Why would you get a self publishing course in the first place?
If you’ve decided to self publish on Amazon, your next step is to seek out experts (and communities) that teach you how to self publish for long lasting ROI. In other words, a real business.
It’s a known fact that successful self publishers learned from mentors and/or learned self publishing from video courses.
Those that didn’t had to traverse alone in uncharted territory.
Learning how to self publish on your own often leads to money and time loss. Eventually, these folks give in and start learning from those that came before them.
Those who already laid out a blueprint.
Do you absolutely need a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) course to learn this business?
Where else are you going to learn it? There's not a college course that teaches this process from A-Z.
If you want to understand the rules, patterns, and fundamentals that go into self publishing on Amazon, then you need to get some online training on the matter.
In this article, you’re going to learn about the best self publishing courses that exist on the market today.
I have analyzed them on a variety of key factors to determine which ones offer the most value when it comes to making self publishing income (long-term) and education.
The factors used to rate each online course include:
- Training Videos
- Positive Reviews/Testimonials
- Active Facebook Groups
- Extra Features
- White/Grey/Black Hat Gauge
The 2 Types of Self Publishing Courses
Neither route is better – just different styles of success.
Before we get started, I want you to know that there are 2 types of Kindle publishers on Amazon.
This is because 2 types of self publishers are attracted to Kindle Publishing.
The first type is Author Self Publishers.
True writers. Publishers who have a passion for writing and need to share their gift with the world. Typically, they prefer to write first and strategize later. And thankfully, these days, writers can make a living writing since we're no longer at the mercy of publishing companies.
When it comes to online marketing, author self publishers fall a little short when it comes to fusing online marketing with their fabulous writing skills.
This is where courses (and my blog ?) are a big help. Each course teaches the self publishing process, and some do a great job at teaching online marketing, which will help any type of publisher in the long run.
The second type is Outsource Self Publishers.
They prefer to be behind the scenes and focus on ranking the book(s) using keyword research tools such as Publisher Rocket (formerly known as KDP Rocket) and other methods that trigger the Amazon search engine algorithm.
Related: learn more about Rocket in our latest Publisher Rocket review.
They’re not full-blown authors and sometimes don’t even like writing. Instead, they outsource the writing part to ghostwriters.
It’s far more enjoyable for them to develop authority around their pen names.
Keyword research, email autoresponders, systems? All fun and games for the Outsource Self Publisher.
A potential third type of publisher exists, too – the Hybrid Publisher.
This is a self publisher who enjoys both the writing and online marketing process of self publishing.
I'd say this is the sweet spot.
They have no problems writing a book in their niche while a ghostwriter is simultaneously writing a congruent book.
I fit the bill for this one. I wrote a few books under pen names that sell well to this day.
I consider myself a decent writer, but I also enjoy being the digital strategist behind my niche.
(Hybrids are more common than you may think).
I say all this because I’ve divided the best online self publishing courses into 2 sections below. One for each types of Kindle publisher.
This way, you’ll know which fits you best.
Note: Make sure to check out both self publishing course sections as there are 2 sets of course recommendation tables.
After hours of research, comparing, and analysis, I put together the top outsource self publishing courses that you should consider joining.
These courses have proven time and time again to produce a return on investment for their members.
Each one of them has testimonials, great private communities, and I’ve had the pleasure to be in contact with a few of the course creators and members over the recent years.
Best Self Publishing Courses for Authors
The courses coming up are excellent, and more suited for writers and self publishers who want nothing to do with review swapping (usually only taught in outsource self publishing courses).
Do you want to become an authority in your niche by becoming a well-rounded self publisher?
Good, these courses are for you. You're not only going to learn the self publishing process, but you're going to take it a step further by learning how to use tools like blogging, email marketing, social media, and paid advertising (if you're up for it).
In other words, these are not mainstream self publishing courses and are more suited for long term entrepreneurs who aren't chasing a fast buck.
If you’re an author and LOVE writing and want to build an authority audience, then I recommend the course below.
My #1 Author Self Publishing Course Recommendation
After much consideration I bought Steve Scott’s (review link) Authority Pub Academy course.
After seeing his book profile, blog and accomplishments I had to give the course a shot. So far, I'm satisfied and love that he mixes in online marketing with self publishing.
Remember, courses like this one are mainly for self publishers who want to focus on building a brand with email marketing and other online marketing channels. And launching a book with an ARC team.
You can't go wrong with your choices in the section above.
Hardcover Self Publishing for Authority Publishers (Optional)
Have you ever wanted to have a blueprint for self publishing hardcover books?
