Self-Publishing Courses: Top 5 Online Publishing Courses for Authors

Scott Allan
January 15, 2024 | 18 mins

It seems like there is a new book publishing course popping up on the market every day, and that's because the self-publishing industry is hot, and gaining traction at record speeds! The time has never been better to write and publish a book, but what is the right publishing course for you? And do you even need a course?

You are the perfect student for a publishing course if you are in any of these situations:

  • You're thinking of writing a book, but are stressed about navigating the self-publishing process all on your own.
  • You're familiar with how to self-publish, but you'd just like some expert guidance to make sure you're actually doing it right.
  • You've already self-published a book, but you want to stay in the loop with industry trends and best practices.

If any of those scenarios describe you, then enrolling in one of the best self-publishing courses available will be a worthy investment for your author career.

Today we will go over the top publishing course options available online, as well as why you should consider a course in the first place.

Why you Should Consider a Publishing Course

There is a lot to know beyond how to write a book. Not to say the writing part is easy, but you will have greater confidence in writing and publishing your book if you have a support network walking you through the steps.

After writing the book (which is a process in itself), comes editing the book, getting your cover perfectly designed, and the rest of the book production and publishing process.

And let's be honest, once your book is actually published, the work definitely doesn't stop there. You have to effectively market your book, too!

With so many steps to learn how to become an author the right way, it'll be worth it to spend some money in your publishing budget towards an educational publishing course online.

What you spend in dollars, you will earn back in time and effectiveness.

To get your book to the publishing stage takes a lot of work. If you are not familiar with everything needed to self-publish a book, you could end up spending more money than planned or unknowingly fall into the hands of a deceiving vanity press publisher that preys on new authors who are desperate to publish.

So here are five reasons to invest in a publishing course:

  • You will save time publishing your book the right way, and cut back on hours spent researching.
  • You will be given a step-by-step proven process to self-publish your book.
  • You can avoid the steep learning curve of self-publishing by not relying on trial and error.
  • You learn to master a skill that can be applied to any future books you publish.
  • You can network with industry professionals, expert authors, and other writers going through the course.

Although all the best online self-publishing courses here come highly recommended, the course content and purpose of each course vary depending on several factors.

Self-Publishing Course Benefits

How to Find the Best Publishing Course for You

The best publishing course for you depends on a few factors:

  • What you need as an author. Are you writing your first book? Scaling up your author platform to 6 figures a year?
  • Your budget. How much cash are you willing to invest in your self-publishing business?
  • Your expectations. What are you expecting by taking an online publishing course? A strong return on ROI? Can the publishing course deliver on its promise?

Don’t let haste or desperation lead you to a bad decision when it comes to your writing goals. Do your research on each publishing course, so that you are confident you're making the best decision for you. Asking yourself certain questions can help decide what exactly you need from an online self-publishing course.

Consider these questions when deciding which self-publishing course to enroll in:

  • Are you writing a book? If yes, have you finished your book?
  • Are you ready to launch and earn passive income from book sales?
  • Do you have a plan for marketing and selling your book to international sites?
  • Are you building an email list of raving fans through your book empire?

Depending on how you responded to the above, this should give you an idea of what publishing course to enroll in.

Why Self-Publish Instead of Traditionally Publish?

Deciding between self-publishing vs. traditional publishing will boil down to what the right option is for you as an author and writer.

Here are 7 reasons to consider learning how to self-publish a book instead of using traditional publishing:

  • Writing a book makes you an authority in your area of expertise.
  • Self-publishing a book, or series of books, creates an additional income stream that could lead to a full-time career as an author within 6-12 months. Publishing your book through one of the big 5 trade publishers could take years.
  • Self-publishing lets you build your business at your own pace with the freedom to make key business decisions.
  • You can potentially earn more because it is easier to scale up when you have control over marketing and book launch pacing.
  • Get tax breaks by forming your own business and working from home.
  • Publish more, and publish faster. This means the potential to earn more in a shorter amount of time and scale up your email list at a faster rate: The key point here is, it’s faster all around.
  • Zero rejection letters. That’s right, you can never be rejected as a self-published author.

Some of the big titles available today started out as self-published books before being picked up by a major publishing house. Recognize any of these titles?

