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SPS-357: Introducing Self Publishing Launchpad – with Mark Dawson & James Blatch

In a bonus episode of the Self Publishing Show, Mark and James celebrate the grand opening of the Self Publishing Launchpad course and discuss how SPF is tackling NaNoWriMo this year.

Show Notes

  • The grand opening of Self Publishing Launchpad
  • What has been updated/added/removed in the course
  • What each module of Launchpad teaches students
  • How to maximise your NaNoWriMo word count

Resources mentioned in this episode:

SELF PUBLISHING LAUNCHPAD opens 10PM (GMT) 9th NOVEMBER 2022 HERE
NANOWRIMO: Keep sprinting!
PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Show’s Patreon page
MERCH: Check out our new 2022 hoodies and t-shirts in the SPF Store.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

SPS-357: Introducing Self Publishing Launchpad - with Mark Dawson & James Blatch
Speaker 1: On this edition of the Self Publishing Show: Mark Dawson: I want to make sure that all the tools that they need to make a decision are there, and then everything they need to actually implement their decision is easily at hand as well.

James Blatch: Yeah. Who did you learn from?

Speaker 1: Publishing is changing. No more gatekeepers. No more barriers. No one standing between you and your readers. Do you want to make a living from your writing? Join indie bestseller Mark Dawson and first-time author James Blatch as they shine a light on the secrets of self-publishing success. This is the Self Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: Hello and welcome to a special edition of the Self Publishing Show. My name is James Blatch.

Mark Dawson: And my name is Mark Dawson.

James Blatch: This will be a shorter than usual episode, also a midweek episode. All over the place at the moment doing these little specials. But we've made quite a momentous decision in our organisation to rebrand, rename, and relaunch one of our big courses, which is Self-Publishing 101. It used to be known as that from today. In fact, if you're listening to this on launch day, it launches tonight at 10:00 PM UK, obviously a little bit earlier in the day, weirdly, in the US, and it's going to be called... Mark, what's it going to be called?

Mark Dawson: It's going to be Launchpad, James. I think I thought 101 was... I was never completely happy with that as a name. I mean, it works. I think if you're in certain parts of the world, it would be fairly obvious what that means, but not everywhere. And we felt that Launchpad is more of an appropriate name for a course that is intended to help you get started with your publishing career. So the way I've always looked at it is, and when people ask me, is that Launchpad, or as it was 101, is the course for your foundations, to make sure that everything is arranged properly to maximise your chances of success, and then Ads for Authors is the fuel. So assuming that you've got a good product, a good book to sell, then the two of those courses together should give you the best chance that we can give you to increase your odds of selling books and doing well.

James Blatch: So to use the metaphor, and you know I love a good metaphor, Launchpad is building your rocket. Ads for Authors is adding the mix of hydrogen and oxygen fuel.

Mark Dawson: Yes, exactly.

James Blatch: I mean, in their liquid states, obviously.

Mark Dawson: Well, quite, yes. We wouldn't want any explosions or anything like that, so exactly.

James Blatch: The liquid is far more volatile. So if you're going to stay with the rocket metaphor, you need to have a rudimentary grasp of rocket science.

Mark Dawson: It's not my metaphor.

James Blatch: My metaphor.

Mark Dawson: You're one introducing it in your metaphor.

James Blatch: I'm going to go a bit further and say if you want to strap some solid rocket-boosters on the side, like the space shuttle had, well, that would be our revised bestseller and cover-design course. But yeah, so Launchpad, 101, and I've said this before, we talked about this before: it's the course that you first came to me and John and said, "I want to do this course. I want to help other authors build the platform that I've got."

But it was such a huge task. It was too much for us to do together in those first few months. And so you focused on Facebook Ads for Authors, which is great and is still such an important part. Certainly I market books now, my own and others', and it's such a crucial part of it and that course is the platform I've used.

