My Honest Self Publishing Launchpad Review

And my self publishing story...

Updated May 23, 2024

Hi there, I'm Amy. I became an online creator in 2004. What started as a hobby became my family's main source of income, which then became the source of our early retirement. How? I built income streams. My book was one of those streams.

I personally bought this course. Links are my affiliate links. Full disclaimer here.

Summary (TL;DR)

If you want to make money as an author of multiple books, Self Publishing Launchpad is worth it. If you are a casual writer who will write one book or two, I'd pass. But don't take my word for it. Click here to read the testimonials.

Why I turned down a traditional publishing book deal

In 2010, I was approached by a traditional publisher. They expressed interest in my ebook (as we called them then). They offered me a low 5-figure advance if I would stop selling it and let them turn it into a "real book."

I politely declined.

It was a scary step. Back then self publishing was far from mainstream, but I had made over $5000 within the first few weeks after launching my ebook on my own. I figured I had a good thing going.

I admit, the status of being a "traditionally published author" was pretty tempting. However in the end, I simply did not want to turn over control, pad my already-written book with extra content to make it 9 times longer (yes, that was what they wanted), stop selling it, and wait 1-2 years for the traditional publishing machine to do its thing and push out my book.

Do I regret turning down the deal? Not for a second. 

I have since become a huge fan of self publishing. It allows authors to retain control, sidestep the gatekeepers, work on their own timeline and retain more profit. I'm so happy writers are making great livings as authors, on their own terms.

I always recommend aspiring authors self publish, with two exceptions: those who have a sentimental dream of becoming a traditionally published author, and those who want to break into the speaking circuit of a particular niche. Otherwise, self publish!

Frankly, when I launched my book, I was winging it. I didn't have a solid plan. Digital self publishing was so new, there were few resources to help. It was messy. Over time though, several serious authors developed proven systems for self publishing and turned it into a lucrative income stream. I was fascinated by their processes.

In 2018, despite having no immediate plans to launch another book, my curiosity got the best of me. I spent over $1500 to buy three comprehensive courses about self publishing. Of the three, two were meh, but one blew me away: Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Launchpad, formerly Self Publishing 101. It was comprehensive then. Today, it's even more so.

Is Self Publishing Launchpad worth it?

After buying it myself, I definitely think Self Publishing Launchpad is worth it for anyone who plans to write multiple books. It's extremely robust and is updated and expanded as self publishing changes. Read some testimonials here.

What does it teach?

How to self publish your books. The focus is on marketing your books (this is the key!) not on the writing process itself. Update: This has changed. The main focus is still on marketing, but more writing help has been added.

The benefits of self publishing cannot be overstated. Authors are not subject to the gatekeepers and very slow timelines of traditional publishing. They retain more control and often make much more money.

To get a more detailed idea of what is included, scroll through this page here.

Who is it best for?

I think it’s best for those who will write multiple books. If you’ve only got one or two books in you, the course is helpful, but may not be worth the investment. Have you always dreamed of making writing your occupation? If you commit to it, I think you'll find Self Publishing Launchpad invaluable. It's a proven roadmap.

You can figure out how to self publish on your own but it will cost you time. Or, you can pay for this course, save the time and get the ball rolling sooner.

What method of making money online does it teach?

Books in digital format.

Does it work?

Yes. Mark Dawson, the creator of Self Publishing Launchpad has sold over 4 million books himself.

But what about his students? As I've said, don’t miss the testimonials, like Maria Luis who tripled her salary in less than 6 months. And that's just one story.

When is it open?

Twice a year, in spring and fall.

How much does Self Publishing Launchpad cost?

$597. Generous payment options have always been offered and future updates are included.

Will there be extra costs?

Yes. Expect to pay for tools and services beyond the course itself, such as an email list, ads, possibly a website, etc. However, it seems care has been taken to keep incidental costs down.

How to get a taste

Watch a replay of a past webinar such as 3 Secrets to Starting Your Novel or Five Key Tips for Profitable Book Marketing

Or, explore the website which has extra resources including the podcast, blog, and free books under the Resources tab.

Who made it & are they qualified to teach it?

Mark Dawson. Yes he’s qualified. He’s sold over 4 million books. He has also partnered with many other experts in the niche the last few years, including huge players in the space, such as former Amazon employees. This has increased the value exponentially in my opinion.

Note: Mark has recently taken a step back from running the course and has handed the reigns over to his co-founder, James Blatch.


Solid framework for all genres. Mark’s own success proves his process works. He writes mainly fiction, but his students write in all genres.

Mark’s experience & style. Mark is a former lawyer. He’s also authored many books, and marketed them successfully resulting in millions of dollars in book sales. He’s knowledgeable, thorough, detailed and is sensitive to the ethical / legal aspects of the process.

A focus on building your list. Everything Mark does revolves around his email list. This is smart and something a lot of traditionally published authors find tricky because they are several steps removed from their readers (publishers can get in the way!).

Community. The public Facebook Group has over 25,000 members at the time of this update. There is also a private Facebook Group for members. These give you a chance to ask questions, get ideas, share ideas, ask for advice, get support, provide encouragement and interact with other writers who “get” you.

Success stories. As I've said, there are many student testimonials.

In-depth information. The course is packed with information. I'm not sure what else to say about that.

Packaged well. The course platform is easy to navigate and familiar to many.

Lifetime enrollment. You’ll have access to current and future updates of the course. It's so nice not to be charged annually.

30-day money back guarantee. That’s just good customer service.


Cost. For some, the cost is prohibitive (although there is a generous payment plan). If you are willing to invest in a college course to further your career, this would be comparable.

Potentially overwhelming for some. There are a lot of moving parts to Mark’s plan. That’s both good and bad. It’s super thorough, but also might be overwhelming for some. The good news is, he offers several timelines, checklists and to-do lists throughout.

An ever-changing landscape. There’s no doubt this course will need updates as online things change (they always do). Mark is committed to keeping things up to date. For anything needed immediate attention, he is very accessible in the Facebook Group. Update: Now that I've had access to the course for over 3 years, I can say it has been updated many times over.


I’m a huge fan of self publishing. I rejected a traditional book deal and consider it to be one of my best income-generating decisions.

Self Publishing Launchpad is impressive. If you dream of making a living writing, you’ll be hard pressed to find something comparable, especially at this price point. Get more details or check it out here.