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  #91  
Old 2010-09-21, 9:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura B View Post
I think it's great that you want to help people become better tutorial writers and I think this thread has already helped many.

However, IMO, you seem to be taking all your interactions with ONE person and using that to make commentary on the entire tutorial-writing community.

Also, you mention quite often how much you give to the community... and then you seem to have expectations of reciprocity based on that. I find it works much better if you give because you want to give, don't mention it to anyone, and don't have expectations from others. Do what you want because you want to... not because you think you'll get something in return.

JMO
This is exactly the way it seems to me too.
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  #92  
Old 2010-09-21, 10:21am
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Originally Posted by kimberly View Post
I did say I was done with this thread - but I want to respond to your very thoughtful post.

Yes, my response is probably a bit skewed. It takes a tremendous amount of work and time to produce a tutorial - someone likened it to giving birth and their comment resonated with me. Once your tutorial is born, it is a bit like raising a child: you want to protect it, nurture it, improve it if you can. When someone else comes along and makes general, sweeping comments about all tutorials and tutorial writers, the response, both external and internal can be fierce. It is almost like being made to defend your child (not comparing the intensity of the mother response - I have a child, I know THAT intensity).

LOL!! This is a just a wordy way to say, "Thank you! You are correct!"

This is just a short "Thank you!"
Heh... well, I can only talk about what I'm familiar with and I am TOTALLY one of those people who forgets that for every one person who snipes at me, fifty others are being nice to me.

I just think it's something we all tend to do... and it's a shame. Thanks for letting me remind myself while reminding you that it's better to focus on what feels good rather than what feels bad and invariably there is more of what feels good.

You rock!
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  #93  
Old 2010-09-21, 6:13pm
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I'll put my two cents in here. I'm a craft designer who has written 9 craft how-to books. In the old days (90's), I would send designs to a potentional publisher and if they liked the book idea, I had a book deal.

Now editors require not only the fantastic design but they also want that design stepped out. Even I was taken aback with all the books I had written at the time when it was asked of me but no problem.

Then a few years ago, a publisher I had worked with came to me with a book idea, a first for me. They had wanted to go with a new designer but when she submitted the step outs, they were unacceptable and my name came up.

Holly was also my first producer for The Carol Duvall Show. I'll never forget my very first show. I was making a polymer clay sock monkey and I had every step all set up in a line ready to rehearse with her. She came over as I explained the step and took out, to my dismay, every other step I had made and then some. I thought she was crazy but then she was the producer and I had never done television before.

The segment went on, I finished on time and Carol loved it. I became a regular guest for 10 seasons. And I thank Holly every day for her help which she still gives to me today.


Becky
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  #94  
Old 2010-09-21, 7:03pm
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Wow, I haven't checked in here today... I just didn't have the energy to defend myself but most of you have me in tears... the good kind!

Thank you!

I've gotten so many kind emails and even folks from the bead group coming up and saying nice things... I find it sad that they don't feel they can post here.
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  #95  
Old 2010-09-21, 7:10pm
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Laura (& Squid)

Every example in my article was based on a different experience, often two or more.

The one that keeps coming up here is ONE that happened this past weekend but it's happened to me before with other tut writers. But I kept referring to this one because

* It just happened
* I've known the person for years
* I've supported her business for years

I've never said anywhere how much I've done for the "community." Other than being an avid bead buyer back when I made a real living, I can't say I've done much for "the community."

When you know someone live and in person; have spent lots of money on their beads / products; assisted them in other ways, etc. the expectation of reciprocity is a little bit different.


The rest of the examples in my article were other people / issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura B View Post
I think it's great that you want to help people become better tutorial writers and I think this thread has already helped many.

However, IMO, you seem to be taking all your interactions with ONE person and using that to make commentary on the entire tutorial-writing community.

Also, you mention quite often how much you give to the community... and then you seem to have expectations of reciprocity based on that. I find it works much better if you give because you want to give, don't mention it to anyone, and don't have expectations from others. Do what you want because you want to... not because you think you'll get something in return.

JMO
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  #96  
Old 2010-09-21, 7:57pm
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Originally Posted by Laura B View Post
Heh... well, I can only talk about what I'm familiar with and I am TOTALLY one of those people who forgets that for every one person who snipes at me, fifty others are being nice to me.