But 101 we then set about doing and it was a huge task, and it remains a huge task. I spent the best part of the last couple of months refreshing some of those modules in there. So it's changed a lot recently so we've rerecorded that. I'm umming and aahing about ConvertKit, whether leave it in or maybe retire ConvertKit. We might replace it with author email.

So we're thinking about that, but always what we want people to have is a... It doesn't really matter so much which platform you use; you need to be able to know how to use it properly, because anybody can sign up for BookFunnel or Author.Email or whatever, or even open your KDP dashboard, but doing it correctly in a way that's going to position you to sell your books, that's what the course is about. It's not just about how to sign up to something.

Mark Dawson: No, exactly. There's a strategy as well. So all of the services that... You don't have to use all of them, but if you use them they should be used in a holistic way that enables one to help the other. So it all plays together to increase the effectiveness of everything. That's the idea. And you could go to MailChimp. I still use MailChimp today and there's plenty of other courses or online resources. MailChimp's own FAQs and things will give you a very good idea of how to use MailChimp.

But this is how I use it. I've sold lots of books and it's how I use it within the context of my career as an author. And we are not selling courses to people selling widgets. We are very specifically offering information that has been battle tested-over 10 years, as I found out yesterday, over 10 years of my career as an indie author.

So that's what people are getting. It's getting all the information in the same place, and none of it is revolutionary. You could find out plenty of it yourself if you had the time and inclination to actually do the research. But it's all in the same place, and it is strategically arranged in the same way that I do things even today. So you're short-circuiting a lot of time and a lot of money, because I spent quite a lot of money trying to figure all this stuff out. So we tried to minimise as much as that as possible.

James Blatch: So the courses on some of the rudimentary stuff, modules within it on things like book formatting, getting that right and being handheld through those processes. It's basically having everything in one place. And one of the things I've been doing... We did some more testimonial interviews with students who've kindly had some kind words to say about 101, now Launchpad.

But I've been editing some old interviews as well, and one of the things a few people say is that they guess that all this information is out there, but it'd be very difficult to tell it apart from duff information, and it would take you months or years of time to assemble it all into one place. That's one of the things that you get with this course is it's all in one place. It's updated. You don't have to go scouring the internet for it. So in two years' time when for instance you want to go wide with your books or you want to go exclusive, you can go back to the course and pick up the module.

That's an interesting one, actually, because at the time I think we first recorded it, you were wide, and you did an argument... Not an argument, but you set out the pros and cons of wide and exclusive to give people some guidance. Ultimately it's their decision and now you're exclusive. Well you were wide, and you're now exclusive, I guess.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, it was a bit more complicated that, but yes, I've been in KU twice and everywhere twice, and at the moment I'm in KU and no inclination to leave at all at the moment. It's been very successful and continues to be so, but it's not for everyone. And that particular module, as I've said before in webinars and things, was the hardest one to record. Once when I tried to give prescriptive advice, it very obviously wasn't going to work, because there is no right answer for everyone. So what I've tried to do in that one is just lay out the pros and cons, and it is a personal decision for each author as to what they want to do. But whatever they decide, we want to make sure that all the tools that they need to make a decision are there and then everything they need to actually implement that decision is easily at hand as well.

James Blatch: Yeah. Who did you learn from?

Mark Dawson: Lots of different people, really. I mean, there were some trailblazers who were posting what they were doing, places like KBoards, or KindleBoards as it used to be back in the day. And a lot of the stuff I learned was from people in other industries who've been using online tools for longer than writers have. So one of the challenges was taking stuff that works in information products courses and then retrofitting that so that it works for books. So obviously, a course is going to be more expensive than a 3.99 ebook, so a lot of the things that they were doing wouldn't work for us. So one of the challenges was to take the basis of the information and then rearrange it so that it worked more appropriately for what we do. So yeah, lots of different places. Podcasts; I still listen to tonnes of marketing podcasts, advertising podcasts for different industries, and just putting it all together.