  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • The Shack by William P. Young
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • Swann’s Song by Marcel Proust
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • Switched by Amanda Hocking
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
  • Hacker series by Meredith Wilder
Self-Published Books

So yes, self-publishing can be a great path to launch your writing career, just like those authors experienced.

How Do I Choose the Best Online Publishing Course?

As a self-published author of 12+ books, I know firsthand what it is like to navigate through all the steps involved in writing a book.

Now, you might be thinking to just do it yourself without help from any of the self-publishing courses. I did this too, and I made a lot of mistakes that could have been avoided had I invested in a publishing course with a built-in blueprint.

This is why I have put together a solid list of the best publishing courses on the market today. Only the best made this list because I know what it is like to waste money on publishing courses that went nowhere.

I have personally been inside each of these publishing courses so I can share with you firsthand the pros and cons of each.

Is a self-publishing course really necessary?

Good question! The answer will depend on what your end goal of writing and publishing a book is.

Publishing can be difficult with lots of moving parts. You start to feel like a juggler with too many balls in the air!

The good point of joining a publishing course is that you are not alone. And, without support like a launch team to help launch your book, it is easy to make mistakes that could otherwise be avoided.

This is why we bring you this list of professional experts, each with years of book-writing experience and marketing confidence, sharing with you the best strategies for writing, launching, and selling more books.

And yes, despite the flood of material out there these days, you can make money from self-publishing…if you do it right and learn from the best.

Use this criteria when researching the best self-publishing courses:

  • Vetted Instructors. The instructors for these self-publishing courses are multi-bestselling authors with the sales and platform to show it. They are trusted by the industry with solid reputations for being honest and driving their business with integrity.
  • Up-to-date Course Content. In an industry that is constantly changing, publishing courses can become outdated within a year. The courses here are updated regularly with additions and updates every few months.
  • Author Testimonials. Based on industry reviews and student satisfaction, the self-publishing courses are praised and recommended by authors who have been through the programs.
  • White Hat Strategies. The strategies and business practices of the owners do not break any rules pertaining to Amazon’s rules and are morally sound.
  • Professional Quality. The material, content and, overall course is professionally packaged and high quality.
  • Customer Service and Support. When you run into trouble, you want to know that you can talk to someone and get everything sorted quickly and efficiently. No fuss.

Take note: Several courses are open for a limited time only at certain times of the year. The enrollment period is usually every three months, but this varies.

Ready to dive into the top 5 self-publishing courses on the market? Let's review them!

The 5 Top Online Publishing Courses Available

Self-Publishing SchoolAuthority PubSelf Publishing 101Your First 10,000 ReadersTribe Writers
Program Several to choose from6 Modules + Bonuses8 Modules + Bonuses6 Modules + Bonuses4 Modules + Bonuses
CostDepends on program$597$497$597Premium: 12 monthly payments of $99; Standard: 12 monthly payments of $49
AvailabilityAnytime, but must meet course requirementsAnytimeOpen every 3-4 month cycleAnytimeOpen a couple times a year
Target StudentBeginner to AdvancedBeginner to IntermediateBeginner to AdvancedIntermediate to AdvancedBeginner to Intermediate
Added PerksIndividualized coaching, Hardcopy Workbooks and Goodies BoxAdvanced supplementary materials & HD VideosBonus tech library and Facebook groupAccess to expert author interview, bonus course, & Facebook groupCommunity group, Facebook group, & Live conference calls
What You'll LearnHow to write, publish, and market your book (nonfiction or fiction)How to publish a book and build an author platformHow to write, launch, and market a quality bookAdvanced marketing tactics for your published bookHow to find your voice and build an author platform

1. Self-Publishing School with Chandler Bolt

Self Publishing School

Self-published entrepreneur Chandler Bolt quit college back in 2014 and set out to write a book called The Productive Person. The book was hugely successful and Chandler soon set up an online course to help authors self-publish their books…in just 90 days!

Yes, the professionals at Self Publishing School are making big claims: You can go from blank page to published book in as little as 90 days. To date, over 5000 authors – from fiction to nonfiction to children's books and memoirs – have been through the course since it started in late 2014.

The online publishing course has been featured by INC 5000 as one of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America.

