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Bahamas Report: Day 2 — Lori has lost her mind

Dear Reader,

I’m pretty sure Lori has completely lost her mind. Here I am, sitting in the back of our conference room on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and the young blond woman has just announced to me that a third of the attendees are here for free.

A third of the room? What kind of business is she running here? It’s my business… and I’m a little concerned…

Well… I’ll get to that in a moment. And (with a little pang of regret) I’ll even tell you how you can come to our next program for free, too…

First, though, I want to pass on a bit of the photo intelligence we learned today. My name is Jen Stevens, and I’m your on-the-ground reporter here at our photography and guidebook writing workshop.

I’m the author of Great Escape Publishing’s travel writer course, and, for the record, I’m a writer. Not a photographer.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to learn today just how lucrative this photography gig really can be.

Rich Wagner said a moment ago that he makes about $50,000 a year selling his locally-shot fine art prints to the folks who live in his home town, a small community near Hartford, CT. Pictures of cows, and fields, and barns, and schoolhouses…

Author and photographer B. Howard earns regular checks from the photos he sells to accompany his articles and for those that go into his guidebooks, too. He explained that newspapers pay as much as $30 per photo. From a magazine, you can reasonably expect to earn anywhere from $50-$600, depending on the size of the publication and the size of the photo.

In fact, while B. Howard was in Paris for our first photo workshop, he put together a photo spread and article on seven ways to shoot the city. Now, one of those photos graces the cover of the December issue of PHOTOgraphic magazine.

Not only can photos be a terrific way to bump up your travel writer income, but they can produce a significant income on their own, too. B. Howard says that he earns an average of about a $1 a year for each photo he has represented by his stock agency. That might not sound like much, but he’s got 8,000 photos there — which adds up to $8,000 a year, year in and year out. Not bad. And he’s adding new photos all the time.

Granted, it took him some years to work up to that number. But when you know what the secrets to snapping salable shots are… you can get started fast. In fact, our past attendees have had photos accepted by stock agencies within two weeks after our workshop.

And, as evidenced by the shots our attendees are getting here — you don’t need a fancy, big-lens camera to take saleable photos. In fact, with just two exceptions, the folks here are shooting with small (even pocket-sized) digital, point-and-shoots. And every single one of them will be going home with saleable shots.

I’m encouraged. And I hope you are, too. Because the folks here aren’t learning to do anything you can’t learn, too.

HOW YOU CAN COME TO A WORKSHOP LIKE THIS ONE FOR FREE …

Now, pardon the tangent I’m about to indulge in. But I find myself distracted.

That’s because I can’t stop thinking about the fact that one-third of our attendees here have, apparently, paid zero dollars to spend four days in the company of a panel of hot-shot writers and photographers and learn their every secret to success.

Don’t get me wrong: I think Lori is great. But I’m a little concerned she’s got a screw loose at the moment.

She’s sitting to my right, whispering to me as I write, and doing her best to explain how she arrived at the conclusion that offering people free workshops makes sound financial sense.

I’m not buying the numbers just yet. But the rest of what she has to say makes good sense…

The people who have the most success with our programs — the ones cashing in on free trips and landing plum writing assignments and selling newspapers entire photo spreads — they are the ones who have invested the most energy and enthusiasm in our programs.

Quite frankly, they’re the ones who want it the most. The ones who most crave not just the travel and the perks, but the freedom and the independence travel writing and photography careers can offer.

And so they don’t just dabble. They go at this endeavor whole hog.

So I guess it was inevitable that this would come up. This idea that we should do something for these special folks who were doing so much themselves to ensure their own success.

And what Lori decided to do was figure out a way to get this select group of readers (and that’s what it is — a small group of highly motivated people) every possible resource they could want or need. And get it to them fast… and as affordably as possible.

Hence the free workshop idea was born.

As it turns out, the free workshop is only one small part of a special package Lori has created. Really, it’s an offer to have unlimited access to our entire travel writing and photography library… to every one of our career-building products and resources…

From our comprehensive home-study courses in travel writing and photography… to our virtual workshop… to our tax guide for freelancers and our business of writing book… to our many live workshops held all around the world… to complimentary membership in the International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance… and more…

Now, this might not be of interest to you. Frankly, I expect the majority of our readers to pass on this…

But for a small number, those who have made the life-altering, no-turning-back decision to pursue a career where their “work” on any given day could include sailing through the Virgin Islands or dining on fresh pate in an auberge in rural France or exploring Antsirabe, Madagascar by rickshaw…

… for them, this opportunity makes a lot of sense. And so I wanted to make sure you knew about it…

…especially since, at any moment, Lori may come to her senses and pull the plug —  which could happen sooner rather than later, as I have a sneaking suspicion the home office hasn’t yet gotten wind of this…

“WE WANT IT ALL… BUT WE WANT A DEAL”

You know, before I go on, I should explain something…

We (Lori and I and B. Howard and Rich and the rest of the professional authors and photographers we work with) are committed, always, to providing our readers with practical, actionable, career-advancing, and money-making guidance. That’s our mission. And we’ve developed every product in our travel writing and photography library with that singular goal in mind.

