A low-priced Self-Pub version of How To Think Sideways?

Discount HTTS for the Self-Publishing Writer?
Discount HTTS for the Self-Publishing Writer?

Self-pub has become the way to go if you want to write and make a living at it. The last few years, my self-pub has paid the bills, and my commercial pub hasn’t. Among commercially published writers, I’m not alone. The majority of commercially published novelists are working a “real” job just to survive.

Successful self-pubbed writers are doing better. You can read sites like http://jakonrath.com/ and http://lethalbooks.com/ and those of other self-pubbed writers who are making a full-time living publishing themselves.

If you aren’t a big name, online self-publishing is the new midlist.

This is the thing I wanted to do with Rebel Tales

…but what grew naturally out of improving tech and online markets is a million times better than what I’d planned. Why? Because YOU control your career, and you get to keep all the money. You’re not splitting it with a publisher who takes almost everything, and an agent who takes 15% of what’s left.

Sales of Kindles and Nooks and iPads (and iPhones) are all up, and these are all instant-gratification bookstores you carry around in your pocket. Or purse. Meanwhile, print book sales are falling, and brick-and-mortar bookstores going out of business.

What You Need To Know To Self-Publish

There are two types of knowledge you need in order to self-publish successfully.

The first is the technical stuff—how to get ISBNs, how to format your own book or hire someone to format it for you, how to price it, etc.

You can learn that ANYWHERE.

The second knowledge you need is a thousand times more important. You need to know how to write books worth reading.

I can teach you that.

So I’m putting together a stripped-down, just-for-self-publishers version of HOW TO THINK SIDEWAYS: Career Survival School for Writers.

How To Think Sideways for the Self-Publisher

The objective of this course is to be about half the price and about 60% the size of HTTS, and to give writers who KNOW you want to self-publish:

  • the writing skills you need to succeed at it, without all the Japanese Bowing Etiquette involved in commercial publishing,
  • to give you the contacts you need to publish your own work professionally,
  • and to get you out there doing it.

Lean, mean, focused.

HTTS Self-Pub will contain none of the stuff on query letters or dealing with editors. NOTHING on manuscript formatting for submission. Nothing on how to write a synopsis or an extended editor outline. None of the walkthrough. None of the frills I threw in like first drafts of my novels. Well, maybe ONE first draft.

It also won’t include on-site workgroups.  To keep the price low, I have to cut somewhere, and setting up and maintaining private workgroups is a major pain in the kiester.  You’ll meet lots of folks in the community.  If you want to create a private workgroup via e-mail on on a password section of your blog, you can certainly do that.

HTTS Self-Pub will include:

All the writing lessons, writing techniques, writing checklists, and writing course videos.

You’ll also get full member access to the following Writers’ Boot Camp boards:

  • Eureka HTTS (you can read this board now to discover what students learn from this course)
  • Renegade Marketing
  • Help!
  • Questions About Your Lessons HTTS
  • Writing Discussion HTTS
  • Idle Chatter HTTS
  • The new Resources for Self-Publishers board, which will hook you up with the folks who do professional e-book formatting, packaging, cover art, editing, and copyediting, writing blurbs, any anything else you need to help you succeed.  (If you OFFER these services, contact me now about getting your place on this board.  Currently I have about 2000 active writers in the private community.)

My objective with this course is to create successful professional career writers in the new Yes-You-Can-Live-On-Your-Writing online midlist.

The full course, with the walkthrough and future upgrades and a multitude of other cool things, comes in two speeds (6 month and 12 month)  and three flavors: Single Payment $399, 6 month subscription 69.95/month, and 12 month subscription $37.95/month.  If your dream is to publish commercially, (or if you want the BIG boost in help you’ll get from the Walkthrough upgrade) this is the course you need. 

The stripped-down HTTS Self-Pub will have one speed and one flavor.  6 months, $37.95/month.

If you’re not, no reply is necessary.

If you are, please post a YES. What I’m trying to do here is get a rough level of interest to decide whether setting up the extra site and revamping the course materials is worth my time.

So all I need to know from you now is, are you interested?


