Self Publishing Courses: Which one is best for you?
What's the best self-publishing course on the market?
Over the past couple of years, I had many authors ask me this very question. At the time, my answer was, “I’ve never taken any, so I can’t honestly tell you.”
In truth, how can anyone recommend such an important part of a self-publisher's development if they haven’t taken one?
Well, that has now changed. After hearing this question too many times, I decided I would choose the most well-known courses in the industry and take them all so that I can finally answer that pressing question.
Yup, I actually put in 48+ hours of watching videos and doing the courses in hopes that I can give you first-hand recommendations.
How did I get through all those hours of video? A lot of this:
So, before you spend money on a course based on a mention from an authority or a random email you found in your inbox, find out which course is the best for you and make the right investment for your goals as an author who wants to successfully self publish your books.
In this article, you will learn:
- An unbiased review of the most popular self-publishing courses on the market
- Pros and Cons for each: Self Publishing 101, Self-Publishing School, Authority Pub Academy, and Your First 10K Readers
- Which course is ultimately the best fit for you and will give you the best ROI
Now, I’ll tell you from the start that most of the links on this page are affiliate links.
P.S. Some of the courses below are only open for enrollment at certain times of the year. During set times, the creator launches his course, gets students, and then focuses on that class of students before the creator relaunches it again.
Why I Chose These Self Publishing Courses
Thanks to platforms like Thinkific and Teachable, which make it easy to create online courses, the internet is now brimming with trainings on how to make money with Kindle books. However, over the years, only a few have risen above the rest and really stand out to teach you how and where to market your books.
Therefore, in choosing which courses I would review, I used the following guidelines:
- They must have been created by someone who has devoted themselves and their business to eBook publishing.
- The course has to have a good standing with those who have taken it.
- The creator should still be active with the course and updating it so as to reflect new changes in the market.
- The tactics taught in the course should be morally sound, in line with Amazon’s rules, as well as Kindlepreneur's marketing morals.
Now, just because a course wasn’t selected for this article doesn’t necessarily mean that it was excluded because of the above guidelines. However, many didn’t make the cut because of it.What's the best SelfPublishing Course on the Market?Click To Tweet
If you have a course you think I should check it out, then contact me about it here…not in the comments. And if you want to learn how to outline, write, and sell from your writing heroes, check out my review of MasterClass.
Comparing Course Metrics
Before we get into reviewing these courses, let’s go ahead and look at them side-by-side so as to compare some of their features:
Comparison of the Best Self Publishing Courses
|Self Publishing 101||Self-Publishing School||Authority Pub Academy||Your First 10K Readers|
|Teacher(s)||Mark Dawson||Chandler Bolt||Steve Scott|
|Price of Course||$497|
OR 12 payments of $49
|# Books by Creator||20+||6||75||12|
|# Hours of Course Video||21+ Hours||6.5 Course Hours||12 Hours||10 Hours|
|Included Features||- Detailed ScreenFlows|
- Teach Library: 27 Tech-Related Videos
- Cheat Sheet and Transcripts
- Facebook Group - Effective Author Networking
- Writing Copy for Facebook Ads
- Facebook Live For Authors
|- (6) 1on1 Coaching Calls|
- 1 hour Clarity Call
- 10+ Hours Extra Video
- 1 Year Mastermind Community
- Tech Compression
- Hard Copy & Audiobook
|- Facebook Group|
- Expert Interviews
- Case Studies
- Evernote for Authors
- BookBub 101
- Tools of the Trade
|Check It Out||Check It Out!||Check It Out!||Check It Out|
As you can see, all of these courses have their pros and cons. So, let’s find out more about them and see which one is right for you.
Mark Dawson is well-known for his Self Publishing Formula podcast and his Facebook Ads for Authors course. But some don’t know that he also has an in-depth course for authors that includes a whopping 22 hours of video to teach you the many stages of the self-publishing process. This is a course many Kindlepreneur readers brought to my attention, and I can see why!
Mark Dawson started out as a traditionally published author and has ventured over to create an extremely successful self-publishing author business. He’s a USA Today bestseller and has published over 20 books, so he definitely knows what he is doing. In his Self Publishing 101 Course, he shares the methods virtually any author can use after you've written your book to build your author platform and earn money from your writing.
SELF PUBLISHING 101 REVIEW
Self Publishing 101 is the perfect course for beginner and intermediate and even advanced authors who are trying to build a continuous stream of money from your books. Mark and his team, along with a few key guest experts, cover everything you need to know in order to have a successful book.
You get to look over their shoulder to see everything from how to create accounts, how to format your book, how to setup a landing page, and an email sequence that will put your email list and book sales on autopilot.
