Publishing.com Reviews (Updated 2024): Is The Mikkelsen Twins Audiobook Side Hustle The Real Deal?
Introduction To Publishing.com Reviews
Publishing.com is a website run by the notorious Mikkelsen Twins, two brothers (Rasmus and Christian) who are known for selling tips on how to self-publish audiobooks on Audible (by Amazon).
I'm gonna take a wild guess that you were on TikTok, Facebook, or YouTube when you started getting bombarded with ads from these guys, right? Or you might have been looking up ways to make some big money from home...or better yet, the beach.
It doesn't really matter what sparked your interest, it just matters that you're here, combing through Publishing.com reviews so you can figure out which article actually knows what it's talking about!
The good news is you can stop searching - I've been digging through this stuff for years to figure which of these gurus are for real, and which ones are no good. Take a look at my Fiction Profits Academy review, if you want some proof.
By the way, I totally get why you're interested in this stuff - people can hardly afford to pay their bills, the 9-5 grind sucks...but you've gotta be careful you don't just rush into something without knowing what it really is.
The fact you're here, looking for more information shows that you're smarter than a lot of folks.
Together, I'll walk you through what the Mikkelsen bros do right and what they do wrong, we'll check out possible alternatives, and we'll even see if there's really a lot of room for profits with an online publishing business model.
Now, let's dive on into our Publishing.com review!
This Publishing.com review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.
- The Mikkelsen Twins have been in the game for a while now, which means they've got solid experience in the self-publishing game.
- Self-publishing is independent, meaning you won't have to ask any publishers if they think you're good enough - you publish yourself.
- Some good reviews on Trustpilot - which means that they seem to have the confidence of students, although some others claim those students were paid.
- Easy to get your account banned these days, and that means all your hard work and money will go down the drain.
- The twins are basically telling you to hire a foreigner to ghost-write a crappy book, which means you're just gaming a system instead of providing a quality product.
- As many solid Trustpilot reviews as there are, there are almost as many concerns that they lie and overprice their program - which means you might be wasting money on information you could find for free.
Why Listen To UsMy name is Josiah, and this is my Dad, Joel.
Together, we make up the team here at Scamrisk.
If you’ll let me bother you for two minutes, I’d like to quickly explain why I’m even here writing this review.
In early 2020, I had just graduated from college & had no real career prospects.
I knew I was destined for something more, but I had no clue how I was going to make it happen.
I had this sinking feeling in my gut all the time… like the “big man upstairs” had accidentally given me the version of life where I’d be mediocre forever, instead of the one where I was, ya know – happy & fulfilled.
I had fiddled around with some different online businesses in college:
Some random MLMs, a bit of affiliate marketing, a (failed) dropshipping store or two, all the usual suspects.
Even my dad had been involved in MLMs back in the day… selling knives & other random nonsense people (probably) didn’t need.
All I really wanted was to find something that was going to actually work for me.
Maybe those things had worked for others, but for me it all turned up a fat “0” in the bank account department.
So I searched! And searched… and searched… and searched…
And eventually, I somehow stumbled upon a program that promised to help me build an income online (read about it here if you’re curious).
I didn’t really want to be “rich”.
The thought of making a reliable $5K per month & not having to worry about clocking in to a 9-to-5 ever again was all I needed.
Sure, there were people in the program doing high-6 and low-7 figures per year… but that wasn’t what I was out for.
I just wanted to provide freedom for myself, and if I was lucky, take my family along for the ride.
Fast forward a few days and a few phone calls & I was enrolled!
Here’s the first “money making website” I put up:
I built that site in 2020, and it still makes me $1,500 per month. It’s a basic 5 page website I built based on a template the program provides.
The best part to me? My dad and I get to do it all together!
So between the:
Is why I recommend local lead generation as my #1 business model for making money online.
Sure, it takes some work and dedication – but anyone that tells you that there’s a business out there that requires no work is selling you a lemon.
I’m not saying you need to sign up for the same program I did, but I would definitely recommend giving the business model a peek!
TLDR - Is There A Publishing.com Scam Going On Here?
Should you pay up the big bucks to learn about self publishing on Audible?
I would say no.
One of the most common searches out there is "Publishing.com scam", but I'm not sure I'd necessarily call the Mikkelsen twins scammers - although there are definitely people out there who are willing to cross that line.
