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Thread: [Writing course] WriteStoryBooksForChildren

  1. #1
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
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    [Writing course] WriteStoryBooksForChildren

    A friend sent me this link: writestorybooksforchildren.com. When I took a look, red flags started flapping, especially on this page:
    Imagine a job you love, with no commuting and no boss telling you what to do. You donít have to rush back to collect the children from school and the only deadlines you follow are your own. You can just sit at your desk or the kitchen table with a mug of tea and write. Stop when you choose, sit in the garden or meet a friend, then start work again. A gentle, stress-free way of life, at the pace and times you choose.

    The emotional rewards are certainly far greater than any 9-to-5 office job Ė and the financial profits can be far larger too!
    Uh. . . . Then there's "A genuine certificate you'll be proud of!" available to download and print as soon as you pass the test for the last module.

    Anybody else see the flapping red flags on this program, or is it just me? Anyone have direct experience (none of the folks who left testimonials on the site seemed to have last names.

  2. #2
    Generally More of a Lurker summontherats's Avatar
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    They're sure pushing a hard sell. I only glanced at it, but I don't trust anything plastered with "Change your life! Be your own boss! Make money easily!" Especially since it's obviously for-profit, but it doesn't list the price anywhere.

    Mostly, I just love the blurb you quoted. It makes it sound like authors never have to pick their children up.
    Last edited by summontherats; 08-01-2014 at 11:36 PM.

  3. #3
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    Does the "attractive" pass certificate even mean anything? Or is it some douche bag making them in his basement?
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  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by PVish View Post
    A friend sent me this link: writestorybooksforchildren.com. When I took a look, red flags started flapping, especially on this page:

    Uh. . . . Then there's "A genuine certificate you'll be proud of!" available to download and print as soon as you pass the test for the last module.

    Anybody else see the flapping red flags on this program, or is it just me? Anyone have direct experience (none of the folks who left testimonials on the site seemed to have last names.

    Hi, this is Hayley, Iím one the training team over at www.WriteStoryBooksForChildren.com. Iíve just stumbled across your post and thought it would be a good idea to share some information, answer some of your questions and put your mind at rest.

    Re: Certificate

    We offer a genuine certificate of completion that has been certified by CPD (Continuing Professional Development). The CPD Certification Service provides a formal, independent certification of organisations, materials and development activities. These are the kinds of certificates that are sought out by teachers, doctors and other professionals to further their career and credentials.


    Re: Testimonials
    We used a reputable third party review verification service called Trustpilot.com who collected testimonials from our students on our behalf. For privacy reasons, people generally choose not to leave their full names. However, rest assured that every testimonial and every person listed on our website are 100% GENUINE and can be verified by contacting Trustpilot.com. We would NOT jeopardise our considerable business and reputation by using fraudulent testimonials. Fortunately, by delivering a superior course and service we do not need to do that.

    Our course has been written by experienced, professional, published authors.
    We have over 110,000 students currently on our course which spans over 28 different countries.

    I hope this helps to clarify, we would love to see you within the course soon.

    Best regards, Hayley
    On behalf of WriteStoryBooksForChildren

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by summontherats View Post
    They're sure pushing a hard sell. I only glanced at it, but I don't trust anything plastered with "Change your life! Be your own boss! Make money easily!" Especially since it's obviously for-profit, but it doesn't list the price anywhere.

    Mostly, I just love the blurb you quoted. It makes it sound like authors never have to pick their children up.
    Hi, this is Hayley,
    Iím one the training team over at www.WriteStoryBooksForChildren.com.
    Iíve just stumbled across your post and thought it would be a good idea to share some information, answer some of your questions and put your mind at rest.

    Sure, weíre in business to make a profit (as are all working businesses). By doing so, weíre able to consistently over-deliver to our students, create new high quality training courses like this, help new and upcoming authors and of course, create new jobs and pay our taxes. We sell our courses by selling an achievable dream of becoming an author. This is backed by a proven training course, which has been developed by a team of bestselling childrenís authors, like Tony Bradman, and combined with thousands of success stories and case studies from around the world.



    The price is available on the Ďsign upí page which is linked to from most pages on the website: http://www.writestorybooksforchildren.com/enrol

    I hope this helps to clarify, we would love to see you within the course soon.

    Best regards, Hayley
    On behalf of WriteStoryBooksForChildren


  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Undercover View Post
    Does the "attractive" pass certificate even mean anything? Or is it some douche bag making them in his basement?
    Please see my previous comments to ‘PVish” concerning the certificate. Most online courses provide their own certificate which doesn’t actually mean anything. On the other hand, we actually provide a CPD certified certificate which certainly does mean something.


