Scribe Media — formerly known as Book-In-A-Box — has put videos from all its courses online and on YouTube for free. It’s got lots of free resources. That’s a bid to get writers to turn there first. Scribe has a decent chance to succeed at that — if it opens up its content offerings.
As I’ve written before, authors are suckers, and there are plenty of people out there willing to sell you something. That should make you wary any time you see free advice (including mine). Question the source — and review their track record.
Scribe has a pretty good track record for authors who want to self-publish. But you need to understand what that means. If you have a dumb idea, they will help you, and you’ll publish a dumb book, which will do nothing for you. If you have a great idea, they will help you, and if you do the rest of the work, you could turn that book into a success for you. They’re a tool in the writer’s toolkit.
Now Scribe is embracing content marketing, much like the folks at HubSpot. If HubSpot wants to be the search destination for insights about marketing and small business, Scribe would like to be the destination for non-fiction authors.
For example, this page includes videos clipped from Tucker Max’s courses on book writing, book publishing, and book marketing. Here’s a decent example, on positioning.
I’m not 100% in agreement with this — I’d start with the audience and the idea, not how to make money from it — but like much of the Scribe content, it’s worthwhile and thought-provoking. It’s a good start for authors who don’t quite know what to do next.
Scribe’s book The Scribe Method is another nice source of insight, and you can download it for free.
A number of my professional friends look down their noses at Scribe. (I know they will be reading this and saying “Josh, why are you promoting those guys?”) And it’s true: for the more serious, professional authors, there are more sophisticated resources available. If you want a higher-end editing and publishing partner to help boost your visibility, I’d recommend IdeaPress, Page Two, Amplify/Mascot, or Lifetree Media.
But Scribe has elevated itself above the hucksters — specifically Chandler Bolt’s Self-Publishing School, which attempts to make everything about books sound effortless, and Forbes Books, which is about selling people the thought leader dream at whatever price they’re able to pay.
If Scribe is actually committed to become a hub for nonfiction authors, and not just a front-end funnel for its services, it should open up its blogs and video channels to a variety of creators, not just its own content.
Content marketing to nonfiction authors is a great concept. With so much crap content out there and so many service providers with their hands out, an unbiased hub for vetted information would be great. I challenge Scribe to be that hub.