I Need Your Vote! New Webinar Series Questionnaire

by | Aug 3, 2012

Every day authors who are trying to figure out the whole book publishing maze ask questions. Through comments, email, discussions lists, forums and in person, they keep on coming.

This blog, of course, is one of the ways these questions get answered, and through books, guides, and training courses, too.

One of the best new ways to quickly learn skills and processes these days is the webinar. Have you tried it?

What’s a Webinar?

Webinars are simply online meetings. During the meeting, which you attend by going to a web page set up by the webinar sponsor, you can watch a video presentation while also hearing someone talk you through it at the same time.

Usually these presentations use slides of some kind, but they can use other formats as well. Since everyone is online at the same time, it really is a live event.

You can also usually dial in and listen with a telephone, although you won’t be able to see the graphics.

This format allows you to learn through both visuals and audio, which really makes more impact than if you just read something.

And if you can’t make the specific date or time the webinar is offered, the host usually provides a “replay” link so you can watch it in your own good time, at your convenience.

The other great thing about webinars is the ability to ask questions. This allows you to apply what you’re learning to your own book projects, and also allows you to clear up anything that isn’t making sense.

New Webinar Series from The Book Designer

All of which is a long way of saying that later this month I’m going to start a webinar series to get authors up to speed on the stuff you need to know to “publish smart.”

But I have a problem, and that’s where you come in.

I’ve got lots of topics I think you would like, and which would undoubtedly be helpful. But I don’t know which ones are “hot button” issues for you right now.

Since I want to make these webinars as useful to you as possible, I’m asking for your help.

Just below here you should see an embedded survey form that asks you exactly what you’d like to see presented in a webinar. (If you don’t see it, please refresh your screen.)

There are 9 titles of webinars with a bit of explanation for each.

Please pick the 2 you would most like to get training on. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, that’s fine because there’s a space at the bottom to add one of your own that I simply didn’t think of.

And don’t forget to hit the “Done” button when you’re finished.

I’ll post the results here next week, so you can see how others voted too.

And thanks for your time, I really appreciate it. Here’s the survey:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Photo by Richard Elzey

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

82 Comments

  1. Allan Roger

    I wanted to know what webinar platform you use for conducting webinars? I mean to say do you use WebEx, RHUB, GoMeetNow, gotomeeting etc. or something else?

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      I’ve used Gotowebinar.com in the past, not sure who I will use when I get ready to do more webinars.

      Reply
  2. Alice Shepherd

    I would like to see instructions given in sequence of how to proceed from
    the first step in self publishing (e.g. do I get the design of the cover done first, or do I start designing a blog without it, or does it matter) so that the instructions take you from step one (with estimated costs) to the last step. And what websites furnish help with each step, if needed, e.g. best place to create a blog or website. Maybe info on why one is better than the other. So that then I can say, “I am now making some money!!!.”
    What do you think?

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Alice,

      Thanks for the suggestion. That’s an intriguing idea but it might be a bit difficult to fit it all into a one hour webinar. In fact, I spent many months creating a video-based course on the entire self-publishing process. It’s called the Self-Publishing Roadmap. If you’d like more information on the course, you can get on the list here:

      Sign up for information on the Self-Publishing Roadmap (no obligation or cost)

      Reply
  3. Pat Windom

    I’m looking forward to your webinars.

    Reply
  4. Dana

    Thanks for the follow Joel, I’m already feeling slightly less scared as new ‘publisher’. So grateful to have found you, Dana

    Reply
  5. Ester Benjamin Shifren

    Joel, I’m already an avid follower of your articles etc. and agree that you are extremely knowledgeable and giving. I’m about to self-publish my book “Hiding in a Cave of Trunks”—it covers my family’s five generations in Shanghai and internment in a WWIIPOW camp. I’m very lucky that interest in the subject has given me the opportunity to speak publicly, internationally.
    I am a baby when it comes to setting up a website and a blog. No problem speaking everywhere, but blowing my chances of selling to my audience because I don’t as ye thave the book.
    Everything you write is constructive, targeted and encouraging.
    Thank you so much.
    Ester Benjamin Shifren

    Reply
  6. NANA ASIEDU

    I would personally be interested in the choices I have ticked above.

    Reply
  7. Christopher Wills

    Great idea for a survey Joel. I’m interested in the design your own cover webinair. If that is a chosen one could you consider mentioning any theory behind the positioning of titles and text on covers? I know you have posted on cover fonts before because I have read your posts.

