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[Conference] Author 101 University

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Rewriter

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Have any of you had experience with a conference called "Author 101 University"?

The next one will be in L.A. in March, and I am debating whether to go.
However, with transportation, etc., it will cost me $500 - 600. Ouch.

So... what are your opinions of the "Author 101 University"?

Thank you.

P.S.
My reason for going would be, of course, to find an agent who will sell my novel immediately for an obscenely-large amount of money, with movie offers pouring in daily, appearances on network talk shows, and fans demanding sequels as fast as I can churn them out.

I mean, that's why we go to conferences, right? :O)
 

alleycat

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I don't know anything about it; looking at their website, I would be leery.

There are some great conferences put on by reputable organizations that are less expensive and have a more impressive list of speakers and seminars. I'm sure you could find one in LA.
 
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CaoPaux

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victoriastrauss

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Lots of marketing strategists, professional speakers, motivation specialists, etc. Only three actual publishing people (Scott Hoffman of Folio Literary, Bruce Barbour of Literary Management, and Ken Atchity of AEI [this agency owns an editing service, to which it refers rejectees])--all agents. No real publishers in attendance--I don't count staff from conference co-sponsor Morgan James Publishing, which requires authors to buy 2,500 copies of their own books.

I don't see an abundance of publishing expertise here, and I'd be concerned that the conference might be a way for Morgan James to troll for authors.

- Victoria
 

Rewriter

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I'd be happy to hear what anyone else thinks, but the replies so far have helped me make up my mind. I won't be attending "Author 101 University."
Thank you all.
 

frishmr

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Hi. Couple of points. Scott Hoffman, Bruce Barbour, Bill Gladstone are pretty big literary agents. We have run this seminar for over ten years. We give a 100 percent money
Back guarantee. Please check out some of the testimonials. How about come as my guest and report back. Let me answer any questions you may have. Can we speak sometime?
I am co-author of 12 books and have been in the PR and publishing world since 1976.
Thank you. Rick
 
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Rewriter

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To frishmr:
I have replied to you offlist. Thank you.
 

victoriastrauss

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FYI, Rick Frishman is one of Morgan James's co-founders--this isn't mentioned on the Author 101 University website, but here it is on Rick's own webpage.

Honestly--if I were going to pay big bucks to attend a writers' conference, I'd want to go to one that had more than three publishing industry professionals on the faculty.

- Victoria
 
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annerallen

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There's such a hard-sell cheesiness about their site and pitch I came over here to see if anybody had gone and felt ripped off. $500 for a two day conference seems over-the-top. I'm on the faculty of the Central Coast Conference, where we had two agents and an acquisitions editor last year as well as many, many experts and published authors. One agent was Nathan Bransford. Fee for two days? $140. That includes a fantastic opening party with wine. And it's held on the beautiful Cuesta College campus.
 

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This looks awful -- pure snake oil and flimflam. I lost count of their impossible promises. Below are just the ones in the big red headline on the front page:

"Top Publishing and Marketing Experts Reveal Tools and Techniques to Get Your Book Published and Double or Triple Your Income as an Author or Publisher"

Let us consider them:

Top Publishing and Marketing Experts: They don’t have ‘em. All they have are a few agents. The rest of their lineup doesn’t even work in the industry.

Reveal Tools and Techniques: Oh yeah? What tools and techniques? Unless they mean Scrivener, which a lot of writers appear to be adopting. Beyond that, the legitimate tools and techniques of getting published are few, and none are a revelatory surprise: query letters, cover letters, beta readers or writing group, et cetera. After that you’re down to basics like “write a good book” and “read and follow the submission guidelines.”

to Get Your Book Published: They cannot guarantee publication. Not for a minute. Not one little bit.

and Double or Triple Your Income as an Author or Publisher: What’s worse than guaranteeing publication? Guaranteeing sales income.

In conclusion: Run away! Run Away!
 

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I'd rather go to any decent SF or Mystery or Romance conference; there are more working writers, editors, and agents. And they're fun.
 

francisbruno

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to Get Your Book Published: They cannot guarantee publication. Not for a minute. Not one little bit.