I will say that the Mikkelsens aren't as dumb as some of their critics say they are. They've had multiple courses over the years:
- Publishing Life
- Audiobook Income Academy
- Audiobook Impact Academy
And while the umbrella website is still Publishing.com (a great domain name to lock down), the latest name of their program is "AI Publishing Academy".
But it's the same as the rest. They're all basically the exact same program, and some people speculate they have swapped names to avoid the trail of negative reviews that have followed them in the past.
The major difference I see is the reference to AI, which is likely capitalizing on people searching up AI writing now more than ever. In their program, it seems to be more of a bonus feature that isn't fully ready just yet.
I would be interested to know how Amazon/Audible/Kindle respond to selling low-quality AI books online, since they already appear to ban people's accounts for gaming the system with the Mikkelsen twins' tactics.
In fact, the Mikkelsens themselves have had their own accounts banned!
According to students, the lessons taught in their program include being told to copy/paste anything that's not copyrighted into your book, then slap on a stock photo and go sell it. Or you send it overseas to someone who will do the work for you for a fraction of the pay, and the content will become even harder to read.
This is a true quantity over quality course, and the Mikkelsen are not authors of anything except gaming Amazon. Which, to be fair, I wouldn't feel too bad about - Jeff Bezos does continue to take more and more cuts from real authors and Amazon FBA hustlers, after all.
But I do have some concern for consumers who are looking for quality content, that may be duped into spending their money on garbage.
So, can you make money with them?
But you'll have to be willing to cut a lot of corners, and then get lucky when it comes to dodging the algorithm that's specifically set up to catch the thousands of other students of programs like this...who are all doing the exact same thing that Publishing.com is teaching you to do.
And of course, e-book sales have been climbing over the years, so the industry does make sense as a whole. But I think your money would be safer with an industry like Digital Leasing, that has zero risk of your accounts being banned, and actually helps people.
You never wanna be the last one to hear about the "next big thing", and it seems like this could be it - the reviews are already rolling in.
The students seem extremely passionate about what they're doing - not just getting by, but creating their own future.
That said, if you'd like to hear some more about our Publishing.com review, let's keep on rolling.
Who Benefits From Publishing.com...And Who Doesn't?
|It won't take much time to tell AI what to do, but it's not a good investment of your time if your page gets banned by Amazon
|Level of Control
|You can decide what prompts to input, but again, having to watch out for Jeff Bezos the whole time doesn't exactly make you a boss
|Ease of Implementation
|This is definitely the easiest way to write a book - just let AI do it instead! Unfortunately, high quality is not guaranteed
|There are so many people trying to make a quick buck by doing this same thing, so it's gonna be tricky standing out in the crowd
Like I said, I've been around the block and I've seen what works and what doesn't. Some students kill it in some industries, while those same students struggle with others. And at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if you pick the best industry in the world if your mentor sucks.
So, let's give a quick breakdown on who Publishing.com works best for:
Publishing.com might be for you if...
- You are a natural writer and want to get your voice out there.
- You've used ecommerce sites like Amazon or Skup before
- You don't mind going with a quantity-over-quality approach
On the other hand, it probably doesn't make sense to join if...
- You don't like paying for information that is freely available
- You've found the negative reviews that the Mikkelsens try to hide
- You'd rather write a quality book and build a reputation that way
Publishing.com At A 1,000 FT View
Self-publishing is a pretty wild game to play. The cool parts sound great - you don't have to get any feedback from crabby old businessmen who wanna change your story and make it if their vision, or they think some jokes are too offensive, or maybe they want to take the whole thing and make it take place in outer space!
Freedom as a writer is a wonderful thing, and not being owned by stuck-up guys in suits is definitely a major upside...
...but the downside is very real, as well. There's a reason those guys wear suits - because they've got money, and they know how to make money. All that marketing and all their connections with major reviewers/news outlets can go a long way for creatives to have their work seen by a ton of people.
Now take all that networking - do you have contacts at the New York Times who can turn your work into a bestseller?
How about the marketing? Do you have the budget to plaster it all over the internet and other spots?
You're going to throw it up onto Amazon and hope that someone can dig through the heaps of boring books and audiobooks until they stumble onto your gem.
