Lessons from the Self-Publishing Trenches II – Updated for 2020…Let Me Review it for You!

Lessons from the Self Publishing Trenches Review

Many years ago, a site-building buddy of mine gave me this advice:

“Find someone who is doing what YOU want to do and model them.”

I took that advice to heart and it works. 

Want to make money selling journals? Follow my example.  ðŸ˜œ

Want to create a lifestyle blog and make money? Find someone who’s doing it and do what they’re doing.

Want to make money as an Amazon affiliate? Find someone who’s doing it and build your business the way they do.

Want to make multi-six-figures as a self-publisher? Learn from someone who’s already doing it…and teaching you how to do the same with an ACTIONABLE plan.

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Yesterday, I came across an offer from a guy named David – Lessons from the Self-Publishing Trenches II (2020)

I took a look at the sales page and WOW – in 10 months, he took his income to $65,549 {that’s ONE month’s income} from short-read books.

3 years later, he’s kept at it, refining the process, and has multiplied his income by 10X over. 

I didn’t know David but when a buddy of mine I trust completely said that this was the real deal, I took the plunge and bought this course {including both OTOs} with the full intention of reviewing and implementing it thoroughly…

…which means it’s the perfect opportunity to review it for you guys, too.

A word of warning: When I review, I not only share what I like, but what I DON’T. 

I tell you this so you understand from the get-go that I’m not doing this just to promote the course and make money.

I’m not even giving my recommendation yet!

I share my link for your convenience so that you can skip all this and get started right along with me, making your own judgment, if that’s what you want to do.

All that being said, let’s get started!

The Sales Page

Can you get over that headline? 

It’s not just 6-figures, y’all. It’s MULTI-6-figures. 

The Video

In the video, David introduces himself and touches on the success of the previous version of this course and talks about what’s different about this expanded and updated version. 

You also hear about his results after 10 months and his results during the following 3 years. 

It’s impressive. 

He’s published books in different genres, both fiction and nonfiction…and he’s published LOW CONTENT BOOKS, too! {And I thought it was just going to be about fiction! 😁}

Thankfully, this isn’t a hyped-up video of a guy filming in the seat of his Ferrari – it’s a very relatable guy sitting at his desk giving us an overview of the training. 

Cool. Makes me want to know more. 

Talking Income – Show Me the Money!

The sales page itself is kind of written like a blog post. It’s as if David is having a conversation with you – not trying to SELL you. There’s a difference.

We learn that the first edition of In the Trenches was the result of the breakthrough he had in his own publishing business – a breakthrough that resulted in a 5-figure MONTH.

This statement below has one important factor. Can you guess what I love about it?

I love that he’s still applying the same principles – he’s just improved upon them.

A few paragraphs later, he shares about his early experience in self-publishing and I totally relate; I relate to the struggle, to the self-doubt, to the “shiny new object” syndrome, to the investment in coaching…

What I notice is that he kept pursuing growth. He was consistent. He put in the work. In my experience, that’s exactly what it takes to succeed. 

I appreciate that, while he does share some numbers, he’s not over-doing it.

Frankly, numbers and income can be faked.

I’m more concerned with the value of this product and how I can apply what’s in it to my business.

It helps that the people I know who are vouching for this guy are good, solid, reputable people who wouldn’t steer me wrong. But even without that, I like that David is giving me some specifics:

  • I know that he’s talking about creating short reads and low content books across a variety of niches/genres
  • I know that he’s successful in his own right, that his first edition sold like hot cakes, and that that version is still a solid system but that this version has been expanded upon and updated for 2020
  • I know that he’s not promising quick and easy money for nothing – he says outright that it takes time, action, application of the techniques, and consistency {Oh, how I LOVE that!}

A 4-Step Process

He breaks his process down into 4 steps: Produce, Publish, Promote, and Profit.

And here’s what’s covered in that process {in other words…here’s what he’s promising us…the italicized notes are my own}:

  • Meeting your market so you actually sell some books.
  • Why reinventing the wheel is not a good idea.
  • Why being ‘original’ and ‘different’ is not always the best idea.
  • The power of short reads and how to optimize your books for maximum exposure.
  • Why QUALITY and QUANTITY is key to your success {Something I stress to you guys time and again!}
  • The importance of READERS, and why they should be your focus, not the $ they put in your pocket.
  • How to build a business that works for you, instead of you working for your business.
  • The balance of TIME & MONEY in your publishing business, and some ways to wisely invest both.
  • Attract top-quality ghostwriters for a great price who are loyal and committed.
  • Powerful genre and category keys to explode your exposure and self-publishing success.
  • Titles, covers, descriptions and keywords – and how to avoid the mistakes I have made along the way {Thank GOODNESS for those who have gone before us!}
  • Book cover mastery, and how to shamelessly emulate winning covers like a true artist! {I do a bit of this already; let’s see what else I can learn!}
  • My embarrassingly simple Facebook ad strategy and how I use simple ads to drive books into top positions. {I am REALLY looking forward to THIS!}
  • The different kinds of ads I run (with examples), and how you can use them too. {I appreciate a good template to work from.}
  • Why building an email list is essential to your publishing business, and how you can do it with ease. {YES, YES, YES…I’m already doing this but PLEASE tell me more because I am ALL about doing this!}

But it’s the “What you will NOT find” part of the page that made me laugh. 

Purchase Opportunity #1, Reviews, and More Details

The next stop on our tour is the buy button and you might be ready to buy at this point. {That cover alone…😍}

But if you’re not, you can keep reading for some reviews. 

