Claire King

Author

America Writers

Posted on: May 17th, 2012 by Claire - 18 Comments

Every day a few people land on this blog looking for information about Brit Writers. It’s easy to find my posts, as well as the comments made by many readers on the posts and links to other discussions on the internet.

However, since the last post, things have evolved. So here’s a summary (please let me know if any of this is factually incorrect, obviously):

The Brit Writers’ offers include (or have included):

  • An annual writing competition, with a fee and a prize.
  • A scheme to help people get published, with a fee.
  • A scheme to help people set up ‘lucrative’ consultancies to help people get published. For a fee.
  • A publishing service, with a fee.
  • I am not yet aware of a scheme to help people set up ‘lucrative’ publishing services, for a fee or otherwise.
  • An agents and publishers referral service. Initially free, thereafter for a fee.
  • A schools programme, with a fee (in some cases – some schools join for free).
  • A scheme to help people take part in running the schools programme, for a fee and a percentage of the revenue from the schools.

And in latest news, these things are now all available in the new (bigger) USA market. For a fee.

This has been a public service announcement. You can find more information on the Brit Writers and America Writers websites.

 

 

 

 

18 Responses

  1. Pete says:

    Thoroughly depressing that Brit Writers continue to offer their wares in the UK let alone have a ‘strategic partner’ in the US.

  2. Thanks for this Claire – it’s a real eyeopener isn’t it? One to avoid, clearly.

  3. “The money should flow to the writer.”

    Marvelous concept. For a fee, I will be happy to explain the dynamics involved and the means by which it could be achieved.

    (Just kidding. Sort of. Maybe. But if you should happen to send me a check…)

  4. D.J. Kirkby says:

    What on earth is “Brit Writers”? On second thought I don’t think I want to know…

    • claire says:

      No, you really don’t need to know. Unless you have a lot of spare cash you’d like taken off your hands? It fills a much needed gap in the market…

  5. Jude Austin says:

    Sorry, but have you actually explored the BWA website?

    I’ve had a few dealings with them, if you’d care to read about things from the other side of the fence. (No, I don’t work for them; I’m just a wannabe author trying to get published!)

    Many writing competitions charge entry fees. Why is it such a problem with BWA?

    A scheme to help people get published (for a fee)? They did run a publishing initiative, but that’s been closed to new participants since Feb 2011.

    A scheme to help people set up ‘lucrative’ consultancies to help people get published? Can you explain that please? I’m not sure what you’re talking about; do you have a link?

    A publishing service, with a fee? Nope. This isn’t a vanity publisher. Are you thinking of the publishing program mentioned earlier?

    An agents and publishers referral service. Initially free, thereafter for a fee? Again, no. I’ve used this. The initial submission is free and the feedback I got was detailed and informative. I was invited to edit (NOT with their help, nor with anyone else’s) and resubmit, again for free.

    The fee you mention is possibly for the consultation, which is entirely optional (BWA put no pressure on you to take it, they just mention it). I opted to go for it (my consultation was a week or so back) and again, received a lot of in-depth critiques on my writing and its style, and help tightening up my synopsis, blurb etc. The guy I spoke to also said that BWA doesn’t set much store by paying people to edit your work, not all the time you’ve got a word processor.

    I’m not too well up on the schools program, other than knowing they do it.

    Look, I’m not spoiling for a fight here and I didn’t post this to offend anybody, but I just wanted to set the record a little straighter. Half the things you mention here don’t exist, and the others…as I said above, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

    • Pete says:

      My heart sank when I read this post. I can only advise you to read the various discussions and threads on the subject and wish you the best of luck if you choose to deal with them.

  6. claire says:

    Hello Jude, and thanks for leaving a comment. I have seen the Brit Writers site of course, and had a lot of dealings with them myself. If you search this blog you will find several blog posts, links to other resources and many many comments from other writers.
    There won’t be a fight here, don’t worry.
    All I can do is agree with Pete and suggest you do your research and wish you well. In response to your specific question about consultancies, please see the following comment.

  7. claire says:

    3 – 4 March 2012, London (limited spaces available)

    Today’s Publishing Consultant Training – Application Form

    Why attend this training?
    Would any of the following be of value to you:

    • Running your own Publishing Consultancy.
    • Being able to advise and guide writers to help them get published.
    • Increasing your credibility in the publishing arena.
    • Increased competitive advantage in your consultancy business by being trained by industry experts.
    • Being the best consultant and adviser you can possibly be.
    • Launching yourself into the lucrative publishing consultancy market.
    • Making money whilst transforming and empowering writers.
    • Having the most amazing personal development experience and making powerful friends in the industry.

    If you ticked just one box you are making a good investment of your time and money.
    If you ticked more than one, the Today’s Publishing Consultant Training™ is most definitely for you.

    What’s the content of the Today’s Publishing Consultant Training™?