[SARCASM]
If you buy 2,500 copies of your book from the co-sponsoring publisher they can :)
[/SARCASM]

Sorry, haven't had a chance to post in the Bewares in a while and couldn't resist.
 

HapiSofi

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[SARCASM]
If you buy 2,500 copies of your book from the co-sponsoring publisher they can :)
[/SARCASM]

Sorry, haven't had a chance to post in the Bewares in a while and couldn't resist.

Hey, Francis. Good to see you. Good point, too.
 

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Sorry to say-AUTHOR 101 is a SCAM-DOT WASTE YOUR MONEY

On its website, Morgan James Publishing describes itself as "The Entrepreneurial Publisher" (tm). PW notes that the company initially "required its authors to pay for book design, and did some custom publishing as well. 'But we've since moved from that,' says [founder David] Hancock."

They've moved on, all right--to different pay-to-publish models. Through mid-2008, Morgan James's contracts required authors to pay $4,995 to participate in an "Entrepreneurial Author University," supposedly in order to train them to market their books. This policy has been discontinued (the current Comparison page of Morgan James's website, where a table compares Morgan James's services to those of "traditional" publishers and self-publishers, indicates that one of the benefits of publishing with Morgan James is "Enrollment into The Entrepreneurial Author University at no cost to the authors")--but that doesn't mean that the author gets a free ride. Morgan James now requires authors to buy 2,500 copies of their books "at cost plus a percentage."

Buyback clauses are a particularly sneaky mode of vanity publishing, because they allow the publisher to claim that it is not charging for services, and thus is not a vanity publisher. Depending on the per-book cost fixed by the publisher, buyback clauses can also be very expensive. For instance, let's assume a paperback book priced at $13.99, and an author discount of 60%. That would work out to a cost of nearly $14,000--substantially more than the $5,000 MJ used to charge.

As was pointed out to me by several self-publishing advocates when I broke this news on Twitter, Morgan James has had some bestsellers. (Though it seems likely that this is largely the result of authors' own efforts. MJ founder David Hancock, quoted in PW, says that "advertising and marketing are generally the authors' responsibility." PW also notes that "if authors use a public relations firm that Morgan James approves of, the publisher will pay a percentage of the cost," but doesn't mention MJ's connection, through publisher Rick Frishman, with PR firm Planned Television Arts.) For many of the company's books, however, I suspect that the new 2,500 purchase requirement represents the bulk of sales (could that help to explain why, according to PW, MJ's sales "are up 52% over last year"?), providing the company with a comfortable per-book profit margin even for books that don't take off. As I've said many times here and elsewhere, a company that turns its authors into customers has little incentive to make an effort to get the books into the hands of readers.

PW also notes that MJ "operates under a model that's becoming increasingly common: no advances and high royalties." No advances is not in doubt, but high royalties...not so much. MJ pays 20% of net, which for books sold at discount averages out to around 10% of cover price--more or less what those bad old "traditional" publishers pay.

While I would rarely suggest that an author pay to publish, I understand that different authors have different priorities and make different choices. However, the pay-to-publish model is very different from the commercial model, and has very different consequences. Authors need to go into it with their eyes open. In my opinion, PW does its audience no favors by featuring Greenleaf and Morgan James while failing to reveal their fees.
 

victoriastrauss

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SmartWriter

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SCAM-AUTHOR 101

I understand Author 101 is coming up again because I keep recieving emails. I must say I attended Author 101 in 2012 and although I had fun and learned a bit about publishing generally speaking-this is a SET UP for new writers.

You will be treated VERY WELL by RICK and his TEAM of THEIVES. They want to help you of course so you sign up for THEIR VERY EXPENSIVE WORKSHOPS, CLASSES, LECTURE SERIES and ANYTHING ELSE THEY ARE SELLING. They also want you to self publish-this is the other goal. It costs roughly $25,000 to get a full package self publishing deal. I'd treat you like gold too if you gave me 25,000.00.