I just think it's something we all tend to do... and it's a shame. Thanks for letting me remind myself while reminding you that it's better to focus on what feels good rather than what feels bad and invariably there is more of what feels good.

You rock!
Laura B.... ^^^ This!
Thank you for articulating this so well..

Kimberly.. I feel exactly the same way, too!

You truly do rock! ....and I can't wait until I have graduated to the level of skill at lampworking to be able to make the most out of your tutorials (which are already on my wish list)!



~Rachel
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  #97  
Old 2010-09-21, 7:59pm
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Originally Posted by Laura B View Post
I think it's great that you want to help people become better tutorial writers and I think this thread has already helped many.

However, IMO, you seem to be taking all your interactions with ONE person and using that to make commentary on the entire tutorial-writing community.

Also, you mention quite often how much you give to the community... and then you seem to have expectations of reciprocity based on that. I find it works much better if you give because you want to give, don't mention it to anyone, and don't have expectations from others. Do what you want because you want to... not because you think you'll get something in return.

JMO

Woman you are on a roll here!

You've articulated my feelings on this particular issue very elegantly.. again, thank you!

~Rachel
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  #98  
Old 2010-09-21, 8:15pm
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Originally Posted by Holly'sFolly View Post
Laura (& Squid)

Every example in my article was based on a different experience, often two or more.

The one that keeps coming up here is ONE that happened this past weekend but it's happened to me before with other tut writers. But I kept referring to this one because

* It just happened
* I've known the person for years
* I've supported her business for years

I've never said anywhere how much I've done for the "community." Other than being an avid bead buyer back when I made a real living, I can't say I've done much for "the community."

When you know someone live and in person; have spent lots of money on their beads / products; assisted them in other ways, etc. the expectation of reciprocity is a little bit different.


The rest of the examples in my article were other people / issues.

Holly,
I don't know you and am relatively new to the world of lampwork. I can see that there are a lot of people who do and have appreciated your efforts on their behalf.

However, that said, I, too, see you have gone out of your way to offer some constructive criticism (unsolicited, but still) and have watched the arc of this thread with some interest.

Initially you got a lot of positive feedback from almost everyone.. even though they also had some constructive criticism for you in return.

I don't know if you are aware of the fact that you come across as blowing your own horn a bit overmuch (which I reserve your right to blow... nonetheless.. it seems to be bringing you several reactions you aren't too happy about)..

Laura B did a very good job of pointing out (gently and respectfully, I thought) another way you might want to approach that criticism as several of these people have entertained your suggestions in *spite* of the fact that you've pushed some of their buttons, too.

Perhaps you could return the favor and entertain some of theirs instead of continuing to defend yourself and reiterating how much experience you have.. (you're not helping your case by repeating that again and again, I guarantee it) ..or how much this one artist did you wrong (and it wasn't any of *these* tutorial writers, for the record) and, perhaps, just gracefully accept the fact that you aren't the only one who knows what you're talking about?

I'm just sayin'....

~Rachel
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  #99  
Old 2010-09-21, 10:29pm
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As a stalker of the tutorials-to-purchase section on LE and a buyer of most, I'd like to add a couple of things if I may (just my opinions and preferences).

Aside from commenting on Holly's first paragraph which seems to have caused so much angst, there are some really valid points and some that I'm not in total agreement with.

Perfectly executed photos are wonderful and add greatly to the value of the purchase

A lengthy explanation is fine, providing it's a meaningful lengthy explanation

A one line summary at the end of said lengthy explanation would be really cool especially if it's under the photo - for easy reference at the torch - like Corina did with PTF as someone has already mentioned

A handy hints or point by point one page cheat sheet would be fantastic

An artist's bio and gallery are nice-to-have's - usually I buy based on the person's contribution to LE, their work that's been posted in threads I'm interested in and how the person comes across in their posts (I rarely visit the gallery, so that's probably not much help).

I was thinking back to crafty TV programs, the 'teacher' has a long slog building credibility if they rely purely on what they're demonstrating, without any introduction.

