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December 13, 2023

Two Courses Compared: Mark Dawson’s “Can You Write a Bestseller” vs. Jennifer Lancaster’s “Book Creation Self-Publish”

In the ever-expanding universe of self-publishing, aspiring authors often find themselves at a crossroads, seeking the perfect course to guide them through the intricate web of book creation, book marketing, and self-publishing. Two prominent contenders in this space are Mark Dawson’s (Suzy Quinn host) “Can You Write a Bestseller” and Jennifer Lancaster’s “Book Creation Self-Publish”. In this comparison review, we’ll delve into the nuances of both courses to help you make an informed decision.

Course Content and Structure:

Led by Suzy K Quinn, the “Can You Write a Bestseller” course is modular, focusing primarily on the process of writing a bestseller. This unit places a spotlight on honing writing skills and crafting compelling narratives, key for beginning writers. However, it’s worth noting that this course might leave authors yearning for more comprehensive coverage in other crucial aspects of self-publishing.

On the other hand, Jennifer Lancaster’s “Book Creation Self-Publish” casts a wider net, covering diverse areas such as mind mapping your topic, conducting category research, and navigating the intricacies of self-publishing.

This course not only guides authors through the initial outlining and hook-finding process but also equips them with essential skills for a successful publishing journey. This includes pre-launch activities, a list of trusted freelancers, and an Amazon Author Central tutorial (post-launch).

This means the self-publishing author can really take it into their own hands — and avoid paying $2,000-$3,500 to a subsidy publisher for a paperback package, for instance.

Book Creation Self-Publish is priced at AU$ 227 (approximately US$ 153) for 12 months’ access. Additional costs to the indie publishing author will be, we estimate:

  • a set of ISBNS ($88 for 10 + $55 new publisher fee) – Australian charges
  • a print proof (around $20 if print on demand)
  • eBook creation, if you don’t want to work it out ($69 for an ePub)
  • cover design if desired (recommended, around $150 – $330).

No prior knowledge is needed, average computer skills only.

Cost Comparison:

While both courses offer valuable insights, the cost factor is a significant consideration. Mark Dawson’s course, at US$247, might seem a little steep for authors on a budget, especially considering it focuses predominantly on writing skills. In contrast, Jennifer Lancaster’s course, priced at US$153, provides a more cost-effective option with a broader scope, covering various aspects of the self-publishing process and pre-launch.

Resources Included:

Mark Dawson’s various courses offer a range of resources to support authors on their writing journey. These include video modules, downloadable materials, and access to a community forum for authors.

Jennifer Lancaster’s “Book Creation Self-Publish” also provides a wealth of resources, including mind-mapping how-to video, a book pitch and synopsis template, a media kit template, category research guides, Kindle & IngramSpark Tutorials, and practical external tools for cheap production of books. Jennifer offers a Niche Marketing and Book Guide (39 pages, large), a free PDF.

Additionally, her course offers an Australian viewpoint and comparisons between self-publishing and traditional publishing.

Community Support:

Both courses recognise the importance of community support in an author’s journey. Mark Dawson’s course facilitates interaction through a dedicated forum, allowing authors to connect, share experiences, and seek guidance. Jennifer Lancaster’s course is about to have community engagement, as she has a new private Facebook group for authors to network, share insights, and receive feedback. There is already a comments section for the student to ask course-related questions.

The sense of community can be a valuable asset, especially for those navigating the often solitary world of writing and self-publishing.

Conclusion:
In the realm of self-publishing courses, the choice between Mark Dawson’s “Can You Write a Bestseller” and Jennifer Lancaster’s “Book Creation Self-Publish” ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. While Dawson’s course excels in refining writing skills, Lancaster’s offers a more comprehensive approach, covering a spectrum of crucial aspects at a comparatively lower cost. Consider your priorities, aspirations, and financial constraints before embarking on your self-publishing journey with the course that aligns best with your goals.

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About the Author

Jennifer Lancaster writes money and marketing books that help educate and inform.

She is a freelance editor, copywriter, and book writing coach who believes in independence and personal growth.

After many years in the industry, Jen has created self-publishing training for authors and advice on book marketing - called Business Author Academy. She lives in sunny Redcliffe, Queensland.

Jennifer

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