James Blatch: Yeah, it's interesting since we started online courses, we're just taking off about the time that we joined Teachable, or in fact it wasn't even... It was called called Fedora, wasn't it, when we first joined it? Since then it's been renamed and sold, made Ankur Nagpal very... Ankur, you should say. Ankur, a very rich man.

Mark Dawson: Yes.

James Blatch: He's moved on to his next projects. But I've noticed there's been quite a rise in online courses in the social media ads areas. Quite a few people hawking these courses around. I'm sure they're very good, but I tell you what they are, they're eye-wateringly expensive. Some of them are $2,000 or $3,000. Some are $5,000, and I guess you get some one-to-one tuition in that as well.

Mark Dawson: No, often you don't.

James Blatch: And they're general. You buy that course, but they don't know whether you are selling used car parts or stuff that you make and sell on Etsy. But in our case, you're buying a course that's a third of the price, or a tenth of the price in some cases, but is dedicated to what you're selling, which is books, which is very different. I mean the whole ecosystem in Amazon for books is different from the ecosystem for almost every other product. I mean, some of it overlaps but there is a different part of it.

Mark Dawson: There's quite a lot of overlapping, but there are things that are very specific to books that don't apply to other things. So yes, there are lots of courses, and we always say that there are plenty of courses for advertising or just general digital marketing that are available for other things, and there are also lots of courses now put together by authors for other authors.

I think we were one of the first. Nick Stevenson was a little ahead of us and then we came quite quickly after him. Plenty more now. Some of them I think are okay. Some are quite good. Others are terrible. And it's just a little bit of caveat emptor required when people are thinking about investing and not just because of how much money it would cost; it's also the sunk cost of wasting time. You could follow bad advice and find that it puts you back six months or longer, or it may be so bad that you decide you don't want to be a writer any more because you don't think you can do it.

So the things I always say, and obviously everyone will realise this is very biassed, because I'm saying this about me and our courses, but it is definitely worth a little bit of research to make sure that whoever is telling you what to do is able to do that themselves. The best way to do it is are they selling books, their own books, or if they're helping others sell books, are they doing that too? So just have a little look, and I'm not going to be naming names, but there are a few courses that I would steer quite a long way around, because it's fairly obvious that the teacher doesn't really know his or her ass from his or her elbow.

James Blatch: I think I've mentioned before, I don't know if I've named him before. Could do, but I won't, actually. A guy who pops up in my Facebook ads, and he's very bright and bubbly and it's all about selling on KDP. And honestly, you look at his books, they are utter telephone numbers. He's got about half a dozen books on Amazon, and they are on the 300 and 400 thousands in the charts.

Now, I know charts aren't everything, but he is making pence, cents, a year on that, and how he has the audacity to tell you, whilst getting into his Jaguar in America, how to follow him to sell your books... He's just taking money off people. So that is always the case. You're going to get that.

So one of the reasons why we use testimonials so much: you've got genuine students, genuine authors. You can look up their results on Amazon after listening to them talk about their starts. I've been editing Maria Lewis, for instance, this week, Maria Lewis in New Orleans who writes brilliant romance books. She's a fantastic writer, and she fell into 101 and did it absolutely by the book and it's given her such a fantastic career. Cecilia Mecca as well, I've been interviewing, also writes as Bella Michaels. Interviewed her recently.

So let's have a quick look at the course, Mark. So this is the curriculum. We have a start here and an introduction obviously at the beginning to help you make the most of the course, and the first module is build your platform. We have a snapshot at the beginning of every module. It tells you what sessions are going to be in there: what you're going to glean from it. And then the sessions themselves, there are four of them. So we talk about websites, communication with readers, main list and social media. And I guess at this stage you are telling people what they need to have. Not simply you need to have a website, but what its purpose is and so on.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, and there's lots of different options on how to get one, but it's why should you have website, or should you have a website? So that's a question itself. I saw someone actually posted that in the community the other day: should I have a website? And yes, you should have a website, but there are other things you need to get right as well and perhaps even before. But yes, it's your space on the internet that you own, and there's lots of reasons why you should have one, and we go through all those in that module.

