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Thread: Instant Book Writing Kit / Writing Help Tools Center (Shaun Fawcett)

  1. #1
    stone crowes
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    Instant Book Writing Kit / Writing Help Tools Center (Shaun Fawcett)

    also known as 'instant book writing kit' by Shaun fawcett. there is a link to it from this site. i subscribed to the half dozen of emails where they talk about the problems of traditional publishing and talks about an alternative approach:

    "It's a combination of online digital download delivery
    and print-on-demand (POD) publishing that sidesteps most
    of the pitfalls of the traditional book publishing model.

    It offers small-time authors/publishers an excellent
    alternative that will give them more control, and will
    increase their sales and profits by using little known
    online channels when publishing their books/ebooks."

    a lot of it made sense but on the other hand i've read that one should steer clear of what says it has all the answers. also, i did a search on amazon and the only recommendation looked like it was a direct quote from the introduction.

    Stoni

  2. #2
    Wibbly-Wobbly. Timey-Wimey.
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    Lotta companies do that. I believe Lulu offers that sort of thing, and two major purveyors of roleplaying games offer it to small gaming companies.

    But it's unlikely to be any good if no one knows who you are. People buy books largely because they've seen the author's (or sometimes the company's, in the case of RPGs) work before, and like it. Writers don't usually succeed by starting out that way, though I don't doubt that those who have large fan followings already could "go independent" and pay the bills.

  3. #3
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by stone crowes
    there is a link to it from this site.
    Stoni, do you mean it was one of the Google ads in the banner? Or is there a link in a thread somewhere?
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  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    This place? http://instantbookwritingkit.com/

    Oh, dearikins me.

    See also http://instantcollegeadmissionessay.com/ and many more similar.

    How did you find this guy?

  5. #5
    Empirical Storm Trooper MadScientistMatt's Avatar
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    The obvious question about the "online publishing model" -

    How often do you find new books to read using the "online book buying model?"

  6. #6
    stone crowes
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    it's hard to say as i don't think the spine of the book would say - 'published by online publishing model' but the author might make up his own brand name... perhaps

  7. #7
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Here's a book apparently produced with this kit:

    http://www.awakentheauthorwithin.com/

    Make sure you have your speakers turned on.

    And another....http://www.readingwritinggenius.com/ and another... http://www.howtopromoteaproduct.com/ ... and another http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com/

    Goodness gracious me.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 03-10-2006 at 06:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Freddie Mercury Devotee lauram's Avatar
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    Ow! That site hurt my ears. And it had bad marketing ideas...
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  9. #9
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Here's a book apparently produced with this kit:

    http://www.awakentheauthorwithin.com/

    Make sure you have your speakers turned on.

    .
    ACCCK! On, but dang, make sure you have them turned DOWN!

    I was frightened away in mere seconds by that voice and the "pitch." (sales pitch, not voice pitch.)

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  10. #10
    Banned for Trolling
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    Why are there so many scams aimed at writers?

    A local contact sent me this:

    http://www.instantbookwritingkit.com/

    Don't read this if you have high blood pressure or if you just had a heavy meal. I still taste bile while I write this. In brief, he is selling a "kit" that tells you everything that you can learn on your own online from forums, blogs, and whatnot, about self-publishing, for free. He plays the "I was scammed once" angle to make himself sound like he isn't scamming.

    This, of course, is only one example of many scams out there that are aimed at writers. (I read WriterBeware enough to know this is nothing new.) Still, I wonder why it is that there are so many scams out there that are aimed at unpublished writers? If I wanted to scam someone, I'd aim for someone who had more money. The whole phenomenon doesn't seem to make much sense.

  11. #11
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Because there are so many scams out there? Think about it. How much more does it cost to email 10,000 emails versus 100,000 emails? Now,if you get just one bite in a thousand...

    I don't think there's any *more* aimed at writers than at any others. We just live in an age where scams are as much mass-produced as cars. More so, even.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW areteus's Avatar
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    There is an interesting parallel in Pratchett (Maskerade) when he is talking about theatre auditions. A floor cleaner has to be paid more than an actress because when you advertise a dirty floor you don't get a line of people wanting to audition...

    Basically, it is all about 'playing to the dream' and trying to convince people that if you only follow these simple steps and give me lots of money you too can be the next JK Rowling. It is a very easy scam to pull and this is why so many do it because, in a way, many of the victims fool themselves (always the best sort of con - show them enough hope and let their own mind fill in the blanks).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Editor View Post
    Why are there so many scams aimed at writers?
    Writers are people. People are gullible.