An introduction gives authority and credibility to the person, then validates their skills, knowledge and abilities before they launch into their lesson. Wouldn't this be the same for written tuts? Doesn't the writer need to establish their credentials and 'authority' to teach/write?

Value for money doesn't always mean the tut with the most photos, most pages, wins

They're just my thoughts and you're more than welcome to take 'em or leave 'em

I'd like to add some responses to other posts -

I loved the idea of a handy hints or cheat sheet so much that I've started going through my somewhat large collection of tuts and am writing my version of one page cheat sheets. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the person who suggested it - why didn't I think of it?? Slaps forehead!

I've fumbled through so many pages at the torch; cracked beads; dropped molten glass and done who knows what else while trying to keep up with where I am step-by-step in a tut. Heaven help me when the wind blows a page away.....

As for revisions, I'd love any revisions that are issued. I've purchased a tut in good (and blind) faith, I can't on-sell, return or even give away the old one and then justify buying the new one. Should I have to buy a new one - again I'd be buying in good faith that the new information was pertinent and valuable because unlike a book I can't flip through it to check.

Lowering prices/having sales/buy one - get one free on tuts really gets up my nose as a buyer. I paid for quality information - why is it being devalued? Why should I miss out on the benefit of a lower price simply because I was too keen to buy it when it first came out?

Next time I'll either wait around until the tut I was interested in goes on sale or it'll cheese me off so much that I just won't even bother buying it at all. Yes, I know, cut off my nose to spite my face, but it really does annoy me.

Every tut writer who has responded on here, I have your tuts. I think they're a great way to learn and I appreciate every effort that you've put into your work. There are only limited artists who are prepared to teach in Australia and I have limited funds to be able to get to them anyway. So the tuts are like gold-dust to me. Thank you all for your hard work and for sharing your hard-earned knowledge.

Last but not least, what happens when the tut writer stops selling a particular tut? How can we then get that information if we want it?


Marianne.

Last edited by gallerygal; 2010-09-21 at 10:31pm. Reason: Grammar.....
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  #100  
Old 2010-09-21, 11:11pm
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This is exactly what happened to me. No tools or materials were listed so I asked (in public) and was ignored by the author, but someone who had bought the tutorial said absolutely minimal cost materials and I probably had them on hand already.

Not.

Not on hand... not minimal cost.

Author didn't want to divulge the needed tools because she felt that was part of the propriatary info of her tutorial.

I learned a lot about tutorials with that experience and what to look for next time.

Prior to that, I was a tutorial newb. One can learn pretty fast, though.

You know, I think that this kind of experience can and should be shared openly in the thread about the tut. Many people are afraid to be critical because the author may take it personally, but I think it is very fair to share with the forum, in a thread about the tut, that the necessary tools are expensive and not named up front.

I also think that not naming a materials list prior to purchase is irresponsible on the part of the author, especially if the necessary materials include items or glass that it is not reasonable to assume that the buyer already has. For example, the types of glass used, and any special tools beyond a marver, tweezer, and poker.
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  #101  
Old 2010-09-22, 5:20am
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Kalera it was discussed in the tutorial's thread here.

The list of materials was kind of what you were buying as well as the directions. (I bought the tutorial) It was an affordable way to do something.

Laura was refunded because she wasn't happy.
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  #102  
Old 2010-09-22, 6:14am
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Kalera it was discussed in the tutorial's thread here.

The list of materials was kind of what you were buying as well as the directions. (I bought the tutorial) It was an affordable way to do something.

Laura was refunded because she wasn't happy.
Yep, exactly. And part of the value of the tutorial itself was that the author had taken the time to resource the least expensive place to buy all of the tools involved, saving most of us who bought it an inordinate amount of time searching the web for materials.
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  #103  
Old 2010-09-22, 7:48am
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Yep, exactly. And part of the value of the tutorial itself was that the author had taken the time to resource the least expensive place to buy all of the tools involved, saving most of us who bought it an inordinate amount of time searching the web for materials.
And what I said was I learned a lot about tutorials with that experience.

I learned to scrutinize and look for subtle things that would lead me to truly understand what the tutorial is and what it isn't.

I think me being WAY more careful and totally not taking someone else's word for the fact that the materials were minimal cost... combined with the author being WAY clearer in her description of the tutorial... would have saved a lot of hassle.

