Helen-JohnsonI was recently offered a free ticket to the Millionaire Bootcamp for Authors. I wasn’t enticed by the ‘free’ ticket, because when you live in Yorkshire, anything based in London is never really free as it costs a fortune in travel and hotels. The word ‘millionaire’ didn’t ignite any greed or excitement within me either as I’m not easily fooled.

Anyway, as I was about to spend £200 to get to London, I did some research before I committed myself. The course offered ‘3 days’ training with bestselling authors and leading publishing experts.’ It made statements such as:-

  • You’ll possess the skills to write or finish your book in 90 days or less…
  • You’ll learn how to blast your book to the top of the bestseller charts in record time…
  • You’ll find out how to have journalists, TV producers, film directors, and other movers and shakers in the media industry, pursuing you… rather than the other way around…

crowdWouldn’t it be great to learn all that and more? However, there was also lots of hype about the course, plus high value bonuses given for free and I get very cynical about that sort of thing, particularly when they say tickets are £297, but you can have it for £37. In my view, if you have to batter people with pages and pages of hype in order to convince them, then it’s either a load of rubbish or possible scam and clever writers can say a lot without really saying anything, but the ticket came from a good source, so against my better judgement I decided to go.


Although I had my journey meticulously planned, I arrived late as it took two hours to find a parking space, so I missed the first speaker. I made a couple of contacts during the break, but when one of them said the course wasn’t about writing and she was off, I didn’t think much of it. The next topic was ‘Launch Your Inner Celebrity: How to Reach Millions with Your Message.’ The speaker was very inspiring and I gleaned a few useful bits of information. She told you what you needed to do, but if you wanted to know how to do it, you needed to sign up to her mentoring programme which was valued at over $16,000, but if you signed up today you got it for something like £2,495. I never allow myself to be the victim of high pressure selling, but she’d done her job so well, that I think if I’d had the spare cash I may have been tempted.


The next speaker was quite humorous and a bit George Clooney-ish. His talk was ‘Creating an Author’s Community: The Secret Weapon of Million Dollar Authors.’  It was mostly about making money on membership sites; getting people to pay you a monthly subscription in return for sending them regular information on a particular subject. He advocated outsourcing the writing for your weekly newsletters, which made sense – giving other writers work, but I winced a bit when he suggested using Filipinos at £1 per hour. The alternative was to build a database of people by offering a free gift like an e-book in exchange for their email address, which you could later use for marketing your book. If you took the paid route you could be earning a fortune with just residual income and if you signed up to his mentoring services, worth something like $64,000 but today only about £1,900, he could help you do it.  Can you see a theme forming?

By now I was beginning to feel a little jaded and why would you value your product so high, but sell it so low? Everyone likes a bargain, but we’re not idiots. Everything also seemed geared towards businesses and not writers. Also, after each break, we were expected to stand and do what I call ‘americanised’ silly stuff, like making lots of noise and the waving of arms or saying ridiculous things to our neighbour or worse still massaging the shoulders of the person to your left. The person to my left was an unfriendly man and although I had already sussed his vibe and had no intention of touching him, I had to laugh when he shot out of his chair and ran off at the mere mention of a massage by the compare!


The last speaker of the day was to talk about ‘How To Unlock Your Hidden Assets Today… And Set Your Legacy In Motion’.  The first thing she did was to repeatedly undermine the previous speakers by saying she doesn’t believe in hype and wasn’t going to sell you a programme. She seemed a nice lady, but at the same time scary and most of what she said seemed for big businesses. She spoke about strategic alliances, which basically means sharing your resources with others, such as your databases to grow your businesses, which makes sense. The rest of her talk seemed too high-brow and irrelevant and I wanted to leave. However, she kept saying if you want a get-rich-quick scheme or if it’s beyond your comprehension, then to leave; so who is going to walk out when people are going to think you are either greedy or dumb! As expected at the end she was in fact offering something at a price, which she didn’t even quote, so I assume it was high. In fact I am sure it was high, because as everyone tried to leave, we were held back while she tried to sell it again and offer payment plans.


I’m not one for giving up and believe you can always learn something and I did pick up a few nuggets. It’s always nice to network and chat to people with the same interests and the most useful things I gained from the day came from doing just that.  Alas, as I ended my day squashed like a sardine inside a London tube, with the smell of alcohol wafting around me and sweaty armpits, I made the decision that I wasn’t going back. As did my colleague who went the next day and left after the first speaker, which assured me I had made the right decision and I should have trusted my instincts from the onset before wasting £200.

Helena Johnson

Crowd Image courtesy of istock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Expertise Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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