Archive for the ‘Writing Resources’ Category

Building an Author Platform Landed My First Book Deal

Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Writer at WorkBy , @Writing2Day

“If you can get that to me by the end of the week, you’ll have a happy editor.”

Those words sent to me in an email elicited such a feeling of joy, as it started to sink in that I have an editor. Wow, I have an editor! A few days ago the contract was emailed and the same feeling hit again. Wow, my first book contract! If you’re an aspiring writer, you know how much you long to hear those words. I’m sure even successful writers with many books under their belt can still remember the feeling that came with the first deal. (more…)

Fraud Alert Update: Articlebat.org and ContentProz the Same Scam

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

By , @Writing2Day

 

Once again, writers beware! The same people who copied the legitimate ContentProz.net website have copied another legitimate website, Articlebat.com. The scam website is Articlebat.org. I received an almost identical email as the first scam from Kate Smith and Allison Smith offering $625 per week to write articles, only this time the company name was Articlebat.org. These people are copying legitimate writing services websites in hopes of either gaining access to your Paypal account or using your articles without ever paying you.

I first posted about the ContentProz scam because it was very hard to find anything negative about the company since there is a legitimate company and the perpetrators had copied their website. Judging by the number of comments that article received, it is doing its job and we are raising awareness.

Please keep spreading the word about this scam. Below are some keywords that you should watch out for.

  • Contentproe.com
  • Articlebat.org
  • Kate Smith
  • Allison Smith
  • beaumoenchp0@hotmail.com
  • first_task@contentproz.su
  • first_task@articlebat.org
  • (315) 636-6676
  • William Ebel
  • William_Ebel@mail.vresp.com
  • easyherbgarden.com
  • Steven Systems
  • badrepuniverse.org
  • Rita Gregg
  • highergroundhealthandwellness.com
  • Julie Hibbard
  • aerogardenhome.com
  • mypvset.com
  • Simone Soares
  • Simone_Soares@mail.vresp.com

If you would like more details about this scam, please see my original post.

Update on June 21, 2012
It seems these same people are at it again. Apparently they have  copied the real Articlebat.com website on several sites in their attempt to scam people. I just received an email this morning from William Ebel (William_Ebel@mail.vresp.com) with the exact same scam. When I click on the link it takes me to the website: easyherbgarden.com yet it is the copied Articlebat website.

Judging from your comments they are doing this repeatedly with many different names. A couple that have been reported are Steven Systems, badrepuniverse.org, Rita Gregg, highergroundhealthandwellness.com, Julie Hibbard, and aerogardenhome.com. I have added them to the bullet list above.

I just got another email listing a different site: mypvset.com from Simone Soares (Simone_Soares@mail.vresp.com). This is getting ridiculous.

Thank you all for your feedback. Judging from your comments, we have helped many writers not fall victim to this scam.

To Blog a Book or Book a Blog, That is the Question

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Writer at Work

By , @Writing2Day

 

I recently watched the free webinar “How to Blog a Book” from Writer’s Digest with guest speaker Nina Amir, author of  How to Blog a Book. Blogging a book should not be confused with booking a blog which entails turning your old blog posts into a book. Blogging a book means to actually write your book manuscript in a series of blog posts.

This is an idea that I have been tossing around for quite some time and when I saw this webinar on the subject, I jumped on it. There are a couple of things that intrigue me about blogging a book. First, I like the accountability factor of committing to a post a day, or even a post a week for longer posts. Second, it seems like a really good way to potentially build an audience or market for your book before it is published in typical fashion.

I do have a slight concern about putting my manuscript out there as I go and having it stolen. About a year ago I did a post on the Pirating of Kind eBooks (people stealing other peoples work and republishing as their own eBook). And, I have been a victim of content theft on a much smaller scale so I know this actually happens.

