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  1. #1
    Rogue Mutt
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    Learn the Writing Business for $15 or Less

    I recently followed author Lawrence Block on Twitter and he posted on his blog a link to one of those "humble bundle" type things with 10 books on writing. If you don't know, the way these bundles work is you can pay a minimum amount and get part of the bundle and pay more to get the whole thing. In this case you can pay $5 and get 5 books or pay $15 and get all 10 books. And these are books by professional people who have actually sold something since 1955 (except maybe for Cat Rambo; I'm not sure who or what that is) all for less than one book by Dwight Swain. Sounds like a good deal.

    Here's the link: https://storybundle.com/book_bundles...ff-2016-bundle
    Last edited by Rogue Mutt; 06-04-2016 at 08:34 AM.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I looked. Of the ten, only three appear to be about the skills of writing fiction. And none of the three have significant numbers of people who commented. Together, they total only 31 comments.

    So yes, you get ten books for $15, but they’re not targeted to people wanting to learn to write fiction, and they’re not by either teachers or people who have had success for their book. So as is so often true, you get what you pay for. I’ll stick with the people with proven track records as teachers.

    For comparison, the comments for the books listed below have people who say they’re published as a result of the book:

    Dwight Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer: 196 comments
    Jack Bickham, Scene and Structure: 129 comments
    Debra Dixon, GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict: 93 comments
    Sol Stein, Stein on Writing: 211 comments

    The books being offered as part of that deal:

    The Rational Writer
    Not selling well, and has only two comments. It seems more a businessperson’s approach to writing a novel.

    Stages Of A Fiction Writer
    Not selling well, and has only three comments.

    How to Negotiate Anything
    Selling poorly, but of more importance, it’s not about writing fiction.

    Weinberg on Writing.
    A book for nonfiction writers.

    Business for Breakfast, Volume 1
    Poor sales and no comments. It says, in the introduction, that it’s for people who want to become publishers. So it’s not a book about writing.

    The Writer’s Business Plan
    Poor sales and no comments. And, it’s not a book on writing.

    How to Make a Living With Your Writing
    A catch-all business book for fiction, blogs, etc., for the self publisher.

    Heinlein’s Rules
    Low sales and one review. This appears to be a book about writing fiction, though.

    Creating an Online Presence
    Again, not a book about writing.

    Writing the Novel
    This one is an update to a Writers Digest book on writing fiction.

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    I looked. Of the ten, only three appear to be about the skills of writing fiction. And none of the three have significant numbers of people who commented. Together, they total only 31 comments.

    So yes, you get ten books for $15, but they’re not targeted to people wanting to learn to write fiction, and they’re not by either teachers or people who have had success for their book. So as is so often true, you get what you pay for. I’ll stick with the people with proven track records as teachers.
    Yes, the point is that it covers more than just writing. That's why the title of the thread is "Learn the Writing BUSINESS". Dwight Swain died before the invention of the Web so he can't help you create an online presence, can he?

    And weren't you the guy saying if you haven't done anything you can't attack people who have? All of these authors are far more accomplished than you and me. But really you're this annoyed over someone taking even the tiniest jab at your hero Swain? You're the one who told him he can't write. Hahaha.

    Anyway, if you want to learn about the writing business from books written after 1965, $15 for 10 books is a heck of a deal.
    Last edited by Rogue Mutt; 06-05-2016 at 08:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Yes, the point is that it covers more than just writing.
    But if the books on writing are second rate—and their sales and the lack of comments by readers implies that they are, why would you expect the others to be any better? Remember, there's s difference between cheap and low cost.

    Just as you're free to mention the deal being available, I'm free to point out potential problems. Certainly, you're free to buy them, read them, and point out their strengths, and the help they gave you.
    Dwight Swain died before the invention of the Web so he can't help you create an online presence, can he?
    True, but unless the one creating the product being sold can write on a professional level, promotion is a waste of time, even assuming the books they supply are accurate. Remember, I didn't say that people shouldn't take the deal, I just pointed out that the sales of the books seems not support their being effective. Surely you're not against presenting verifiable facts.

    And here's another thing I noticed. Of the ten in the bundle, seven are self-published (three with no hard copy available), either through Amazon, a vanity-press, or a publishing company they created. So of the ten, only three passed muster at a real publishing house. And while this is only my opinion, I prefer my knowledge to come from people whose books on how to get published are impressing the publishers enough to say yes.

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    But if the books on writing are second rate—and their sales and the lack of comments by readers implies that they are,
    From the guy who thought a sales ranking over 14,000 meant it hadn't sold a copy in a week. Hahaha

    Certainly, you're free to buy them, read them, and point out their strengths, and the help they gave you.
    I read the Lawerence Block one. I've mentioned that a few times. I bought the original edition and then a couple months later the updated version came out. Typical.

    And here's another thing I noticed. Of the ten in the bundle, seven are self-published (three with no hard copy available), either through Amazon, a vanity-press, or a publishing company they created. So of the ten, only three passed muster at a real publishing house. And while this is only my opinion, I prefer my knowledge to come from people whose books on how to get published are impressing the publishers enough to say yes.
    All those authors are more successful than you, so you'd benefit from their advice.

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