    • Understanding the changing publishing industry.
    • You and your role as the publishing consultant.
    • How to build your publishing network.
    • Building rapport with your writers and managing their expectations.
    • Why writers will choose you for their publishing needs.
    • How to analyse a story and identify a best-seller.
    • Positioning and packaging the book and the author for their target market.
    • Creating the writer’s package for presentation to an agent or publisher.
    • How to develop a PR and marketing campaign for an author.
    • Understanding the various routes and processes to publishing – traditional, self-publishing and digital.
    • Identifying the best literary and referral partners for your writers.
    • How to design your consultation and training programmes.
    • Designing your consultancy sessions with multiple outcomes and evaluating your writer’s progress.
    • Assessing the commercial viability of a book.
    • Dealing with difficult writers.
    • How to advertise, market and sell your consultancy service.
    • Plus much more from a team of publishers, publishing consultants, literary agents and marketing experts.

    CLICK HERE to read more and book your place today.

    Nathalie Banks
    Brit Writers Services

    • Jude Austin says:

      I’m sorry if I sounded harsh 🙂 My reply was written at about 3am, which may account for it.

      I didn’t get that information about the publishing consultancy, though now I’ve read it I do see your point 🙂 (I stand by what I say regarding contest entry fees though, and the APRS service)…

      I’ve been unfortunate to deal with people who were far worse (the craziest idea was “$2000 dollars for a booth at our stand in China; having read your fiction novel we think there may be a gap in the market in that country and in North Korea!” No, I’m not making that one up; it really happened! That was WLA, when I first started in the thorny business of writing).

      I have been keeping half an eye on them, but I’ve been interacting with them ever since they first started in 2010 (believe me, if they start charging for other things such as ‘exclusive page on our website’ etc, I’ll run a mile XD) Regardless, I did learn a lot about writing and the constructive criticism I got during my consultation was extremely helpful, so for me, it was money well spent 🙂

      • Jane Smith says:

        Jude, you had a very lucky escape: if you search my blog you’ll find a piece in which I reported a judge calling Robert Fletcher of the WLA frivolous and fraudulent. I get angry just thinking about him.

        Lots of reputable writing competitions fund themselves by charging fees. The problem is that lots of disreputable ones do it too. It’s not automatically a red flag, but it’s not necessarily ok to do it either.

        I am bothered by this whole publishing consultancy training lark. Publishing works in all sorts of counterintuitive ways and it’s hard enough getting to grips with it with a year or two of direct experience. Two or three days’ training from people who have never worked in the business? I don’t see how that could be enough training to tell other people how to run their careers.

        I’ve seen very little of the advice that Brit Writers has provided to people, so can’t be definitive about this (although what I have seen has been generic and vague); but as I’ve also seen no evidence that any of the people who work for Brit Writers have worked in publishing in any way I’m not convinced that they’re qualified to be giving out advice to writers.

        There are plenty of people who are well-qualified to do so, who give advice freely via their blogs, for a small cost via their books, or for a larger cost via feedback on specific pieces of writing. I’d always advise writers to only pay for advice when they can verify the expertise of the providers for themselves. It seems reasonable to me.

        • Jude Austin says:

          At first I wondered if the advice was a little generic, but when I emailed back asking for clarification, BWA replied with more detail citing examples from the work I’d sent in.

          Yeah, I found out about WLA after I was stupid enough to pay the editing fees. Luckily they refunded me without a quibble, so I wasn’t out of pocket, but playing on people’s emotions and hopes to satisfy their own greed is something that really makes me furious. They’re not the only ones that do it, but from what I’ve found out, they seem to be one of the worst.

      • claire says:

        Hello Jude, Thanks for coming back to reply: I’m glad you’re actually ‘you’. It wasn’t so much that you sounded harsh, but that we have had people in the past turn up anonymously and say ‘I have nothing to do with Brit Writers but…’ and then launch pretty savage attacks defending BWA and name calling when all we ever wanted was an open and honest discussion. I have to say I was a bit worried we were in for a repeat. Glad that’s not the case.
        About the running a mile thing…have a look at the £995 authors’ promotion package they offered (next comment):

        • Jude Austin says:

          Having read your part about the publishing consultancy, I did sort of wonder whether or not I should just put my tail between my legs and quietly slink away under a nice rock, but that’s never been my style 😉

          And yes, I am me, warts and all! (That was the other reason I decided to come on back; I didn’t want you thinking I was one of the anonymous bashers you mentioned ;)) The only reason I posted to begin with was because I have had a fair amount to do with Brit Writers and so at least I have my own experiences to draw on.

          I have to be honest and admit I find it a little hard to lump them in with the likes of, say, WLA (who will accept McDonald’s menus for representation, according to the Water Cooler!!) If they were really only after money, wouldn’t they say, “Well, yes, it’s okay, but you need a follow up consultation at another £250! And a website on our page for £30! And…” okay, you get the idea. Again, I’m not trying to bash this post so much as looking for other people’s thoughts on the matter 🙂

          I’m probably being very stupid (I’m new to this business and still finding my feet in the writing world, so bear with me!) but I would say that BWA started out with good intentions, but bit off a lot more than they could chew right at the beginning. But maybe that’s just me 🙂

          • Jane Smith says:

            “I’m probably being very stupid (I’m new to this business and still finding my feet in the writing world, so bear with me!) but I would say that BWA started out with good intentions, but bit off a lot more than they could chew right at the beginning. But maybe that’s just me”

            I think that’s perfectly possible. But if you’re taking money from people to provide them with a service then good intentions aren’t enough to guarantee quality: you need knowledge and expertise, too. And with all due respect to Brit Writers, I just don’t see any evidence of that.

