UPCOMING deletion of 16,000+ writers accounts from my new site

Read instructions below,
then begin rescuing your account HERE

 DEADLINE March 1, 2016, 11:59 PM ET


This is a long post. I apologize.

But I’m looking at the reality of having to delete more than 16,000 writers’ accounts containing more than 100,000 individual writing courses—and I want to give the folks who bought these courses the best chance possible to rescue what they bought.

IMPORTANT: I will not be checking or answering email on this, because there is absolutely nothing I can do via email to help you fix your account.

This policy change will affect the following folks:

Any site member of HTTS / Holly’s Writing Classes who has not logged into his or her account in more than one year (LOCKOUT) or two years (DELETION)

Account Deletion DOES NOT APPLY to anyone already using the new Holly’s Writing Classes site.

If you are never going to want to use the classes you purchased again, you don’t have to do anything.

If you have never purchased anything, you don’t have to do anything.

If you are affected by this and you want to keep your classes, please follow the STEP-BY-STEP instructions toward the bottom, and if you need to, create a HELP DESK ticket.



Policy change: To keep account active and maintain permanent access to purchases and other products, student must log into the classroom once a year.

During that login, student needs to update any out-of-date information.


ACCOUNT LOCKDOWN: All writer accounts not updated since March 1st, 2015

(Email address on account will be deleted. Starting March 2nd, 2016, student will have to provide Full Name as on account plus receipt for each class to get account reinstated.)

ACCOUNT DELETION: All writer accounts not updated since March 1st, 2014

(On March 2nd, 2016, complete account including all products deleted. No reinstatement possible.)

SITES FROM WHICH PURCHASES WERE MADE and purchases that will be affected:

  • All of MY products from the old HollyShop at shop.hollylisle.com
  • The HTTS CLASS from the 2008 and up How To Think Sideways single-class site
  • THE HTRYN CLASS from the 2009 and up How To Revise Your Novel single-class site
  • ALL ebooks, workshops, and classes from the recently closed HowToThinkSideways.com site


Here’s WHY this is happening

Last November, I discovered I had a database problem when I sent out login information to people who had purchased writing ebooks, fiction ebooks, or writing classes from me over the years.

When I did this, I got hit with a whole lot of angry people calling me a spammer.

That caused me some problems I’m still dealing with today, and I’m going to make sure it CANNOT happen again.

My policy since I first put my classes on the internet has been to give the folks who bought my work unlimited access to what they purchased, as well as the in-version UPGRADES to what they purchased.


And I’m still going to do that. Furthermore, EVERYONE gets a grace period to fix your account.

Even if you haven’t logged into your account since 2007, until March 1st, 2016, if you have EVER purchased anything from me from the following locations, I am saving your account:

  • The HollyShop (shop.hollylisle.com)
  • How To Think Sideways Version 1 through current
  • How to Revise Your Novel Version 1 through current
  • All the plot clinics and short classes
  • All the workshops
  • All the Big Classes
  • All the challenges

However, it turns out that about 14,000 of my member accounts have not been used by their owners in more than two years, and another 2000+ have not been used in the last year.

Some of these accounts have not been used since folks purchased How To Think Sideways back in 2008, or Character Clinic back in 2007.

Which means email addresses are out of date, and I am sitting on a database full of junk that I cannot safely send something as simple as a lesson reminder to my active students.

My first priority is to make sure my active students can participate in the classes. I need to be able to let them have working class reminders and account notices.


So here is my solution.

Once the grace period has passed, I am going to delete all accounts that have not been used in more than two years, and lock all accounts that have not been used in more than one year.



If you’ve purchased a bunch of courses and keep telling yourself, I really need to start using those—but you haven’t logged into the old site in more than a year and you have not yet logged into the new site, you need to act NOW.

You have until the 1st of MARCH to find your account on the new site, log in, and update your address and correct your full name.