    As a technical author I am aware of the differences between serif and sans serif for screen and print reading etc. but I’ve not heard of any design theory about text positioning in the same way that artists and photographers use theories like the ‘rule of thirds’ and the ‘golden triangle’ for their pictures. I don’t want to put any potential webinair viewers off with anything too technical but if any positioning theory exists a brief mention would be great. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Interesting question, Christopher. I’ll certainly be offering the ebook cover design webinar at some point, so it will come up. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Reply
  8. Fay Rées

    I’ve been following your blog for months and always learn something, I find your style enjoyable too.
    I have chosen two topics but could have voted for several others, so will keep an eye out for the followup.
    One problem though with webinars : I am in the UK & find it hard to work out the time the webinars starts…
    Looking forward to this series
    Fay Rees

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      That’s a great point, Fay, and I’ll make sure to include a local-time reference for you and others in the same situation. I’ve had problems connecting due to time zone confusion myself, and it’s no fun. Thanks!

      Reply
  9. Ernie Zelinski

    Hey Joel:

    I love your blog and recommend it to people asking me advice about writing and publishing. I voted on your survery, too, because I still have a lot to learn.

    In my opinion, there is a really important topic that you missed.

    John Kremer in his book “1001 Ways to Market Your Books” stated something to the effect:

    “The first question that you should ask yourself is, ‘Who is going to buy my book?’. And you better have a damn good answer!”

    This statement resonated with me big time and has stuck with me for the many years since I read it.

    Due to my better-than-average success as a self-publisher, and as an author who has modest success with traditional publishers, I get a lot of e-mails from readers about their ideas for books that they are writing. I sometimes am amazed by some of the things that people are writing about. No kidding, their books would be lucky to sell 300 copies in the life time of the book with the most expensive and creative of marketing plans.

    So, one of the most important webinars would be:

    How to determine whether your book idea is worth pursuing in the first place. In other words, is there is market for it?

    Another statement that resonates with me big time is:

    “Even the most careful and expensive marketing plans cannot sell people a book they don’t want to read.”
    — Michael Korda

    For the record, Michael Korda is a well-known figure in the publishing industry who is a writer and novelist and who was editor-in-Chief of Simon & Schuster for many years.

    You can read about Korda on Wikipeidia at:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Korda

    In any event, John Kremer and Michael Korda know what they are talking about.

    Too many writers are delusional about the target market for their books. The best way to help them is to give them a webinar on what constitutes a viable market for a book.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      That’s a brilliant idea, Ernie, thanks. I’ve written and talked about this for years, and ways to research your market too, and I completely agree with John.

      What’s been interesting to me over the years I’ve been helping authors get into print is just how many of them don’t seem to care much about whether there’s a market for their book or not. Whether they acknowledge it or not, they are publishing for themselves.

      I think some of the “viability” issues will be addressed in the marketing plan webinar, but now you’ve got me thinking . . .

      Reply
  10. Eric

    Sounds practical. Please also address piracy and international distribution.

    Reply
  11. maggie dana

    Google Analytics … and I suggested you create one about how (and why) typesetters and ebook formatters kill Word’s evil formatting.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Maggie, I wondered if many people would be interested in the Google Analytics topic, so thanks for that. As far as killing evil formatting, I think I would do that one for free!

      Reply
  12. Jeff Baker

    Am looking forward to marketing webinar, I’m finding it difficult to market my book.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      I believe it will be one of the first ones offered, so stay tuned Jeff.

      Reply
  13. Lou Hamilton

    First, thanks so much Joel for being a valuable and reliable resource for new writers. Although I’m a senior citizen, I hope to complete 3-4 novels at some point. Because I’m sure a traditional publisher won’t want to publish someone my age, my request was under Other – more information on self publishing companies. Of course, this includes numerous topics such as reputation, integrity, value for dollars, support, and quality.
    Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be worth checking out.

    Reply
  14. Edward Norton

    Agree that there should be levels–from newbie to proficient, so that sometimes the latter have to review/relearn the former. Also, we learn from our–and others’ — mistakes.
    Stay vertical, Amigos!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      That’s a great point about learning from mistakes, Edward. Knowing the things that can go wrong can be pretty valuable. As far as the levels, I think the descriptions of individual sessions out to clearly state what you need to know to be able to make use of the material, and I’ll be sure to include that.

      Reply
  15. Melody Austin

    Hi Joel,

    I think you have some great ideas and I can’t wait to see what gets picked!

