he needed to rethink things. Anyway, his recommendation, coming soon after the recommendations of the other two gurus above, persuaded me to write this blog piece.
Having used both MailChimp and Mailerlite, I found them to have the similar learning curves. 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 without a time limit—and you will need it from time to time before you get up to speed. ML also provides more (free) features. Therefore, ML wins hands down for newbie email list builders, in my opinion.
So for those of you counting every penny, best keep in mind that even shining names in the indie author firmament may not be quite as knowledgeable as you might think when they recommend products; 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.
Therefore, best resort to Google and query others on writers' sites before taking 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.
If you’d like to stay in touch, have a question to ask, or would care to hear about what I’m reading, writing and doing in Japan, send me a note via the Contact page. And contact me if you are into crime suspense stories with a Japanese background, I'm seeking beta readers for the first of a series of novels I'm reworking called The Girl Who Danced Her Tears Away.
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.