The following is a series of e-mails, with a couple of comments by me at the bottom.
Mail send on 12 Dec 2003 – 14:13:55 CST
By ip68-11-101-251.no.no.cox.net (188.8.131.52)
Using: Windows 98 – Internet Explorer 6
Just the facts.
Steve Manning has a writing system that I ran across by chance, carefully studied, and purchased. I then read and understood the significance of the writer’s research. Nothing I know of has ever approached the new or seasoned writer’s needs and perspective, as has this system. Written for the beginner and seasoned writer.
I cannot over emphasize my personal excitement and sheer pleasure working with this system myself. It has been a cure for my personal writing ADD. I related it to the three books I have written previously.
I have no reservations in recommending Steve Manning’s procedure. It is a perfect, no nonsense professional introduction to writing for a person new to the game.
It is 100% guaranteed by the author. It exceeds any concept I have ever seen that aids the person that truly wants to write and be accepted by a publisher.
Any questions? He lists his telephone for his clients. Does he answer it himself? I have called him four times, he answered three on the second ring. The forth time his little daughter answered to tell me her father was not available at the moment. Pretty good batting average.
I find Steve Manning to have a sense of humor, to be exceptionally knowledgeable in his trade and to be an excellent communicator. In short… “he bears acquaintance” I guarantee.
Thayne R. Short, BS, DVM
tshort AT mustangauthors.com (e-mail munged to stop Dr. Short from getting extra spams)
1 985 764 0219
From: Holly Lisle [mailto:holly AT hollylisle.com] Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2003 9:33 AM
To: tshort AT mustangauthors.com
Subject: Re: www.HollyLisle.com – Site Response
Yours is the first genuinely enthusiastic letter I’ve received on the course, and I’d like very much to be able to present both sides. Would you mind giving me some more specific details on your experiences? I’ll put both your first and follow-up letters up on the site as you wrote them.
How close to the fourteen-day claim did you come in writing your third book — the one you wrote after taking the course, if I read your first letter correctly, and how long did the two you wrote before the course take? How useful was Manning’s query letter in obtaining an agent (assuming you were not represented before)? What was the time from submission to acceptance on the third book, and how did that compare to your first two books; how many rejections (ballpark if you didn’t keep exact track) for each of your three books? Who was the publisher for the first two, and who published the third? (I confess I haven’t had any luck finding the books other than on the Mustang Author site, but I did look.) What were your comparative print runs and sell-throughs, if your publisher gave you those numbers — did doing the course give the third book extra … oomph, for lack of a more precise word? And if you’re willing to share, did you get any sort of bump in your advance for the third book, though admittedly that’s one of those ‘not-necessarily-relevant’ statistics.
Thank you for taking the time to write the first letter, and for your time on this.
All my best wishes,
Hi Holly. I am truely impressed.
Thank you for kind remarks they are appreciated. I now believe that you are being fair.
I will get back to you today. In the mean time I have attached my original reply that was too long for the allotted space.
Holly, I purchased Steve Mannings product How to Write Book in 14 Days and care to comment. The following is my background for proof of any claims. You must not alter, or shorten the text in any way. If you use it print it exactly as it appears below:
My name is Thayne R. Short, BS, DVM. I am a small animal practitioner at Pet Care Center in Metairie, Louisiana. I have practiced veterinary medicine for forty-three years.
I am 74 years old, a freelance writer, private pilot and WW II historian focused on US and China relations circa WW II. My email address is tshort AT mustangauthors.com .
My partner, Shannon Cauble, and I own and operate www.mustangauthors.com. Our brand new web page face lift will appear in the next few days. We are in our fourth year on the Internet. Our core purpose is to offer a Watering Hole for wannabe authors and authors to come and mingle with one and another. We offer free exposure for works in progress for new budding authors. The next step occurs when their book is published and again we offer free exposure, showcase, for a limited time. At this point they are Mustang Authors with additional privileges.
My first book, DING HAO, Americas Air War in China, 1937 1945 was co-authored with Wanda Cornelius and published by Pelican Publication Co, Gretna, Louisiana in 1980. The first draft was accepted and an advance royalty paid at that time. From research to Publication: six years.
My second book, Of Men and Mustangs, The Scaled P-51 D Mustang Story, was co-authored with Thomas Short and published by Aviation adVentures Unlimited, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona in1979. This publication featured the research, design, construction and marketing of two high performance experimental aircraft. From research to production and publication: 10 years.
My third co-authorship with Col. Sebie B. Smiths MY QUEST TO FLY involved a 15-year intensive research including five weeks of research in China in 1990-91 as a guest of the Chinese Government. My Quest To Fly is currently being published by New South Books in Montgomery, Alabama.
In April 1981, I was elected to membership in the Aviation-Space Writers Association. Today, I remain an Affiliate Member of the Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association.
All of the above can be verified by going to www.mustangauthors.com.
The first time I encountered How To Write A Book On Anything In 14 Days or Less GUARANTEED!! It gave me pause to reason 14 Days? No way Jose.