I attended 101 with a friend who surveyed the room and said, "looks like a bunch of middle class American with a dream, to publish their book. This guy is selling that dream and many of these poor fools will use their retirement money to finance that dream" Many people I spoke to had all sorts of ideas but there were only 2 or 3 people at the event that I felt had stories that would actually make it to market the traditional way.

Keep in mind there is a VERY CHRISTIAN SLANT to this program. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU GO. There are lots of otherwise to get information without forking over $500 at the minimum to learn stuff that you can research on the internet.

Sorry to be a dream buster! IT's not worth your time. If you dont believe me and you do go to AUTHOR101 dont sign up for the overpriced classes. It makes no sense to learn about promotinga nd amrketing your book UNLESS YOU HAVE A BOOK and a DEAL FROM A LEGIT PUBLISHER. Be smart and dont let these theives pull one over on you!

Best of luck.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Hi, Smartwriter. You really don't need to cut'n'paste the same text repeatedly.

How 'bout you drop up to the Newbie area and introduce yourself? Folks like to know who's talking.
 

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Hi, Smartwriter. You really don't need to cut'n'paste the same text repeatedly.

How 'bout you drop up to the Newbie area and introduce yourself? Folks like to know who's talking.

SmartWriter (a misnomer if ever I saw one) can ask MacAllister via the Contact Us form if he thinks he should be allowed to be a member.

Plagiarizers are not welcome, at all, under any circumstances.
 

joanforder

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Is Author101 University Conference Legit?

I'm new to this site and I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but I would like to hear from people about their impressions of Author101 University and their upcoming conference in October. I've 'won' two free registrations to the conference but I'm just not sure if it is all it says it is. I've finished writing my first fiction novel and it is with a hybrid publishing company and scheduled to be available later this year but I really need to learn much, much more about marketing and promotions. I also want to focus on nonfiction areas that I have a great deal of experience and skills with that I think might be of help to others (higher education, science, lifelong learning, surviving abuse, surviving in an able-bodied world).

I want to make the switch from working full time to writing full time but this means I have to create an income from writing. Author 101 University makes all kinds of claims and I see both positive and negative comments on the internet. If I attend the conference, it means having to borrow money for the flight and hotel since I really can't afford it on my own. I'm also physically disabled so it means transporting my scooter and going through the physical demands of attending a full conference.

What is your opinion of this company? Is the conference worth my time, money, and effort?
 
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Filigree

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Existing thread here. <link snipped>

Reading through it, I'd guess the conference is probably a waste of any money spent. You could go to see if there's any worthwhile advice, and be vigilant about not falling for sales pitches and ego boosting.

Re-reading your post: God, no, don't borrow money to attend this.

What genre fiction do you write? Look around for regional or local conferences, which might have attending professionals. As far as your nonfiction work, look for agents representing self help and issues for the differently-abled , write up some basic proposals, and start querying. You'll make the most out of your expertise by joining forces/networking with some of the major nonprofit organizations helping the differently-abled.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the odds are not good for turning writing into a lucrative or even living wage. Especially if your 'hybrid' publisher makes more of its money offering vanity pay-to-publish packages to authors.
 
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joanforder

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Hey Filigree! I appreciate your candor and your very useful tips on how to proceed, especially about "partnering up with major nonprofit organizations helping the differently-abled" (love that description). Unfortunately, the decision to give up my 'day job' may soon be out of my hands as my body continues to decline and getting to work each day becomes more difficult.

The idea of being able to focus all my energies on writing is thrilling but the downside of not being able to pay the bills is not so thrilling. Writing fiction is what gets me out of bed in the morning; writing non-fiction is my way of giving back to the community.

I've been doing workshops and writing nonfiction for years without charging. I'm now trying to change my mindset to allow me to make money while giving back. I just need to figure out an ethical way of doing it so people receive value. I see lots of ads for publishing nonfiction 'how to' books and I get it that having a book at the back of the room is smart but I'm not a salesperson, I'm a writer. Somehow I have to combine the two. Your suggestions make sense and I will check this avenue out right away! Thanks!
 

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