James Blatch: Then module two is called pre-publication. So obviously, before your book is launched, again a snapshot at the beginning, and then there are 13 sessions in this, and I'll run you through them quickly. So front and back matter; that's what goes before your novel and after your novel or content of your non-fiction book. Formatting: your book cover. The blurb, which is the description that goes onto Amazon or wherever you're selling your book. The metadata, which is the keywords that will hopefully coincide with these search terms people are using. Pricing; I mean, honestly, you could do an entire course just on pricing. Your author page. Your book page. Your reader magnet. Your mailing list landing page. Your automation sequence. Delivering the reader magnet. And the cost of publication; being upfront about understanding the cost of publication.

Now I think for a first-timer listening to that, they're going to start to think this is getting out of depth for them towards the end of that module. But really by the time you've got through some of that stuff, I think the language that we use will start to make sense. It took me, I would say, a year to tune into the language of indie publishing.

Mark Dawson: Yeah. Yeah, there is a little bit to learn, but I mean, in the course you'll be familiar with it, and then if you get involved in the Facebook group that goes along with Launchpad, then again, that will be something that very soon you'll understand. And it's not rocket science, to go back to the metaphor. It is rocket science but it isn't rocket science, and it's not too complicated. And one of the things that we try very hard in the course is to make sure that you're not going to need a glossary beside your as you work it out, and it is a simple step-by-step process. If you follow the steps, you follow the modules, the intention at the end of it is you have something that's ready to go.

James Blatch: Okay. Well, modules three, four and five are all about going exclusive or wide. What we mean by that, by the way, if you are not up to date with it, don't necessarily know what it means is whether you sign up to Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Select, it's called internally, and Kindle Unlimited, it's called public-facing. It's the same service. And if you sign up to it, you say to Amazon that you are not going to sell your ebook anywhere else, and it's going to be available to people who pay a subscription, and they can read as many pages or as little as they like of as many books as they like. And you get paid per page: about 0.004 something cents each page.

And so then module three is a discussion about which option's going to be right for you, the strategy. Module four's about going exclusive, how to do that, a bit about the KDP Select, how it works, the algorithm as much as we know about it, and the timetable, the first 90 days of publication, what you should do. And then module five is those same things for going wide, leveraging your catalogue about your other books, going permafree. So that's something that's only an option if you are wide, because you can't put your book for free elsewhere if you've signed your contract and put your ebook into Kindle Unlimited. I should remind people, Mark, that it is just the ebook. You are free to distribute your print version elsewhere.

Mark Dawson: Yeah. And you can put your book to free but not permanently. So you get free days with your KDP Select if you're exclusive, but not if you want to be permanently free, which is still effective. It works pretty well and I'm doing it at the moment. Then that's something that you would need to have it on another platform so it could be price-matched.

James Blatch: Yeah, so you get five free days you can use. There's also something called Kindle Countdown Deal, so you can discount your book. I think that lasts about five days as well. Every 90 days, 90 days is the contract length, it autorenews until you opt out. But if you've got a book that's permanently free... I mean, if you want to put a book permanently free, I think the obvious thing to do would be to not put it into KU, to keep that one out, just have it for free there, and then put your other books into KU so you could have a mixture there. In fact, the novella I'm writing at the moment, it's part of NaNoWriMo, which we'll talk about in a minute, probably will end up going permafree for me. I'll try that. So then we move on to module six, which is generating traffic. What do we mean by traffic, Mark? It's a bit of an in-word for marketers.

Mark Dawson: Your readers, really. So in this case it's finding readers. So traffic means clicks to a book page or to a landing page where you're signing people up to a mailing list. So yeah, traffic means really potential readers who might be interested in your stuff.

