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Balancing entrepreneurship with a career in publishing: Kary Oberbrunner’s inspiring journey

Sometimes an industry needs to be disrupted. Consider what Uber did to public transportation. Or how Netflix made us rethink the way we view entertainment. For years the publishing industry has needed a shift, and Author Academy Elite may just be the catalyst to bring about that change. The Birth of Author Academy Elite The […]

Sometimes an industry needs to be disrupted. Consider what Uber did to public transportation. Or how Netflix made us rethink the way we view entertainment. For years the publishing industry has needed a shift, and Author Academy Elite may just be the catalyst to bring about that change.

The Birth of Author Academy Elite

The co-founder of Author Academy Elite, Kary Oberbrunner, released his first book in 2004 with a traditional publisher. He went on to publish five more books with three other publishers over the next decade. Although he was elated to receive six publishing deals, he soon discovered that the burden of marketing the books fell on his shoulders. The profits and control did not.

“With certain publishers, I had no vote on the final book cover and title,” says Oberbrunner. “Throughout the process, I often felt I was in the dark on important decisions.”

Ever the optimist, Kary kept pushing ahead. He taught himself the craft of marketing and has turned his last four books into 18 streams of income and 6-figure businesses. These books span multiple genres, including religion (Your Secret Name), personal growth (The Deeper Path), business (Day Job to Dream Job), and even young adult fiction (Elixir Project).

He wondered if his tension with traditional publishers was unique or if other authors had experienced similar results. As he met other authors, he heard similar horror stories. He imagined a different way and a different world—a publishing model where authors would be compensated for their hard work and readers could enjoy well-written, professional books.

In 2014, he and his business partner, David Branderhorst, created just such a model.

The Secret of Success

Since the beginning of Author Academy Elite, Kary desired to provide his authors with the same process he uses to write, publish, and market his books successfully. He broke these three phases down into 52 Mini Missions©, the bedrock of the Author Academy Elite program. These missions include securing influencer endorsements, creating a digital press kit, building a launch team, hosting a launch party, and even designing a companion course—to name a few.

Kary and his author coaches fill in the blanks by providing expert level live coaching Monday through Friday in addition to the video-based modules. Although Author Academy Elite publishes books in five versions (audiobook, ebook, softcover, hardcover, and ePub), it never takes a penny of the profits or printing costs.

The results prove the power of the process. Today over 1,000 authors have joined the program from over a dozen countries around the world. Authors range in age from 9 to 85 and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many of these people have become bestselling authors, won global awards, done media interviews, created multiple streams of income based on their book, and most importantly, changed readers’ lives.

In 2018, Author Academy Elite broke the world record for the largest ever book signing. Over 75 authors signed their books for the community at the Barnes & Noble superstore located in Columbus, Ohio.

Annual Author Event

Besides helping authors publish their books, Author Academy Elite sponsors a global event every October called the Igniting Souls Conference. Entrepreneurs, coaches, authors, and speakers attend. The first day of the conference includes a literary contest called the Author Academy Awards, which is open to authors from around the world. Each year, authors must submit their books to a panel of judges months before the event. The top 10 finalists in 16 categories compete for the ultimate prize: the literary Boon of Merit.

To learn more about this industry-disrupting publishing model, visit AuthorAcademyElite.com. To submit your book for this year’s contest, visit AuthorAcademyAwards.com

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