SP 101 not currently open? Take a look at alternatives in our Best Self-Publshing Courses review.

Continuing our focus on Self Publishing courses, we look at Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing 101. This extensive course has established itself as the high watermark for launching your author publishing business. As with Mark’s other main course, Ads for Authors, SP101 only opens its doors a few times a year. The next opportunity to sign up and begin your self-publishing journey will be later in 2022.

Click here for more SP101 Testimonials

Who is Mark Dawson?

Mark is the incredibly successful self-published author of various thriller series, including John Milton and Beatrix Rose. He has turned his own author business into a 6 figure powerhouse, and his books have made millions of dollars, so there’s no better mentor if you’re looking to aim for the same lofty goals.

Along with James Blatch and an extended team, Mark has also built the Self Publishing Formula brand that includes courses and a podcast. They have also set up Fuse Books (a fiction imprint) and Hello Books (for Author Book Promotion).

What you will learn from SP101:

If you’ve typed ‘The End’ on your manuscript, toyed with the idea of self-publishing, and you’re unsure of the following steps to making your book available online, then SP 101 is well worth considering.

Let’s dive in.

(Note that modules may be slightly changed in this year’s updates)

Course Contents:

Module 1: Build your Platform:

Covers the essentials of your platform, from building a website, establishing a mailing list, and social media.

Module 2: Pre-publication

This module delves into the detail of what you need and what you do NOT need when it comes to your book contents.

Module 3: Exclusive to Amazon KU or Wide?

Although Amazon Kindle is the largest platform for eBooks, there’s a good argument for making your ebooks available on all the platforms.

Module 4: Go exclusive

An overview of the tools to use if you do go exclusive. Also, how to optimize your book for the retailer’s powerful algorithm.

Module 5: Go Wide

This module focuses on the proven strategy if you have (or will shortly have) more than one book ready to sell. Plus, a  look at the merchandising opportunities available at the other retailers – and how to get them to notice you and your books.

Module 6: Generating traffic

This module spotlights getting traffic to your book’s sales pages and converting readers from browsers to superfans. Mark also shows you the best tools you can deploy to turn readers into buyers and subscribers to your mailing list.

Sessions include getting organic traffic, using paid ads, list services and other platforms like Bookbub and Prolific Works.

Module 7: Advance Teams and Launching your book

Sessions in this module break down the process for a successful launch, with timings and email copy. There’s also a focus on establishing an advance team – the powerful group of superfans who will provide you with advice, reviews and motivation.

Module 8: Getting Reviews

How do you get reviews without sales? And visa versa? Here, Mark delves into another great strategy that will solve this problem.

Tech Library

Do you get the heebie-jeebies for the techy end of things? This course has an in-depth suite of videos covering everything from building a website to setting up reader magnets and using email service providers.

Here’s the breakdown of what you can access in the SP101 tech library:

Direct Publishing

Videos covering how to publish your ebooks on the following platforms:

  • Amazon
  • Kobo
  • Draft2Digital
  • Apple
  • KDP – Print On Demand (for paperbacks)

Author Websites

  • Setting Up Your Domain
  • Author Website – Wix
  • Author Website – Squarespace
  • Author Website – WordPress
  • Author Website – Leadpages

Email Marketing

  • Email Service Providers – Mailchimp
  • Email Service Providers – Convert Kit
  • Email Service Providers – MailerLite
  • Delivering Reader Magnets
  • Social Media
  • Formatting
  • Ingram Spark
  • Bonus Sessions
  • Effective Author Networking
  • Writing Copy for Facebook Ads

Bonus Modules

In addition to all the above content, there are also special author-focused guides on:

  • INSTAGRAM
  • YOUTUBE
  • FACEBOOK LIVE
  • PINTEREST

Plus full access to SPF University with insightful and valuable webinars on all things self-publishing with fresh content added on a regular basis.

Course Cost/Options

There has been talk of SPF restructuring the membership, but whether this means a pricing change is currently unclear. The full lifetime cost for joining is normally around $597 with options to split the payments with a 30 day money back guarantee. This includes all future updates and additions.

Is it for you?

This all depends on where you are in your author journey. If you’ve recently finished a manuscript or even have a few books under your belt, SP101 is a wise investment to help guide you through the rapids of publishing, not to mention building your author platform. Even if you’re not yet there with your first book, this course will at least get you thinking about the next steps after typing ‘The End.’

SP 101 might be a good fit if:

You’ve finished a book

You want to learn the first steps of book marketing. Also, check out our Ads for Authors review.

You want to build a book publishing business or career from being an author.

SP 101 might NOT be a good fit if:

You want to learn how to write a book. You’ll need to look elsewhere for that information, depending on the type of books. We’ll be looking at courses for that soon. Subscribe for updates.

You need personal accountability and tutoring. This is a self-help, learn at your own pace type of course with videos and resources.

You’re not willing to invest. The course cost might be off-putting for some, although there are payment options (see above).