POWER Academy

Enrollment for the next Pen of the Writer Academy cohort opens February 2024!

This cohort program is designed to take you from pen to paper to published in one year. You’ll learn strategies to write, publish, and market your bestseller with weekly recorded videos, monthly live sessions, and tons of resources. If you’re ready to finish your book, submit your name and email on the form below for notification of future opportunities.

    POWER Academy FAQs

    The next opportunity is February 2024. The enrollment period will only be five days. Add your name and email to the wait list so you can be the first notified.

    As they say, “You get what you pay for.” If you Google self-publishing, about 1,000,000,000 (a billion) results return. It’s tough enough sifting through the first ten pages, what are you going to do with 1 x 10^9 websites, articles, and blogs? Overwhelmed! Not to mention quantity does not equate to quality. You will spend hours trying to sift through information only to end up with more questions, misinformation, and unrecoverable time. Time is money! This membership is designed to take you through the same process I use for myself and my clients. With over 180 authors under my belt, I’m confident that by working together, you can experience the same results.

    Most online courses concentrate on writing, publishing, or marketing. This program is designed to assist you through every aspect essential to being a successful author. You’ll acquire strategies to write your bestseller including creating an atmosphere for creativity, how to overcome writer’s block, and composing your way so you can finish the darn book! When it comes to publishing, many authors make costly mistakes that diminish the quality of their book and destroy their brand before ever reaching readers. This mastermind walks you through the minute details that make the difference between a book that’s thrown together and one that’s professionally engineered and designed to land you paid speaking engagements, media attention, and book sales. Marketing is the most resource-draining and time-consuming aspect of the book business. Pen of the Writer Academy provides you access to media, interview strategies, and tons of resources to keep you consistent, concise, and convincing with your message. No matter where you are in the process of writing, publishing, and marketing your bestseller, you’ll master new techniques to take quantum leaps over common pitfalls.

    I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t experience the results you desired. If it helps, you’re not alone. Most self-published authors never sell more than 250 copies of their book. That’s not enough to recoup expenses, let alone make a difference in the world. I will show you how to avoid common mistakes made by most self-published authors and leverage your expertise. You will understand the elements of a POWERful cover, strategies to save thousands of dollars, and proven techniques that get you noticed. My clients become book aficionados who can detect an inferior book a mile away. No more wasting time and money to redo, republish, or reconsider being an author.

    Absolutely! You will learn how to organize all those ideas into a cohesive message, outline chapters, and strategies to free your mind to release your creativity.

    After writing, the process to publish and marketing are the same regardless of genre. Although 95% of my clients are nonfiction authors, this membership includes elements of fiction writing including character development, dialogue, and point of view. Having written and published bestselling nonfiction, fiction, and children’s books, I use writing devices conducive to any genre.

    No. You have 24/7 access to content so you learn to earn at your convenience.

    Not to worry. Everything will be posted on your dashboard. And as long as you’re a member, you can access it.

    This membership is designed to be self-paced so you don’t become overwhelmed with all the complexities of successful self-publishing. As long as you’re a member, you can catch up.

    To avoid frustration and becoming overwhelmed, the best way to consume the behemoth of publishing is to break the steps into manageable bite-size chunks. As a result, the content is dripped weekly so you can learn, internalize, and implement along the way.

    This membership is designed to take you through the process to write, publish, and market your bestseller in a year. If your book is not finished within a year, you can enroll for more support: monthly or annually.

    Easy paths to quality publishing do not exist, but I made it as easy as possible. Technology makes it easy to publish; however, anyone can publish junk. With over 32 million books on Amazon, most of them never sale because

    1. The author didn’t know what they were doing
    2. The author didn’t know how to price the book
    3. The author didn’t invest in the right resources
    4. The author didn’t effectively market
    5. The author didn’t have a successful mentor to help them avoid the pitfalls, predators, and problems of self-publishing

    To do it right the first time, you have to understand what to do and why it’s important to do it. My goal is to ensure your book debuts professionally engineered and designed to land you paid speaking engagements, media attention, and book sales. I am an award-winning, best-selling author and so are 70% of my clients. If you want the results we have experienced, you have to spend time learning my fail-proof process.

    Great question! Each month, you can expect three hours of recorded training, a couple of hours of live Q & A, and resources for your review. I encourage you to watch each video at least twice to gather all the sage wisdom. When you add in time to implement the suggested action items, you could spend thirty hours a month to realize your dreams. Is an hour a day worth it? Only you can make that call, but I promise, you’d spend way more time researching trying to figure out what to do.