James Blatch: Yeah. And this is where digital marketing does, I think, differ from real-world marketing, if we call it that, because in real-world marketing you hope to have a much higher conversion rate. So if you own a small shop and somebody comes into your shop, you would expect to sell them something, and a minority of people come in and go out without buying anything: a smaller shop. A big department store might be different, but a big department store, probably they want to sell to 50%, 60%, 75% of the people who come in, I expect.

Now, with digital marketing, it's just not like that. For 100 people who click on your product, you'll be lucky if 5 of them buy something, and 5 is a pretty good rate, 5%. So it becomes a numbers game, which is what you go into detail here. So session one is the equation. Two is organic traffic. Three is paid traffic through Facebook ads. Four is paid traffic through list services such as Hello Books. And session five is BookBub, which is the biggest list service of them all, and it's a numbers game, Mark, isn't it? We have that funnel at the top as wide as possible, targeted, but as wide as possible, knowing that we are going to get a cut of the action that's going to be quite small but enough.

Mark Dawson: Yeah. So you don't want to waste money and clicks on people who aren't interested in what you're writing, so you're trying to target people who you think are likely to what you do, and then as you whittle away at it, at the end of the process you have true fans who love your specific take on whatever your genre is. So that's the aim really. If you can find enough of those kinds of readers, that's the secret to having a full-time career as an author.

James Blatch: And whilst I just mentioned Hello Books in passing, there, I will just say that we've had a look at it in detail this week as part of our periodic review of the service. In the not in too distant future, the price will go up, because we're at a stage which it's delivering very good value for money for readers. We're seeing some really good results, getting lots of good feedback from authors who are putting their free books up there, whether it's the five days or permafree. So before that price goes up, before our audience grows to the point of readers that we have to put the price up, now is the time probably to submit your book to Hello Books. Go to hellobooks.com and click on the Authors tab.

Module seven is advanced teams and launching. So this is something I think I need more time on. You have done a specialist launching course. My advanced teams at the moment, I don't think I'm using properly. I've just basically tagged a few people in my mailing list. So I probably should watch module seven.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, they're great in terms of... They're basically your super fans who, in my case, will offer editorial help. So bug-spotting, effectively, or typo-hunting after it's gone through the editorial process. But also, they'll fact check, they make suggestions and just give me a general idea about whether they enjoyed whatever it is I've just sent them or not. And then they're usually good for leaving reviews when the book goes live. So there's tonnes of things they do, and it's a very important part of the process for me. And I've got advanced readers who've been with me now for seven or eight years, or almost from the start. So it is an important part that, if you're not doing that, you're probably giving yourself a bit of a disadvantage.

James Blatch: So there's actually three sessions in that module, in module seven. The first one is advanced teams. The other two are about launching, so launch sequence and launch emails. Obviously a critical time for your book is that launch. You'll sell more at the launch than you do in any other days, usually. Module eight: getting reviews. So something else to say about this in a second, but getting reviews. So the snapshot tells you about what's in the module. Session one is reviews themselves, and session two, how to get reviews. And the extra bit I'll add on is... Are we going to do the webinar on how to get your first 10 reviews?

Mark Dawson: We are, yes, but I don't know what date it is yet. I don't remember.

James Blatch: That's all right. We don't have to announce the date. We haven't decided the date yet, but I just want to make sure that we are... Because it's a really good webinar for people who are getting started. It gives you top tips on that chicken-and-egg situation: you can't sell your book without having reviews and you can't get reviews unless people are buying your book. So some handy ways, legitimate ways, we should say, ethical ways, of getting those first reviews.

And finally, Mark, we have the technical library and there are countless sessions in here. There are lots and lots of sessions, and within those sessions are lots of screen flows, and this is the workshop area. So once you know that, for instance, you've watched the section on mailing lists, you've decided you're going to get your mailing list and you're going to create your automation sequence, don't worry if you don't know what that means, you come to the tech library and you choose which mail service provider you want to use: MailChimp, MailerLite, ConvertKit are the three that we feature prominently. And then you dive into that. So let's say MailerLite you've chosen. You dive into that, you watch those sessions, and that hand-holds you through the process of signing up, getting all those details, getting your platform and then setting up your automation emails and so on.