With this comprehensive go-at-your-own-pace blueprint, the school has created an easy-to-follow system to take you from first-time author to business builder, or from first-time author to career author. You will be guided through a variety of topics, from how to have an author mindset, to how to finish your manuscript, to how to optimize your Amazon Author Page, and more.

Breakdown of Course Content

When Self-Publishing School first started out they had a basic course for writing and publishing a book. There are now multiple premium courses to choose from on the platform, including a full fiction course piloted by successful self-published fiction author RE Vance.

If you didn’t know already, the company has a variety of author education programs, all geared toward authors, including:

  • Become a Bestseller – Where nonfiction-specific authors can write, market, and publish their books within 90 days, all with 1-on-1 coaching from expert bestselling authors.
  • Fundamentals of Fiction – Aspiring fiction authors will learn the ropes of fiction writing and publish their first fiction book with 1-on-1 coaching from a bestselling fiction author.
  • Children's Book School- Aspiring children's book writers will learn how to write and produce a quality children's book that parents, teachers, and kids love.
  • Author Advantage AcceleratorTheir ultimate program. This bundled package of programs also includes a whole buffet of done-for-you services to make the production, publishing, and marketing easier.
  • Author Advantage Live – A writer's conference specifically for self-published and independent authors where you will learn, strategize, and network to build a book business.

Each program comes with its own customized, professional workbook. The best part of these courses is that you will be assigned a personal coach after being accepted into the program.

Online Publishing Training

Course Details

Cost to Enroll: Speak to an SPS representative to discuss the best course options and pricing.

Availability: If you meet the publishing course requirements you can start right away

Target Author: Writing your first book, advanced or pro authors. SPS has courses to cover any level.

Enrollment Availability: If you qualify for access to the publishing course, you will speak to a strategist who will set you up with the best course to meet your publishing goals.

Reasons to Enroll with Self-Publishing School

  • The one-on-one personal coaching that comes with each course and program. You will get the best results by working with a professional student success coach.
  • One-hour clarity call with your coach to drill down into your book idea
  • Weekly live online mastermind group with Chandler Bolt
  • Customized workbook comes with each course
  • Mastermind Facebook Community of 2000+ active participants
  • Premium courses to meet your publishing goals
  • Done-for-you services to make the whole process easier

Self-Publishing School has a long track record of successful students who have written, launched, and turned their dreams of being published into a reality. The course is fast-paced and doesn’t waste time on details.

Even if you decide not to enroll in a course with Self-Publishing School, take a look at some of the helpful blog articles and tools available for free, like this Book Profit Calculator.

Check out this review of Self-Publishing School if you want more details about the company.

2. Authority Pub Academy With Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport

Authority Pub Academy

Steve Scott [also known as S.J. Scott] is one of the biggest names when it comes to self-publishing. He has been marketing online for a long time and when the eBook craze started back in 2011, Steve was one of the first authors that was in there doing it.

Related: Authority Pub Academy review

Steve Scott has published over 70 books and has been branded as the “Heavyweight of Self Publishing.” He runs the blog Develop Good Habits. Together with his writing partner Barrie Davenport [Live Bold and Bloom], Steve and Barrie created Authority Pub Academy.

With the combined talents of two bestselling authors, Authority Pub is everything you would expect it to be: A self-publishing course that is focused on teaching authors to write and publish, not just a book, but focuses on building out an author platform.

Self Publishing Courses

In today’s overwhelming jungle of books, with thousands being published daily, Steve Scott recognized the importance of turning your book platform into a brand and a book business.

This is the strength and focus of this course, and there are loads of videos, downloads, and information taught by two authors who have been engaged in the self-publishing business from the beginning.

Breakdown of Course Content

Authority Pub Academy is made up of 6 modules:

  • Module 1: Setting the Author Mindset and Building a Writing Habit
  • Module 2: Niche Focus and Researching a Perennial Bestseller
  • Module 3: Outlining, Writing a First Draft and Editing
  • Module 4: Pre-Publishing and Setting Up Your Book in KDP
  • Module 5: Lead Magnets, Reviews and Launch Strategies
  • Module 6: Advanced marketing and Scaling Up Your Author Library

Authority Pub is a plethora of knowledge and both Steve and Barrie have learned everything through years of trial and error. Authority Pub is a “one-stop resource to help writers streamline the whole process.”

