Self Publishing Launchpad: My Honest Review (& My Self Publishing Story)

Updated November 10, 2022

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 income streams varied, but my book was one.

Disclosure: Links are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

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 made over $5000 within the first few weeks after launch 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 the ask), 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.

When asked, I always recommend aspiring authors to self publish, with two exceptions: those who have a lifelong dream of becoming "a published author" (in the traditional sense), 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 known as Self Publishing 101. It was extremely robust and well done then. Today, it's even more so.

Is Self Publishing Launchpad by Mark Dawson worth it?

After buying it myself, I absolutely 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. I suggest you check out the testimonials.

What does it teach?

How to self publish your books. The focus is on how to market and sell your books (key!), not on the writing process itself. Update: This has changed. The main focus is still mainly 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 down on 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 (digital format).

Does it work?

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

But what about his students? Don’t miss the testimonials here, 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. It's open now!

How much does Self Publishing Launchpad cost?

$597 with generous payment options. Future updates are included.

Are there incidental costs?

Yes. Costs associated with an email list are expected. Other tools and services are recommended, as well as costs associated with running ads, but it seems care has been taken to keep incidental costs down.

How to get a taste

Explore extra resources including the podcast 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.


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 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 find tricky to build because they are several steps removed from their readers.

Community. The Facebook Group has over 25,000 members at the time of this update. It gives 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. 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. It’s hosted on the Teachable platform which 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.

Amy Lynn Andrews

Amy Lynn Andrews is a veteran blogger, author, newsletter writer and minimalist online business owner. Earnings from her online career allowed her and her husband to retire early.