Short story I could not figure out how this could be possible. The first thing that impressed me was his name and telephone number in bold print. I called his listed number and he answered on the second ring. We talked and discussed the volumes of material that I had received. Never a hint of rushing me, we discussed the weather in Canada and Louisiana at that moment and my favorable impression with the material and three videos taped during one of his lecturers. I was very favorable impressed and since then I have called four more times and he answered promptly three times. His little daughter answered once for her dad telling me that her father was not at home at the time. Pretty good batting average.
His material exceeds my greatest expectations. There is no question in my mind that his material and his personal coaching will give order and direction to my writing in the future. I also feel comfortable, that if at any time I should request my money back, Steve Manning will honor his guarantee without hesitation. I find Steve Manning to have a sense of humor, to be exceptionally knowledgeable in his trade and to be an excellent communicator. I have no reason to feel that he is anything but honest. In Texas, we sum up such a man by saying he bears acquaintance. I have never had close help like that on the Internet ever! Well, maybe Ken Evoy, MD is on a par.
I bought the book, the tapes and the videos all for $399.00. Is that a high price? Well, its not chicken feed but I considered at my age if it takes me six to ten years to write a book I only have time for one more book! But that is not going to happen. The possibilities are unlimited now and I give the credit to Steve Manning, his methods, and his telephone number.
I am currently blue printing my first book using Steves system and counsel and I am confident this journey will be most satisfying and rewarding. Ill tell you what, check on me in about six months or so and see how I feel about Steve@WriteABookNow.com by then.
Here is my rule of thumb: Remember that fairness and courtesy doesnt cost us a thing it is FREE.
Thayne R. Short, BS, DVM
tshort AT mustangauthors.com
Subject: RE: www.HollyLisle.com – Site Response
Reply-To: <tshort AT mustangauthors.com>
Attachments: There is 1 attachment
Holly, I bought Steve’s material long after I wrote the three book mentioned.
I did not want to go through the learning curve I experienced with them. Pelican Publishing Co. Gretna, Louisiana accepted Ding Hao on the very first draft/meeting and paid us $3,000 before Wanda Cornelius and I left the meeting. Pelican Publishing Co. is a very well respected publishing company. Ding How is still in print and is still a favorite at the New Orleans WW II Museum. It was also a Military Book Club selection the year published.
Of Men and Mustangs was written with my brother. And, Quest To Fly was the adventure of my life. It has been held up following the death of the Author Col. Sebie B. Smith and is still at the publisher, New South Books, Montgomery, Alabama.
I know, never say never, but I will never co-author a book again. Another reason I was attracted to Write a Book in 14 Days.
Ok, take How to write a book in 14 days… have you ever read on the internet things like:
” … this product is going to Knock your Socks Off!!! or ” When I checked my email the next morning… It Blew My Mind!!!”.
They are just tiresome attention getters!
I just put How To Write a Book In 14 Days in the above list and went on about my business. I ordered the material and remain very pleased.
While we are in this neighborhood Holly, I called Steve this morning and I might add, he answered on the second ring. I talked to him about the money back guarantee, and what I read about his fulfillment record. At the time I ordered, I received the earlier package of videos, tapes and printed material galore. It was a large box, heavy, box. I understand requiring a customer to return their material before a refund is sent and Steve told me that he did refund to those that complied. I have no reason to doubt.
I explained to Steve my position as an affiliate, that I have to protect my reputation as well as the people associating with me through my web page. My new web page is scheduled to be up and running in about a week now and I will not sponsor a link I am not completely confident in.
Steve, I understand, has completely revamped his program including the use of CDs and does not now use the bulky material that I had received. I told him that I would require that he mail me all the new material that he would be sending to a new buyer… the exact procedure he would use. I would then go over very aspect and report my findings to your forum. He said he would be glad to comply.
Holly, I will keep you posted if you wish. Anything else I can do?
December 14, 2003
My comments: I’ll keep in touch with Dr. Short as he goes through the process of using the system, and post his experiences with it as he sends info to me. Though he has not yet used the Manning material, he is someone who has gone through the book-writing and publication process at a professional level before, so I’ll take as fact his assertion that there is some valuable material in the course. I’ll use his progress (such as he’s willing to share, anyway) as a preliminary benchmark for how well the material stands up to its claims. (I’m working from a sample of one, here, so visualize the Your Mileage May Vary caveat, either for better or for worse, in 100pt bold-faced type.)
I still have the following reservations about the claims of the program, as advertised on the website:
- Manning is not making his living as a writer, but as a program-seller and speaker — I cannot find a single book of his in print, and only one out of print that I’m pretty sure he wrote. My personal experience has been that the teachers with the best information are those actually making a living doing what they’re teaching.
- No one who has written to me about using the packing has yet has met any of the following claims for the package (book done in 14 days, agent obtained in 36 hours [or at all], books sold to professional publisher, book hit best-seller lists).
- No proof whatsoever that anyone has used the course to sell without already having demonstrated writing talent or ability.
- No proof that a writer with no talent can use the course to write a best-seller, or even a salable manuscript. (Please note that while I know some people manage to make money by self-publishing, I don’t consider self-published books to meet the claims promised by the Manning kit).
As a final site-specific reservation, I’ll note that Dr. Short is writing non-fiction. The majority of the folks reading the writing portion of my site (as judged by content of e-mails received) are fiction writers, by about 95% to 5% other, and I still have not received anything that would lead me to be enthusiastic about this program for fiction writers.