    I would like to assure you that WriteStoryBooksForChildren certainly are not based in someones back basement Our head office is a nice, state-of-the-art office based in the beautiful suburbs of Cheshire, in the North West of England. Here you will also find our teams of trained writing professionals, a customer service support centre, a highly skilled technical department and accounts team.


    Here are some other points to consider:


    * We’re ACCREDITED by CPD (Continuing Professional Development). This means our course and our business as a whole has been assessed and verified by examiners and professional certification organisations.


    * As of 23-Sept 2015 we have 114,127 students (worldwide over 28 countries).


    * We’ve been in business since 2007.


    * We’ve been nominated 2 years in a row for ‘Best Education Content Provider’ by EducationInvestor magazine.


    * We’ve just been shortlisted for ‘Fast Growth 50’ awards as one of the fastest growing education providers in the country. This is largely due to the phenomenal success of our children’s writing course (100,000+ students in 2 years is no small achievement).


    * We offer a full 60-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. If you don’t like our course for any reason (or no reason) whatsoever, we’ll give you all of your money back.


    I hope this answers any and all of your concerns about the legitimacy of our course and the professionalism of our operation as a whole.


    Thanks for reading!

  7. #7
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
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    Thank you, WriteStoryBooks, for addressing our concerns.
    We used a reputable third party review verification service called Trustpilot.com who collected testimonials from our students on our behalf. For privacy reasons, people generally choose not to leave their full names. However, rest assured that every testimonial and every person listed on our website are 100% GENUINE and can be verified by contacting Trustpilot.com. We would NOT jeopardise our considerable business and reputation by using fraudulent testimonials. Fortunately, by delivering a superior course and service we do not need to do that.
    Since you've "been in business since 2007," surely some of the "100,000+ students" have successfully written and submitted books to publishers and would love to have their names and titles publicized. Why don't you have a list of those?
    * We’ve been nominated 2 years in a row for ‘Best Education Content Provider’ by EducationInvestor magazine.
    What years were those? I noticed that you were not among the finalists in 2015, nor did you win in 2014. The real measure of success is, however, how well your students did the business of children's publishing. Again, this is where a list of the successfully published children's writers who took your course would add credence to your business.

    I notice on the http://www.writestorybooksforchildren.com/the-modules/ page, there is this testimonial that does include an author's last name and titles:
    Fantastic course, structured in a superbly user friendly interface. I would recommend this course to anyone.
    John Stearn, Author Of Delirium And Marie
    I'm puzzled why an author who self-published his books, particularly when his books don't seem to be for children, would be used for a testimonial. Delirium was published via CreateSpace in October 20013. Given the scary cover and book description, I doubt it is a children's book. Also, the paperback version has no ranking. The hardcover version, published in 2015 by Lulu, also has no ranking. Marie, published in paperback in February 2014 by CreateSpace, also has no ranking. Ditto for the hardcover published by Lulu in 2015.

    Perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see the see the names or credentials of anyone on the "teams of trained writing professionals" who developed the modules. Could you fill us in on who they are?
    Last edited by PVish; 09-25-2015 at 01:18 AM. Reason: Fix typo

  8. #8
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    PVish, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    Imagine a job you love, with no commuting and no boss telling you what to do. You don’t have to rush back to collect the children from school and the only deadlines you follow are your own. You can just sit at your desk or the kitchen table with a mug of tea and write. Stop when you choose, sit in the garden or meet a friend, then start work again. A gentle, stress-free way of life, at the pace and times you choose.

    The emotional rewards are certainly far greater than any 9-to-5 office job – and the financial profits can be far larger too!


    WSB is implying - well, more than implying - that writing books for children is a "gentle, stress-free way of life" because it's easy to write kids' books. This is incredibly patronising both to children and the hard-working authors who lavish just as much effort on writing books for them as other writers devote to books aimed at adults.

    And I agree that after eight years WSB should have at least a few success stories to boast about - writers who were commercially published and achieved good sales. Self/vanity publishing your childrens' book, which usually limits your sales to people you know personally, won't enable you to give up the day job.

    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 09-25-2015 at 12:28 PM.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by PVish View Post
    Thank you, WriteStoryBooks, for addressing our concerns.
    Since you've "been in business since 2007," surely some of the "100,000+ students" have successfully written and submitted books to publishers and would love to have their names and titles publicized. Why don't you have a list of those?
    What years were those? I noticed that you were not among the finalists in 2015, nor did you win in 2014. The real measure of success is, however, how well your students did the business of children's publishing. Again, this is where a list of the successfully published children's writers who took your course would add credence to your business.