People love to say "don't judge a book by its cover", when that's basically what the majority of readers will do when they come across unknown authors.
Now, here's where it gets weird: Publishing.com doesn't even really seem to think it matters if you're an unknown author...or even an author at all.
These two kids from New Jersey basically found a way to game Audible by Amazon by copy/pasting uncopyrighted words into awful non-fiction books, and that's how they got their start. They claim that by simply marketing yourself right (which they say you can only learn through their course), you can break on through and make a ton of profit through self publishing.
I guess when you put it that way, it's true - anyone could make a buck with self publishing...
...but is that really how you want to live your life? And do you really think Amazon won't find even better ways to ban accounts and stop this kind of thing, eventually?
It's a risky career path, to say the least, and one that doesn't really have any rewarding feeling when all is said and done. If you're an actual author, you'll hate the scheming process of copying someone else's words, or paying someone from a poor country to write broken English for you.
And if you're just trying to make some money online, you always run the risk of your hard work screeching to a halt when you wake up to find your account has been deleted.
There are WAY better options out there, safe to say.
Writing stories is a timeless way to make money, but so is the concept of a business finding more people to sell things to...and it's a way more practical way to make money these days.
Lead generation always has a fat stack of cash waiting for anyone who can bring the right leads into local businesses, and that's something that will always be in demand. All you need is a little marketing training, and you'll be off.
My final recommendation does it best, as far as I can tell. They've got a great combination of training, mentorship, and community that all great programs strive for.
The Mikkelsens, on the other hand, have some great promise as marketers...but they have a lot of work to do as coaches.
Who Are The Mikkelsen Twins?
Rasmus and Christian Mikkelsen are the two guys more commonly referred to as "The Mikkelsen Twins", and they have built up an infamous reputation over the years. Without any background in writing or any sign of artistic talent, they managed to publish over 150 books/audiobooks on Amazon's Kindle and Audible websites.
They are considered one of the leading forces in the self publishing industry, promising that it's a great way to start making money online - even if you don't know how to write.
Publishing.com is the latest in a long line of names of their programs, but they basically all revolve around finding a cheap and easy way to throw a book together and sell it online for a profit. They seem to focus mostly on audiobooks, but have been known to help put together physical products and Kindle books as well.
The twins were born in New Jersey, just a couple of average Joes driving a Chinese food delivery car, attending community college, not really going places in a hurry...other than on their delivery route.
Lucky for them, they caught their bad habits early on and realized that they didn't wanna be working the typical 9-5 grind in a job they hate for an average (maybe even below-average) income...working for someone else, and not able to travel whenever they wanted.
So they went out and found a niche that works for them, basically creating a loophole in how people usually think about the process for getting a book published. Instead of going through the usual ways of having to get approval and jumping through hoops just to get the chance to have your story read by other people...they promise you can just get it out there on your own.
They may have started out as a couple of nerdy kids, but as they've aged, the Mikkelsens now try to take pro-style headshots and play up a "pretty boy" angle.
They post a lot of pictures of them hanging out with dogs or being shirtless, which is probably a sign they're trying to attract women to their course - which makes sense, since a lot of today's authors are female.
They've made a ton of money from their students over the years, and they've used that cash to travel to places like Hawaii, Mexico, Japan, Egypt, and more.
So, you could say things are going pretty good.
While there are accusations out there that their program is diluting the quality of books on Amazon, the twins don't seem to care about all that too much as long as their bank accounts are sitting pretty.
How Much Does Publishing.com Cost?
It seems that there has been a recent price hike for the Mikkelsen's course, as it was formerly listed at $1,995.
Now, you'll have to pay $6,000 for access to their materials, which can't entirely be related to the crazy inflation we've all seen lately.
Speaking of inflation, this makes it a lot harder for the average Joe to join up with the Mikkelsens, but at least they let you pay through installments if that makes it easier.
Publishing.com Refund Policy
A 3 day refund window isn't exactly ideal, especially if there's a lot of material to go through. You may be comfortable with the first couple days, but by the end of the week you could run into some trouble that'll have you running for your money back...
...but the Mikkelsens won't be returning it.
