Hit the ground running with an in-depth, six-week video course, then stay on track with a year's free access to the Useful Books Community and Help This Book, our modern beta reading software.


Write a book that outgrows you.

Instead of betting on either marketing, luck, or fame, this course helps you follow the path of craft: to create a book so useful that readers can’t help but recommend it.

You’ll learn to build your book as if it were any other product, iteratively improving and debugging it — even before it has been written — by using real data from real readers.

This means embracing some potentially scary activities — like beginning beta reading while you know the book still has some problems — and requires doing a bit of seed marketing to get things started. But after that, marketing will become more of an option than an obligation, and your book will continue to grow.

Useful Books Academy

  • 6 week, self-paced course
  • 60+ video lessons
  • Digital copy of Write Useful Books
  • 1 year of the Useful Books Community
  • 1 year of Help This Book
Join the academy — $599

Taught by Rob Fitzpatrick.

Author of The Mom Test, The Workshop Survival Guide, and Write Useful Books. Combined he has sold more than 300,000 copies as an independent author.

Fig 1.

Each module focuses on mastery over a crucial book-killing blunder.

Throughout the course, we’ll cover all major tools and techniques of writing a useful book, including plenty of worked examples and actionable next steps.

Week 1

Do readers really care?

Designing for recommendability: promise, problem, and ideal reader.

Week 2

Will they make the time to read it?

Reader Experience and value-per-page; using beta reading data.

Week 3

Will they take action? Will it work for them?

The knowledge gap and curse of knowledge; teaching as writing; books that work.

Week 4

Can you improve until it is best-in-category?

The modern process; iteration, data, and craft; when and how to write in public.

Week 5

Can you reach the first 1,000 ideal readers?

Seed marketing essentials: podcast book tour, author platform, giveaways, and ads.

Week 6

Will your book achieve your goals?

Optimizing for royalties, impact, or leads;

What our students say about Useful Books Academy.

About the course
The course was not just useful; it was very motivating, and it was visible that experienced authors made it. The questions I didn't even know I had got answered. I feel much better about my process, and I am now sure that publishing is going to be an attainable goal. The way each lesson was set up gave immense value, and it's something that needs to be experienced, and it will change your approach to the process.
On the academy
I’ve seen hundreds of courses over the last decade or so and this is low key the most useful and engaging course I’ve ever been through. Short lessons with useful assignments, relevant visuals on-screen and then video clips where they add to the story? Incredible. That is all.
On the lessons
This lesson was spectacular. I feel like I got my money's worth for the course in this one lesson alone. Mind shifting!
Tina Story

Who this course is for

For useful books

This course is for “useful” non-fiction that is intended to help its readers to solve a problem, achieve a goal, learn a skill, grasp a concept, or something similarly concrete.

That are still in-progress

In terms of progress, you should be committed to your book, but not finished with it (no later than revising, rewriting, or beta reading).

By authors who care

Plenty of other groups exist that will teach you how to release a mediocre book as quickly as possible. That’s not us.

We believe in spending the time to make the best book possible, even when that means diving into yet another rewrite after seeing a crucial chapter still not quite working for beta readers. For your book to be worth a reader’s time, it must be worth yours as well.

What this course won’t cover

We focus on product, not prose

Unlike some authors’ groups, we don’t do readings or feedback on your prose itself.

Instead, we’ll spend our time on improving how your book functions as a product (i.e., who it’s for, what it’s promising to do for them, how effectively it delivers on that promise, and how it stands out within a crowded marketplace), as well as on the process you’re using to build it (i.e., iteratively, at least partially in public, and in early contact with real readers and real feedback).

The point of book marketing is to stop needing to do it

Although we will indeed cover book marketing best practices (spoiler: podcast book tour, writing in public, Amazon PPC, and bulk sales when possible), there’s no marketing magic bullet that will allow a badly built book to soar.

As such, if your book is already finished and you’re just trying to figure out how to sell the thing, you won’t have much to gain from this course.

Ready to commit to writing the best book possible?