  14. #14
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    There are scams in all of the different art forms but, imo, it's easier to scam a writer because there are no in person auditions.

    Additionally, the Internet has simplified the submission process down to a single button and made it easy for scammers to instantly stroke a wannabe writer's ego.

    ~brian~
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  15. #15
    The Sarcasm Fairy Psychomacologist's Avatar
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    People are always eager to believe that they can get something for nothing.

    These scams often seem to focus on taking a massive bash at professional publishing (It takes too long! They steal all your money! They're mean and hate you! They all have nasty editor-cooties!). Then they go "Aaaah, but wait! You can STILL have your dream of being a published author!"

    The publishing industry is still a mysterious and arcane process to most people - it's not exactly taught in schools or discussed in careers sessions - so it's easy to convince people that professional publishing houses are all a big bunch of meanies (human beings seem particularly attuned to this 'David and Goliath' narrative, and are eager to believe it) and further convince people they can have exactly the same amount of success by using MY SPECIAL SECRET PROCESS THAT I WILL SHARE WITH YOU FOR THE ONE-OFF REASONABLE PRICE OF $79.99!*





    *Other costs may be incurred. Does not include costs of postage and packaging, editing, cover design, sacrifices to the Old Ones, sexual favours and bribes. No guarantee of success is expressed or implied. You will still have to write your own damn book. By signing this agreement you agree to give me, the scammer kindly helper your eternal soul and also your house, car and that nice set of golf clubs you keep under the stairs. You are a moron and I laugh at your pitiable efforts at literature.
    "Artists use lies to tell the truth."

  16. #16
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    I suspect that 'writing' has a higher-than-average number of potential marks. After all, EVERYONE can write, so how hard is it?

    That said, there are deluded wannabes in every field of endeavor and sharks happy to relieve them of their cash.
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  17. #17
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Editor View Post
    A local contact sent me this:

    http://www.instantbookwritingkit.com/
    Well, I had to check out that "Instant Book Writing Kit".

    The webpage is flashy, poorly edited and big on grandiose claims without anything to back them up (it's like the literary version of the used-car salesman). And although the seller claims to have two books released by commercial publishers, when I checked him out on Amazon all I could find were his "Instant College Essay Writing Kit" and "Instant Business Letter Kit" and so on, all self-published and horribly overpriced. One 188-page paperback was priced at $45.

    Still, I wonder why it is that there are so many scams out there that are aimed at unpublished writers? If I wanted to scam someone, I'd aim for someone who had more money. The whole phenomenon doesn't seem to make much sense.
    If they had too much more money, they might sue you once they realized they'd been scammed - and the authorities might be more likely to investigate a scam where someone was taken for $100,000 rather than a scam where a hundred people only lost $100 each.
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  18. #18
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Speaking as Not a Writer, I should think it's a matter of perspective. I'm a visual artist, and I get hit by a myriad of different would-be scammers also.

    I have a file of different scam pitches predating the internet (these days everyone uses the much cheaper email). Some are maybe unique to the visual arts, but many are similar to what you writers get hit with. And with the rise of cheap email it's become easier and less risky for scammers to reach lots of potentisl marks.

    There are a lot of scams out there, casting wide nets because they only need a few responses to profit. The chief defense against them is education, awareness, and freely sharing information about them.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW areteus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychomacologist View Post
    *Other costs may be incurred. Does not include costs of postage and packaging, editing, cover design, sacrifices to the Old Ones, sexual favours and bribes. No guarantee of success is expressed or implied. You will still have to write your own damn book. By signing this agreement you agree to give me, the scammer kindly helper your eternal soul and also your house, car and that nice set of golf clubs you keep under the stairs. You are a moron and I laugh at your pitiable efforts at literature.
    Ooh! I'll sign up for this one! I can't afford to pay you in cash (and there are no golf clubs under the stairs) but can I pay you in extra sexual favours and sacrifices to the old ones, if you like?

  20. #20
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Editor View Post
    If I wanted to scam someone, I'd aim for someone who had more money. The whole phenomenon doesn't seem to make much sense.
    1) Volume. A literary scammer can scam lots of marks with little effort. As a scam agent, for example, all you need to do is collect 'reading fees' and then sorrowfully explain that nobody wanted to buy the book. With the number of people who are looking to get published at any one time, you don't have to bilk each mark out of lots of cash to make a nice living.