Art for art’s sake is fine. But you can’t take it to the bank. That’s why we’re in the business of helping people learn not only how to write excellent travel articles and snap truly beautiful photos… but we’re committed to teaching them how to do both in a way that SELLS.

We want our readers to be able to enjoy the incredible lifestyles these careers can offer… and that’s why we design our products the way we do. And it’s what distinguishes them from the off-the-rack resources you find at bookstores.

Now, that said — and to make a long story short — several of our most enterprising readers recognized exactly that about what we do… and they came to Lori and said, “We want everything you’ve got. But we want a deal on it.”

Fair enough, she figured.

Of course (and I’m not sure she kept her eye firmly enough on this fact) we ARE running a business here — with authors’ fees and salaries and printing costs and so on to pay.

Nevertheless, these folks who came to Lori had a point — they, and maybe you, too — are looking to change careers, to find a way to fund your travels, to enjoy the world in a way you never could as a tourist…

But to pay the more than $7,000 it would cost to take advantage of all our products would probably prove prohibitive — particularly at this early point in your career.

And so, Lori sat down and put together a package that can not only make a real difference in your life if you’re truly determined to succeed — but which she’s offering at a price that, as I said, may indicate she’s truly lost sight of the fact that she’s supposed to be running a business here. (A business that MAKES money Lori… MAKES money…)

HALF-PRICE… AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING…

She added up the value of all our products, and found that all together it comes to exactly $9,365.27. Then she divided that number more than half.

Why? Well, truth be told, I think it was a bit arbitrary. She wanted a number that would be reasonable. A number a successful travel writer or photographer could earn back in a handful of months applying all the secrets our programs reveal. And so, by dividing the full value of all of our programs in half, she came up with a Complete Package price of $3,299.00.

Now, that includes our two home-study courses (The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Course and Turn Your Pictures into Cash)… our virtual workshop… every book in our library… a five-year membership in the International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance… plus a FREE live workshop, too…

And that’s not all.

It also includes HALF-PRICED WORKSHOPS FOREVER.

Yes, you read that right: With the Complete Package, not only can you come to one of our live workshops for free, but you can come to as many live workshops as you like after that — for life — at half-price.

Now, let me lay this out for you so you can see why I’ve been having fits here.

A workshop attendee will typically pay $1,697 to come to a workshop. So when you come to your next workshop for free as a Complete Package Member, it’s like we’re handing you a check for $1,697.

Then, say over the next three years you come to three more workshops (you’ve got lots of incredible choices in 2006 alone. We’ll be in Bermuda in March, Paris in May, Greece in August… and there are a few more destinations we’re throwing around for later in the year). If you paid half-price for each of those workshops (that’s $848 a piece), you’d save another $2,545.50.

So now you’ve saved nearly $4,000 — more than the price of the Complete Package. And I haven’t even added in the value of the items in our library.

Altogether, you’re getting more than $9,000 worth of products aimed squarely at helping you transform yourself into a successful travel writer and photographer — somebody who makes a living traveling the world — and right now it’s yours for just $3,299.00.

And the thing is, with the secrets you’ll learn in the resources our Complete Package includes, you could earn that back — and more — in just a handful of months.

As B. Howard explained to us earlier today, most of the articles he writes sell at least a half-dozen times. Initially, each will sell for $250 -$450, and occasionally for much more. Re-print sales on those articles run anywhere from $50 to $250. That means that any given article can bring in as much as $2,000 or even $3,000.

In fact, B. Howard applied the secrets he teaches and earned a whopping $12,600 from the stories and photos he generated on one four-day trip to England.

Point is: Armed with the money-making secrets revealed in our courses and workshops and in our books and resources, you’ll know everything you need to know to more than pay for the cost of the Complete Package… and in a handful of months if you put your mind to it.

And there’s something else, too.

SUBTRACT THE PRICE OF ANY PURCHASES YOU’VE MADE IN THIS PAST YEAR.

When you take advantage of this Complete Package offer, you can deduct from the already low price any amount you’ve already paid for our products this year, up to $1,000.

So you came to a workshop earlier this year? Subtract $1,000 from the cost of the Complete Package… you already own The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Course? Subtract $249 from the cost of the Complete Package… you get the idea…

LORI IS OFF HER ROCKER

As I write this… I’m actually beginning to squirm. Now, I’m no math whiz, don’t get me wrong. But I have to say, the way I figure it, we’re losing money on this deal.  I mean, we’d normally charge $9,365.27 for all of these materials and for the time and energy and attention our experts invest in every one of our live workshops… and Lori’s selling it all for $3,299.00…

But, as she’s just informed me, eyebrow raised: I should be worrying about the writing… not the math. Yes. Well, dear, I’m not so sure.

Actually, I’m pretty sure she’s off her rocker. Of course, if I come at this from your point of view, this is the deal of a lifetime. Lori already offered this package to our workshop attendees in New York this past July… which is why so many of them are down here in the Bahamas with us for free. And right now, I’d like to extend this offer to you.

So if you’d like to join us at our next workshop for free… I’d be very pleased to see you there (maybe even more pleased if you were paying to be there… but I promise not to hold it against you).

More news from our workshop and an update on Lori’s mental state tomorrow…

Until then,
Jen Stevens
Your on-the-ground reporter in Nassau, Bahamas

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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