Simply Self-Publish with Debbie Young
Take your first steps into self-publishing alongside a dedicated tutor who can help you transform from indie-novice to self-pub expert.
This course is designed to give writers the confidence and knowledge to complete every stage of the self-publishing process – including producing eBooks and print books to professional standards, and distributing them online & to bookstores and libraries. You’ll also learn how to create a solid online author platform; an effective marketing campaign; and a realistic long-term business model to match your ambitions and lifestyle.
To join the course, you’ll need a finished manuscript that’s already gone through a few rounds of edits, and a fierce motivation to learn. Self-publishing requires a lot of work, and while you are likely to outsource certain tasks at a price, you will be taking the lead on your own publication journey.
You’ll finish the course ready to successfully self-publish your first novel and with all the tools needed to publish more work in the future, including a marketing plan and website.
Applications for the October 2022 course are now open.
Ready to apply?
Send in your application now.
This course at a glance:
A Ten-Week Course
Running from October to December
Weekly online content and zoom calls
Small Class Sizes
For personal tutor attention
Date: 4 October 2022
Duration: 10 weeks + a reading week
Price: £2,500 or 6 monthly instalments of £490
Entry: By application only. Apply here for a chance to join the course.
Why Choose This Course?
All course content including tutorials, exercises, tasks, and reading lists, will be uploaded to the course platform on the same day each week.
Direct Feedback On Your Work
Each week, you’ll be set three tasks to be completed by the following week. Your tutors and peers will then give you feedback on your work.
A Community of Writers
Each course has 10 students that engage in discussion and peer-feedback every week. Students tend to form strong and lasting bonds, which means the exchange of ideas, friendship and support lasts beyond the course itself.
Lifelong Access to Course Content
Once you’re enrolled, you’ll have full access to all tutorial content permanently. So there’s plenty of time to fit the course around your everyday life.
Jericho Writers Membership
The course comes with a year-long Jericho Writers membership, granting you access to exclusive self-publishing resources and discounts on editorial products.
Applications now open
Are you ready to learn what it takes to become a self-published author?
Course Tutor: Debbie Young
For this course self-publishing expert Debbie Young draws on eight years’ experience as Commissioning Editor of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ daily self-publishing advice blog. She is also ALLi’s UK Ambassador and has written several books of advice for indie authors. Debbie is the indie author of nine novels, two of which have been shortlisted for the prestigious BookBrunch Selfies Award for best independently-published adult fiction in the UK. She is a frequent speaker at literature festivals and writing events, and she judges many writing competitions. A champion of indies everywhere, in 2015 she founded the groundbreaking free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which showcases dozens of self-published authors every year. Originally a Londoner, for the last thirty years she has lived in a Victorian cottage in the Cotswolds, and she writes in a hut at the bottom of her garden, her “Little House in the Big Woods”, channelling Laura Ingalls Wilder’s pioneering spirit.
Learn more about the benefits of self-publishing
Read our blogs to find out if self-publishing could be the right choice for you.
Week 1 – What self-publishing is and how to use it
We’ll start off our first week by looking at the history of self-publishing and how it became so popular. We’ll dive deep into the different forms of publishing and what it truly takes to become a self-published author. What does self-publishing success look like and how can you achieve it?
Outcome: Outline the process required to become a self-published author and start editing your finished manuscript accordingly.
Week 2 – How to make your manuscript ready for self-publishing
In our second week, we’ll learn all the tools to make our manuscripts the very best they can be. We’ll cover the fundamentals of how to self-edit, the differences between beta readers and ARC readers (including when to use them), and how to write a professional blurb. Want insight on professional editing? We’ll also teach you how to choose, brief and work with editors effectively and what each kind of editing involves.
Outcome: Be confident self-editing your work, outsourcing and working with editors and writing a blurb for your own book.
Week 3 – Self-publishing in different formats
So, you know you want to self-publish, but in which format? It’s important to know about the different formats, their place in your catalogue, and the common elements across all formats. But what’s the point in self-publishing if no one can find your book? You’ll need to consider all available publishing platforms and optimise categories and keywords if you want to reach a large audience!
Outcome: Have a comprehensive plan for the order in which you will publish your book formats, including categories and key words.
Week 4 – Production practicalities: formatting and cover design
An eye-catching cover matters just as much in self-publishing as it does with traditional publishing. Some authors decide to go down the DIY route, but for those who want some extra help, that’s where the professionals come in. We’ll explore production needs for eBook and print and give tips on how to choose, brief and work with a cover designer.
Outcome: Have a written cover brief for your book and know whether you want to go down the DIY or professional design route.
There will be no new tutorial this week. This week will focus on editing your manuscript and getting it really for self-publication.
Week 5 – Distribution options for print and eBooks
By now, you’ve edited your manuscript and have a cover design to make you stand out against your competitors. Now it’s time to think about how you’re going to reach your target audience. Where will they be able to buy your book? There’s a lot to consider here, but by the end of the week, you’ll be an expert in distribution options.
