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Thread: Richard McMunn's Book Publishing Academy

  1. #1
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Richard McMunn's Book Publishing Academy

    I have just been asked what I think of Richard McMunn's Book Publishing Academy but having taken a quick look at the site, I realise I don't have enough time to explain my full reaction to it.

    I'm sure that you good people will discuss some of its highlights. Its page about How To Write A Book is a good place to start. Oh dear.

  2. #2
    Resident Curmudgeon Requiescat In Pace ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Can't read more of it lest my head explode. Sorry.

    --Ken
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    [FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][I][URL="http://www.umbachconsulting.com/pursuit.pdf"]The Pursuit of Publishing: An Unvarnished Guide for the Perplexed[/URL][/I]

    [/FONT][URL="http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Street-Colorful-Origins-Sparks/dp/1937123073/"][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][I]There's No Lake on Lake Street![/I] by James D. Umbach[/FONT][/URL]
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  3. #3
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    THE DISADVANTAGES OF GETTING A BOOK PUBLISHING CONTRACT

    1. YOU LOSE THE RIGHTS TO YOUR WRITTEN WORK
    what?

    I mean...what?

    *reads the rest*

    what?

    *sighs*
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
    1) Write like your face is on fire.


  4. #4
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    Yay! Instead of getting spam directly to my inbox, I can go to that page and read it!

    Seriously, "How to Write a Book" (subtitled "Want to become a best-selling published author?) has all the RED FLAGS. All of them.

    THE DISADVANTAGES OF GETTING A BOOK PUBLISHING CONTRACT

    3.YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A FAIR ROYALTY RATE - GUARANTEED!
    I'm glad they guaranteed it. Now I can see about getting my money back.

    Oh, wait...
    Last edited by Thedrellum; 10-06-2013 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Wanted to quote, once I saw bearilou do it.

  5. #5
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    That last one is complete bullshit. 10% on net, with an emphasis on net. I wouldn't recommend any self-respecting author sign a contract with a number that low. It's ridiculous.

    And I love how he conveniently leaves off things like the average cost of a self-published book and the amount sold. A self-published book usually sells for between $.99 and $2.99, giving the author a royalty of between $.35 and $2.00.

    If an author is getting let's say 10% (of gross, seriously net sucks, don't sign it) on a trade paperback that costs $14.00, that's $1.40. If they're selling a hardcover for $25.00, that's $2.50--higher than the self-published royalty. If you sell only 5000 copies of a trade paperback, that's $7000 royalties. It's hard to sell that many copies of a self-published book. And with self-publishing, you'd have to also take into account the costs of making the book itself, so you're probably actually starting in the negative range. You'd have to sell even more copies to break even and then match the profits.

    Seriously. Self-publishing can be a good idea, but this guy's page is just filled with outright lies.


  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Wow. Just....wow. Though I have to say this kind of misinformation is everywhere online.

    These kinds of sites all seem to use similar images, too. Books, Kindles, happy people relaxing with pen and paper or looking studious or thoughtful or inspired. Gaaah.

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    You know it's bad when even I can see a lot of problems, not only with the horrible misinformation and the outright lies, but when I can pick up problematic/confusing wording.

    In addition to providing outstanding tuition and expert book publishing advice, the course is the most cost-effective on the market.

    from here
    so...they provide the tuition for me? Sorry...outstanding tuition. Maybe I should check into this course! After all, he has "exceptional knowledge of the book industry" despite all his books appearing to be self-published.
    Last edited by bearilou; 10-06-2013 at 07:51 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
    1) Write like your face is on fire.


  8. #8
    Just the facts, please
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    Kaitie: Not to derail, but your royalty discussion appears to compare self-published ebooks and printed trade books. The price points are really not comparable in that way, and I see very few trade ebooks that sell for $14, let alone $25.

  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    THE DISADVANTAGES OF GETTING A BOOK PUBLISHING CONTRACT
    1. You can cash the check and spend it any way you please!

    2. A highly professional team will make your book the best it can be, from professional editing to professional artwork to professional publicity and marketing, all at no cost to you!

    3. Your book will be bought and read by tens of thousands of people while you sit home and write your next book!

  10. #10
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I'm not talking about ebooks. I'm talking about books in general. If you get picked up by a big publisher, you'll get print books out of the deal as well.

    He's not specifying that he's talking only about ebooks. He specifically includes "how to get your book into Waterstones" on things you'll learn.

    If he gets to say "you can sell print books at Waterstones," it's fair to include the fact that if you get a book published by a commercial publisher, you're likely to get a print deal. And for a print deal, trade paper backs are often $14, and hardcovers are often over $20. I've often seen $28 and up to $30 recently.