    I notice on the http://www.writestorybooksforchildren.com/the-modules/ page, there is this testimonial that does include an author's last name and titles:
    I'm puzzled why an author who self-published his books, particularly when his books don't seem to be for children, would be used for a testimonial. Delirium was published via CreateSpace in October 20013. Given the scary cover and book description, I doubt it is a children's book. Also, the paperback version has no ranking. The hardcover version, published in 2015 by Lulu, also has no ranking. Marie, published in paperback in February 2014 by CreateSpace, also has no ranking. Ditto for the hardcover published by Lulu in 2015.

    Perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see the see the names or credentials of anyone on the "teams of trained writing professionals" who developed the modules. Could you fill us in on who they are?




    Thanks for your comments.


    If you look again at http://www.educationinvestor.co.uk/a...lists2015.aspx - you will see that our parent company, Digital Sea Ltd, has been selected as finalists for ‘Best Content Provider’ for the second year running, alongside Cambridge University and publishing giants such as Harper Collins. This was in large part due to our ‘innovative, interactive, intuitive and stimulating’ children's writing course a.k.a WriteStorybooksForChildren.com.


    We receive hundreds of testimonials each and every month. In fact, more testimonials than we could or should publish on our website. The testimonial from John Stearn, the one that you seem most puzzled by, is simply a comment from a student confirming that the course is 'fantastic' and that it is 'structured in a superbly user-friendly interface' and that he 'would recommend this course to anyone'.


    As a business, why would we NOT publish such a strong testimonial on our website, regardless of who he was or what genre he writes in? Would you not publish such a testimonial or review about one of your books had you received something similar from one of your own readers? The fact is, this is a very happy student who has taken the trouble to write in and tell us how much he enjoyed the course.


    Also, your request for further info about some of our team can be found here:
    http://www.writestorybooksforchildre...ourse-authors/



    Look folks, we appreciate your comments and feedback in this thread. In particular, it has certainly given us some food for thought with regards to testimonials. We are going to contact some of our many published students and request case-studies that we can publish on our website to make the 'case' for our course even stronger. Admittedly, that is certainly something we could improve on and we will be doing so, very soon.


    However, in closing, it seems that no matter what we say, or what evidence we provide here, and no matter which objections we handle, there will always be something else that we haven't quite covered fully. We're not perfect, we know. But with 114,000+ satisfied students we're certainly doing a LOT right. Most importantly, we're constantly improving, innovating and refining our training materials and the way in which they are delivered (which is more than can be said for a lot of online course providers!).


    With respect, we are a professional organisation and cannot be drawn into a long, lengthy debate on this forum - nor do we have the time to play a continual game of 'whack-a-mole' with people who don't seem to have any genuine interest in joining our course, and appear to want to discourage and pulldown our hardworking and committed students? We have a successful business to run and an amazing community of 114,000+ budding children's writers to take care of.


    We wish you all the best of success. If you or anyone reading this has any genuine interest or further questions about our course, then please feel free to contact our support team directly at: support(AT)writestorybooksforchildren.com. We offer 24/7 support and will be delighted to help you.




  10. #10
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    Flounce?

    I mean, if you weren't interested in answering questions and/or having a discussion, then why did you come here to post to begin with? We're writers. We like asking questions. We like understanding things. We like making sense of words and statements. This was unlikely to ever be a short conversation that you would be completely happy with, if only because this forum consists of a bunch of different people, all with different views, opinions, and needs.

    Also, I don't expect you to answer this, but you know that the book market is unlikely to be able to support 114K new children's writers, right?

  11. #11
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    As long as those writers can support the company, market shmarket. That may have been unkind of me, but I've been wondering about that for this whole thread. I know competition is very tight in the children's book field - it's far from a low-stress job.

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  12. #12
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    I see three common ways things go when a publisher/service provider comes here to interact on their thread. The first is defensive and attacking, not really listening to input; the second is defensive but ready to engage in constructive dialog (these usually end up being valuable and educational threads); and the third is just taking the opportunity to do some PR. This one really looks to me like the third case: just taking advantage of an open topic to do some PR, and when the PR doesn't seem to be working out, leaving.

    I find a bit questionable the whole idea that a school is successful because its students are happy with the school, rather than because its students have success attributable to what they learned in the school. But that's pretty much what I'm getting from the PR. IMO it would be more valuable to know that a certain percentage of the students went on to commercial children's publishing success.
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