This course focuses on the basics of self publishing, with a major focus on building your email list and your author website – which are very powerful for those who are looking to build an author career out of this. It includes lots of examples for fiction authors, as Mark is a fiction author, but it all equally applies to nonfiction authors as well. It covers everything from “What is an email list and why do I need one?” to “How do I build an email list as a new author?”
Each module also includes a cheat sheet session notes with a To Do list and the video transcript to help ensure you implement each step you learn.
PROS TO SELF PUBLISHING 101
- Includes the most video by far
- Costs the least
- See step-by-step how to use both paid and free tools to format your book (Vellum, Scrivener, Draft2Digital, and Reedsy)
- Book launch guidelines for first 90 days and 365 days after you publish
- Shows how to use tools to deliver lead magnets and create autoresponder sequences, keys for building your email list
- Continuously updated with the most relevant information for students
- A NEW extra mini-course on Facebook Live for Authors
- A NEW deep dive into how to find the very best keywords and categories by yours truly 😉
CONS TO SELF PUBLISHING 101
- Not for authors who want to learn how to publish a book as fast as possible
- Ummm yeah, that's about it.
Who Is SELF PUBLISHING 101 For?
- Do you have your first (or first few) books written and need help turning them into a long-term profitable business?
- Do you wonder how to build an email list as an author?
- Do you struggle with technology and how to make all the tech tools work together?
- Do you want detailed help establishing your home base on the internet, including your author website?
- Do you want the best bang for your buck by spending the least and getting the most hours of coursework?
Then THIS is the course for you.
Next up is one of the most well-known courses that has actually produced some epic results from its students.
Chandler Bolt stormed into the self-publishing arena just a few years ago and quickly created one of the biggest names in the self-publishing industry. What’s even more impressive is that he dropped out of college, made over seven figures, and is only in his early 20s – all verified to be true.
But don’t let that young age dissuade you. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who took the course and didn't love it. But, just in case you don't, Chandler offers a full refund – so pretty much risk-free.
Self-Publishing School Review:
Chandler and his team have done an amazing job of creating a system that will get you to publish a book with his course Self-Publishing School. This is perfect for those out there who have a book inside of them but keep having life get in the way. Or those who aren’t sure about the process and need the guidance and the ‘push’ to get your book written and published.
Through his support systems, weekly videos, posting of past success, and fast-paced methods of writing and publishing, I truly believe that anyone who takes this course will publish a book with no problems and get a return on their investment.
In truth, the thing I dislike most about this course is probably what makes it a hit amongst its students. Instead of letting you get bogged down with details (which I am personally a fan of), he instead gives you enough and keeps pushing you to move forward.
Pros to Self-Publishing School
- Excellent system for keeping pace and supporting its students
- Excellent use of the Facebook platform to offer extra value
- Weekly videos and constant updates and additions
- Has had some heavy hitters take the course and excel from it such as Steve Windsor, Azul Terronez, and Lise Cartwright
- Extra 1 on 1 features to REALLY give you personal attention while on this project
- A one-hour clarity call – which is probably more important than you think
Cons to Self-Publishing School
- A little weak on the sustainable marketing side
- Brings up a couple of marketing methods but doesn’t go into detail on how to really rock those steps-Although this course is about not letting you get bogged down in the weeds
- Videos comprise of HD web camera shots and minor on-screen action
- Only 6.5 hours of video, but then again, it cuts the fluff and keeps pace (and it does have an extra 10+ hours of other videos to assist)
Again this isn’t to say that the lack of details is a bad thing. Most people get bogged down with the details and therefore never pull the trigger and publish their book. I am totally a victim of this, but then again, I was a nuclear engineer so…I’m sort of detail-oriented by nature.
Who Is Self-Publishing School for?
- Have you never published a book before and want to?
- Do you need some motivation to publish your first book?
- Do you need the knowledge of know how to effectively and efficiently write a book?
- Do you want a return on your investment ASAP?
Then THIS is the course for you.
Authority Pub Academy by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
I’ve personally been a big fan of Steve Scott for a long time. He has not only written 65 books under his two names: Steve Scott and S.J. Scott, he’s also developed two authority websites and hosted two top podcasts on the subject. In truth, Steve and his teammate, Barrie Davenport, are real all-stars and have the numbers to prove they know what they are talking about.
So, when I heard that Steve was FINALLY making a course, I was like, “It’s about time, dude.”
Authority Pub Academy Review
While Chandler’s course did a great job of pushing someone to publish a book, Steve and Barrie’s course does an excellent job of giving you more details, more information, more videos, and more training as a whole.
