Desperate Writers Beware the “How To” Scams

164978_451861938225507_2009153116_n(Image courtesy of The Book Connection)

I created a Twitter account and began eating up all the tweets from authors and establishments like Writer’s Digest. Whole bunch of neat stuff I’m suddenly seeing. However, there’s a whole bunch of not-so-neat stuff disguised as neat.

“How To” books sound great and all but they make as much sense to buy as spending money a book that tells you how to make money. What part of dishing out the very thing you are trying to acquire says good idea? Sure, information is money, a trade, like going to a lawyer for their expert legal advice, so there are places where you genuinely have to spend money before you make money. The word “investment” exists for many a reason. But anywhere you’re trying to cut corners for a quick fix? Cue that red flag.

My dear fellow writers (and authors), please never waste a penny on books, etc. that tell you how to get rich and famous by writing a book.

Here is my idea/opinion of what a bad investment looks like: Create Your Writer Platform. This book says, “Spend money on me and I’ll tell you how to make money off your own writing! Don’t mind the fact that all this information is available for free all over the net! I’m conveniently making it available in one place, therefor saving you time (but not money)!” Maybe someone who’s read this book and hit success can posit a sound argument against mine. Until I get a rebuttal, hard work, dedication, determination, and lots of research are my advised routes. Success isn’t earned by taking shortcuts. Red flags you’re looking for: quick, easy, act of desperation.

Here is my idea/opinion of what a good investment looks like: Writer’s Digest Self-Published Writing Competition. Ever notice how some of your favorite authors have book awards mentioned in them? Lightbulb! There are tons of awards out there, waiting for you. Still, writer beware once again: scammers exist in this field. I wouldn’t suggest applying to one without a recommendation from a third party.

The real currency in the literary industry is time. There are tons of writers/authors out there who want their book noticed. Thing is, if you are noticed, everybody wins. Readers have a new (your) great book in hand, publishers or at least establishments like get a cut of the pie, and you move one step closer to achieving your writerly dream. As far as getting the right people to notice, I’m still learning. The whole point of this post is to share this nugget of information for free.

Making it as a writer isn’t about the money. I don’t know about you, but I’ll write until my brain craps out. There is no such thing as retiring from being a writer, and that’s one of the beauties of it. If you were all about the money, you’d give up in a hurry pick an easier way to pay the bills. Writing is a passion, a way to feel alive and human, a form of expression. Express. Be genuine. Be passionate. And don’t ever take crap when people tell you writing is a waste of time.

And writer/author beware: if you start a Twitter account and make it obvious you’re a member of the aforementioned, others will follow you and spam you links to their books. Rather tasteless in my opinion, but the wealth of information you can “Tweetumble” upon outweighs the lack of manners. Happy tweeting!


About Angela Macala-Guajardo

Author, teacher, soon-to-be full time writer for two companies. Also a lover life in the Arizona desert, puppy butt wiggles, and kitties purring away on my shoulder.
This entry was posted in marketing, publishing, success, Uncategorized, writing, writing tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Desperate Writers Beware the “How To” Scams

  1. Thank you so much for the advice. I had often wondered about those how to books. I rather venture out and learn by experience. If I fail first time, just keep trying.

  2. Pingback: Just for Fun | Gwen Bristol

  3. I agree, so many shonky deals out there and then I find true writers such as yourself. I am all about the journey, there are no short cuts to writing that next block buster it is just plain hard work. Thanks for sharing this post it resonated strongly with me.

  4. Thanks for the great advice. I’ve wondered about all those books that tell you how to become a “wealthy author”. I agree, there’s no shortcut to success. And why pay $10-$20 dollars on books when I can learn this information for free?

    • smwelles says:

      I will be creating a tab on my blog that’s a compilation of free tips and advice. I see all sorts of things on Twitter, my grad school’s blog and other people’s blogs. I hope to help others while I help myself.

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