    Reply
  16. Ann Wesso

    I write non-fiction and have already published my book with createspace (very interesting experience)! Very short book (70 pages). Took me about 4 months to get published, even though I submitted a complete book (have done this before!) However, am still interested in learning more about publishing ebooks and more and the BEST place to go on internet. I’ll be waiting to learn about your webinar. Thanks, Joel

    Reply
  17. Thomas Petrie

    I voted for the two topics that interest me the most, but most of the other topics interest me too! But as an inept techie, I have so much to learn, it’s almost embarrassing! I can’t even write a blog on my website without it getting all messed up! So I definitely need help since my second book is coming out soon and I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to blogs, marketing and business building.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks, Thomas. If you’re using WordPress you should be able to find a lot of online help and tutorials to get you going, it’s a great platform for newbie bloggers.

      Reply
  18. Philippa Rees

    I have voted for the two most immediately relevant, but one of the difficulties of webinars that need to cover a wide range of books, and markets is they tend to be ‘generic’…while each author probably needs very specific advice. So although the generic advice is valuable the application to a book is often difficult to ‘hone’. The other problem I encountered was the difficulty of time zone attendance and actually participating. If you can fine a way to solve these, you will prove yourself a magician!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Yes, you’ve put your finger on one of the biggest challenges in this type of instruction, especially in this very compressed format. My approach is to teach framework and reasoning behind it, then show examples from specific genres in the hope participants will see exactly how the ideas are applied, even if the example isn’t from their specific niche.

      Reply
  19. Julia

    It all kind of depends on the categories you’re willing to choose from. If we were given a list of stuff to choose from that would make the process easier. However I have two options I’d like to suggest.

    Category: Art and Craft of Writing
    Sub-category: Description or Character Developing

    Category: Art and Craft of Writing
    Sub-category: Workshop Writing Ideas/Inspiration

    Hope it helps :D

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks for your comment, Julia. The focus of my blog, publications, guides and training courses is the publishing process that starts once you have a manuscript. There are lots of great resources for writing on many other sites, so I probably will not offer writing instruction here.

      Reply
  20. Aishah Macgill

    I would like to work through the whole list, though I am strong on a couple if points such as book covers and book interiors, would be great to have insights to all listed above. Thanks.

    Reply
  21. Barbara Everett Heintz

    I believe you are probably among the kindest, giving, knowledgeable, and pleasant of instructors. At age 62, my book was published, “Pinkhoneysuckle,” and nine months later, I have two awards, a book that has some movie potential, but I had 5 kids, we got all through college, and now there are grandchildren.// We live in two cities, so I am reshuffling every 5 to 6 months. A knowledgeable human bieng remarked that I need to be out public speaking, for I have opened up an American history flaw that was hidden from the public — The diaspora of agrarian USA, the heartless city relocations which just created new ghettos and people who lost their will, for always there was one more roadblock. I wove it together, took a child from the early years in to womanhood,//It is a good book, but authors with DYI, are just smothered, because too much is being published. My Amazon stars are almost at 5, but I do not know how to sell this book, and we who are computer challenged just struggle.//An excellent mentor has come forward — Of the highest of achievers, but I do not know how to sell this book.// My dear mentor feels like my only hope. I’m coming to Sonora 09/22/13, but I do not know how to sell this book. Nurses and social workers have told me it should be mandatory reading in once manufacturing towns. But I do not know how to sell a book, and my target audience has a hard time making ends meet, so I just give the darned thing away. I repeat; I do not know how to sell a book, and too many books are being published now, because we can. I wish now that I had walked the NYC streets to find a publisher, and they may wish they had of found me, for they know how to sell books.//I would like to see an entire list of book awards that are viable, for I feel some want a coffee table, “This is my book.” Not me! I want to know how older computer challenged writers can stand out and yell; This is a well written book worth reading; How do I sell a book? Barbara Everett Heintz

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks Barbara. Information on marketing books is the most sought-after type of advice. The trick is finding something that will work for you and that you can pursue with some enjoyment because otherwise it’s not likely to last, and selling self-published books can be a long-term endeavor. Good luck with your project.

      Reply
  22. Laurella Desborough

    I am not writing a novel, but a semi-technical book…with photos. And, I want to publish an actual book, probably 500 copies first, then on demand, as my target audience is probably limited to from 2,000 to 5,000 individuals. I am basically writing this book to put needed information into the hands of people who can benefit from it. I have the material but I need general advice so a webinar would be beneficial. I have participated in webinars on other topics…like federal regulations. I do find the webinar process to be informative due to the variety of individuals participating.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Sounds like a great project, Laurella, and thanks for participating.