If you’re already an HTTS student or HTTS Grad, you’re getting EVERYTHING in the Self-Pub course, PLUS the walkthrough, the private workgroups, and the Walkthrough boards, blogs, etc. Just log in to get the stuff as it goes live.

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178 responses to “A low-priced Self-Pub version of How To Think Sideways?”

  1. J Kendall Avatar
    J Kendall

    yes I am interested in the mini course.

  2. SteveG Avatar

    A definite “yes.” With the number of professional writers who are abandoning the legacy publishing world, it only makes sense to join.

  3. Mike Avatar

    Yes, after HTRYN, this would be my next course. It’s affordable and straight to the point. I’m in!

  4. Paul Avatar


    I think it is an excellent idea and I will likely buy it if you offer it.

  5. AndtheCreativist Avatar

    Yes Holly, I would jump on that course… well, as soon as I could. If you decided to create this new course, It would be next on my list after HTRYN.
    You’ve got my vote!

  6. Jane Iwan Avatar
    Jane Iwan

    Holly, count me in for the modified HTTS class.

  7. Nordwind Avatar

    This sounds great! Your courses are always top-notch and this is exactly what the majority of us needs.

  8. Laurie B. Avatar
    Laurie B.

    I would be interested in the self-pub course. Right now, time & distractions are an issue, a targeted affordable mini-course might be the ticket. BUT. I’m new to all this, and may need a bit of basic stuff that others take for granted.
    Art major/mid-lifer /Stay-at-home mom/servant of others’ needs/back burner shelved dreams/ME.
    P.S. I stumbled upon your site, signed up for newsletter, and think you’re awesome. Will continue to subscribe even if I don’t take course/write novels, ’cause you’re so impressive. 🙂

  9. Rhea Avatar

    I am very interested!

  10. Virginia Eshleman Avatar
    Virginia Eshleman

    I think this is a great idea that many are interested in! However, could the self-pub portion be offered to your students who already took or are currently signed up for the original ThinkSideways course?

  11. Joe Dielfield Avatar
    Joe Dielfield

    I recently finished my first novel and the editing will be done in the next few weeks. I am currently about 20% done with my second one and I have decided to self publish. I have been trying to find out as much as I can on the subject, but it is hard to gather all the information, so….. YES I am very interested.

  12. Yolanda W Avatar

    Most assuredly–YES, please and thank you!

  13. Daniel Casey Avatar

    Yes. Umm…. Si? Oui? Ja? Hai? Da?

    The course sounds like a great idea. and six at $40 is a good value from what I can see.

    When and Where?

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m pulling together everything right now, bug-hunting the software, and setting up the class pages.

      Probably about two weeks. (I also have to write my novel and do the Walkthrough, so my schedule is spaghetti right now.)

  14. Kylia Avatar

    I’m in. Self-publishing does seem the way to go in this new market.

  15. Jennifer B Avatar
    Jennifer B

    Yes, please… And I have a couple of friends who would be very interested as well.

  16. NicklasPS Avatar

    I’m in.

  17. Michael Avatar

    Soon as I go back to work, I’ll sign on for this course. I’m already eyeing self-publishing for roleplaying material, so why not my fiction as well?

  18. Di M Avatar
    Di M

    I think this is an excellent idea, and I’m sure you’ll get lots of new students with this plan. Also, just a suggestion, but since self-publishing is all the rage, have you considered putting all your information together in book form and simply selling a how-to book on Amazon? You’re chapters are laid out great already, and when you’ve completed your self-pub version, you’ll have a pre-made book if you pull everything in to one package. Just a thought, but I think it would reach a lot of your fans that don’t visit your website.

  19. Jason Avatar

    I’m already a student of HTTS, but I subscribed because I am a self-published author and want to improve my craft. If there had been a self-publishing only version at the time, I would have jumped at it 🙂 It sounds like a great idea.

  20. Candy Nicks Avatar
    Candy Nicks

    HI, Yes, I’m interested. I already have six books on kindle and have been in the business side of epublishing for seven years, but I’d certainly be interested in gleaning any extra info that will help me further my self pub career. So, definite yes from me.

