Nate’s Big List of Free Courses for Authors

Nate's Big List of Free Courses for Authors Self-Pub

Between marketing, social media, ads, writing, and book formatting, there are a million and one skills authors and other creators need to learn over the course of their career. And to make matters worse, sometimes we don't even realize we need to learn a skill or that there are free resources which can teach us that skill.

For example, I taught myself how to make blog graphics one brutal, error-filled, frustrating step at a time because I didn't know there was a free course that could have saved me a lot of time and effort.

In the interest of saving you from repeating my mistakes, I have pulled together a list of courses that authors and other creatives can take for free. I actually came across a few of these courses earlier this week and found them so useful that I wanted to share my good fortune.

All of the courses listed here are free, and I will continue to add courses over time. If you want to recommend a course for inclusion please fill out the form at the end of this post. (This goes double if it's your course; one other reason for this post is that I wanted to give experts who teach these courses a reason to reach out to me.)

For the most part these are video courses, and that may present accessibility problems. (Reedsy is the exception; most/all of their courses are text-based.)

Let's start with the course platforms. If you can't find the course you need in this post there is a chance you'll find it on one of these sites.

Name Details
Udemy Along with Pluralsight, Udemy is a leading online learning platform. Udemy has an extensive catalog of free courses, including nearly 500 just in the marketing category.
Reedsy Reedsy is a services marketplace where authors can hire freelancers, and it also hosts a number of free courses.
MIT Open Courseware MIT maintains an extensive listing of free online courses. Alas, it is organized like an academic catalog, and thus frustrating to navigate.
The Open University Over 900 free courses, including one on how to start writing fiction.
Coursera From what I can see this is primarily a paid courses platform, but I found a bunch of courses where you can audit a course for free.
EDX an aggregator of courses from dozens of schools
Owl (Online Writing Lab) Purdue University offers the writing resources and instructional material from its writing lab as a free service.
name details

I will add more online course platforms as I come across them, but for now here are the free courses you came here to find.

Free Courses

Name Instructor Topic Notes
Pinterest Power Summer Tannhauser  Pinterest An intro course on how to market on Pinterest.
The Roadmap to Writing Successs Rebecca Hamilton, Author Grow Planning Your Author Career an overview course
Lead Magnet Challenge Maya, Blog Brand Hustle  better lead magnets for mailing lists N\A
Graphic Design Mini Course Kristin, AppleCart Lane  Beginner graphics mistakes a great course on how not to design graphics
Amazon Adverts for Books Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur  AMS N\A
Plan Your Novel Rachelle Rea Cobb  developing a roadmap for your first novel  a course for bloggers who want to transition to book-length writing
The Perfect Year J A Huss  book launches subtitled "a successful book release strategy for authors"
Build a Brand Style Guide Sarah Crosley, The Creative Boss  how to develop a style guide N\A
Self-Publishing Mastery Iain Rob Wright  Intro to book publishing N\A
How To Build An Email List That Sells More Books Chris Syme, Smart Marketing for Authors  building a mailing list a 45-minute class
The Free Email Course Kirsten Oliphant  building a mailing list a 7-video course
Advanced Writer's Toolkit Susie May, Novel Academy  topic details
Thriller Story Structure 101 Mike Dickson,  Fiction Formula  plotting, writing N\A
Thriller Outlining 101 Mike Dickson,  Fiction Formula  outlines, wriitng N\A
Pinterest for Business Trina Krug  Pintrest marketing  An intro course on how to market on Pinterest.
Get Started as a Speaker Grant Baldwin  public speaking N\A
Take Better Pictures  Image Maven  photography N\A
Why You Should Turn Your Facts into Fiction Jessica Lourey  writing  N\A
The Art of Writing Authentically Jessica Lourey  writing  N\A
How to Get More Twitter Followers Kelsye Nelson, Gutsy Creative  Twitter details
Master the Lost Art of Keyword Research Authority Labs  website SEO N\A
How to Write an Email Sequence and Sell More Stuff Abbi Friedman Perets, Successful Freelance Mom  mailing list N\A
Focus for Writers Pauline Wiles Productivity & Focus Would you like your writing to flow, not flounder? Is your lack of focus holding you back? Join this free, 5-part mini course, delivered in bite-size email lessons.
TBD tbd  tbd tbd

I'd like to thank the many people who suggested courses on Facebook, as well as Kirsten of Create If for pointing me to her post on free courses.

If you know of a course not listed above, please let me know!

Fill out the form below, and I'll add the course to the list.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

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