Have you seen these ads? Had your eye caught by that promise of easy-peasy success and wealth? I’m assuming (*cough*cough*) that most of you would know from the get-go that this is the bait for a complete scam, but just in case it tickles your palm and sends your brain into financial what-ifs, here’s the lowdown.
You used to see these ads in the backs of magazines (does anyone read paper magazines anymore?), but now you’ll see them as pop-ups on questionable sites or as books on Amazon. If you search on Amazon for any kind of writing advice, you’re bound to see a few of these come up as suggestions.
I looked at one recently called Real Easy eBooks Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Take your eBook from Idea to Best-Seller (Just Fill in the Blanks) by Ellen Violette. The Amazon description on the sales page promises the book will:
– eliminate stress and overwhelm (I’m not sure how you eliminate overwhelm. Hmm.)
– give you the exact blueprint you need to write your own best-seller
– keep you organized and on track
-and help you write your very own ebook!
I downloaded the book and jumped right in. The first few chapters are all about getting organized. It asks a lot of questions that are geared to planning out your book. However, questions like “How many pages do you want your book to have?” hardly seems helpful. It talks about choosing chapter titles that are eye-catching and interesting, yet doesn’t give you any idea how to do that. I found the first third of the book to be simply unhelpful busywork, perhaps to make you feel like you’re actually accomplishing something.
And I found half a dozen typos within the first five or ten minutes of reading (in addition to that “eliminate overwhelm” above). Never a good sign for someone passing themselves off as a professional writer or mentor.
I also noticed that every other chapter or so ended with a bit that said, “Need help with this? Contact me!” So basically this entire book comes across to me as a sales promo, which seems weird. On the one hand it promises to give you everything you need to write a best-seller, but then offers services (for a fee) to do that same thing.
At any rate, I continued reading, and at about the halfway point, I suddenly got to a chapter that said, “Now that you’ve completed your book…” Oh, really? When did I do that? I think this sort of “guide” is ludicrous. It has you setting up the framework for a book (outline, chapter headers), then says basically, “Now just write your book!” If it was that easy, who needs this book?
There’s a reason that the maxim “If it sounds too good to be true…” is a maxim, and that’s because it’s valid 99.99% of the time. This book, and others like it, targets those non-writers who are looking for a way to get rich quick, but have absolutely no concept of what it takes to be a writer. I’ve even seen a book similar to this that says “Write a best-seller even if you don’t know how to write! Can’t write! Hate to write!” Those of us who do write know that we do so because we are filled with inspiration; we are fueled with passion, and even so, writing is very often akin to putting our own blood to the paper. It is not easy. It is not (usually) a way to get rich, and if you don’t have the innate desire to write, no book you can buy is going to instill that in you. If you’re really looking for a way to get rich quick, I’d suggest you spend the money on a lottery ticket rather than a nothingburger like books of this sort. You’ll probably have better luck.
11 thoughts on “Write a Best-Selling Book in Just 3 Days!”
Meanwhile, writers flooding the market with low-quality books based on inane formulas are lowering the income for established authors. See this article published on November 17 by CBC News in Canada:
“Writers’ Union of Canada survey says its members’ incomes down by 27% from just 3 years ago.”
Thanks for the article, Melissa.
You’re welcome, Kathy. Yes, we battle with the get-rich-quick crowd constantly. Best thing we can do is write GOOD books and keep our integrity intact. Keep in mind that the writing is the sprint; the promotion is the marathon. Thanks for commenting.
The great majority of “good” writers don’t make enough to live on. They need to supplement their incomes with other sources. I’ve given up trying to “sell” my books. I want to write well, produce an engaging, well constructed story with believable characters in an interesting setting. And that takes time – especially for me as I am a very slow writer. I hope that the results of the time I put in show in the quality of my work.
I read very few “best sellers” any more as many are poorly crafted and more poorly edited.
I’m with you, Yvonne. Writing good, engaging books is my primary objective; publishing and selling are the gravy. Luckily my books do seem to sell pretty well, but even if they didn’t, I would never quit writing. As I said in my post, anyone who writes in a bald attempt to make money, most likely (1) will not, and (2) will not write well, either. Those of us who call ourselves writers (and have the back list to prove it) do so out of love of the craft, not love of money.
Hello everybody, I’m a Nigerian prince and I need help to withdraw 42 million dollars…
Alas, scammers are like the pollution in the air we breathe. There’s no easy solution to get rid of them. But we can keep our eyes open. And read posts like this. Thanks.
LOL, Peter. (Reminds me; I just read on FB about the discovery of $1B in cash in the apartment of a Nigerian prince who had died, but who couldn’t get anyone to respond to his emails!) Anyway, you are right; we’ll never be rid of scammers. We just have to be vigilant and keep writing the good stuff.
That gives me an idea for a “how to write” book . . . 😉
I actually thought you were going to say that somewhere along the line the book told you to use the book itself as a template for your own book on writing a bestseller, which would become a bestseller because so many people want to buy a book on how how to write a bestselling book . . .
Pleeeeze, Dale, don’t give anyone ideas!
Thank you for the excellent article on how to write fast, faster, and fastest scams. As soon as I finish building my time machine, I too will be be able to write a million books in one micro-second.
Back to reality: I just googled to see how many books are on Amazon, and according to a quorum article: Currently, 32.8 million books and not all sell.
So I ask myself, how many are incredibly profitable I would think the top 1000.
So anyone who writes a book in a day or a month the odds of being in the top 1000 = 1000/32,800,000 or 1 in 32,800 = 0.00003125% chance of instant success.
Kind of depressing huh! wait a minute, I better hurry up and finish my next book because those are better odds than hitting Powerball or Megamillions! Besides, every time I publish a book the next author to publish a book has even worse odds than me! LoL
Thanks, JB, for the boost in confidence! Maybe I’ll just finish my current book instead of buying a lottery ticket. You’re right–the odds ARE better. Thanks for this.
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