Self-Publishing with Smashwords

Self-Publishing with SmashwordsSelf-Publishing with Smashwords has just been released as my latest video course at Udemy. New to the formatting game or having trouble with your NCX file? No more worries, never fear Meatgrinder again. And the best part–for a limited time the course is available at 100% off with

coupon code: June2015

Hope you enjoy it and please leave a review 🙂

Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of self-published ebooks, making it fast, free and easy for authors to sell at major retailers around the globe. 350,000 authors have published with Smashwords and enjoy total control over the sampling, pricing and marketing of their books.

Smashwords has many unique features that set it apart from other major retailers:

1. Pays you 85% royalties on direct sales.

2. Converts your ebook into every file type for any possible e-reading device.

3. Distributes your ebook for sale to other retailers like Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor, Library Direct, Oyster, Scribd, Flipkart and OverDrive while handling the finances.

4. Allows you to generate ebook coupons for any amount and time frame.

5. Create an author profile with photos, videos, links to your print books and sites, interview and more.

You can always publish at Smashwords even if you publish at other retailers like Amazon. However, if you are enrolled in KDP Select then you’ll need to wait for the 90-day exclusive period to be over. Then you can opt-out of KDP Select and continue to sell at Amazon plus Smashwords, Apple, Google, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and many more!

Hurry while this coupon offer lasts. And it will be good karma if you leave a review.

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MS Word for CreateSpace Paperbacks, Free Course Limited Time Offer

Happy 2015! Brand new Udemy course just released – Make Paperbacks with CreateSpace: Sell More Books on Amazon – featured 1 week for FREE January 1st – 7th. All the training in the comfort of your own home as a New Year’s gift. (Share with a writer you love.)

Everything you need to format MS Word for CreateSpace paperbacks. Making books is easier than ever. The course helps you:

  • save time
  • save money
  • design your book the way you want it
  • sell books with CreateSpace, Amazon’s print-on-demand company
  • have readers enjoying your printed book all over the world!

Offer expires January 8th. To redeem the course for FREE, use coupon code HAPPY2015 or copy and paste the URL,

And if you enjoy the course and the free gift, please do the courtesy of leaving a course review at Udemy.

Thank you and Happy New Year.

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Teaching at Udemy, Online Courses for Non-Fiction Authors

Udemy Online CoursesWhat can you teach? Udemy and other retailers of online courses should be on your radar if you’re an author who instructs… well, anything. Limiting yourself to just book sales could be missing a golden opportunity.

For educational purposes, the video medium is a natural progression from books and the classroom. It’s also a smart one. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are the future of learning, whether recorded or live. It just makes sense. More students at locations around the world can be reached by fewer teachers, delivering quality instruction at less cost. Plus most people absorb information better when it comes as a combination of video, audio and the written word. All it takes is an internet connection.

Why Udemy?

After testing several online retailers, Udemy for instructors is the closest comparison to KDP Amazon for writers. The user-friendly platform makes it simple for anyone to create and edit courses. They have more tools, training guides and even a Facebook Instructors group for assistance with any need. And they sell by far the most courses of anywhere I’ve tried. My courses exist at six other online retailers–Udemy outsells them all. There’s also no application process, which does mean a range of quality exists in the courses. It’s my belief, ala Amazon indie books, the best tend to rise over time.

Raw data at Udemy is exciting: nearly 5 million students from 190 countries. This was accumulated in just a few years and is growing fast. 10,000 instructors teaching in 53 languages is even more exciting because presently there are about 500 students per instructor.

How do the royalties work?

When you bring in students from your own methods (i.e. website, social media, emails) using instructor coupons, you keep 97% of the coupon price. That’s correct, 97%. Not sure if this deal will last forever, but it’s been going on for a while and feels too good to be true. If Udemy promotes your course and makes an in-house sale, you still earn 50%. Not too shabby. And there are affiliates who promote courses as well, also paying about 50% of sales price on average. Even if you don’t have a course to promote, anyone can make money selling as an affiliate.

Most courses are priced between $10 to $30 per hour on online content, but that’s up to you. The average Udemy instructor makes $7,000 per year while successful ones make over $100,000. Remember, once courses are in place there’s little that needs to be done, mostly communications from time to time.

