Motivational Speaker Scam? Insight Publishing – Something is not right in Sevierville, TN

October 6, 2010

I don’t care what business it is – success is founding on the choices you make.  There are no short cuts or easy ways to finding success, rather success is founded on fundamental principles applied consistently through your life choices.  As a business ethics speaker, I know from personal experience what it takes to create the outcomes you desire.

That said, part of what I do is focus a spotlight on unethical behavior, scams and/or frauds.  I cannot say that what I am reporting on here is a scam, but there are too many issues arising related to the speaking business coming out of little Sevierville, TN to be coincidence.

First – here are two of my most recent posts related to speaker services and issues coming out of that little town in Tennessee:


So today I receive this email that offers me (I’m sure this offer has been made to thousands of speakers) a chance to co-author a book with Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard – both of whom I respect and neither of whom I know personally.

Really…I think to myself.  Ken and Deepak want to work with me?  What an appeal to ego huh?  But, let’s look closer.  The offer states:

1 chapter left in our book project Roadmap to Success with chapters by Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard. You have been pre-selected to be a co-author, as our research department has recognized you as an expert strategist. We will focus on topics that are necessary for success in your business and or personal life. There will be 15 chapters total in the book. Please see below some topic suggestions.

The book will contain principles and topics applying to everyday lives and careers. Our authors find it easier for their books to be reviewed. Opportunities for media coverage are also greatly increased. Imagine your ideas and your story appearing in newspapers and magazines! Imagine yourself on talk radio! You gain maximum exposure, reinforce your credentials, and build credibility.  It also represents real value for your audience. Your investment in this project is your inventory of books which depending on your package has an ROI of more than $16,000.

Inventory Choices

200 books $ 1144

300 books $ 1716

500 books $ 2540

1,000 books $ 3800

No interest payment plans are also available.

Hum … I can write “my” chapter and have it included along with others with my picture on the cover with Deepak and Ken – making it look like I was “chicken eatin buddies” with these masters.  The only cost to me is a mere approximately $3.5 to $5.5 cost per book.  Looks to me like it is a way to sell books masquerading as co-authorship – when in reality Chopra and Blanchard have no clue (at least I think that is true) who they are lending their name to as co-authors.

Here more though:

Details and benefits:

Interview based book, no heavy writing required

Custom cover with your photo and celebrity authors on your inventory of books

Professional editing done by our staff editor

Book will be listed and ISBN # registered with Baker & Taylor, Bowker, Barnes & Noble and

Newsletter featuring each author will be emailed to 20,000 meeting planners listing their bio , photo and contact information

Custom press release provided to each author for promotion

21 Ways to Market your Book plan

You own the copyright to your chapter and can use it for whatever purpose you wish in the future

E book Rights – Each author will receive the E book upon on completion

To move forward give me a call in the office or email to discuss, prime chapter placement available. Hope you have a great day!

*If you are interested in building your brand/marketing and this title does not fit you. I am also looking for authors in our book project Bootstrap Business with Tom Hopkins, Jack Canfield and John Christensen.


Doors open faster when you walk in with someone famous!


Dona Merritt

Marketing Representative

Insight Publishing

A Division of The Innovator’s Group, Inc.

Sevierville, TN. 37862

Let me be clear … I am an advocate of self-publishing!  The publishing world is being turned upside down and twisted all around with the advent of easy self-publishing, printing on demand and, of course, the elephant in the room – the ebook.  So my question does not center around authors being self published – not at all – rather, the question relates to the method of piggybacking on the names of individuals who you have no contact with – don’t know you or your content – and yet seem to find that the collection approach is a way to use their good name to promote yours.

First there are two firms that represent themselves as Speaker Services companies, both of whom have questionable reputations and have had complaints lodged against them.  Now, another speaker services company emerges in the same little town.  Sorry, but something smells fishy here.

Is what is being offered here ethical?

IF you are a client of Insight Publishing and wish to offer your comments good or bad – we welcome your thoughts.  I cannot express a direct opinion from experience, but would sure like to hear from others.