When I had my online retail store, I kept receiving emails that were meant for another store.  So I started digging a little further into the site the emails were generated from, only to find that they had copied several pages of content that I had written directly from my website and pasted it into theirs.  Apparently they weren’t savvy enough to change the email links that they copied.  If not for this, I never would have known. I digress…

These concerns probably won’t keep me from blogging my book. I am still mulling the idea over and my gut is telling me to go for it. I am in the process of reading Ms. Amir’s book and highly recommend it and the free webinar if this is something you are considering. I am curious to know if any of you are blogging a book, booking a blog, or considering it? What are your thoughts and concerns on the idea?

How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time

Fraud Alert: Company Masquerading as the Real ContentProz

Friday, May 4th, 2012

By , @Writing2Day

Just a quick note to all of my writer friends out there. If you receive an email invitation from someone named Kate Smith claiming to be with ContentProz (a legitimate content company), they are fakes. They have actually copied the real ContentProz website in hopes of getting you to write articles for them. Please share this information, maybe we can stop some fellow writers from being swindled.

After receiving a question asking for more clarification, I have decided to post the emails that I received from this supposed company. The first email definitely seemed a little too good to be true and I went online trying to find a scam or fraud alert. I couldn’t come up with anything negative (usually it doesn’t take very long) and their website looked professional. I decided I would take it a step further and write the article since all I was investing was about an hour of my time.

What I failed to notice in the first email was that the ‘z’ in ContentProz had been changed to an ‘e’. I caught this right away in the second email. The real ContentProz resides at www.contentproz.net, the scam website resides at www.contentproe.com. You can compare the two homepages side by side if you want to. The scammers did a very good job at copying a legitimate website. I did contact the real ContentProz and they are aware of the situation and have their legal department working on it. Apparently, these scammers are using about three different copied sites.

I have looked for work from home positions in the past and each time I am reminded how frustrating this process is. Yes, there are legitimate companies out there with telecommuting positions available. However, if you are looking for one of these positions do your homework and please don’t ever give out personal information to these people until you are 100% sure it is a legitimate job opportunity.

A couple of signs that may indicate the offer is a scam:

  • Asks for personal information up front, such as: social security number, bank account, etc.
  • The employer wants to set up an interview on Yahoo Messenger or other service.
  • Poorly written emails containing spelling errors.
  • Look at the email address. Does is come from a Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail account? Most legitimate companies use their web address in their email. Example: HumanResources@companyname.com
  • Again, look at the email address. Maybe it looks like the legitimate email address above but it has a .su or .jp extention instead of a .com or .net extension. This would be another warning sign.

This emails I received are below. I hope this helps any fellow writers who receive an invitation from this company from falling victim to their scam.

To your writing success!

First Email
This is Kate Smith from ContentProz.
Thank you for sending your CV for a copywriter vacancy.
Please be advised that applicant should be able to do 3..5 articles a day (each article circa 400 – 600 words).
We need a high quality of work and are looking for a long-term partnership.
Your monthly salary will be $2500, provided that you follow instructions and do everything properly.
First of all we would like to make certain of your skills and ask you to do a pilot job (test), i.e. an article with a special key-phrase (kind of a user trial, test of the pen).
The key phrase is: windermere real estate oregon
About key-phrase, please use it 3 to 5 times in your article and mention it in your first sentence right away.
Sharp warning: the key-phrase is indecomposable, you can not use fragments of key-phrase. Once again: key-phrase is indivisible.
About description: after your article is accomplished you have to provide its description. Description should be no more than 160 characters.
It is like a very-very short conspectus, synopsis, the gist of the article.
Don’t forget that description must look engaging, winning and attractive to reader.
Your content should be 90% original. NO plagiary please.
Please take a look at our Groupon Boston article as an example: http://www.contentproe.com/sample/article-sample.html
You must complete the test within 24 hours.
We emphasize that content should be engaging, captivating, relevant and appropriate for the audience.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
———-
Kind regards,
Kate Smith, project manager.

Second Email
Hi, Kendra
Thank you for your article, it looks good enough and we hope for a
fruitful cooperation with you. Just to remind again: please,
diligently focus on quality of the content – we need a real quality
job. Take a look at this link with copywriters’ guidelines. You should
follow them strictly.

http://contentproe.com/sample/article-sample.html

We must repeat afresh: after your article is accomplished you have to provide its description.
Description should be no more than 160 characters.
It is like a very-very short conspectus, synopsis of the article. Don’t forget that description have to look engaging and attractive to reader.