    And even if we were only talking ebooks, royalties offered by publishers on ebooks are still higher than 10% on net.


  11. #11
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    B-b-but he's a best-selling author! Says so right in the About page.

    Surely that means he knows what he's talking about.

    Right?

  12. #12
    Shiny new cover! AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    I kept looking for the amazing new weight-loss product that would GUARANTEE I'd lose 50 pounds without diet or exercise!

    Srsly, that site looks exactly like the last 3 diet-gimmick mailings I received.

  13. #13
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I wonder if he's really sold "hundreds" of courses. I love the way he assigns value to it as well (worth over four thousand pounds!).

    He's got a pretty easy setup here, though. It looks like he made a bunch of videos, and he doesn't actually have to do any one-on-one work. It sounds like the "academy" is just a subscription to his videos. So basically he gets to sit back and take their money without really even having to do anything himself. It sounds like a pretty cushy setup.


  14. #14
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callalily61 View Post
    I kept looking for the amazing new weight-loss product that would GUARANTEE I'd lose 50 pounds without diet or exercise!

    Srsly, that site looks exactly like the last 3 diet-gimmick mailings I received.
    He's got the formatting down pat! It's funny because you don't even have to really read it to know he's selling snake oil.


  15. #15
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    He's got the formatting down pat! It's funny because you don't even have to really read it to know he's selling snake oil.
    It's in the "I'm A Scammer" format. You can recognize it from across the room.

    Seriously, there has to be someone selling that template, one of the "Make Millions on the Internet!" people who is raking it in.

  16. #16
    Fighting off ninja plot bunnies saphirablue84's Avatar
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    Just looking at the site I couldn't help but think it reminds me of those commercials wanting to buy used cell phones or tell me about this great new pill that'll solve all my problems. And then there's the "disadvantages of getting a book publishing contract," that alone would make me run far away from this "academy." Just....wow.

  17. #17
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Okay, you guys. Clearly I'm doing this all wrong.

    I should be writing my own course and teaching others how to self-publish. I know all the stuff he covers in his 1-day course. I learned it all for free by paying attention. But why not hitch my tail to this huge cash cow and milk it until it begs for mercy.

    I mean, this is the way to do it. I don't need to provide editing services or cover creation or distribution or marketing. I just need to show you how to find it on your own.

    And other really nifty things like how to create an Amazon account to get your money. And how to upload your book because, really, their instructions aren't simple enough and their step by step process could really use some more dumbing down. Take those relatively easy steps and break them down into easier steps.

    I'll make a killing!






    I'm getting cynical in my old age. :/
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
    1) Write like your face is on fire.


  18. #18
    Just the facts, please
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    My point was about this:

    And I love how he conveniently leaves off things like the average cost of a self-published book and the amount sold. A self-published book usually sells for between $.99 and $2.99, giving the author a royalty of between $.35 and $2.00.
    You then compare those prices to trade print prices as a royalty baseline, which is of course going to skew the royalty figures higher for trade publishing.

    If you have found self-pubbed print books for .99 cents, I'd like to know where! You can't compare print and ebook cover prices and get an apples-to-apples comparison.

  19. #19
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    It's not apples and oranges, though. He's saying commercial publishing is the wrong way to go because you won't get good royalties. Commercial publishing includes print editions--it's one of the advantages. You can get a print book and that print book can end up in bookstores. A lot of commercially published ebooks are still selling for higher than $.99 ~$2.99.

    He isn't saying commercial epublishing is wrong. He's saying you should go with a publisher in general because you'll just get ripped off. And that's completely disregarding the fact that if you get published by a big publisher, you'll almost always get a print edition, and those come with higher price points and higher sales, meaning you'll still be making the same amount or more in royalties as the average self-publisher, and you'll make more overall.

    I mention print specifically, as well, because the 10% on net is closer to the statement you hear often regarding mass market or trade paperbacks which can get royalties of 10%of gross. I don't think I've ever seen 10% as a number for an ebook being published by a big commercial publisher. Those are more likely to be on net, but they're also bigger numbers.

    So either he made it up entirely and is completely full of shit and knows it, or he is misquoting an oft-heard statement that paperback print books only get 10% royalties. If I give him the benefit of the doubt and he's not just a Lying McLieface, he's actually talking about print himself. If he's just lying for the sake of lying, it doesn't make a bit of difference either way.


  20. #20
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    I gotta hand it to Mr McMunn: he's sold about 25,000 books (split among 61 different titles), and made around 220K revenue, out of a fairly simple idea: writing guides on how to pass entrance tests for the police, army etc. This is clever entrepreneurship. And that's print: he'll have sold plenty more copies in ebook form.

    His website is full of bald-faced lies about publishing, however; I wish he could do his business without trying to trash mine.

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