Is Publishing.com Legit Or Not?
|"Super excited to see where this journey can take me!"
|"They'll keep going until they get arrested."
|"If I could get the twins alone I would be done for murder that’s how much they scammed me"
There are some great reviews about the Mikkelsen twins on their Trustpilot, but we also have some folks suggesting that fake reviews are not just an accident, but a designed feature for the Mikkelsens both on Amazon and for the promotion of their program:
"I think it is this part that has helped them explode as far as they have. It wasn't illegal as such, but it was a loophole and still is. And it was to do with how to get reviews. Basically, you pay someone from India and those kinds of places, a small amount to get their friends to flood the books with reviews. It's still being done today because Amazon generally can't tell the difference between a legit and fake review if it is done right, although they are getting much better at detecting it."
I used to think that the Mikkelsens were just helping struggling authors get their work out there, which would be a pretty decent business model...but it's really starting to look like these guys just wanna make some cash and help their students' exploit a loophole in Amazon's system.
And because they're not the only company out there pushing this kind of operation, that means self-publishing as a whole is going to suffer. Even if you have a legitimate, great book with quality content - it's going to be drowned out by this strategy the twins are pushing, where algorithm manipulation reigns supreme.
It sounds weird to say, but this is one time I'd like to see Jeff Bezos and his huge corporation crack down a little more.
So, is Publishing.com legit?
Depends what you mean. Are they selling a real product and could make you money?
But is it ethical, and are the chances of actually making a career out of this any good?
That's a different story altogether. I do suspect that Amazon will continue banning these kinds of accounts more and more, especially as the twins start to offer more and more AI writing shortcuts to their students.
As good as AI writing bots are getting, the big corporations are getting even better at designing their own AI that can detect other stuff written by robots...in other words, you won't have a long career by learning what the Mikkelsens teach you.
Personally, I think you're way safer with something like Digital Leasing, which is a way more stable option. They operate in the lead generation industry - where your job is to help businesses gain clients, and that's not a line of work that'll ever get old.
Personal Opinion On Publishing.com
The more I learn about Publishing.com, the less I like it. That's just me being honest.
I don't know if the Mikkelsen twins have any real writing ability, or if they just know how to market themselves really well when it comes to their course. It's hard to say.
But how good are they going to be at teaching something they don't really know about?
And even if they just teach you about making money - which the seem to be good at doing for themselves - that doesn't mean they're going to know how to help you make money.
Over the years, I've dug into it all: self-publishing, ecommerce, lead generation...you could say I've gotten the hang of which programs work, and which don't
But the real question is...how do we find the right course for you?
- Dig into some online reviews to see how students feel
- Make sure the gurus know what they're doing
- Take a peek at the refund policy, just to know if there's a way out
The Mikkelsen Twins aren't the worst gurus we've see, but still far from the best.
To be fair, here are 3 things I like about the course:
- They clearly know how to make money for themselves
- If it's as easy as it sounds, then making money could come quick
- Many positive Trustpilot reviews, even if they are up for debate
...and, on the other hand, 3 things I don't really like:
- They tell their students to swap fake reviews with each other
- The course just went up 4 grand in price
- Three-day refund means you won't have much time to escape
What's Inside AI Publishing Academy?
The Mikkelsens seem to constantly come up with new names for their courses, but they've basically always been the same.
However, AI Publishing Academy might actually have a few concepts that make it different from the other ones. The course has always been about finding the easiest way possible to sell a book, like copy and pasting other people's existing work, or hiring foreign workers to do it for cheap.
Now, you'll be feeding instructions to AI and hoping for the best.
Let's dig into the modules and figure out what's actually going on inside this program.
This intro session is all about mindset training. Basically gearing you up to start your day right, and to enter their course with the right attitude.
I think it's reasonable to dive into this sorta stuff, because it will help anyone in any industry when taught right. You should always work hard and hold yourself accountable, so if the Mikkelsen twins teach that, then good for them.
Some courses also teach patience, which can be tricky when some students are sold on the idea that they're gonna get rich really quick.
Inside the second part, the gurus talk about what it takes to make a successful book, in their opinion:
- how to best use AI to help you write audiobooks
- Inputting good ChatGPT prompts
- Their personal "Ultimate Prompt Sheet"
Now, if you'll look really closely at those three points...you might think that all three sound like the same thing.
That's what some of us in the industry call "fluff", where it sounds like you're getting a lot of something, but it's just different ways of saying the same thing.