    Yes! If you do the work and commit to excellence, you can be a successfully published author in a year!

    Although I cannot guarantee your results, I can guarantee that if you adhere to the recommendations and implement the suggested strategies, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the average self-published author. This list reflects some of the results achieved by me and my clients

    o You can be a best-selling author like me and 70% of my clients
    o You can sell thousands of books like Dr. Karen M.R. Townsend
    o You can get paid to speak like Andrea Foy
    o You can receive front-page, full-color, above-the-crease placement in newspapers like Dr. Sonia Cunningham Leverette
    o You can sell scores of books before your book launches like Pastor Carlos Marshall
    o You can sell lots of print and eBooks like Necci Headen Cooper
    o You can be recognized by national organizations like April Lynn Foster
    o You can reduce your print cost by more than half like Jeri Dokes
    o You can get hundreds of 5-star reviews like me
    o You can host virtual experiences like Chef Keith Denard Jones
    o You can be a subject matter expert like Toni Perry Gillispie
    o You can produce stage plays like Philitia Charlton
    o You can host profitable events like Christopher Montgomery
    o You can publish other authors like Tenita Johnson

    Note: Results can be typical, if you follow the process.

    The membership pays for itself in that you’ll save thousands of dollars, hours of research, and tons of frustration compared to going it alone. With a pre-release campaign and my cost-reduction strategies, you can recoup the investment for this membership before you print a single book. And if you’re like me and my clients, you’ll earn back your publishing expenses in the first print run.

    I understand your concern. Making mistakes can be expensive; however, with this membership, I show you how to avoid the common, costly mistakes to catapult your results. Even if you want to land a deal with a traditional publisher, your odds increase exponentially if you successfully self-publish. Publishers want to minimize their risks so they only select authors with proven sales exceeding 50,000 copies per title, an online following of 100K+, and multiple titles in the queue. What better way to negotiate the best deal than having firsthand experience as a successful self-published author?

    Email, social media, and personal invitations are a great start. Because I value your time, Pen of the Writer Academy has an affiliate program that compensates you 5% for every person who joins the membership from your referral. Find your custom link in the dashboard and then share away!

    Everything you need will be available on your dashboard. You can view videos, download checklists, and connect with likeminded peers in the community. The live Ask the Expert and guest speaker sessions will be conducted through Zoom then uploaded to your dashboard for viewing at your convenience.

    To keep you from being overwhelmed, the content is released bit-by-bit. Dripping content allows you to work at a decent pace without bombarding you to the point of overload. Because when you’re overloaded, you cannot process information which leads to frustration and eventually quitting. My intent is to avoid the too-much-information (TMI) syndrome caused by Google searching. Every week, you’ll receive just the right amount of content to move you closer to fulfilling your publishing dream.

    Not only do you save with the annual membership, you also improve your probability of success by absorbing all of the information with longer access. Another benefit of annual membership is discounted one-on-one sessions with me. Instead of $300 for 60 Minutes to Bestseller, your investment is cut in half. To celebrate your commitment to the process, when your book is complete,

    1. You earn a POWER Academy certificate of completion
    2. Your book will be added to the POWER Academy Wall of Fame
    3. Your book will be entered in the POWER Readers’ Choice Awards
    4. Your book will be included in a Pen of the Writer eBlast to 25k+ fans, friends, and followers
    5. You earn discounted registration to Pen of the Writer author events…indefinitely!

    POWER Academy is cost-effective because it’s designed for group mentoring. You can connect with Valerie during the monthly live Q & A sessions. Private mentoring is available for an additional fee, which is discounted 50% for annual members.

    If you choose the month-to-month membership, access ends when you cancel your subscription. However, if you sign up for the annual membership, you have lifetime access to all of the content when you renew. Since new tools emerge daily, I will keep adding content to complement your academy experience.

    I help authors get real, relevant, repeatable results! I condensed almost two decades of publishing experience into a one-year course to help you get similar results. You’ll get access to proprietary resources I never share and incomparable content I have never disclosed. Between the mastermind content, online community, and added bonuses, no other membership compares.

    Absolutely. You can pay monthly until you finish your book or save with annual membership.

    If you decide that this mastermind membership is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription at any time. If you choose the annual membership, you have 14 days to watch videos, download content, and implement strategies. If you decide Pen of the Writer Academy is not for you in the first 14 days of enrolling, I will refund your money, no questions asked. This money-back guarantee is only valid with the annual membership.

    Pen of the Writer Academy is designed as a membership site. I may incorporate options for specific modules in the future; however, for the time being, confirm a private 60 Minutes to Bestseller mentoring session with me at https://penofthewriter.as.me/60minutestobestseller.

