When I acquired AuthorSmart from Gail Richards earlier this year, I chose not to make any major changes, especially with regard to the fee structure that was in place, and just concentrated on getting the spring/summer session rolling.
Having done one session and looking at actual revenues, I decided to change the way we offer classes, including the fees we charged.
Interestingly, I can remember back in April saying, "I have a month to incorporate AuthorSmart into Write Well U. I can't recreate the wheel. I'll do one session, and then review how it works." The interesting thing about that? After the session was over, I didn't really do a step-back, big-picture review of how the session worked. I had some ideas for new classes and packaging up the old ones, but I didn't really do the business-owner thing and look at the business. (Bad Dawn.)
It took my being in a business retreat last week and presenting my ideas for the packages of classes I was going to offer, and one of my masterminders going, "How much are you charging for classes? That's ridiculously too low. Do you really want to be seen as Wal-Mart?"
Even though my first reaction was a "I so do not want to rethink all this," that statement hit me hard. No, of course I don't want to be seen as Wal-Mart. I do believe in "you get what you pay for" and the perceived value of things. If these are such great classes, why are they dirt cheap? My time, and my instructors' time is certainly valuable, and the classes are packed with information. This is high-quality, silk-shirt type of material.
So I decided to indeed rethink AuthorSmart. At the very least, I owed a real look at how this last session went as well as where I wanted to go with AuthorSmart. And while, in general, I'm very pleased with how the spring/summer session went, I'm never satisfied with good enough. I'm a maximizer, and I always want to make it ("it" being anything) the best it can be.
Which leads me here, making the AuthorSmart division of Write Well U even better. Are we going to be Nordstrom? Maybe. At the very least, I'd like to be Chico's (with their really awesome collection of accessories).
Why do you care about whether Write Well U and AuthorSmart isn't seen as Wal-Mart? The bottom line is what does this mean to you in your writing and publishing journey?
You should do that same hard look at your book and your business. I've written before about how writing and publishing a book should be seen as a business. Well, what kind of business? Do YOU want to be the Wal-Mart in your field? Would you rather be a Nordstrom? Or something in between, like a Chico's? (Remember the great accessories!)