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Thread: [Editing Service] The Word Story

  1. #1
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Question [Editing Service] The Word Story

    An "appraisal" and editing service has been spamming WritersNet.
    http://www.wordstory.com/index.html

    I particularly dislike their "you're all alone therefore you must pay for feedback" message.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 03-18-2005 at 09:05 PM. Reason: To tone down smilie
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  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    This is an Australian-based company (the principal is a member of the Society of Editors, which has pretty rigorous standards--it recently voted to implement an accreditation program for Australian editors). Manuscript appraisal services are common in Australia. The selling point is the letter of recommendation they provide along with the critique, which supposedly gives you a leg up with publishers and agents.

    A couple of years ago I got curious about this and asked some Australian literary agents what they thought of manuscript appraisal services. They told me that they pay no attention to them. So the critique may be helpful to the writer (if the service is run by qualified people, which I gather many of them aren't), but it won't confer any advantage in submitting to an agent or publisher.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Very interesting. Thank you, Victoria.
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  4. #4
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    Wordstory (Previously "Priestley's Fine Foods" !)

    A couple of points:

    * If you want to check Anna Kassulke's resume it is available here:
    http://www.freelanceregister.com.au/...me.asp?rid=466

    * As a business issue that Anna should correct, the ABN (Australian Business Number) that she quotes on her website ("29 057 576 780") does NOT correspond to a business called 'The Word Story'. (And she hasn't even formatted the number correctly)

    Whether she knows it or not, her business is actually called "MANA (QLD) PTY LTD" and was previously called "PRIESTLEY'S FINE FOODS PTY. LTD".

    I checked the Australian Business Register but there is no business in Australia that is called 'The Word Story', or has registered it as a trading name. (To search, go to http://www.abr.business.gov.au)

    This may not be that vital - she may have bought an old 'off the shelf' company and never got around to changing its name, or registering a 'trading as' name. But definitely a business practise that is well below par. (Ie: Technically illegal, but a 'slap-on-the-wrist' offense)

    I wish Anna well, but hope she soon learns that spamming message boards is not a good way to publicise her services.

    But considering that she hasn't learned the name of her own company .......

    Mac
    (PS: As a procrastination technique, I also checked whether 'The Word Story' is a registered trademark here in Australia, like her web page seems to claim. No luck searching for it in the public trademark database. She seems a little confused too - she has a copyright symbol instead of a trademark symbol after her title 'The Word Story'. Surely an editor would know the difference?)
    (PPS: The list of all Australian trademarks are available at http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/atmoss/falcon.application_start)
    (PPPS: I may be a crap writer - but I'm the king when it comes to procrastination. How did people manage to do it before the Internet was invented?)
    Last edited by Mac H.; 03-07-2005 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Edited to add result of Trademark Search

  5. #5
    wordstory
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    australian business The Word Story

    Thanks for your comments. The Word Story is registered as a business in Australia, it is a trading name. There is a difference between a business name and a proprietor. As to the idea of writing alone, there are not many of us who write in groups. It is not my intention to suggest that writers are in some way at a disadvantage. The point is that often it is useful to have fresh eyes look at your work.

  6. #6
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    The Word Story is registered as a business in Australia, it is a trading name
    Sigh. My point is that 'The Word Story' isn't registered as a trading name.
    The fact that it isn't registered as a trading name is very easy to check. Just go to the link I gave you and search for it. (Yes, it does look for 'Trading Names' as well)

    In Australia 'trading names' need to be registered. It's not a big thing. Very easy to do.

    Just go to to http://www.abr.business.gov.au and click on the link titled 'Change your ABN Details'. Then follow the instructions.

    It is important, if for no other reason than to be seen to be honest and accountable. It stops people running their business under a variety of names, and then just denying accountability when things hit the fan. It is simply putting on public record that 'Mana (Qld) Pty Ltd' is trading as 'The Word Story'. Do that, and you can use the name 'The Word Story' to your heart's content.

    The (C) symbol after 'The Word Story' is still dodgy, though, and I'm surprised that an editor doesn't know that.

    Claiming that 'The Word Story' is a registered trademark when it clearly isn't registered as a trademark is also less than a good thing. It makes you look, well, "flexible" with the truth.