Like I say, I am umming and aahing about ConvertKit. I use ConvertKit and I really like it, but we don't want to overburden people. So I may retire ConvertKit, and I think we might put Author.Email in there, because Author.Email is the only email service provider that I'm aware of that has been built specifically for authors. It's not as fancy as ConvertKit or MailerLite. It doesn't have the visual automation, but it basically does all the same things. And for that reason I could chat with Nick Thacker, who is going to be our next interviewee, in fact, about that. So we may get Nick to do some stuff on there.

Anyway, everything else is in there: book funnel, Facebook groups, formatting using vellum, formatting using draught or digital, formatting using Reedsy, formatting using Scrivener. We haven't done formatting using Word, which you can do. You can upload your Word document. I haven't done that. I wouldn't recommend it. I personally find it quite fiddly, though I know some people do it. And IngramSpark and KDP and Apple and everything else you can think of in the tech library.

So that is the course. Pretty comprehensive. I haven't added up the hours recently. We've rerecorded quite a few of the sessions, so that duration will change, but I'm going to guess, Mark, probably about 20-odd hours of material there.

Mark Dawson: My guess would be a lot more than that. Maybe twice as much, but that's not a sales pitch. Don't hold me to that. It's a lot of hours, basically. It's very comprehensive.

James Blatch: Yeah. So that is Self-Publishing Launchpad from Mark Dawson's SPF. Is that what we call it? I don't know what we call it. It just says Launchpad on the title one now.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, yeah.

James Blatch: And as I'm looking at it now. It's all in draught. It hasn't been released, and in the background, John and team have been beavering away to get this ready for next week as we record this. But this will be the day, of course, it's going out. And coinciding with that we think's a really good tie in with Launchpad is NaNoWriMo, which we are on Day Nine, or no, not even Day Nine. Yes, Day Nine of, as at the point of the release of this episode. And hopefully, I'm doing it. I mean, I am doing it. It's Day Three at the moment. I've got 400 words left to do today to get to my 1,677 or whatever it is, 1,667, which is the mean average you need to do every day to hit 50,000 words. You've been doing it as well, Mark. I hosted a live sprint session yesterday, got Lucy Score and Cecilia Mecca / Bella Michaels to join me. You did a sprint session the day before. Are you actually doing NaNoWriMo?

Mark Dawson: Not really. I mean, obviously I'm working, but I've got 80,000 words that I've done over the last six weeks or so in the new [inaudible 00:26:49] book, and there are fresh words. So as I'm going through in editing, if there's a chapter that I need to add in, I'm just putting in square brackets: NaNo. And then when I do a sprint, I'll probably do one tomorrow potentially, I'll go to one of those chapters that needs writing and I'll write that.

So I am writing fresh words, but most of my concentration is actually going through in my favourite part of the process, taking the 8,000 words and probably making it into 70,000 words, and lacing in some... I've had a number of quite big ideas for twists. I had one yesterday. It was like, "Oh, that's a good one." So I will be doing some writing on that, but things have slowed down for me now. The writing, I did the 80,000 words in about five weeks. So that was a fairly good pace for me. But now things will get a little bit more raunchy as I go back and start working on the words in a bit more detail. But yes, that's what I'll do when you see me sprinting. I'll either be writing new stuff or I'll be working on the stuff that I've got.