I know a couple of these people and I like what they have to say. I like what they all have to say, actually.

And what really stands out are comments like:

  • “Once people get to this level, they usually clam up…” {Um…yeah.}
  • A “dead simple overview and step by step” for FB ads {I like it!}
  • “This is the ONLY time I’ve seen a genuinely successful indie author share ALL the details of what works and what doesn’t.”
  • “His advice is golden – whenever he suggests I do something, I do it.”

Here we also find that there are three more key features that tell us we get screenshots of the how-to and bonus content that includes additional information and videos. 


 The page wraps up with a final buy button and an FAQ.

The FAQ tells us what kind of content we get {a 345-page PDF and extras}, whether this is for us if we’re not good at writing {we can outsource}, if there’s a refund policy {there is}, and how to get in touch {email.} 

The Buying Process

Buying was simple enough. 

You’re taken to the processor, where you can enter your delivery details and payment information – credit card or PayPal – and pay the $47 for the main offer.

Yes, there are upsells. Two of them.

The Upsells

I got both, so I’ll be implementing and reviewing these, too. 

At this point, I don’t know if you need the full funnel.

If you don’t want – or don’t need – to outsource and don’t want {or don’t think you need the info} to build an author email list, you might not.

I got both because:

  1. I can’t do everything I want to do all by myself and I’ll need to learn how to outsource the things I can’t – or don’t want to – do. And
  2. I want to know what his tips are for building an AUTHOR email list – does he talk about building a relationship with readers? Offering freebies? 

OTO #1 – Win BIG with Ghostwriters and Virtual Assistants $39

The sales pages for both of these upsells are much shorter but are written in the same conversational style with a video at the top of each one, some bullet points, details about what each includes and a few endorsements.

“Win Big with Ghostwriters” expands on the training with a 143-page report. 

He says it right on the page, “If you want real freedom and scaleability outsourcing is your master key. This report details everything I do and is certainly a massive factor in my success over these past three years.”

In a nutshell, David tells me I’m going to learn:

  • How to find help
  • How to get the best of the best
  • How to pay VA’s so I don’t go broke

Works for me.

OTO #2 – Author Email Listbuilding Recipe Book $27

On this sales page, David gets right to it – a list of targeted, hungry readers could be the difference between BOOM and BROKE.

I didn’t need much convincing with this.

And I already KNOW how to build a list: create an “irresistible free offer,” get an email provider, create content/reach out to people/offer your IFO…yada, yada, yada.

But how do you do it as an AUTHOR?

What do you offer people in exchange for their emails and how do you offer it? 

What do you say to this kind of list?

And then, I got to the bullet points.


He’s talking about stuff I never think about. AND he’s telling me I can AUTOMATE stuff, too?

Of course, I got it. 

Some of the things that are covered in the Author Email Listbuilding Recipe Book include:

  • 5 ultra-effective ways to bring hungry readers on to your list, PLUS two ninja techniques from a seasoned list building master.
  • Climbing over the tech and putting the machinery in place for massive increase – not just principles but down in the dirt hands-on practical how-to’s.
  • The two simple pages needed to seamlessly gather leads (plus how to build them the easy way).
  • 2 Advertising methods that place readers on your list in a click (no forms, no fuss!).
  • Jargon-free Facebook lead ads walkthrough.
  • Building your author brand through a simple email strategy (and it has nothing to do with the words you write).
  • 28 Different Kinds of Email you can send to engage and multiply your subscribers.
  • Relationship building emails. {Guess that answers one of my questions! LOL}
  • Curiosity stirring communications.
  • Putting the law of reciprocity on overdrive.
  • Getting your subscribers to build your list for you. {Say WHAT now?}
  • Free and easy market research – more targeted than any app or software.
  • Crafting multiple touch points to impress your next release in the hearts of readers before you even hit publish.
  • Automation! Putting your list building and audience engagement on autopilot.

What’s Next?

Once you buy what you want, you get a PDF with access details and you actually download your product from Podia.

I did that.

My next step is to start reviewing the product. I’ll be going through it once to give myself an idea of what to do and then I’ll be implementing the steps. 

I’m not sure if I’ll do a part 2 overview or will implement on a schedule and keep reviewing. 

I kind of like the idea of implementing and reviewing as I go but I need to look over the product first. 

I’m not making my final recommendation just yet but here’s the link to buy if you want to follow along and implement with me!

So drop me a comment and talk to me! Have questions? Did you learn from the first edition? If you’re going to be following along with me, what are you most excited to learn about?

Please like, follow, and share!


  1. $113 is quite a big investment. I’d need to sell around 200 books to get that back. So, in your opinion, will David’s processes boost my chances of selling more books?

    1. Hey, John!

      It depends on too many factors for me to make that kind of call. I can say that in my prelimimary review, this product is worth more than that. But only if you’re interested in leveling up by exploring higher content books and marketing practices.

      For me, I wanted to know:

      • how to set up processes and outsource tasks
      • how to write and sell higher-content books {short reads in different niches, both nonfiction AND fiction}
      • more details about paperback/kindle publishing, not just low content
      • how to build a following of loyal readers
      • tips for marketing and ads…

      And more. This is all covered.

      And he says right off the bat: it’s going to take time AND money to build a business as he’s done, which I’m good with.

      But if the investment is not right for you now, skip it!

      However, do I think what he teaches could help you build a massive, lucrative publishing business? Absolutely.

      Hope that helps!

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