Course Details

Cost to Enroll: $597 or 2 payments of $348

Availability: Anytime

Target Author: If you are just writing your first book, or already published and looking to scale up your author platform with more content and strategies that increase long-term growth, Authority Pub is for you.

Reasons to Enroll with Authority Pub Academy

  • Advanced supplementary materials include WordPress blog setup mastery, Canva tutorial, email walkthrough using Aweber and Evernote tips for productive writing
  • Course content professionally delivered via high-definition videos supported by quality downloads
  • Solid case studies and examples of writers who have made it work
  • Effective advanced marketing strategies to scale up your books
  • The course removes any guesswork and provides students with a clear roadmap
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

3. Self-Publishing 101 with Mark Dawson

Self Publishing 101

I became interested in Mark Dawson’s platform as a big fan of his John Milton action series books and Isabella Rose thrillers. If you’re looking for a great read this weekend, I’d highly recommend these books.

As a traditionally published author who used to write for a big firm, Mark Dawson started self-publishing his action and thrillers and, to date, has sold over a million copies. His monthly author salary in 2015 was $450,000 a year.

So, who better to learn the craft of self-publishing than an established author with both a library of successful bestsellers and the income to show it? This brings us to Self-Publishing 101, Mark Dawson’s course for authors.

Mark Dawson Books

If you are new at self-publishing or have been publishing for a while, this course has something for everyone. You will learn the basics as well as advanced marketing strategies to scale up your author platform.

With Self-Publishing 101, you will write, launch, and market a quality book that sells. Although Mark Dawson is mainly a fiction author, the course can be customized for nonfiction writers. The same marketing strategies apply to both.

Breakdown of Course Content

Inside Self-Publishing 101, the course is broken up into 8 modules that include:

  • Build Your Platform
  • Pre-Publication
  • Amazon Exclusive or Go Wide
  • Go Wide
  • Generating Traffic
  • Advanced Teams & Launching
  • Getting Reviews

As additional bonuses, there is also a tech module that walks through how to build a website, lead magnets, email service providers, and formatting your book.

The best part of this course is the system Mark teaches for email list building through an author website. Building an email list is critical to the success of any author, and Mark and his team have these bases covered.

Course Details

  • Cost to Enroll: $497 or 12 monthly payments of $49.00. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Availability: Closed after enrollment begins. Cycle is every 3-4 months.
  • Target Author: Beginner, intermediate, and advanced authors looking to build a rock-solid fan base through email list building and advertising.

Reasons to Enroll with Self Publishing 101

  • Extensive material into understanding the Amazon algorithm
  • Focuses on subscriber communication and building an email list
  • Bonus tech library with an introduction to using advanced apps and tools
  • Active Facebook group with a high response time
  • Additional bonus materials, such as the “Writing Copy for Facebook Ads” module
  • Reasonably priced course for the value it delivers

4. Your First 10k Readers with Nick Stephenson

First 10K Readers

If you are looking for a comprehensive, in-depth, no-holds-barred course on marketing tactics, Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10,000 Readers is that course.

Related: Full Review of Nick Stephenson's Your First 10K Readers

Created by a bestselling fiction author, Your First 10k Readers is a different beast from the other best courses listed here for one defining reason: It isn’t about writing your first book.

The course assumes you already have a book, or a library of books, and now you want to take what you've got and line it all up in order to grow your list to a 10k readership…and beyond.

Your First 10k Readers is really better suited for the more seasoned author. It gets into the nitty-gritty of the Amazon algorithm, merchandising, keywords and niche marketing, email marketing, landing pages, giveaways, and what Nick calls “Your secret sauce.”

So yeah, there’s a lot going on here.

Let’s take a look inside.

Breakdown of the Course Content

The course consists of 6 modules that you can work on at your own pace.