James Blatch: Okay. I mean, I am actually doing NaNo, and I have a good plan because I'm doing my novella. I think I started at about 13,000 or 14,000 words in, maybe 15,000. Anyway, I'm up to 17 and a half thousand words as of today, and my plan is to get to the end of it, I'm within 10,000 words of that now, and then rewrite it from scratch, probably. I might reuse some of the words I've written, but I now know more about what needs to happen in the first part of it, having written the story out. That's how I work. Other people work differently. They plot everything carefully beforehand. I seem to need that discovery period, I think. I did in my first book, but I'm looking forward to-

Mark Dawson: The more experience you get, the less you'll need that, and I think you'll probably find that what you write is closer to what you actually finish with than it is at the moment. And that's just experience.

James Blatch: Yeah. But I'm looking forward. I do like writing when I know exactly what I'm writing, and one of the problems I've had with this novella is it's taken a while for the story to really gel in my mind, and it's been why I've taken a long time to write it so far, because I've been hesitant writing, whereas now I'm just going to press on the end and I already know. So I'll enjoy it. I think I will enjoy the writing. And we're going to Vegas on Friday. Well, I'm going on Friday. You're joining us on Monday with John and Tom.

Mark Dawson: Yeah.

James Blatch: But we've got to keep that sprinting going. So I'm going to have to be writing on the plane. I've done my little timetable for the week, because we've got a lot of stuff actually on most days. But I've marked out the morning. You'll like the mornings, Mark, because I'm saying 7:00 till 9:30 is writing and SPF work and then 10 o'clock is breakfast in Jardin, which is where we ate breakfast last time.

Mark Dawson: Yeah.

James Blatch: Sounds like a nice plan

Mark Dawson: One thing I did when I did... Because I had to...that you were using for writing this and I was doing 1,500 words a day was my target. I always beat that, sometimes tripled it. But what I did when we were in Florida was I thought, "Well, I'm not going to do as much." I think I reduced it to 250 words a day for that week. And as long as you know that, you can adapt the pace before and after. And as it turned out, I probably did quite a bit more than 250 words a day anyway. But yeah, you can look at your schedule, get ahead of yourself now, and then you don't feel quite so much pressure to finish it or keep up that pace when you're in Vegas.

James Blatch: Yeah, good idea. Get some words in the bank.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, exactly.

James Blatch: Good. Okay, well that's it. So we're launching Launchpad. The launch will launch tonight. Can we have a countdown?

Mark Dawson: Can we have a countdown? We probably should, shouldn't we, if we're going to do this in NASA terms. We're not going to scrub the launch in the case of bad weather. We have a launch window and we'll be sticking to it. So 10 o'clock UK time, which I'm not even going to try and convert that around the world. Local times will vary. It's on our website.

James Blatch: Yeah, 10 o'clock UK on Sunday and I think on Wednesday, and I think the US have caught up in terms of daily-

Mark Dawson: Your reliability on that is almost as bad as mine, so we won't hold that down.

James Blatch: Timeanddate.com. Timeanddate.com.

Mark Dawson: Yeah. That's the one. Yeah.

James Blatch: Good. Yes. Well what I'd like is that poll, the flight controllers' poll that they do where they go retro guidance... E-com. Everyone goes, "Have we got a ......" I want that. I want a controlled situation. And by the way, that rocket that they've been scrubbing a lot, the STS, the Artemis I, is going on Sunday.

Mark Dawson: Sunday. Yeah.

James Blatch: Due to go on Sunday from Florida. We did think about going to Florida for another reason, and I was quite-

Mark Dawson: Yeah, that's true actually. Yeah.

James Blatch: ... keen for it all to happen, because that rocket launch was happening as well. But it's not going to happen, unfortunately, this year. We've mucked that up. Anyway, yeah, enough of that. We are going to leave you now for this special episode. You can find Launchpad if you go to selfpublishingformula.com/launchpad. If it's not available yet, it will be in the next few hours whenever you've listened to this, if you listen to it on the day, and it'll be available until the end of this month, at the end of November. That's it. Mark, thank you very much indeed. All that remains for me to say is it's goodbye from him.

Mark Dawson: And it's goodbye from me. Goodbye.

James Blatch: Goodbye.

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