    2) Knowledge gap. The general public knows little about publishing. It's pretty easy to disguise your own cluelessness or bad faith even while you're making what sound like big promises. ("Your book will be available to bookstores across the country!" "We will send a copy to JK Rowling!") Many marks don't even realise they're being scammed.

    3) Discovery. Simply by investing in a website and some SEO, marks will come to you. You don't have to resort to spamming or cold-calling, unlike a lot of other cons. Just sit back and wait for them to find you.

    4) Emotion. It's also pretty easy to manipulate aspiring authors by pressing the right buttons, which is why you see the same tried and tested techniques cropping up over and over again. You tell people you love their work. You tell them you are a small but plucky and innovative firm which is revolutionising the publishing industry. (This allows you to mutter darkly about conspiracies against you, should the need arise.) You tell them that you know an editor who would be perfect for polishing the book, for a small fee. And so on. Even relatively savvy people can be snared by blandishments like these: I heard from a policewoman recently who'd signed with Robert Fletcher.

  21. #21
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Many marks don't even realise they're being scammed.
    Jim Fisher's Ten Percent of Nothing, a book about scam agent Dorothy Deering, shows a perfect example of this. Deering hooked her clients up with vanity press Northwest Publishing, which charged them thousands of dollars and paid Deering a kickback (on top of the representation fees her clients were already paying her).

    Northwest then went belly-up. Deering quickly painted herself as a victim too, and asked bilked clients if they would send her $125 so she could recover the rights to their books. And some of the clients sent even that to her.

    They really didn't realize they were being scammed, because they thought they were paying for a service. PublishAmerica authors fall for the same thing when they pay to have their manuscripts uploaded to the Kindle - the only difference is, they spend less and actually get the service they paid for, making it all the more difficult for them to realize they're being fleeced.
    Sleeping Beauty-inspired m/m romance : Editing.

  22. #22
    On a small world west of wonder LindaJeanne's Avatar
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    I just looked at the page, and to the guy's credit, he does warn people away from Publish America / Tate / etc type scams. Those who would pay $50 for this e-book are probably the same people who could be convinced to give Publish America $5000 -- so if he's saving them from that, at least that's something. No one is going to mortgage their house to buy an e-book. (EDIT: I made the preceding comment pre-thread-merge, thus had not seen the first several posts in this thread, and had only glanced quickly through the site.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Editor View Post
    If I wanted to scam someone, I'd aim for someone who had more money. .
    The desperate are easier to scam than the comfortable. The same person is going to be much easier to scam when they are feeling desperate than when they are feeling comfortable -- it's just the way human beings are wired.

    Hence the killing that payday loan places make, with their obscene loan-shark interest fees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    If they had too much more money, they might sue you once they realized they'd been scammed - and the authorities might be more likely to investigate a scam where someone was taken for $100,000 rather than a scam where a hundred people only lost $100 each.
    For example, look at Bernie Maddoff's 150-years-in-federal-prison sentence, compared to the slap-on-the-wrist fines that late-night-infomercial scammers might have to pay, if they get caught.
    Last edited by LindaJeanne; 12-23-2011 at 08:51 PM.
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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW
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    I'm offering a special FREE pen until Christmas. It produces golden words of prose that smell like rose petals to editors and agents.

    Of course... the cartridge of golden ink required for said pen costs twenty bucks. Hurry! Quantities are limited.

    So. What were we talking about again?

  24. #24
    A victim's attitude:

    1. "Determined to be published" means that you write your first manuscript and then send it to every publisher you find on Google, even if you've never heard of them, until someone says yes.

    2. You're not in it for the money, but "for the love of writing." That's why it's okay that you've only sold your scammer-published book to friends and family.

    3. You're not really good enough to get published by the big guys. That's why you've got to settle for the guy you've never heard of and make the best of it.

    A better attitude:
    1. "Determined to be published" means that when your first manuscript gets rejected by the agents and publishers you'd be proud to work with, you sit down, figure out what's wrong, and write a better book.

    2. You are in it for the money, because money from readers says something: "I am willing to give you something I worked hard for so that I can enjoy what you wrote."

    3. Maybe you're not good enough to get published by the big guys yet. But, dang it, you're going to work at this craft of writing thing until you are.
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  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW thorjansen's Avatar
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    Why do all these jokers have such long, long pages requiring great patience and tremendous scrolling dexterity? Can't they break their sites up into smaller pages? Or are they all using the same template made by some "entrepreneur" who promised to show them how they could make big money shimmying down the tubes of the internets?
    Last edited by thorjansen; 12-24-2011 at 02:53 AM.

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