It was a learning experience for me as a tutorial buyer (which I'm pretty sure I said previously if not numerous times). I have no idea if the tutorial author learned anything from the experience. I haven't gone back to see if she re-worded the description.

And the only reason she knew I wasn't happy with the buying experience is because I said so. Others may be buying tutorials (yes, anyone's tutorial) and not be happy with them but just not saying anything.

IMO anytime someone has a complaint or a dislike regarding a tutorial, that complaint should be seriously considered by the author. Sometimes change is good.
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  #104  
Old 2010-09-22, 9:28am
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So... in case anyone isn't paying attention OR if I haven't been crystal clear, please note that I am fully aware *I* am at fault for buying a tutorial that I should have looked at more closely before buying and/or asking questions (well, I did, but I didn't get an answer). It is *MY* fault for listening to people other than the author in regards to details of said tutorial. *I* am the one who learned something about buying tutorials.

Now that I fully understand what that tutorial is for, I think it's probably an A-1 tutorial... for that purpose. It was *MY* misunderstanding about what I was purchasing. The author graciously refunded my money.

I'm pretty sure I mentioned all this already, several times, but y'know... just in case I'm not being really clear about things.
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  #105  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:02am
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Kalera it was discussed in the tutorial's thread here.

The list of materials was kind of what you were buying as well as the directions. (I bought the tutorial) It was an affordable way to do something.

Laura was refunded because she wasn't happy.
I was kindly PMd a link to the thread, and I have to say that while I think divulging a list of suppliers and resources is something a tut author can consider proprietary information, and say "that information is in the tut", I personally believe that a tut should have enough legs to stand on its own after giving a rough outline of supplies up front, and not to do so puts the buyer in a double bind.
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  #106  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:09am
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Speaking of that specific tutorial, I don't think a list of supplies needed would have hindered sales at all. In fact, she probably would have sold more (I may have purchased it). She could have given a rough list of supplies and then commented on how purchasing the tutorial would save the buyer approximately so much money because the tutorial included a shopping list of the best places to purchase for the least amount of money.

Speaking in general, I'm not sure I'd purchase a tutorial just for a glass recipe. But then I prefer to experiment on my own and I'm aware that others may not so that's just my opinion.
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  #107  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:33am
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I was kindly PMd a link to the thread, and I have to say that while I think divulging a list of suppliers and resources is something a tut author can consider proprietary information, and say "that information is in the tut", I personally believe that a tut should have enough legs to stand on its own after giving a rough outline of supplies up front, and not to do so puts the buyer in a double bind.
Thank you for your input. After this experience, I would agree with you that stating WHERE to buy certain tools can definitely be considered information not divulged until the purchase of the tutorial, but that saying up front WHAT tools will be needed shouldn't be kept from the customer.

Just my opinion, though.
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  #108  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:39am
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I am pretty sure the tutorial author learned from the experience as well. I know I have learned a lot from this thread. If I ever create a tutorial I won't be selling it here, lol. My skin is too thin for all of this.
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  #109  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:41am
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Speaking of that specific tutorial, I don't think a list of supplies needed would have hindered sales at all. In fact, she probably would have sold more (I may have purchased it). She could have given a rough list of supplies and then commented on how purchasing the tutorial would save the buyer approximately so much money because the tutorial included a shopping list of the best places to purchase for the least amount of money...
Now that I know what that tutorial is really and truly about, I think it could be hugely useful to a certain audience and I'm sure many, many people are 100% happy with it.

I fault myself for being too speedy to purchase and for assuming (based on input in that thread explicitely stating that the tools were minimal cost) that I was going to learn how to make bead caps without a disc cutter.

Sorry, but I still say that to me a disc cutter is NOT a minimal expense. Maybe a super crappy one could be considered a moderate expense, but I wouldn't want to purchase a super crappy one.

Maybe my vision is not the same as most, though... could you all purchase a disc cutter, a dapping set, a center punch, a hammer, and design punches for what you would consider minimal cost? (BTW, I'm not giving up any secrets... you can google "making bead caps" and get 8,000 links that will tell you these are the tools you need... to me the necessary tools are NOT proprietary info). And it was THAT reasoning that led me to believe the tutorial was to show me how to make bead caps without those expensive tools.

