MOOCs and Student Loans


Until two weeks ago, if I’d heard someone say she liked mocs, I’d have thought she was talking about a soft shoe originally worn by Native Americans. Now I’d think twice and wonder if she’s really referring to a MOOC, a Massive Open Online Course. Hosted by companies such as Udacity, these courses offer students worldwide the opportunity to take the same courses (though not always for credit) that traditional students take.

When I revise Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond, I’m going to include some information on MOOCs. I’m also going to include newly discovered facts about financial aid. Did you know that the interest on student loans doubled on July 1st? I’m going to add a couple of tips to the “how to study” section too, especially after some issues that I saw this semester.

Will this editing and revising take a year or two? No. Since I’m self-publishing through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and Createspace, both the electronic and hard copy versions should be done by the middle of August, just in time for students heading to fall classes. Okay, it might be the third week in August, not because I have to wait on a third-party but because the next few weeks are going to be busy, busy, busy.

The literature is replete with articles, blogs, and even books on the advantages of both traditional and self-published works. Many people have already “been there, done that,” and I don’t need to rehash their ideas today. Instead I want to focus on the advantage to self-publishing completely on one’s own. There are dozens of houses that will publish your book for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, depending on the package you choose.

BUT, if you find an error in your book, you’ll have to pay big bucks to have it corrected. Same thing when you want to add some updated material. I published Musings of a Missionary Mom  with Author House and was completely happy with the experience. But you know what? The cover is dull and unexciting, and now that I’ve been to a few writing conferences and  listened to other writers, I know that the cover is ultra important. Unfortunately, it would cost big bucks for me to change it. Plus, I groan when I see some of the long paragraphs within the book, and I know it would cost a few hundred more dollars to break those paragraphs up into shorter ones. No can do.

As I have shared many times, I revised, corrected, and uploaded Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond  seven times before I was satisfied with it. I kept coming across pesky little errors like repeated words or spacing issues. Even now there’s a missing quotation mark on page 44 that I plan to fix. Adding this mark of punctuation and all of the new information that I’ve learned about MOOCs and student loans, to name a couple of items, won’t cost me a penny.

Editing and uploading on Amazon (KDP and Createspace) is free and immediate. While it’s hard work, it’s also gratifying that you have complete control over your own project from beginning to end. The downside to that is that you’re also the one who gets blasted with criticism after others read your work, and you have no one with whom to share the blame. You can’t say, “Well, it was my editor’s idea.” Still, in my case, that’s better than coughing up hard-earned retirement money to pay someone else to publish my work. I need those dollars for visiting Sedona, buying treats for my grandchildren, and going to NYC with girlfriends.

So after I get back from my travels this weekend, I’m going to make the above and other changes  to Crossing the Bridge. Making those revisions will be taxing. It will involve shifting print around, working with pictures, and making sure that everything comes out even at the end of each page. Still, it’s free! And I love knowing that I can create a new and revised edition as often as necessary from my own computer. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll even change the cover.

About jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer
This entry was posted in books, college students, self publishing, Uncategorized, writing, writing life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.