    Let me address your concerns…

    I cannot tell you how many times I hear that from aspiring authors. My reply is always the same, “If you build the right team, your book will be amazing and exceed your expectations.” When newbies try to figure out how to publish, they often miss the mark on excellence by trying to do everything themselves on the hopes of saving money. A well-published book goes through several rounds of edits beyond your English teacher, mother, and best friend. Hiring professional service providers for editing, cover design, layout, and illustrations is critical to ensure that your book is more than just good enough. Pen of the Writer Academy shows you what to do, how to do it, and provides resources to find the best person to do it so your baby debuts at Level 3: professionally engineered and designed to land you paid speaking engagements, media attention, and book sales. All five levels are discussed in the training. Trust me, you don’t want your book to hit Level 1 or 2.

    Most of the time, when writers say, “My book isn’t good enough,” what they’re actually saying is “I’m not good enough.” Feelings of insecurity and uncertainty often go hand-in-hand with publishing, especially for the first book. Although I am not a therapist, I help my clients reject negative self-talk and connect to affirming beliefs. Whether you’re inundated with the imposter syndrome, or have deep-rooted issues that diminish your confidence, Pen of the Writer Academy offers strategies to be consistent, persistent, and relevant with your message.

    Powerful writing requires transparency and vulnerability. Whether family, friends, or strangers, you will be judged for the content and quality of your work. It is unavoidable. One strategy to confront the potential resentment is to discuss your project with family before it is released. Solicit their feedback and buy-in on sensitive matters. If necessary, modify your manuscript to mitigate any pending damage while maintaining the integrity of your message.
    My first book, Blended Families An Anthology, stirred up the hornets’ nest with my husband’s ex-wife and their adult children. One story of over thirty discussed how their actions affected me as a stepmother. I’m not sure if they were angry, embarrassed, or guilt-ridden, but I told my truth. As a result, this book is on six continents, has been #1 on Amazon in the stepfamily parenting category, and has helped thousands of families navigate the challenges of stepfamilies.

    By following the process outlined in the academy, you can’t help but do the right thing. The same process I used to publish over 180 authors and guide thousands to successful self-publishing, is outlined in this training. If you want to be a doctor, spend time with doctors. If you want to be an engineer, spend time with engineers. If you want to be a best-selling author who transforms lives and makes money, spend time with me and other best-selling authors in the Pen of the Writer Academy.

    Many writers fear retaliation for telling their story. As long as you tell your truth truthfully, suing for deformation or liable should not have a significant affect. That does not mean that someone won’t file a lawsuit, it means that their prospects of winning are minimal. To mitigate this fear, I encourage my clients to

    1. Complete exercises to evaluate and address fears. The first module in the academy attacks common fears and provides strategies to overcome them.
    2. Write the story as creative nonfiction; however, change names, locations, and dates.
    3. Write the story as fiction with a disclaimer disassociating the novel from real people or situations.
    4. Establish a business entity to separate its activities and assets from personal matters.

    Another reason to be sued is copyright infringement. This matter is discussed as part of the training in Pen of the Writer Academy. Neither Pen of the Writer nor its agents are legal experts; however, intellectual property attorneys will be guest speakers to further delve into this topic.

    I received a two-star review for my novel The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box. Not because the book was poorly written or published, but because the reader was a man who preferred erotica. Since #TheGoodyBoxBook is for women who want to experience fulfilling, committed, monogamous relationships, he was not my ideal reader. Nevertheless, this words-of-affirmation girl was devastated. I wanted to quit, pull my book from Amazon and bookstore shelves, and cower in a corner. I processed through my feelings and focused on the readers who experienced real transformation from my message. Now, with over 100 reviews, a 4.4-star rating on Amazon, and a 4.9-star rating on Audible, I understand that my multi-bestselling novel is not for everyone.

    Moral of the story: try as you might, not everyone is going to like your book. However, receiving a critical review because the book’s quality is awful is unacceptable. If the review is substantiated, use it to improve your craft. Pen of the Writer Academy guides you to publish in excellence, identify your target readers, and generate authentic reviews.

    Most self-published authors sell less than 250 copies for the life of the book. That staggering statistic is mainly due to three factors: inferior quality book, high retail price, and inadequate marketing. Pen of the Writer Academy addresses each of these common issues for lackluster sales. When you follow the process, your book will be well-designed cover-to-cover, the optimal retail price will be assessed versus arbitrarily assigned, and you’ll amass a wealth of marketing strategies to help you far exceed the national average.

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