I’ll offer two ways to pay:
PAYMENT PLAN PRICE: The price for a SHORT COURSES Membership is going to be $5 a month for six months. After the final payment, the student becomes a lifetime member at the SHORT COURSES level.
At any point during the six months in which payments are being made, the student can quit and receive a refund for the current month, and will no longer be a member.
SINGLE PAYMENT PRICE: One payment, $30. Student becomes a provisional lifetime member at the SHORT COURSES level. At any time during the first 60 days, the student can request, and receive, a full refund, and no longer be a member. After the first 60 days, the student becomes a lifetime member.
100% of either membership will be applicable to upgraded memberships. Meaning that at ANY TIME you choose to upgrade, you can apply the $30 you paid for SHORT COURSES membership to your Think Sideways or Revise Your Novel memberships; in other words, you can give yourself a $30 discount on either of those memberships. (Likewise, you’ll be able to apply the cost of upper-level memberships to OTHER upper-level memberships.)
This was the price I’d originally intended to charge for SHORT COURSES, and no one gave me a good reason to raise it.
But SHOULD you join?
The price discussion brought up some interesting questions about the community and its value to writers, along with the question, “Why should I join?”
The short answer to this question is, in most cases, you shouldn’t. Most writers are looking for a social venue, and won’t benefit from the community.
The point, the purpose, and the value of the Writers’ Boot Camps Community
I’m going to quote myself from one of my replies in in the price discussion:
I’m already publishing HTTS and HTRYN as individual lessons on the big platforms (the HTTS lessons will go out to Hitch for compiling in about another week, once I have all the links updated in the lessons to reflect the new workgroups and the worksheet landing pages. This is old news. But I don’t intend to charge Kindle’s top 70% royalty price (9.99) for each lesson. I’m coming in significantly under that. (That MAY be new news. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before.)
But my personal statistic (90% of people who get the community for free don’t use it) is WHY I don’t want to charge the maximum amount possible for the lessons, and to use that money to offset the price of community membership: I don’t want people to pay for something they don’t use. In other words, I don’t want ten people to buy the course on Kindle, and have nine of them subsidize the one member who joins the community and gets as much out of it as my active current students do.
So the question becomes…what does my community offer to students that makes it worth paying for, and why will some writers want to join?
And the answer to that is:
The community supports the courses. Period. It isn’t a “social” community. (It has social elements–there are open discussion boards and the writers who use them have a LOT of fun discussing various topics.) This is a hard concept for most people to get, because almost all forums are essentially social gatherings, where people talk about work, but don’t work.
The Writers’ Boot Camps are built around work.
I’ve written something like a dozen courses now (HTTS, HTRYN, HTWAS, Plot, Plot Outline, Character, Language, Culture, Scenes, Dialogue and Subtext, Beat Writer’s Block, Motivate Yourself, Writing Discipline, 21 Ways to Get Yourself Writing, the upcoming Mugging the Muse Second Edition Course…, and the upcoming Create A World Clinic) okay, so FOURTEEN now available with two more on the way—MTM: 2nd Edition is due for release next week and Create A World Clinic is due for release when I wrap up this overhaul and get WARPAINT finished…
…And the community is the place where the people who bought the “textbooks” have a live class where they can work through their lessons with other folks who are taking the same courses.
The workgroups are now open, not assigned, and set up lesson by lesson. I’m currently building out the Short Courses boards with the individual lesson posts. (These have been empty until now, because until I had the software with which I could invite Short Courses students to join, there was no point in doing the work of building out the boards.) If you’re already a community member and you log in and go to the new Mugging the Muse: 2nd Ed Workgroup, you’ll see how the Short Course Workgroups will work.
The community is my duplication of the process I used to get published.
This is why I’ve gone to such trouble and expense to build the community and to build a way for new people to join it by choice.
I learned much of how to make my work publishable by belonging to a writers’ group when I was just getting started. I didn’t learn much from what the other members told me about what I was doing wrong. Or right. I learned from figuring out what THEY were doing wrong. And right.