That said, it seems like an important module if the whole course is about interacting with AI to write books.
The brothers seem to get a little more specific in how to use AI here. They suggest starting with getting AI to help you with:
- Create book titles for you
- Do the customer research so you don't have to
- Make up some kind of book outline
After that, you'll get four extra lessons on how to get the most out of "ghostwriting", as it having someone else write for you. This used to mean humans, but I'm guessing the brothers have discovered that robots can be even cheaper.
This one gets into the creation of your book's cover, how to check through and make sure your content looks good, and how to lay out the book overall.
It looks like AI will be doing all that for you, but I'd hope they have some kind of instruction on how to do your own proofreading to make sure the AI writing actually makes sense.
At the end of this module, they have you tell the AI to make you a description for the book that'll go up on Amazon, and maybe on the back of the book.
It seems like pretty much all the content about "writing" the book is already done by this point. Module 5 is all about the dirty work you'll be taking care of after all the creative stuff is done.
In my opinion, this part is a little controversial. The Mikkelsen twins show you how to use a platform called Pubby to help get good reviews for your books...which is a site where you pay for other "authors" to give your book good reviews.
This kinda defeats the purpose of reviews, in my opinion. When I'm looking to see if something is actually worth my money, I wanna see other people's experience with it. If I have to filter through fake reviews to find anything real, I might just get annoyed and move onto something else.
I think it's unethical at best, but apparently it's so normal in self-publishing that the Mikkelsens don't even try to hide it.
Lastly, this module will show you how to get your work copyrighted and how to figure out how to get through Amazon Author Central, the back-end of your seller profile.
Ah, the "bonuses". Such a weird way to put it, when you were going to get it all along, and everyone else gets it too. Not really a bonus, if you think about it that way!
Anyway, apparently the Mikkelsen twins paid someone to develop Publishing.ai, their own AI writing software. I'll admit the web page looks pretty slick, although the quality of the actual tools remains to be seen.
Their main selling point with this tool is that it's specifically aimed toward Amazon audiobooks, as opposed to be more generalized AI software like Jasper or ChatGPT.
Here are some other things you'll get when you fork over $6,000 to Publishing.com:
- A 500 dollar "cash bonus", which is unclear if you have to earn it or not
- A private Facebook group where you give each other fake reviews
- They teach you how to get a Kickstarter so people can pay you to write your book
- Training on all the technology they talk about (seems obvious)
- Ways to get around the tax man, which I respect
- Apparently you get an Audiobook Income Academy membership, which is their old program
Well, that was longer than I expected! But I guess it's important we figured out what's really going on behind the scenes with these guys. That said, let's answer the burning question for anyone who isn't sure just yet:
Is Publishing.com worth your money?
I would say no.
Maybe if you're really into making money and just happen to like books, then these guys are might be decent bets for you. But if you care at all about actually writing a high quality story, then you're barking up the wrong tree.
Honestly, even if you are just in it for the money, these guys aren't really giving you the best opportunity. Do you really wanna wake up every morning, hoping that Amazon hasn't banned your account and forced you to start the whole process over again?
Sounds like a bad time.
If you wanna generate passive income online while making some big-time money, then I'd recommend some online courses in the lead generation industry. Getting clients for local businesses is not going outta style anytime soon, and the pay is very good.
If you want that kind of upside and freedom, then there's one company I think does it best.
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This is only possible if you have an income stream that’s not tied to your time.
2) You Own & Control EVERYTHING: With Publishing.com, you don’t really own anything. You have no control over the quality of products when you give all the power to AI. And since you're giving all your power to AI and Amazon, you don’t even own your “business”.
Amazon can and does kick off tons of self-publishers who try to game their system through the lessons the Mikkelsen twins teach.
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If you wanted to double your income with self-publishing, you’d probably need to double the number of hours you spend working. Because, again, Publishing.com doesn’t scale.
It would take a lot more hustling, and even if you put out a lot of books all at once - that might actually trigger Amazon's algorithm and ban your account!
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On the other hand, the Mikkelsen twins are just teaching you how to waste people's time with AI books that don't make any sense, propped up by fake reviews.
Now, the choice is yours. You could continue browsing, looking at opportunities like Publishing.com which could one day make you money.
You could continue researching, never making a decision.
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