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.

UdemyAlong 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.
ReedsyReedsy is a services marketplace where authors can hire freelancers, and it also hosts a number of free courses.
MIT Open CoursewareMIT maintains an extensive listing of free online courses. Alas, it is organized like an academic catalog, and thus frustrating to navigate.
The Open UniversityOver 900 free courses, including one on how to start writing fiction.
CourseraFrom 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.
EDXan 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.

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

Pinterest PowerSummer Tannhauser PinterestAn intro course on how to market on Pinterest.
The Roadmap to Writing SuccesssRebecca Hamilton, Author GrowPlanning Your Author Careeran overview course
Lead Magnet ChallengeMaya, Blog Brand Hustle better lead magnets for mailing listsN\A
Graphic Design Mini CourseKristin, AppleCart Lane Beginner graphics mistakesa great course on how not to design graphics
Amazon Adverts for BooksDave Chesson, Kindlepreneur AMSN\A
Plan Your NovelRachelle Rea Cobb developing a roadmap for your first novel a course for bloggers who want to transition to book-length writing
The Perfect YearJ A Huss book launchessubtitled "a successful book release strategy for authors"
Build a Brand Style GuideSarah Crosley, The Creative Boss how to develop a style guideN\A
Self-Publishing MasteryIain Rob Wright Intro to book publishingN\A
How To Build An Email List That Sells More BooksChris Syme, Smart Marketing for Authors building a mailing lista 45-minute class
The Free Email CourseKirsten Oliphant building a mailing lista 7-video course
Advanced Writer's ToolkitSusie May, Novel Academy topicdetails
Thriller Story Structure 101Mike Dickson,  Fiction Formula plotting, writingN\A
Thriller Outlining 101Mike Dickson,  Fiction Formula outlines, wriitngN\A
Pinterest for BusinessTrina Krug Pintrest marketing An intro course on how to market on Pinterest.
Get Started as a SpeakerGrant Baldwin public speakingN\A
Take Better Pictures Image Maven photographyN\A
Why You Should Turn Your Facts into FictionJessica Lourey writing N\A
The Art of Writing AuthenticallyJessica Lourey writing N\A
How to Get More Twitter FollowersKelsye Nelson, Gutsy Creative Twitterdetails
Master the Lost Art of Keyword ResearchAuthority Labs website SEON\A
How to Write an Email Sequence and Sell More StuffAbbi Friedman Perets, Successful Freelance Mom mailing listN\A
Focus for WritersPauline WilesProductivity & FocusWould 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.
TBDtbd  tbdtbd

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 has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. 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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