So I went to the I Write Like site, subject of the post just below, and entered this text:
asdp0o pvpm eropms spe pebps.
And it told me I write like James Joyce.
Not even trying? Not even rational! Therefore, I asked myself, what’s the scam? So I looked at the rest of the text on the results page:
Great job! Do you want to get your book published?
“I have personally read through thousands of book proposals in my career as a publisher and agent. I know what these professionals are looking for—and what they are not looking for.”
— Michael Hyatt, Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Learn how to secure a book publishing contract!
That little bit includes two links, both to the same page: http://michaelhyatt.com/products/ebook-writing-a-winning-book-proposal
Yep, it’s SEO. And they’re using social engineering to get those links wide-spread and high in the Google stats. Helpful little cut-n-paste code to put in your blog!
But wait! There’s more!
Go over to that advertised page, and you’ll find a pair of $19.97 e-books by the above-said and afore-mentioned Michael Hyatt. These books promise to tell you such insider secrets as how to “avoid the three items you should NEVER include in a fiction book proposal.” Wow, I can’t wait to find out.
So, who’s Michael Hyatt, and what is Thomas Nelson?
Do you all recall Harlequin, and their recent dip in the vanity pool? Harlequin wasn’t the first or the only formerly-legitimate publisher to go down that road with Author Solutions. No, that honor goes to Thomas Nelson. But, since Thomas Nelson is a “Christian Publisher,” no one noticed at the time. Indeed, Thomas Nelson’s journey to the dark side is even sleazier than Harlequin’s. While Harlequin created a new imprint, “Harlequin Horizons,” as their vanity brand, Thomas Nelson used the name of an existing and formerly legitimate imprint, WestBow, for theirs. Thus, anyone checking up on the publisher’s name before submitting would find a long history of reasonably-selling books by known authors.
This “I Write Like” site isn’t remotely legitimate. No, they aren’t trying; or, anyway, they aren’t trying to analyze writing samples: They’re trying to lure newbie authors to the rocks and shoals of vanity publication.
[UPDATE 18JUL10]: The link has been changed from Michael Hyatt’s e-books to King’s On Writing at Amazon. I apologize to Dmitry Chestnykh for thinking that he didn’t really exist and was entirely a creation of Thomas Nelson to drive clicks to their site.