  21. Knicky Avatar

    Very definitely!

  22. Scarlett Avatar


  23. Scarlett Avatar

    YES!! Self-publishing is something I’d really like to learn more about!

  24. Casey Childress Avatar
    Casey Childress

    Hello Holly,

    I agree that a course of this type would be extremely valuable to many out here like myself (a few months ago). Personally I have spent the last 3 months with hours on end worth of headaches trying to figure this all out. I eventually obtained an ISBN through createspace(amazon) and am afraid that was a mistake, but oh well, it is what it is at this point. At this point there is a slim chance that I would be your target audience, but I would believe that many, mnay are out here.

    On a side note, THANK YOU so much for your Friday tips! As a brand new writer (it’s still hard to even call myself a writer), I am amazed how often you punch me right in my gut with you thoughts.

  25. Kirsten Avatar


  26. Sachairi Avatar

    I would definitely get this! I think it’s a great idea.

  27. Adam, South Dakota Avatar

    YES! I would love to have something like that!

  28. Lisa Binion Avatar

    Self-publishing is something I would be very interested in learning about.

  29. Mikaela Avatar

    Yes. I am definitely interested 🙂

  30. Rebecca Johnson Avatar
    Rebecca Johnson

    Yes! I’m interested!

    Like some others who have posted their answers, it will be a few months before I could commit to the class. Even then, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up with the six month version. My husband was in the hospital eight times this year between January 1 and July 14. While he’s doing remarkably better for all the problems he had, he still has dementia and at times is very needy. I was sad when I had to pass on the HTTS full course. If it’s at all possible, I’d really like give your condensed HTTS course geared toward self-publishing a try. I’ve been interested in self-publishing for years, and just didn’t know how to get started. With the advent of Kindle and the other pocket size electronic readers, I got even more excited about self-publishing. I would love to continue to learn from you in this area, as well as HTTS! 🙂

    1. Laura Avatar

      For what it’s worth, you don’t have to do the lessons one a week (or one every other week) or whatever schedule she puts them out on. I get a new lesson every week, but I have a very busy full-time law practice and actually am averaging only completing about one lesson a month. I was worried about how far “behind” I was getting, so I asked her, and she said just go at my own pace, and the lessons will be there when I get to them. You can take as long as you need to complete a lesson, or to complete the course.

  31. Stephanie Black Avatar

    Yes! I have hesitated with the original HTTS because I’m not keen on traditional publishing. This self-pub HTTS would be perfect, focusing on the areas I want the most 🙂

  32. Megan Avatar


    I found your site through a link on another author’s site in 2007, and I think I’ve read and done pretty much everything by you that is currently available, along with about half of your books so far. I rave about your courses and tell everyone who has an interest in reading and/or writing about you.

    That being said… All of your true fans and your more occasional followers will always want more work from you – more fiction, more writing courses. Heck, I often wish I could have a philosophic discussion with you based off some of what I’ve gleaned from your non-fiction and fiction work. If you ask us, we will ALWAYS want more from you – but is that actually the question you are asking?

    But… Perhaps instead of an entire new course with a new site and all the behind-the-scenes work that goes with it, maybe you could structure it more as a supplement to HTTS. Is it less effort for you to publish something the size of Page-Turning Scenes than what you’re currently envisioning? Because to be honest, I feel HTTS is already way more than worth the seriously underpriced fee and I know the gargantuan amount of work you put into your courses – and you always put in way more content, goodies, and bonuses than you originally plan! I believe that a HTTS Self-Pub supplement would address the issues in the new era that you want and would cut a lot of the extra work that you’re piling on.

    Not that I’m trying to tell you about yourself (!!), but just thinking that by simplifying what you’re looking to do, not only would it cut your workload but it would get the product out faster (and perhaps lower the overhead costs) and then you could go from there – either beef it up later as you discover and master more about the fiction self-pub/self-promo world or work on your other projects.

    Self-publishing is the future, no doubt about it, and deserves our full attentions and efforts. But I really do think you could accomplish your objectives by pulling excerpts from HTTS and then creating a PDF ebook supplement.

