Have you ever had someone threaten your livelihood? Have you ever felt the surprising hot animal rage that comes when the food and the shelter are on the line?
I got a tiny little pin-prick version of that when I read the press release headline this week:
Influencers Gain Instant Credibility Through FastPencil Concierge Thought Leadership Book Program
FastPencil is a startup that offers, among other preposterous and cynical things, to take clients from not-the-faintest idea, to a published book in 90 days.
"Executives are undeniably busy and many admit that they would never finish a book unless they had someone to drive the process," says CEO Steve Wilson. "FastPencil's concierge program provides busy executives the structure and resources to complete their book quickly, so they can focus on growing their business."
(And I'm going to create a service for novelists, that promises to run a Fortune 500 company for them, while they focus on their cozy little bookie-pooh.)
Presumably, the FastPencil press release provides a sample of the sort of prose the firm's "book authoring team" puts out:
FastPencil is leveraging the disruptive trends of self-publishing, social media, print-on-demand and eBook distribution to deliver a new unified online service that streamlines the book publishing process offering more control and higher margins for authors.
Sure, it smells to high heaven. Wilson himself can't even keep from smirking in the TV interviews.
But really, what's the problem? These half-hearted goofballs are no doubt miserable in their work—can you imagine a drearier process for "book-authoring" types than trying to create other people's stupid effing books, in the least possible amount of time?—and they'll be out of business in two years. (How much you want to bet, Wilson?)
So there's really no reason to be mad at them.
Except that darned livelihood thing. Obviously, the company's suggestion that it's possible to make efficient the process of having an idea, writing a book and selling it to the masses is bogus.
But such nonsense emboldens would-be writing clients to ask, when a writer names his or her price and deadline:
Come on: How hard can it be? I read somewhere about this company that does the whole friggin' thing in three months ….
Steve Wilson and your book-authoring team, you can go to hell.
Wendi Nichols says
Oooh, them’s fightin’ words!
I’m leading a Copyediting audio conference in June on how editors can save weak writers from the worst excesses of business-speak; that sentence you quoted is now going to become an exercise for my attendees. Looks like I need to add a “how to use a comma” refresher, too.