  8. claire says:

    Dear Writer,

    All authors know how difficult it is to get their work noticed and taken seriously. To have an internet and media presence is becoming increasingly important and necessary. Even the best written and most exciting works need a concerted publicity, marketing and placement campaign. Every writer knows their work’s unique selling points and most interesting characteristics.

    What kind of book do you have, and given complete freedom how would you promote and position it within the market place? How would you ensure that you and your product, as a package, reaches its greatest potential and widest target audience? What is the most important aspect of your writing? What if you were able to speak to your readers directly?

    Do you believe your writing and story are powerful enough to create a new international publishing sensation?

    Writers can maximise internet and media exposure for themselves and their book, thereby creating an internet presence and profile. This will enable them to be heard by their readers and directly speak to industry experts, writers, agents and publishers. To this end, Brit Writers is offering a new package which is multi dimensional with a unique approach that you can utilise to maximise your potential. This will give you a platform and a launch pad to enable you to create, maintain and increase not only your internet presence but also your profile within the publishing industry.

    The Platform

    1) 1 of 20 writers, in their genre, will be promoted in the new author section of the BWA website for 12 months. Therefore your work will be promoted within your particular genre rather than being lost in the sea of chaos that currently exists on the internet and in the world of publishing.

    2) There will be a link to your website, if you have one, or directly back to your email for any interested parties. This will include SEO (Site Engine Optimisation) such as meta tags etc.

    3) Your work will be promoted regularly at least once a month through Brit Writers extensive networks.

    4) A short biography, blurb and interview will also appear on the Brit Writers new author section. This may include sample chapters should you wish it.

    5) At regular intervals your work will also exclusively appear on the Brit Writers home page. Your work with its title, author and blurb is highlighted and promoted for 1 hour in every 100 hours on a rotating basis. This will continue for the duration of the whole year.

    6) Your work will have a hugely increased chance of being seen by your readers, picked up by an agent or by a potential publisher. All of these groups are already regularly visiting our website.

    Pre-Publication Interest Form

    a) Your work will be available for potential readers to express an interest in purchasing your book if and when it is published. There will be a facility on your section for people to complete a pre-publication interest form. In the case that you achieve 2000 completed forms, Brit Writers will help you to get published. In this eventuality, a new agreement will be made to form a new contract between you and BW. This will be the case where Brit Writers arranges publication for you. However, if you were to deal directly with a third party then whatever contractual arrangements you make with them is your decision and between you and the third party.

    b) You will be given an opportunity to participate, at an appropriate level, in a writers’ workshop or event at least once in the year.

    c) You will also receive a free ticket to the 2012 BWA Gala Awards Evening.

    Please click here to download the form.

    Overall Impact

    Brit Writers will ensure that you receive at least one face-to-face meeting with an agent or publisher within the year. This will last approximately 30 minutes, facilitating you as the writer and best advocate of your work to get a fair and complete chance to pitch your writing to industry professionals.

    All of the above in combination will result in potential media coverage at a local, national and international level. This will create and raise your profile as a writer through potential interviews and exposure in the media. Therefore, if utilised correctly, in combination with your best efforts this may result in much greater awareness of you as a writer and your work in the world of publishing, so that you may achieve your aims.

    Criteria

    1) You must have a manuscript; this may be fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in Word format.

    2) You must be able to provide a blurb about your writing and give an interview and picture of yourself.

    3) You must be able to make yourself reasonably available in order to accommodate with the timetable of workshops, agents and publishers.

    The cost of this complete package for one year is £995. This is payable in full and will be provided only on a first come first served basis. Please note there is limited availability.

    Terms and Conditions

    1) Must be over 18 or must have a signed permission of authorisation from a parent or guardian.

    2) This package is available to all writers except those who are already participating in the Brit Writers Publishing Programme.

    3) The work must be original and your own.

    4) You must represent yourself truthfully at all times.

    5) Any subsequent arrangements made between you and a third party are your responsibility alone and Brit Writers will take no percentage of your income from those agreements. However, Brit Writers will also not accept any responsibility for any adverse outcomes that may occur as a result of your agreements or dealings with any third parties.

    6) This package is precise and clear in what it offers and we believe it to be an extremely good deal for writers who choose to make use of this opportunity. Therefore no complaints will be entertained unless there is a material breach i.e. Brit Writers fails to deliver on any of the above. The term of this package will run between 1/1/12 to 31/12/12.

    7) All payments are non-negotiable and non-refundable.

    8) Brit Writers reserves the right to refuse any applications and all decisions made by Brit Writers within the above given parameters are final.

    9) Although this package is open to writers from across the world, Brit Writers would like to reiterate that it is strictly available on a first come first served basis.

    10) Completed application form and payment is to be made in full and will be processed on a first come first served basis.

    Regards

    Brit Writers

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