      Reply
  23. Ia Uaro

    I picked two. But I’m hoping you’ll hold many and invite me to all of them :)

    Reply
  24. Christine Rabah

    Sorry for not having been more responsive but I am too busy to even think about writing a book. Thanks for your information. Christine Rabah

    Reply
  25. Peter DeHaan

    How about the top six?

    Seriously, I hope after you do the top two, you’ll consider some of the rest of them.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Actually, Peter, I plan on doing one per month and will likely do all of these unless one has a very poor response. I’ll post the results of the poll here on Monday or Tuesday, and thanks for the feedback.

      Reply
  26. Dale Cangelosi

    Joel, I could use any information you can offer on Facebook Advertising- pay per click- promotional .

    Thanks
    Dale

    Reply
  27. Patricia Patterson

    I agree that all of these topics are valuable information. I’d like to see Google Analytics, and How to design the inside pages of your book.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks for the vote, Patricia. When I added the Google Analytics topic I really wondered whether anyone would vote for it. You’ve answered my question.

      Reply
  28. Cali Gilbert

    Thanks for doing this Joel. All are GREAT topics but I chose Author Blogging & The Book Launch. Now that I have 3 books on the market, I know I could be blogging using the quotes I’ve written for each book. Also, with my 4th book in the series, I am hoping to have a MAJOR book launch and actually build events around this book, so certainly something I am interested in learning more about. Thanks always for your continued guidance & support.

    Cheers!

    Cali

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks, Cali, that’s great. And yes, with your growing series of books you would profit from using blogging to grow your community and bring your books to the attention of more people. I hope you’ll continue to explore that avenue.

      Reply
  29. Carol Sheldon

    I like the idea of choosing favorite topics.

    Reply
  30. Jessa Slade

    You always provide great info. But I wanted to comment that I’m bummed with the popularity of webinars. I find much less gets covered in a webinar than in the written format, whether I read a book or a blog post on a topic. People simply talk too slow! Like a baby bird, I can consume the info faster than they can spit it out :)

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      That’s interesting, Jessa. This is the primary reason I try to provide content in text, audio and video whenever I can, so you can pick the format that works best for you. Webinars have become very popular and I will be combining them with downloads to help connect the theory to practical tasks. But for sure, they are not for everyone.

      Reply
  31. Ann Prospero

    Joel, You and your expertise have been so helpful to us self-publishing authors. Thank you, thank you. I don’t know how you have the time. Of course, I picked out just two topics, but truthfully I need them all. And I know you’ll provide them. I wish sooner rather than later, but I’ll take what I can get. BTW, I estimate my book will be out this fall.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      LOL Ann, I don’t have the time. I make time to do the projects that seem most productive. That’s one reason for the survey, in fact, to better match what I’m doing with the needs of readers like you. And good luck with your book.

      Reply
  32. Jo Ann Kairys

    Hi Joel,

    All are great topics that I’d be interested in learning more about – especially publishing an offset book. Are there less expensive high quality printers out there? Is off shore an alternative?

    Looking forward to your survey results and course!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks, Jo Ann. With the concentration on epublishing and print on demand, I thought there was room for more discussion of offset, which is still the dominant method of producing books.

      Reply
  33. Shirley Ford

    All good topics, but have picked the two most relevant to me at the moment. Have never been involved in a webinar before, so should be interesting!

    Reply
  34. roger packer

    They all look good to me, look forward to the webinars.

    Reply
  35. Becky Livingston

    Joel,
    I think you might need to clone yourself. That, or we develop a 24-hour Joel-athon. You get the idea!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Becky if you find that cloning machine, let me know, I need it!

      Reply
  36. Laura Pep Wu

    Ooooooh, so many juicy topics! I voted! :)

    Reply
  37. Yesenia Vargas

    These are all AWESOME ideas, Joel! And like everyone else, I’m hoping you’ll do all of them! My favorite were the ebook cover and formatting. There are not as many resources as those, I feel, and having those skills can save a self publisher a lot of money! I’d be willing to put in the time and effort to gain those skills for sure! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks so much Yesenia. When I made up this list I was betting with myself that the ebook cover webinar would be the most popular, so I can’t wait to see the vote totals.