We pay over PayPal weekly: $625 a week (thus $2500 a month). Please provide us with your PayPal account.
You do 3 articles a day and email us your articles daily as soon as you get them done. This is very important.
Your assignment for two days coming consists of 6 key-phrases (one key-phrase per article) and please find them below.

We’d like to remind that key-phrase should be used 3 to 5 times in the article and first sentence of article must contain it.

Sharp warning: the key-phrase is indecomposable, you can not use fragments of key-phrase.
Once again: key-phrase is indivisible.

Key Phrases
cartoon network porn videos
chicken pox vaccine side effects
best beard trimmer
att uverse coupon codes
amazon coupon codes free shipping
cast breaking bad

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Kind regards. Kate.

Taking the Plunge with Dramatica Pro

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Writer at Work

By , @Writing2Day

I’m finally done retyping my work in progress, all 99,911 words of it, yeah! I still have about three more chapters to write before it’s time to work on the rewrite. I took out the climatic scene that I wrote while taking a correspondence class only to realize that I had expanded upon one of my earlier scenes for the climax. Since I definitely want to use this, that means I have to go back and rewrite/rework the original scene and maybe a good portion of that chapter.

I actually feel quite lucky that this is the one major mistake that I found along the way. I have definitely spotted other errors and inconsistencies that need to be dealt with. And, there is a chapter or two, lol, that feel pretty weak. Before I go any further in my novel, I need to recreate my outline. For those of you who haven’t been following, my outline was lost years ago. As much as I hate to admit it, it would seem this is an integral piece of information.

Call it karma, but just as I’m dreading having to recreate my outline, I received an email advertising the software program Outline 4D. I did click on it and it looks like a very useful program. But then my mind went back to two programs I wanted years ago, Movie Magic and Dramatica Pro. Since I’m writing a novel, I didn’t even look at Movie Magic (we’ll save that for my screenplay). I did some research on reviews of writing programs. The one that consistently came up towards the top of the reviews was Dramatica Pro – ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

It seems the only drawback I could find was that some people feel it has a steep learning curve. I may not have a huge ego when it comes to my writing talent. I feel it is a raw talent and I definitely have a lot to learn to make it shine. What I do have confidence in is my ability to learn. Everything I have read about Dramatica Pro leads me to believe that, “No, it will not write the book for me.” But, if I go through the process of using the software, I feel I will end up with a better novel than if I just plodded along on my own.

So, I took the plunge and used my birthday money to purchase the downloadable version. I really don’t have the patience to wait for something to arrive in the mail when I’m this excited! I started using the program this morning before work. Started out on Level 3 (no sense bothering with Level 1) so I can dig into everything with the most intensity. I believe Level 1 asks about 50 questions about characters, plot, etc. while Level 3 asks about 300. I’m hoping that with work schedules and life in general, I can get through these questions in about a week. I’m very excited to see what all those reports have to say. Hopefully then I will be able to move forward with a solid outline in hand to finish things up and go back and start the rewrite.

I would really love to hear from others out there who use Dramatica Pro to see if you feel it has benefitted your writing. After I’ve used it for a while, I will post an update as to whether or not I’ve felt it was beneficial. If you don’t use this program, what do you use?

To your writing success!

Five Writing Rules to Remember

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Writer at Work

By , @Writing2Day

I just finished reading a post by author Dean Wesley Smith, one of my favorite blogs to follow. I thoroughly recommend reading the full post here.

Five Rules of Writing by Robert A. Heinlein
1. You must write.

2. You must finish what you start.

3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.

4. You must put it on the market.

5. You must keep it on the market until sold.

Just a short and simple post to remind myself of these rules. If you’re like me, you’ve had it drilled into your head that you should “Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.” The perfectionist in me would have a hard time ever getting past the “rewrite” stage if I were to follow this rule. Write it, proof it, submit it, and start writing again!