    Just take the word 'registered' out. You can claim almost anything as a (unregistered) trademark. Heck - look at the fine print on a McDonald's poster next time. In Australia, McDonald's claim that 'fries' is their trademark !!

    Mac

  7. #7
    wordstory
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    sigh

    Thanks Mac. I am sitting looking at a certificate of registration of a business name that is current. So I don't know what is going on there. The copyright sign is designed to protect the text. And my web designer put the rest in. I am grateful for your advice thank you. And I do stand suitably chastised for spamming.
    Anna

  8. #8
    wordstory
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    the word story registration

    If you check the ASIC website, you will see I am registered:

    http://www.search.asic.gov.au/cgi-bi...=QLD&srchsrc=1

  9. #9
    Sockpuppet Hunter MartyKay's Avatar
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    Sorry Mac H., but Wordstory is right about the abn, the trading name status and the registration.

    Wordstory is a state registered business name, and that could be why it didn't appear on the federal business name site. And it does actually match the ABN as above (although that ABN is owned by "Mana (QLD) Pty Ltd", there IS a trading name mentioned in the page -- rather than post the inanely long url, go to the http://www.abr.business.gov.au/ page mentioned earlier and type in "The Word Story" to search. Then click the ABN for "The Word Story" in QLD (which was the first hit) and it shows "Mana pty ltd" and Trading Name: The Word Story. A business name is not necessarily the same as the company name, and the ABN is formatted correctly.

    So that part is correct, but so is the comment that spamming writer boards being not the way to go.

    EDIT

    Apologies to Mac H. The HISTORY page shows this:

    Code:
    Trading Names						From			 To 
    THE WORD STORY				10 Mar 2005	 (current) 
    MANA QLD PTY LTD			 28 Sep 2000	 10 Mar 2005
    So... the TRADING NAMES part was changed on the 10th of March 2005 (Yesterday, my time), and so he was right. It wasn't a trading name officially registered, although the BUSINESS registration of that name may have been in place for a while in Queensland, ASIC or ABR weren't updated until then.
    Last edited by MartyKay; 03-11-2005 at 10:52 AM. Reason: damn formatting

  10. #10
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    Well, if we've learned anything from this thread it's that WordStory is doing all the right things - they are dotting their 'i's and crossing their 't's.

    BTW - what is the correct way to write that sentence? When I use 'i' as a noun for the letter 'i', it just doesn't look right to have the plural as 'i's.

    (And it even has to be a lower case 'i' because dotting an 'I' just seems more confusing. It's getting as bad as the old joke about "I want to put bigger spaces between 'Fish' and 'and' and 'and' and 'Chips'".)

    Mac.
    (PS: Good luck with the editing, Anna. I hope the whole experience hasn't put you off message boards too much !)

  11. #11
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    Mac H., to form the plural of a letter, italicize the letter and add s. No apostrophe except in special situations to avert ambiguity. Don't italicize the s.

    There are a few exceptions, like
    "Mind your p's and q's"
    "The teacher gave four Ds but no Fs"

  12. #12
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    Curious! Why do we make an exception for the p & q catchphrase?
    Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (Niki)

    Author, occasionally published. Watch this space for more, or visit the amazing actually writing blog. (It actually writes!)

  13. #13
    Fish Whisperer aka eraser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Curious! Why do we make an exception for the p & q catchphrase?
    I'm guessing it's because those letters once stood for words.

    Reph should be along to set us straight.
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  14. #14
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    It isn't clear that those letters once stood for words. There are competing theories about the origin of "p's and q's." The expression may have come from typesetting when it happened one letter at a time: lower-case "p" and "q" are mirror images, and it's easy to pick up the wrong one.

    Pick it up from where? Well, the answer has to do with the reason those letters are called "lower-case." There were these big old wooden boxes with compartments . . .

    The usual explanation for special treatment of "p's and q's" says only that the phrase is traditional.

  15. #15
    wordstory
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    thanks

    Mac,
    I was a little phased, but I suppose in many ways I deserved it. Will visit again...

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Updating link: http://www.wordstory.com/
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  17. #17
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Site gone by '15. A couple blogs remain, but no activity after '14.
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