October 15, 2017

Favourite Resources Take Two! Tracy Krauss

At the risk of repeating myself, I'd like to share my two all time favourite writing resources, since that's what we're talking about this month. Why worry about redundancy, you ask? Well, I wrote a very similar article on the InScribe professional blog in September. But these are SO GOOD, it's worth repeating here!

Learn Scrivener Fast by Joseph Michael
I'd been using Scrivener for about five years, give or take a few months. I loved it from the moment I started just for the way it organized my writing, but I never used it much beyond a word processing tool. Then I watched a free online video by Scrivener coach Joseph Michael. I realized there were so many more things Scrivener could do - including formatting everything from epubs to mobi files to paperbacks to plays and more!

But, as a long time Scrivener user, I thought I should be able to figure things out for myself. The software comes with tutorials and there are tons of videos online, so I took those free tidbits from Joseph Michael and continued on my merry Scrivener way.

Things changed drastically when I tried to format a book. About forty hours later, bleary eyed from watching confusing youtube tutorials and upmteen 'trial and error' compilations, I gave up. Compiling my files for publication just wasn't as intuitive as I had thought. In desperation, I signed up for Joseph Michael's course.


I've managed to format and publish multiple ebooks, paperbacks, and pdfs. I organize my blog posts using Scrivener, and I even do a lot of my outlining using the corkboard function. I can't imagine writing without it and whenever I run into a snag, all I need to do is go to Joseph Michael's easy to follow videos and - voila! Problem solved!

If you’re planning to delve into indie publishing, this is the course for you. It is worth every penny hundreds of times over!

Your First 10k Readers by Nick Stephenson
I’m sad to list this course second, because it has also been such a good investment for me. Nick Stephenson has appeared on multiple podcasts with the likes of Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, Joel Freidlander and others. He talks about ‘lead magnets’, permafree books, automations etc. all with step-by-step videos and very useful cheat sheets and other helpful resources. You can find many similar courses out there on creating ‘systems’ for writing and marketing, (like Shelley Hitz’s ‘Author Audience Academy”) but I happened to come across Nick’s back in the summer of 2015. I took the risk and signed up – my first time actually spending hard earned cash on an online course.

It has been worth the cost ten times over. It's not that I'm now rolling in cash. Nick cautions students right up front that his system takes work. It is not a get rich quick scheme or a fly-by-the-seat-of your-pants way to fool people into buying your books. What it is, is a really smart and well laid out system for growing your audience while offering value to your readers - all in a step-by-step format that keeps that 'overwhelmed' feeling from taking over.

I voraciously listened to the entire course in the first week or two upon receiving it, but there is so much content and so much detail that there is no way I could implement everything at once. Heck, I'm still taking baby steps two years later, but I've managed to make some significant inroads. 

Another wonderful thing about Nick’s course is that he continues to add new content and update old information without adding to the cost. Plus, he’s a very funny guy, so it’s quite entertaining to listen to him teach. You’ll see what I mean if you watch his free training videos. (Excellent, but the entire course is so much more in depth.)

Of course, there are many more valuable resources out there but these are my two all time favourites to date.


  1. Thanks Tracy ... a question for you- do you think these courses are helpful for the likes of me, a more "personal" writer-who wants to mainly improve writing? (Yes I do want to increase readership.) Or is it more focused on marketing and growing the readership? I did subscribe to Shelly Hitz previously. I have wanted to take a writing course-I do find that putting the money down in highly motivating!! Thanks and I plan to check out the initial videos you mentioned.

  2. Nick Stephenson is more on teh marketing side for sure, although he does have a new course geared to writing fiction. Scrivener is for everyone in my opinion, but is more of a writing 'tool'.

  3. Thanks for the information about Scrivener, Tracy. I hope to check it out more in the future when I have more time and am ready to consider actually trying some indie publishing. The workshop at Fall Conference was a nice introduction. I haven't come across Nick Stephenson's course or the terms permafree books or 'lead magnets' before, so something new for me to check out.

  4. You have piqued my curiosity, Tracy. Thanks for this tip on Scrivener. I was thinking of taking your Scrivener workshop, which then turned out to be Ruth's presentation, but I think I was doing my freewriting session at that time. Maybe I'll have to check on your good resources here. Thanks.


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