      Reply
  38. Will Gibson

    I attend webinars for the opportunity to have specific questions answered on the subject covered because of its ‘live’ format. Unfortunately, I am usually disappointed because the time limitations allow for only a few of the participants’ questions to be selected. I often leave the event without gaining the information that I was seeking.

    Reply
    • Tracy R. Atkins

      Webinars can be restructured to be more in line with online college courses. Instead of a single event, it can be stretched out into 2-3 parts with a follow-up session. Each part can be held with a live audience and the video / demo materials can be viewed afterwards. Each day has a discussion area, like the comments section or forum. The webinar host and participants can then digest and collaborate over the next 24 hours, to fully explore the topic in the discussion area.

      At the end of the webinar, a follow up session can highlight the leanings from the discussions. Those discussions and replies can then become part of the webinar package for viewing by passive participants and customers.

      This approach does take a lot of time, no doubt. It also takes dedication from the webinar host(s) to fully support the discussion.

      Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Will, thanks very much for your comment. I know that frustration, and you got me to thinking how to solve the problem of a lot of people with questions and a limited amount of time.

      I’m thinkin of offering to answer all questions asked during the webinar, using a comment system so I can address the ones “left over” during the webinar. What do you think of that?

      Reply
      • Will Gibson

        Joel, you’re probably a busy man and don’t have the time to answer all the questions. I was thinking more along the lines of reviewing the left over questions and after a few days providing a follow up posting with the top ten issues that kept being asked.

        And then maybe picking another one or two ‘insightful’ questions that were also asked and sharing that information. That, I would think, would suffice for most of us and also could be an added feature that you can offer to the standard webinar format

        Reply
  39. Carol Costello

    The survey is a great idea, Joel. Of course now you eventually have to do all of them, by popular demand of your quinoa-info-guzzling public! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      No lack of quinoa here, Carol, so I’ll just keep on serving it up!

      Reply
  40. Tracy R. Atkins

    This site covers a couple of the topics, like cover design and interior design very well. As a resource, adding webinars that are on-topic for those subjects are great for your core audience and newcomers. There are few resources that teach design for beginner authors. There are a multitude of sites and courses out there for building blogs, twittering, monetizing, etc. Granted, those sites do not have Joel’s trusted insight, expertise and vision. But the market is a bit saturated with them.

    Looking over the list, all of these webinars look great. For me, I like the idea of “How to Create a Marketing Plan” and “How to Plan Your Book Launch”. Googling “planning a book launch” brings up several articles, but they are mostly focused on throwing a party. Not the nuts and bolts of making a professional product hit all of the right channels, and how to time it. Googling “book marketing plan” returns a lot of information, but some of it is a little dated for 2012-going-into-2013. Since the industry is shifting to rapidly, getting in front with a new marketing plan for 2013 would be great.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks for your input, Tracy. As you point out, there is a lot of information on my site on some of these topics. I see the webinar series as a way to focus on specific issues self-publishing authors face for a more in-depth look. Adding in the multimedia potential on webinars can make for a learning experience that appeals to a lot of people.

      Reply
      • Ronnie Rush (Sacramento, CA)

        “How to Create a Marketing Plan” and “How to Plan Your Book Launch”.
        Joel,
        This is exactly what I picked. I wanted to be able to determine exactly
        the difference and coverage of the launch vs. the on-going promotion of the new book.

        btw- Joel how do I get my picture up like the rest of your reply’ers:-)

        Reply
  41. Katie McAleece

    While it is tough to only choose two, it was quite brilliant of you to create an embedded survey giving us the choices available, instead of just leaving the floor open. I began reading this and panicked over how I would respond. The survey was a relief. Haha!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks, Katie, always glad to eliminate some stress!

      Reply
  42. Leonard Rattini, CCP

    I agree with Meyer above.

    Reply
  43. RD Meyer

    It’s a shame to only be able to pick two – the whole list would be great to discuss over the course of time.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks RD & Leonard, that’s exactly what I intend to do, but polls like this give me valuable information. I also hope to ferret out topics in which there is no interest so I don’t waste a lot of time and energy on things readers have no interest in.

      Reply

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  1. Blogs for self-publishers July 29 – August 4, 2012 — The Book Designer - […] I Need Your Vote! New Webinar Series Questionnaire […]
  2. Blogs for self-publishers July 29 – August 4, 2012 — The Book Designer - [...] I Need Your Vote! New Webinar Series Questionnaire [...]
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