The process of self publishing a hardcover version of your book is less known by Kindle publishers because neither KDP
nor Createspace offer print-on-demand hardcover self publishing services.
Hopefully, one day they will, but for now, there are other platforms that you can use self publish your hardcovers.
Lulu and IngramSparks are two platforms that can help you do this. And they will reach out to Amazon and have your hardcover available via their integration systems.
Here's the rub…
Self publishing hardcovers have a low ROI if you're solely selling your hardcover through Amazon.
You see, when someone buys your hardcover book from Amazon, you're not only giving Amazon a cut, but you're also giving Lulu's cut and Lulu's cost to manufacture your book.
Your royalties can start getting real slim!
That's where it helps to be an authority author.
Because when you're creating a brand and email list around your niche, you can present certain subscribers (those who like hardcovers over other versions of your book…yes there is a market for hardcover lovers) with the link to your hardcover's Lulu sales page.
Pro tip: if a customer buys your hardcover from Lulu instead of Amazon, your royalties shoot through the roof! And you can set a massive discount for your Lulu sales page.
See how it's harder to do this without an authority platform like a blog and/or email list?
If you're interested in adding another book royalty stream, checkout my recent article on how to self publish hardcover books on Amazon!
Best Self Publishing Courses for Outsource Publishers
This chart below will help you choose the best outsource Kindle publishing course that is best for you.
Although these courses contain grey/black hat strategies like review swapping video lessons, they aren't mandatory.
The courses have alternative lessons on white hat review gathering.
For an A-Z course that teaches you ways to get organic Amazon reviews and get them the right way, check out author style courses section below.
My 2 cents on this grey area (for beginner publishers) is to start off with author style courses (section above) if you can. This way, you won't be tempted to do review swaps, which is against KDP's terms of service.
If you can't help it and review swap (or already doing so)… get away from it ASAP. These days, review swapping is getting a little more expensive and risky.
If you're unfamiliar with how to properly get reviews for your books, watch this video by Dave Chesson:
My #1 Outsource Self Publishing Course Recommendation
Is getting other people to write your books and focusing on the marketing side of things more up your alley?
Well, if that's the case, I don't blame you. Not everyone's a writer, but that shouldn't deter you from Kindle publishing.
Self Publishing Blueprint is the most comprehensive A-Z outsource self publishing course on the market by fellow colleague Emeka.
Read our Self Publishing Blueprint review.
A Kindle Keyword Research Course (Optional)
After taking a few outsourcing Kindle courses early on, I can assure you that keyword research is the most neglected part of these courses.
The instructors' give you an overly basic example of keyword research. They go over keywords such as “meditation” or “yoga” … (yawn) … we've all seen these before.
I saw this as an issue for the outsource self publishing community so I decided to create my own Kindle keyword research course called Kingdom Publishing Madness.
If you're an outsource publisher struggling with keywords or coming up with new niche book ideas then checkout this course.
Why Didn't I Just Start With Author Type Courses?
I began my self publishing journey with the aforementioned mainstream self publishing type courses.
In the “beginning”, during college, I didn’t have too much money to invest (broke college student situation), so I was forced to write my own books.
So, that’s exactly what I did.
Why didn’t I start with Author publishing courses?
Well, here's where I went wrong.
I was researching this business model on YouTube. Which is outsource publishing guru territory ? (mostly).
Author self publishing courses aren't marketed very well on YouTube. They lack the presence that the mainstream courses have.
Their course creators usually stick to their blogs.
Writers like Steve Scott are too busy writing and planning their next book project then pimping their courses on YouTube.
Who knows … but that’s how I found out about this Kindle publishing – good’ol YouTube.
That said, if you’re a beginner you'll face this crossroads in your self publishing journey too. Usually two paths.
Choice #1: Choose an authority author style course for self publishing and learn how to fuse online marketing and self publishing faster. I suggest concentrating on one niche you’ll enjoy becoming an authority in.
Choice #2: You can do what I did and choose one of the mainstream outsource courses mentioned in this article. And then take an author style self publishing course… (least recommended choice).
If you’re currently an intermediate self publisher who’s looking to get away from grey/black hat review swapping and you already know the self publishing process then I recommend Authority Pub Academy.
This might sound cliché, but no course is perfect.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the course best fit for your style and stick to it.
Different courses have different styles of doing things, and if you follow two or more courses, you’ll never get anything done. So pick one and stick to it.
F.O.C.U.S. = Focus on One Course Until Successful
After mastering your one course feel free to see how other courses and self publishers do things.
All the Kindle publishing courses in this article work.
If I’ve done my job right, I helped you hone in on the best self publishing course for you.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!