The self-publishing course modules are:

  • Module 1: Rule the Retainers. This includes Amazon Algorithms, Merchandising, Broad Reach VS KDP Select, and Pricing.
  • Module 2: Generate Endless Traffic. This includes Keywords & Niches, Using Free Books, Smart Promotions, and The Author Dream Team
  • Module 3: Convert Traffic Into Fans. This includes Traffic Funnels, Optimize Your Website, Giveaways, and Events Marketing
  • Module 4: Build Engagement and Sell—Without Being “Salesy”. This module includes Why Readers Don’t Buy, Priming the Sale, Scarcity, the Secret Sauce, Social Media Mastery, Getting Reviews, and Auto-Responders
  • Module 5: Launch Strategies. This module includes Launch Teams, Building Buzz, and Launch Day
  • Module 6: Facebook Advertising. This module includes Intro to Power Editor, How to Track Results With Pixels, and Ninja Tricks.
Self Publishing Course Training

In addition to the 6 core modules, there is also a wide range of bonus content that includes rock star author interviews, email swipe files, and tools of the trade bonus section.

Course Details

  • Cost to Enroll: $597 or 12 monthly payments of $59.00. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Availability: Enrollment anytime.
  • Target Author: Intermediate and advanced authors needing advanced tactics to scale up your author platform and build your publishing business into an empire

Reasons to Enroll with Your First 10k Readers

  • Author interviews with big industry authors Mark Dawson, Joanna Penn, Simon Whistler, Bryan Cohen, and Nick Loper
  • A powerhouse of book marketing tactics for both fiction and nonfiction authors
  • Video content is high-quality, fast-paced, and engaging
  • Private Facebook group that is highly active and engaged
  • Bonus courses, such as “The 60-Day Author” for writers who haven’t published yet
  • Members' cheat sheet that breaks the course down into a comprehensive blueprint

5. Tribe Writers with Jeff Goins (Discontinued)

Tribe Writers

Jeff Goins is the best-selling author of five books including The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve. He is the owner of where he shares his thoughts on writing, life, and creativity.

Read our full Tribe Writers review.

With a successful blog and five bestselling books, it isn’t any surprise that Jeff has a writing course to market to his raving fans of authors: Tribe Writers.

Jeff’s course is packed with material. With the formula presented in Tribe Writers, you as the author can create your own path to creativity. There are twelve steps of a tribe writer that allow you to tailor fit the best plan while keeping your unique voice.

Self Publishing Course

Tribe Writers is broken up into four individual modules:

  • Module 1: Honing Your Voice
  • Module 2: Establishing a Platform
  • Module 3: Expanding Your Reach
  • Module 4: Getting Published

In addition to the four modules, you also get:

  • Exclusive interviews with over a dozen authors, bloggers, and publishing experts
  • Access to the Tribe Writers community of 6000+ members
  • Live conference calls to ask questions and get help
  • Downloadable PDF workbook that summarizes every lesson
  • Admission to a private Facebook group only for students

The modules take about two weeks to get through but you can move at your pace.

This course comes with five additional bonuses to support you including You Are a Writer eBook + Audiobook and The Perfect Book Launch.

Where Jeff’s Tribe Writers is different from the other courses is a strong emphasis on honing your ideas and creativity as a writer to create a unique brand. There is a strong foundation for support and networking with hundreds of other authors.

Reasons to Enroll with This Self-Publishing Course

  • Loaded with tools to help get you started
  • Community of writers to help you when you get stuck
  • Lots of valuable content and expert interviews included
  • Designed to show you how to find your voice and audience
  • Monthly conference calls to keep you on track
  • Supplemental material, like “12 Steps of a Tribe Writer” that clearly outlines the expectations of the course.

Which Self-Publishing Course is Right for You?

The best publishing course for aspiring self-published authors you decide depends largely on your goals as a writer.

Are you writing one book only and need a step-by-step process to guide you through to published author?

Self-Publishing School could be a match. Keep in mind they do have additional courses for marketing and business, as well as done-for-you services.

Do you want to build a solid library of books and focus on your author platform? Authority Pub Academy could be your best match. Let Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport guide you towards your success of being a multiple bestselling author.

Do you want to learn the essence of email list building, creating an author website, and setting up landing pages that convert readers into subscribers? Self-Publishing 101 could be the best choice to make.

Need more advanced marketing tools from one of the best in the business? Your First 10k Readers is the path you might consider.

There are also other courses out there like the Punchy Books Accelerator Course that you might find to be a good fit. It's really up to you.

So now, make a choice. You have been sitting on this long enough. Your book won’t write itself and if you have written it already, take it to the next level.

Are you going to write the next perennial bestseller? We're here to help! You can schedule a free strategy call with our team today to learn how to write a publish your next hit successfully.

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