So I’ve set up the community based around workgroups, where writers can present snippets of work that are giving them problems, and receive comments from other students on these. Where, lesson by lesson, they can work through my processes and techniques, and get and GIVE feedback from other students doing the same lessons. And where they can read through solutions discovered by students ahead of them.
This is why the boards are private, why moderators monitor them, why I don’t make the thing public and invite everyone to join. It’s a place for my students who want to accelerate what they’re learning in the lessons by taking what they’ve learned and applying the concepts and principles to work other than their own.
My objectives with the community are:
- High signal to noise ratio—conversation stays focused on writing
- High content to filler ratio—the majority of the posts should give students something valuable for the time they’ve invested in reading them
- High work to play ratio-–the boards are primarily dedicated to classwork, publishing, marketing, and self-promotion, not to general conversation
I’ve managed to maintain that so far…and while eventually I’d like to have enough active students in there to have regular posts on all boards all the time, I want to continue to do that by focusing on quality, not quantity.
And because my purpose with the community is to create a resource that will help writers publish their work, if they spend all their time hanging out on the boards rather than writing, I’M DOING SOMETHING WRONG.
I hope that answers your questions.
What I’ve come to learn in the 40+ years of getting this one particular story of mine done and out, is that writing seems to be a particularly personal endeavor that does require serious commitment.
I’m just hoping it doesn’t take me another 40 years to tell one story lol. I dont think I have that many left.
I’m not really sure why it took me so long to tell this story, other than the fact it started out as a comic book but transmuted to a novel because, quote, it’d be faster painting a picture with words than drawing, unquote.
So it takes me 40+ years to do that. Go figure…
In my own defense I do have 6 other novels that I will be self publishing soon. But still, measured against the proliferation of other authors…
I read through all the comments and figured out that I already am a lifetime member via being a student of HTTS and HTRYN. Yeaaa!
Now, I will say that before I was aware of this fact, I was still willing to pay to be a part of the group. Mostly because writing needs support at the oddest times and just when one does not expect it – a problem chapter or paragraph arises. In my opinion, this is when a membership earns it’s keep – so to speak; even if it lays dormant for 6 months in between.
Having said all of that, there is also the opportunity to give back when one feels that they have something of value to impart to others. It’s not always about Me Me Me, right?
As I’ve noted elsewhere (including above), the single biggest action I took (aside from writing a hell of a lot of fiction that got rejected) that made me understand what made a story publishable was critting the work of other unpublished writers.
So, irrational as this seems, you offer problem areas of YOUR work so other writers can wrap their heads around finding the problems in it, while YOU go over THEIR work and figure out why it isn’t working for them.
It’s the antithesis of Me Me Me. Well, your OBJECTIVE is Me Me Me because you’re the one doing the work to learn what it takes to write good fiction, but to reference Ben Franklin, you do well by doing good.
So if we have short courses already we are not grandfathered in, We still have to pay the membership fees correct? I have four or five of the short courses and was wondering about that.
Right. There’s never been a short courses membership before, and EVERYONE who joins it has to purchase the courses separately. I never had a way to bundle the courses with classes, and I still don’t because I’m not going to be selling the short courses from my site anymore.
But I did make the membership so that if you own all the short courses, you’re paying about $2 apiece to attend each class (plus you get all the other boards thrown in).
Hey! That was the response to my comment. =)
I think this sounds pretty good, Holly.
I think reinforcing the main purpose of the Boot Camp – support for the classes, not social gabby space for writers to chat – helps a ton. As I said before, I don’t believe many folks will pay for social gabby space. Too many free alternatives.
But the online classroom for a useful course on their profession? Hey, when I take college classes online, I pay as much as $2000 for a 10-18 week course. I think people both understand and value the give-and-take discussion related to coursework online.
Framing the Boot Camp as an online classroom which supports the “textbooks” of the ebooks is a strong idea.
😀 It’s what the Boot Camps have always been. Your questions, however, allowed me to figure out how to explain that.