I came across this guy, Dana Derricks, through a recommendation by someone whose business savvy I admire and trust. I was flabbergasted and disappointed.
For those who don't know this guy, Dana Derricks is an author who, according to him, has been featured on Forbes, Amazon, and a bunch of other authoritative sites as the epitome of authorial success. He claims to be able to teach anyone how to write and produce an absolutely wonderful book within a week.
He hosts workshops and coaches people in his proprietary method. OK, so perhaps you can write a book in a week. Will it be any good? (By the way, I couldn't find his books listed on Amazon, the 800 lb. gorilla of publishing.)
Yep, one week. Let's break this down. If you work 8 hours for five days--40 hours--on your manuscript doing nothing but producing content and you manage to produce 1,000 words of content per hour, you'll have 40,000 words by the end of that week. Will that content be any good? Research shows that the average writer needs 3 hours and 20 minutes to draft, edit, revise, and polish 1,000 words of content.
According to Derricks, one's ability to write simply doesn't matter. He declares authors don't need ghostwriters or editors, because all those folks do is dilute your message and drain your bank account. Apparently, it doesn't matter whether your book is filled with language use errors of if it's poorly written. Ghostwriters and editors are evil scammers whose main goal in life is to perpetuate the myth of their indispensability and soak thousands of dollars from their clients.
You don't need 'em, folks. Right?
I could post some unedited excerpts of the manuscripts that cross my desk to illustrate, but that wouldn't be ethical.
I cannot overstate my disgust.
What do you do if you're not good at something? You hire someone who is good at that something, because that competence has value. I could state that no one needs a plumber. You can learn to fix your own leaky pipes. You don't need an automotive mechanic to diagnose and correct that strange knock-knock-whir-squealing noise in your engine. Why bother with a doctor? Or a photographer? Or a landscaper? Or a horse trainer? If you're not good at writing, then you hire a ghostwriter. If you're good at writing (or even if you aren't and have already written something), then you hire an editor to refine and improve your work.
So, rather than merely rail about how every author needs an editor, here's one example I will post. I wrote this untitled snippet as part of an online interview for a ghostwriting position. I had one hour to produce original content in the paranormal romance genre. Specifications: write in the present tense, first person point of view for both the male and female protagonists, 500 words each. Follow the link to see what I came up with. It's not been altered in any way since I threw it together: what you see is raw fiction straight from mind to keyboard produced at a potential client's demand.
The objective of the test was to hook the reader, hold the reader's interest, and make the reader want to read more. Only you can decide whether I succeeded. Regardless, it needs editing.
I flatter myself as being pretty good at what I do and believe that competence has value.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is happy to reciprocate Blog Swaps in 2019.
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