  33. Esther Avatar

    Definitely YES, although I echo the others who added that for financial reasons, not right now. (Even though the price is terrific for what you are offering.)

    Thanks for everything, Holly.

  34. EBlack Avatar

    Yes, I’d be interested.

  35. Davidh Digman Avatar

    Yes – I am interested.

    I have started the actual writing part of my first book, my ten-years-so-far-in-the-planning-stages science fiction novel.

    Following the advice of an editor at a recent writer’s conference, I’ve been considering e-publishing as a very attractive means of breaking into the international market.

    Here in Australia, the publishing industry is tiny. A bestselling author feels rich to earn $6,000 from a novel! Over the course of an entire print run! One that sells out!

    So do I wish to learn about e-publishing?

    Yes! Yes! Yes! (People may get the wrong impression of that, so I’d be best calming down!)

    Has anyone ever seen When Harry Met Sally?



    Davidh Digman

    The Yes-Man…

  36. George Avatar

    Yes! A self-pub htts would be most excellent.

  37. elaine allen Avatar
    elaine allen

    I would certainly be interested. I also need to know all that other stuff about getting ISBN numbers and the nuts and bolts basics of how to get the book onto the web. Would this be included? Is it possible to do this oneself or would I need an expensive expert to do this for me?



  38. Lee Avatar

    Great idea! Yes, definitely interested.

  39. Judith Avatar

    I would be interested in taking your stripped down self-publishing class.

  40. Joshua Elliott Avatar
    Joshua Elliott

    I can’t guarantee that I’d buy into it, but I think the chances are pretty likely. Self-publishing, independent and online publishing are all becoming incredibly more important to our industry, and I want to be a part of these exciting times. So, this would certainly be a worthwhile venture.

    p.s., for a writing website, your catpchas are really biased against those of us who suck at math, ha ha.

  41. jess Avatar

    hey holly,
    i think this is a cool idea, i think you should go ahead. It is pricey but i think if someone really wants to write and self publish theyll pay to learn from you.

  42. Richard Cordova Avatar
    Richard Cordova

    This is a great idea, Holly. I have been using your website since long before HTTS and I can’t say enough about how awesome your words of advice and abundance of knowledge have inspired me over the years. I am very interested in your focused concept for self-publishing through the HTTS course. I wish you great sucess in your endeavors and hope that I can find some success through your widsom. Thank you for gifting so many of us with your words!

  43. Augie Avatar

    I love the offer, I believe the Lord sent me to your website, and He will provide. So yes, count me in.

  44. Suzie Avatar

    I think this is an amazing idea as I have always wanted to know how to self-publish as I believe it’s the better way to go.

  45. Leslie Avatar

    Yes, I would take this course! Eventually anyway as I’m in the midst of a novel writing course from The Institute of Children’s Literature 😉 You have pretty much convinced me that self-publishing is the way to go these days.

  46. Sarah Avatar

    I would love to have made use of the full site and would love to see the self-pub version but either way the price is too much for my household to swallow. Maybe after I have published something… (LOL). Please do put this together for all the people out there who are doing better.

  47. Gilbert Corliss Avatar
    Gilbert Corliss

    This sounds like something worth setting up, and, if I can swing the price (even this is difficult), I would be very interested.

  48. Charlotte Avatar

    Great idea! I think you’re going to have a lot more to say about e-pub than you think and also that you’re a crazy person for starting another project. 🙂

  49. Amanda Avatar

    Yes — Yes please! I’d love to be able to afford your course and if you’re cutting out the stuff that a future self-pubber like me doesn’t need, that makes a perfect fit!

  50. Jean Lamb Avatar

    Yes, I am definitely interested. I attended several panels on ebook publishing, and the general consensus seemed to be that only experienced writers would be successful, due to already having a customer base–and, unfortunately, new writers were, ah, screwed under either epublishing or through print. Oh, yes, and any rumors of successful self-pubbers were merely anecdotal and unlikely to be repeated by mere mortals.

    Me? I think there’s room for a lot more of us out there.

    Sign me up!

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