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  1. #1
    Wayne
    Guest

    Karen Dionne's website

    Let's throw this in the mix. Most of the contributors on this website quite rightly slate agents for making money without making a sale. Now we have one of our own making money (yes, I know, she's not repping for anyone) for giving her "expertise" for a buck. This is the same lady who defended paying expenses (fees) to her agent up front, before a sale is made. Am I missing something?

    Call me old fashioned y'all, but I think Karen Dionne, nice lady although she sounds, is just another hustler, making a dime from unsuspecting writers.

    Perhaps I'm just getting kinda cynical in my old age.



  2. #2
    Jack Hinks
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    Karen's been a good solid citizen here for a long time, doing her part in the give and take in a very admirable and generous way. I for one can't blame her for taking her skills a little bit commercial. Besides, she's not pushing it...

    --JH

  3. #3
    Elizabeth
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    Actually Wayne, Karen launched her website service in response to a lot of people, myself included, asking her to do so. If you search this forum and some of the others you will no doubt find the strings where these messages were posted. If you read the words on the website you will see that she makes it abundantly clear that she cannot guarantee an agent win but that she can tip the odds more into the writer's favour. Can't say fairer than that.

  4. #4
    Cindy
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    What's wrong with making a dime from unsuspecting writers? We all readily admit to trying to make a dime from unsuspecting readers. And, what are we "unsuspecting?"

  5. #5
    Karen Dionne
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    Hi, Wayne -

    I was going to answer this before anyone else jumped in, but I see I'm too slow in composing my reply. Anyway, this is the way I see it -

    Whenever a person offers a service such as I'm doing, I think what's really at issue is whether or not at the end of the transaction both parties are satisfied. If an author sends me their query letter and they feel my comments have helped them improve it before they send it out to agents, who's been hurt? And if I charge for my time just as any other consultant would, why is that wrong?

    Scammers promise without delivering. All I'm promising is to read their letter, and then offer suggestions and comments. As long as I fulfill that promise, where's the problem? So far, all of my customers have been satisfied, but if someone wanted their money back, I'd give it to them. Also, while I didn't see the need to put this on my website, if someone sends me a letter that needs WAY too much work, I'm not even going to touch it. Instead, I plan to send their money back and suggest they use it to buy some books on self-editing and work on their manuscript before querying agents.

    I dunno. It all looks like a pretty simple, straightforward business arrangement to me, but if anyone thinks otherwise, they sure don't have to use my services.

    BTW - if you do a google search on "critiquing services," or something similar, you'll see that this isn't exactly a new idea.

    Best,

    Karen

  6. #6
    Wayne
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    What's wrong with making a dime from unsuspecting writers? Put it like this, if the legendary editor Sol Stein himself set up a website offering advice, no one could criticise him. He, after all, is a master editor.

    Karen Dionne, doyen of Writers Net, and self appointed guru of all things grammatical, is merely a keen amateur at best.

    What she is doing is turning her hobby (critiquing writer's queries) and turning it into a money spinning operation.

    That is all well and good. But if an agent without any experience volunteered to rep your book in New York but just so long as you paid him up front, would you sign up?

    I thought not.

    Ultimately, if you ask agents to play an ethical game, surely it behoves us to play the same ethical game.

  7. #7
    Jack Hinks
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    Please.

    If all of us turned our hobbies into "money spinning operations," we'd all be happier.

    This is just meanness.

    -- JH

  8. #8
    Lois
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    I haven't been with WN for that long, but in my time here, Karen's offered DETAILED query critiques to writers who have asked for help. She does an excellent job. (I've been the "mistress" of the query letter for 30 years so I respect her ability.)

    She's NOT self-promoting on WN -- quite the contrary. And what is wrong from making money from a "hobby"? I collect certain items. I resell many on ebay.

    Wayne, write your own queries. I'm sure they're fine. Many writers have great difficulty composing a decent one. Since that letter is the "foot-in-the-door" with agents and some editors, I think a service in that area in long overdue.

    No scamming here. Just a terrific enterprise!

    Good luck, Karen!

    Lois

  9. #9
    Lisa J. Werth
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    There are many situations were a writer is shelling out money: office supplies and equipment, research information, copies, and postage. It can get costly. One learns to be very cautious. They learn to pick and choose what to invest in and look for ways to save money when possible.

    Wayne makes a good point about agents. Writers should look at their actual successful experience and education on this industry before sending out a query to them and/or editors.

    I'm about to turn a manuscript over to an editing service. I know I have some weakness in English and grammar. Yet, if I'm going to pay someone, they'll have a degree that I'm comfrotable with and examples to prove it.

    I've come here for help in writing a query and synopsis in the past. I also have read books, looked at other sites etc. I've seen many others do the same too. It's been a learning process that I greatly appreciated.

    Yet, I've come to the conclusion to do it on my own in the future. If I can't figure out away to pitch my own story and summarize it, I shouldn't be wasting an agent's time by asking them to look at it.

  10. #10
    Cindy
    Guest

    Re: Karen Dionne's website

    Ahh, so your issue is paying upfront. Would you feel less taken-in if query editing were paid for after the critique? Agents choose to charge after the sale because they work on commissioin. They also know that most of us don't have $15,000 to gamble. Most of us, however, do have $20.

    As for the hobby issue, a professional is someone who is paid for their skills; a hobbiest uses them for free. So it's pretty easy to move from hobbiest to professional -- you just have to get paid.

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