If you need to update your account to keep from losing it, here are your steps:

STEP ONE: Go to the Holly’s Writing Classes login page:


STEP TWO: Use the “ForgottenYour Password?” link right below the login boxes to check each email address you have ever used for one of my sites, including PayPal email addresses.

List any other email addresses that belong to you that are attached to accounts.


WHY? Because I will only check the accounts you find, and I will only credit you with the classes I find in the accounts YOU find.

I anticipate at least a couple hundred people will want to save their classes.

I’m the only one who will be fixing these outdated accounts, and I’ll be doing it while I’m in a lot of pain following surgery. THEREFORE, YOU have to do the heavy lifting of identifying and gathering up your own accounts.


STEP THREE: Once you have found all your accounts, whitelist the email holly AT hollyswritingclasses DOT com


WHY? Because those spam complaints have decreased the likelihood of you receiving your account access email. If you want to retain access to your classes, you need to make SURE you will get the annual reminder to log into your account.


STEP FOUR: Use the Forgotten Your Password link to send your login information to yourself, and into the one you want to use, and update the email address on it.

If your name is currently entered as just two letters, or a letter and a blank, or numbers, or gibberish, you must correct this, too.


WHY? If somewhere down the line I cannot match the name on your receipt to the name on your account, I will not be able to verify that you are the owner of the classes, and I will delete the account.


If you plan to purchase using PayPal EVER, use your PayPal email address as your login address,


add the email address you want to use to your PayPal account as a PayPal alias, and use that address when purchasing other classes.


WHY? Because using your PayPal email to purchase a class if you are using a different email address for your account will create a new membership.

Fixing this will break your subscription, or will break your existing account, or both.

Fixing the subscription will required re-doing your account and setting you up with new payments.

And solving this avoidable problem will take a couple hours of my time over a period of several days.

I’m going to start charging a fee if I have to correct this

avoidable problem.


STEP FIVE: Set your password to something you’ll remember. Do NOT use an asterisk (*) in your password. It screws up your password and will lock you out of parts of the site.



If you have more than one account, create a support ticket here:


  • Use the RESCUE MY ACCOUNT header at the top of the list.
  • Create the ticket using the email you’ve used for your account.
  • List each OTHER email address connected to an account that  belongs to you, and I will locate your accounts, and move the classes in them to the account you designate as the one you want to keep.


Finally, to prevent dead accounts and dead emails from becoming a problem again in the future, I have changed the member terms of use.

The new clause is below, and on the page linked below that.

I have thought long and hard about how to fix the site so that active members would not have their use of the site hindered by those no longer interested in using their classes.

This was the best solution I could come up with.

It does not cost interested, active members any money, and

It does not cost previous members who no longer wish to use the site any time.


Holly Lisle


Most classes are not available on the new site yet. We’ve started to add them, but each class requires hand-rebuilding, so they are going to be going in very slowly until we get a system going.

ONCE YOU CORRECT YOUR ACCOUNT, your classes will be added as Dan and I complete their setup.


The new clause in the Terms of Use (TOU)


Students retain permanent access to their purchases in the version purchased or with in-version upgrades so long as these courses remain available, with the following single requirement. A minimum of one time per year, students who wish to maintain access to their purchases must log into the site to prove the account is active, and must, if their account information has become outdated, correct that information.

Students will receive a reminder notice before their accounts expire (if they have site emails on). Students who fail to keep their account current will have their email-address/login deleted from the account and will lose login access one month after their accounts expire.

To get an account reinstated after it has been locked, the student must create a ticket at the HELP DESK and in that ticket provide a working email address which will serve as the student’s login name, plus the full name used with the account to validate ownership of the account, and at least one receipt for a class purchased containing both the account name and the account email, proving that the account belongs to the student.

Any account which has not been accessed by the account owner for a period of more that two years, and for which the owner has not responded to the reminder notice will be designated a Dead Account. Each such account will be deleted entirely, and after deletion, all classes purchased through that account will be unrestorable.



image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x