SEPTEMBER 28-29, 2019

How to Self-Publish - Taking Your Idea to Market


Awesome! You’ve come up with a killer idea, maybe even started taking some notes. But now what?

Struggle. Doubt. Fear. Steven Pressfield labeled it “Resistance.” It’s the force keeping you from doing what you were put on Earth to do. Whether it’s social media distractions or the tsunami of online publishing advice, you’re not making progress.

You’re looking for a system that is simple, easy to follow, and proven. You’re not afraid of the work, just confused about what it is you need to be doing to take an idea and turn it into a published book.

The good news? You CAN publish that book by following a few simple steps, led by a trusted professional. You need to ignore all of the online advice and only focus on what you need right now. And we can do it all in one weekend.

Now is the time get that book done!

aN intimate gathering DESIGNED AND taught BY J. THORN

After spending 25 years in education and teaching thousands of students, I’ve learned how to break down complex projects into manageable sections. When I asked my readership what they needed, they told me time and project management, "getting it done." So I've designed this incredible weekend to deliver exactly that.

You’ll gather with other authors at a turn-of-the-century mansion in University Circle, situated in the heart of Cleveland’s cultural district. With only 25 spots available, you’ll receive individualized attention and walk away with a plan you can implement on Monday morning. You’ll get guided practice on your plan to take your idea all the way to market. Throughout the weekend, you’ll meet other like-minded authors, and you’ll attend hands-on workshops that will show you exactly how to be successful.

Your registration fee includes the one or two-day experience, including a Saturday night social, and a host of other entertainment options in the "CLE" including the beach, Little Italy, University Circle, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Modern Art, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



Are you ready for success? Click the button to join us now. Space is limited so don't wait.

Over two intense days, I'll work with you to come up with a plan that will take you from idea to market.

This event's capacity is capped at 25 seats. Don't miss out.


To live the author life, you need to get deliberate and guided practice with immediate feedback. The Essential Gathering will help get you unstuck and on the path to success.

You’ll join the family and explore many topics so that you can avoid common and costly mistakes.

Here are some of the topics we'll cover:


  • Mastering the best story methodologies
  • Analyzing writing and optimizing communication skills
  • Developing habits to ensure success


  • Optimizing an author platform
  • Growing and serving a fan base
  • Self-publishing a best-selling book in a genre
  • Starting and executing a lucrative content marketing plan
  • Mastering social media platforms and retail marketplaces

Systems and Time Management

  • Building and nurturing healthy habits
  • Developing lean systems to get things done
  • Optimizing tasks to free up family time
  • Utilizing technology to manage a growing business

Focus: Planning your project, drafting, and revising.


From my clients...


“I begged J. to help me get my head on straight with fiction writing. The sessions were amazing. I’m a bit of a weird all-over-the-place kind of person, but J. really ran with whatever I threw at him. His ideas and advice were spot on. His coaching felt like an extra set of very very smart eyes and brains on my ideas. I don’t say this lightly. This was the best coaching I’ve ever received for being so spot on and so helpful.”


“J. Thorn is a genius! He masterfully guided me through the process of structuring my story. He asked leading and thought-provoking questions so that I didn’t take the first or even second idea that came into my head but asked me to dig down deeper, which is where the gold is hidden. Because of J., I am more prepared to write this book than any other book I’ve written.”


“Before hiring J., I thought I couldn’t possibly make my story better, but he identified the elements that could be stronger or that were missing and I’m now back to work, knowing exactly what I have to do to take my story to the next level. Plus it’s a real pleasure to work with him; I look forward using his services again in the future!”


“J.’s classes were invaluable to me. He helped guide me through a better genre choice based on my desire to become a career author, walked me through the process of developing a book idea to writing a fully fleshed out treatment, and helped me understand how to nail the structure of a story, an act, a sequence, and a scene. He’s a teacher who was willing to share everything he knew with me. No secrets. Just straight, honest help. Well worth the investment I made in his classes. I look forward to working with J. again in the short future.”

"people like us do things like this."
- Seth godin

You can find dozens of online classes, webinars, and books about writing and publishing. I’ve purchased them over the years, and some are fantastic. However, some are not, and very few provide the customized and individualized experience in a face-to-face event.

Get the information you need, when you need it.

Is The Essential Gathering right for you?

  • You are sick and tired of constantly reading through thousands of search results when trying to figure out what to do next.
  • You are open to change and value the opinion of someone who has walked the path before you.
  • You have a growth mindset. You can learn how to do anything.
  • You reject “hacks” and shortcuts that sacrifice long-term stability for short-term success.
  • You possess a strong work ethic and are not afraid to roll up your sleeves up and get down to business.

join the family

Included in The Essential Gathering


A plan you can implement for less than the cost of a book cover design.

Small Group Interaction

Only 25 seats available designed to meet the needs of each individual.


Small, intimate event with other writers who want to succeed, just like you.

Guided Practice

Consistent and personalized feedback to accelerate your learning.

*Airfare, meals, and accommodations not included.

Rock Apocalypse 2019

about j. thorn

Yes, I’m the “Authors on a Train” guy, but I started my publishing journey back in 2009. I had a dream of supporting my wife and two kids by selling words, but I came up a bit short in that first year, earning a royalty check for $19.26. But since then, I’ve slowly built an author platform that allowed me to walk away from my day job in 2017—from struggling writer to career author.

Over the past few years, I’ve discovered the power of systems and how a motivated author with the right tools can accomplish anything.

I’ve been lucky to collaborate with so many incredible writers over the years, learning from them and implementing their advice to become better at what I do. From co-written novels to the “Authors on a Train” trips, to the “Night of the Writing Dead” and “Rock Apocalypse” retreats, I’ve grown to understand the power of systems. Now I want to share that with you.

You can find out more about me here. I have published millions of words, sold hundreds of thousands of books worldwide, taught at several universities, hosted or co-hosted a number of podcasts, and earned Story Grid editor certification.

I live the author life. And you can too.