For their course, Authority Pub Academy, the focus is not only on getting you to publish a book but also on helping you to build a writer's platform and brand your author name – which I personally like. In truth, this is a strong strategy for the future.
A couple of years ago, there was a Kindle gold rush where people saw the easy money making potential of self-publishing and everyone, and their cousins jumped in. The amount of Kindle books on Amazon went from 500K in 2010 to 4 Million by 2015.
Because of the amount of competition, it’s becoming more important for authors to build off of their initial book success, and grow their author brand. It’s a strategy like that that has brought Steve Scott the level of success he enjoys today.
So, while the course gives you the basics of publishing your first book, it also takes the extra steps to show you exactly how you can build your author platform and create long-lasting success in self-publishing.
Pros to Authority Pub Academy
- Solid amount of videos and information
- Well-created videos and slides
- Excellent information for building a platform
- Made by two of the best in the industry
- Love the case studies and examples
- Extra mini-courses on important tactics: Evernote and BookBub
Cons to Authority Pub Academy
- Newer course, so it still needs to smooth some things over
- Fewer support mechanisms than some of the others
- Not super fast paced
Who Is Authority Pub Academy for?
- Have you never published a book before and want to?
- Do you want to go the extra step and build an author platform?
- Do you want to grow your Kindle business into something more than just one book?
Then THIS is the course for you.
Your First 10K Readers By Nick Stephenson
I've heard Nick talk on a bunch of podcasts and every time I think to myself, “that is one advanced marketing dude.”
So naturally, when I heard about his course, Your First 10K Readers, I HAD to check it out.
Suffice it to say, I wasn't let down.
Your First 10K Readers Review:
Of these four courses, Your First 10K Readers was by far the most beneficial to me. Not because the other courses are of poor quality, but because it was designed to teach ADVANCED marketing tactics, which is better suited for someone like me.
This course is NOT for beginners and was not designed to teach you how to publish your first book. Instead, it assumes you already have a book or books and want to create a strong platform on which to build your publishing empire.
Now normally, I don't trust pictures like the one below. However, after taking the course, and seeing some of the details he goes into in some pretty awesome ebook marketing tactics, I think it's safe to say that this is a good representation.
This course starts with a great look at the industry at a whole and brings everything full circle, as he goes into incredible tactics to immediately improve your pre-existing sales. However, what makes this course epic is that he then goes into detail for each particular tactic like Facebook advertisement, automated selling systems, networking prowess, traffic generation methods, and more.
Of course, there are subjects like platform building and email list creation. However, this course takes it a step further and shows you how to synchronize all your efforts so that they work together to truly grow your readership…to your first 10K readers…oh see what I did there?
Pros to Your First 10K Readers
- Best course on Advanced marketing tactics
- In-depth looks into individual and useful tactics – don't gloss over
- Great for fiction authors because it's one of the only ones made by a fiction author
- Marketing strategies are excellent for Non-fiction authors as well
Cons to Your First 10K Readers
- NOT for beginners
- Must be willing and ready to increase your marketing efforts – not for the faint of heart
Who Is Your First 10K Readers for?
- Have you published a couple of books but didn't make as much as you wanted?
- Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and take your ebook marketing to the next level?
- Are you a fiction or non-fiction writer who needs the most advanced tactics to grow?
Then THIS is the course for you.
In truth, all four courses are excellent and definitely deliver on their promises. However, I strongly believe that each course is better for a specific type of person.
I believe Self Publishing 101 is perfect if you want to focus on the detailed steps of what to do after you've written a book or two, including how to build an email list and establish your home base on the internet. If you want to learn from successful fiction authors or if you like to watch videos that show step-by-step details of all the critical steps, like how to upload books, format books, start a website, and use tools and services that will help grow your email list to sell more books, then you will love this course.
I believe Self-Publishing School is best for those who need help writing their first book and want a taste of some of the extra marketing methods out there. I also believe this course is best if you need the accountability and support system to help guide you along each step of the way. Basically, this is for those at the very beginning of writing a book.
I believe that Authority Pub Academy is perfect for those who want to build an author platform and keep the momentum going as they create multiple books. While giving you the basic information on how to publish a book, it goes a step further and dives into strategies and more complex parts of the business. This is the best course for those who want to learn from successful nonfiction authors and want to know what to consider before, during, and after writing your book to grow your platform.
And finally, I strongly believe that Your First 10K Readers is best for those who are advanced but want to step up their game to the next level. Truly meant for the advanced, this course will teach you all of the individual amazing tactics and how to bind them all together in order to have a perfectly in sync publishing campaign.
If you need any more guidance on this, be sure to hit me up on my contact page or just reply to any of my emails.