Outcome: Understand why it’s so important to publish books in both eBook and print, different models, and have an account set-up with KDP.
Week 6 – Author Brand & Website
Wondering what your best marketing tool is? You don’t need to look far, it’s you! Your readers want to know all about you as an author. We’ll provide you with the tools to develop your author brand and get your name known.
Outcome: Create a website with either a mailing list or blog post to interest your target readers.
Week 7 – Connecting with Readers & Reviewers
Word of mouth is important in any industry, but particularly when it comes to books, and no one loves to shout about the books they’re reading as much as reviewers. But how do you connect with the right people to review your book?
Outcome: Know where to find your target audience and how to approach them for reviews.
Week 8 – Marketing & Promotion – Part One
To become a successful self-published author, you’ll need to know how to properly market yourself and your books. We’ll take a closer look at Amazon’s Author Central and how to make social media work for you.
Outcome: Create an author central profile and find a social media that fits your needs.
Week 9 – Marketing & Promotion – Part Two
Where do people find out about new books? There are many ways to promote your book either in-person, traditional media or even on broadcast media. This week focuses on advertising and finding the right outlets to promote your new book.
Outcome: Find ways to pitch your new publication to journalists, editors and book bloggers.
Week 10 – Where Next? Make Your Intellectual Property Work for You
You’re ready to self-publish your manuscript, but what happens next? During our last week, we’ll talk about the possibilities that come after, including publishing new books, book sets and serialisation, and audiobooks. We’ll also look at inspiring case studies and what other successful authors have done.
Outcome: Learn about the next steps and how you can make self-publishing work for you long-term.
To make the most of this course, you will be invited to complete three assignments each week to give you an immediate head start with your self-publishing career. All students who complete tutorials and assignments will have:
- A blurb.
- A cover design brief and possibly even a completed cover.
- A pricing plan.
- Publishing metadata, including book description, categories & keywords.
- A website.
- A mailing list structure and newsletter magnet.
- Accounts with KDP to publish eBooks and print, as well as introductions to other platforms.
All assignments completed before the date of the final module will be given personal feedback from the course tutor.
Got a question for us?
Got a question about the Simply Self-Publish Course? Contact our Courses team today, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Do you handle all genres? What about creative non-fiction? What about children’s and Young Adult?
We warmly welcome writers in almost every genre, from very literary to commercial. Our tutors work across a diverse list of fiction and creative non-fiction genres. We certainly also welcome YA writers. If you write for much younger children, the course may be less suitable – but feel free to ask.
Will the online elements of the course be easy to use?
We use an easy-to-navigate online teaching platform to provide our virtual classrooms. It’s incredibly user-friendly and you’ll have no difficulty understanding what to do. The course will also have its own private space within Jericho Community, and we’ll maintain that group permanently, so your course friendships can long outlast the end of the course. If you do need help at any stage, we’ll be on hand.
Do you have bursaries available?
While we don’t have a full bursary available for this course, we want to help great writers get published, and if your personal circumstances make it impossible for you to fund the full price of this course, please get in touch. We can’t make any promises, but we’ll always do what we can.
Is this course for UK writers only?
No, we work with writers from all around the world. It’s open internationally for writers from all over the world, and all online calls will take place at Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
I have paid for the course and can’t join, can I get a refund?
If you wish to be refunded on the course, they are entitled to a refund up to 28 days before the course starts, but note that an administration fee could be charged. After this, no refund is possible. This will not be possible once a course has already started. To avoid loss, we strongly advise customers to ensure they are able to take the course on the dates advertised, and that they are comfortable undertaking this online. Should a customer wish to transfer their place to the next scheduled course, please note this is only possible if places remain, and an administration fee could be charged.
Who is this course for?
This course is perfect for anyone serious about becoming a self-published author. To join this course, students need a finished and clean manuscript and an eagerness to learn. The course is project-based and requires students to take the lead on their self-publishing journey.
What is the application process?
We invite writers from all backgrounds to apply to this course, whatever their educational backgrounds or prior achievements. We do, however, ask that all applicants are genuinely committed to a career as a self-published author.
If you feel this best describes you, please apply now.
We aim to respond to all applications in 3 weeks. All work will be forwarded to the course tutor who will make the final decision on entry, according to which writers they feel show commitment to the course and would benefit the most from the course components.
If you have any questions about the application process, you can email us on [email protected], or call us on UK: +44 (0)345 459 9560, or US: +1 (646) 974 9060.
I have a full-time job / family commitments. Can I do this course in my spare time?
Yes. We purposely designed this course to fit in around your other commitments. Bear in mind that we will be asking you to do many project-based tasks that will lead you to publication, as well as engage with teaching material and feedback. If you think you can manage that, we’ll be happy to accommodate you – and of course we’ll be as flexible as we can be.
Do I need to be available at set times every week?
For the most part, you’ll be able to work to a schedule that suits you. There will be one weekly call. All calls will be recorded, so if you can’t make the live session, you’ll be able to watch the replay.