Besides the paid courses, you can also price courses for free. Could be a smart way to build platform and up-sell other products.

What types of courses can you teach?

Anything that can be taught. Courses related to technology do well as does anything related to making money. Go figure. Traditional subjects are popular: reading, writing, arithmetic, languages. There are courses in Music, Health & Fitness, Photography, Lifestyles, Design, Marketing, Dog Training, pretty much everything.

What do you need to get started?

You need video. They recommend at least 60% of your course to be high quality video. It can be live action, as in footage from a camera or your webcam, or it can be screen-cast. Classes that teach an activity like yoga or cooking are suited for live footage. Screen-cast is my preference since they demonstrate how to do things online so students can follow in real time. (My self-publishing related courses are offered here at major savings.) You can also upload PowerPoint, PDFs, audio, zip files and even perform live with student interaction.

Udemy recommends mixing up the teaching materials because some students learn better by reading, some by doing, others by watching and listening. Adding quizzes and course completion requirements also help keep students engaged.

What do you think, is Udemy for you? Share a comment.

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Author’s Coupon Code for Ebook Course

Udemy How to Make Market and Sell Ebooks All for FreeThe video course for How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free is on a Christmas sale now through Dec 27th. The coupon code is AUTHOR12 and this is the link,

Normally $29, now just $15. This course includes a complimentary PDF copy of the book and is a 15-lecture step by step video instruction on how to do everything needed to sell ebooks from major retailers and your own websites with a system that runs on autopilot.

Makes a great gift for any writer wanting to sell more ebooks!

Click here for the home page of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free.
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Udemy, Online Education Opportunities

udemy-logo-academyofyouFor authors who write non-fiction or teach subjects, Udemy might be a great way to boost sales and exposure. It’s an online tool for continued education where students come to learn, and instructors can design then upload courses utilizing Power Point, video, screen-casting, PDFs, audio, and zip files. Could authors of fiction use it? Perhaps. Some of their subjects (like Hobbies and Crafts) could be a fit to establish a video presence beyond a simple book trailer at YouTube.

The attractive thing about Udemy is that it offers a similar payment platform to content creators as many ebook retailers like Amazon; free to join and upload courses while paying 70% of any sales to the author/producer. Courses can also be priced free, which might be a smart way to brand or network. The paid lectures typically range from $19 to $99 and more, some are even priced over $1,000. Udemy also has an Affiliate program for those interested in making extra money and selling courses as well as a discount Course of the Week. Plus they have an abundance of categories including:

  • Featured Courses
  • Technology and Internet
  • Business and Professional
  • Academics
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Health and Fitness
  • Language
  • Lifestyle
  • Music
  • Test Prep
  • Hobbies and Craft
  • Games

It’s headquartered in Silicon Valley, founded by Eren Bali and Gagan Biyani, launched in May 2010. Within the first few months the site had registered over 10,000 users and is going strong today. Udemy isn’t the only site doing this, but they may have one of the best platforms from the producer’s perspective (i.e. free entry and no monthly fees). Sclipo is a similar site and has been around longer, but they charge either $14 or $19 per month to list a course (depending on the specifics) and WizIQ plans start at $10/month. Myngle and Live Mocha are just for learning languages. eduFire is primarily for languages and exam prep, and their platform is designed for live tutoring, teacher-student interaction.

Udemy course How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for FreeI recently uploaded a video training course for the subject of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free. It’s an extensive 14 lecture, 8 hour video training guide made of screen-casting and Power Points. The program covers everything from cover design to formatting for retailers to selling from your own sites on autopilot, marketing, utilizing social media and more. My experience with the Udemy system felt quite user-friendly and professional. Time will tell if the course sells (which I hope it does since the entire presentation took a couple of weeks to put together), but regardless of the final numbers it was a great experience. My feeling is this; it’s always smart to create new avenues for selling product or programs (especially revenue streams that run on autopilot), and this was a new one my book needed. This course is also available for Affiliate sales, where anyone can sell the program and receive half the profits on each sale.

Content providers can also rest assured that they retain all rights to programs uploaded to Udemy. If it makes sense to promote a course at another venue, you have the right to do so. Have an experience with Udemy or any other venue for selling (or giving away) lengthy video presentations? Share it in the comments.

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