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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Don't let anyone steal your dream!

And don't let anyone sell you some wooden nickels either!

Read this:

Sounds great, doesn't it? There's a Big Secret to writing romance. A magical formula. And if you spend $197 plus $12.95 for shipping you can learn it too and save yourself years of frustration, hours and hours of hard work, and tons of money. You simply fill in the blanks like a Mad Lib and voila, completed romance novel! It's easy-breezy.

Oh yes, sign me up, please!

Too bad it's all a big lie.

If you've read my blog since it's launch, you know I'm not usually catty or malicious, but this advertisement really steams me up. It's targeted to desperate, frustrated authors. And $197 is nothing for them to drop if it means they'll get their dreams. I admit, I would've fallen for it.

I am all for people taking courses and buying materials that will help them develop their craft. However, I'm not for throwing money away on scams. This is a scam. If it wasn't, the author would be a NY Times bestselling novelist. She's not. If she could write books in three days, she'd have dozens published. She doesn't.

It's a scam.

Let's check out the author's credentials. Those are always telling. Would you trust a surgeon who's only operated on dead mice? Would you trust a carpenter to build a well-constructed house who's only built dollhouses?

Ms. Adams reported on another author's blog that the book she references in the advertisement is published under the pen name Morgan Leshay, ISBN 0-9754533-8-6. The book's title is "Redemption" and it's published by a small press called LBF Books. Today's Amazon ranking is #453,096, despite the fabu quote by NY Times Bestselling author Teresa Medeiros.

Being an author who is also published by an inde press, I have no prejudices against folks who decide to have their work published by a small press. That's not the issue here. What is the issue is that Ms. Adams is presenting herself as a professional, and is making promises of "Fame and Fortune" to those who buy her system. I KNOW she's not getting either fame or fortune by having one book published by an inde publisher. It's unlikely she's sold more than 100 copies of her book. How can she possibly promise something to others when she hasn't been able to acquire them for herself? Using her own system?

Not a chance. It's more likely she'll gain "Fame and Fortune" selling this "Magical Formula" to hopeful authors who are frustrated and desperate for answers.

Don't buy the lies!

There is no magical formula. Writing a "bestselling" novel is hard work. It takes time. It takes talent and it takes determination. Building a career is hard work. It's frustrating and grueling. There are NO SHORTCUTS. You cannot fill in the blanks of some template and churn out bestseller after bestseller. Ask a NY Times bestselling author, and they'll tell you that--for free!

This whole thing is a slap in the face to authors who've worked hard to hone their craft and build their careers. And it's frightening to think about how many unknowing people who will part with their hard-earned cash to buy a magical potion that's no better than sugar water.

If you want help. If you need help, join RWA. Join a critique group. Write, write, write and read, read, read. Develop your voice. Learn to plot. Take workshops taught by trusted authors with real credentials. Don't hand over your money to a snake oil salesperson.

End of rant.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:30 AM |


Commented by Blogger Jen:

You're right Tawny. That is a slap in the face. Unfortunately, the human condition seems to be to find the easier way, the magic pill and the perfect partner, all of which don't exist. (IMHO). Thing is that this takes away from the real essence of writing. I know when I've really gotten something good down on paper. There's a real joy in getting a piece of work just right. I think people forget that the journey is just as exciting and rewarding as the destination.

8:15 AM 
Commented by Blogger Tawny Taylor:

Exactly! It does take the focus off the process. And the process is supposed to be as exciting and rewarding as the sale.

8:48 AM 
Commented by Blogger Crystal Jordan:

Well said! As a wannbe author just starting out, it is frustrating. No one denies that. But taking a shortcut in learning the craft doesn't work and in the end you'd only be cheating yourself.

2:06 PM 
Commented by Blogger Kate Willoughby:

"Why was it so hard for me, when, apparently, it was so easy for all these published authors I was meeting and talking to?"

Here's where I said, OH, BROTHER. Who the hell was she talking to? I know of NO author who would ever say writing is easy.

2:41 PM 
Commented by Blogger JENNA:

Well darn. I thought I could write up a pitch and make some moolah. I mean...I have the same numbers. 72 hours...sold the first...well, the first I finished. But that won't go in the direct marketing letter. Can;t let anyone know about the three dozen that unraveled before THE END. I feel bad for the people thinking this might work better than checking the dummies book out of the library...for FREE.

5:16 PM 
Commented by Blogger Vivienne King:

wouldn't it be scary if on the off chance she actually does believe she's helping people? *shudder*

to me the stinkin' praises from all these great authors reek of lies...but hey, if she can sleep good at night...

7:19 PM 
Commented by Blogger Zinnia:

I've seen similar scams. Anything that seems too good to be true generally is.

7:19 PM 
Commented by Blogger Shelli Stevens:

That's just crap. I hate that kind of scam. Jut buy the original mad libs and send it off the publisher. It's essentially the same thing. Der.

10:23 PM 
Commented by Blogger Pink Pen:

That's worse than the company that teaches a course on writing that promises that if you don't sell and make more money than the tuition *before you finish the class* they'll refund your tuition. Tuition is $800. I wonder how they're able to guarantee publication like that...

I hate people who prey on others' dreams.

9:43 PM 

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