This probably isn't as big a deal as it seems, though. So what... so I misunderstood what a tutorial was about and asked for a refund. Geez... the world isn't going to end over that.

Luckily, I learned from the experience and changed how I do things. The author has the right to move on as well, with or without changing anything regarding her tutorial.
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  #110  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:42am
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I am pretty sure the tutorial author learned from the experience as well. I know I have learned a lot from this thread. If I ever create a tutorial I won't be selling it here, lol. My skin is too thin for all of this.
You and me both. I'm scared shitless now of even THINKING of making a tutorial.

On the other hand, there really is a lot of helpful info in this and other threads that could give someone a lot of tips to avoid the errors others have made (as both authors and customers).
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  #111  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:47am
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IMO anytime someone has a complaint or a dislike regarding a tutorial, that complaint should be seriously considered by the author. Sometimes change is good.
I agree. This sort of goes off on a tangent, but give me a minute...

A few months ago I was wanting to create a web site where tutorial authors could sell their tutorials all in one spot. So if someone wanted to look for tutorials, they could come to one site and find them all for sale there. It didn't happen because of the way the tutorial authors reacted to it.

But, in addition to selling tutorials, I wanted to have a place where customers could leave comments for the tutorials. I've heard many times on here that "nobody would say anything negative because everyone knows each other" or "nobody would want to offend anyone". I think that's sad. As someone who has put out 3 books, I really want to know if someone has any difficulty or problem with the lessons. Or if someone has any other problem with it or whatever.

Customers give a tutorial author their money, and they deserve to get what they paid for. If the tutorial isn't up to par, the author should know about it. People should feel free to post what they really feel about the stuff they buy. An author may think everything is nice and clear because they know the subject they are writing about. But, it may not be that way for the person buying it.
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  #112  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:49am
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I read through almost this whole thread and I think Holly posted some real good information in her blog . I'm writing a new tutorial and I will surely take her advice with me in the process.

And, since English is not my first language, I'm pretty sure I'm "saying" things that are not correct... I think I will ask several other lampworkers who are native English to have a critical look at it. I'm in this world to learn and develop myself and I really appreciate all the efforts anyone takes to help me achieve that. For free or for money . I own quite a lot tutorials myself and love many of them .
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  #113  
Old 2010-09-22, 10:59am
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I agree. This sort of goes off on a tangent, but give me a minute...

A few months ago I was wanting to create a web site where tutorial authors could sell their tutorials all in one spot. So if someone wanted to look for tutorials, they could come to one site and find them all for sale there. It didn't happen because of the way the tutorial authors reacted to it.

But, in addition to selling tutorials, I wanted to have a place where customers could leave comments for the tutorials. I've heard many times on here that "nobody would say anything negative because everyone knows each other" or "nobody would want to offend anyone". I think that's sad. As someone who has put out 3 books, I really want to know if someone has any difficulty or problem with the lessons. Or if someone has any other problem with it or whatever.

Customers give a tutorial author their money, and they deserve to get what they paid for. If the tutorial isn't up to par, the author should know about it. People should feel free to post what they really feel about the stuff they buy. An author may think everything is nice and clear because they know the subject they are writing about. But, it may not be that way for the person buying it.
What a great idea! I think Eni Okin's tutorial site is wildly popular. One for lampworkers would be fantastic.
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  #114  
Old 2010-09-22, 11:00am
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What a great idea! I think Eni Okin's tutorial site is wildly popular. One for lampworkers would be fantastic.
You would think so, wouldn't you? But no, he was given a raft of shit about it. "You're just trying to make money off of other people's hard work", etc, etc. It was ridiculous.
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  #115  
Old 2010-09-22, 11:00am
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I read through almost this whole thread and I think Holly posted some real good information in her blog . I'm writing a new tutorial and I will surely take her advice with me in the process.

And, since English is not my first language, I'm pretty sure I'm "saying" things that are not correct... I think I will ask several other lampworkers who are native English to have a critical look at it. I'm in this world to learn and develop myself and I really appreciate all the efforts anyone takes to help me achieve that. For free or for money . I own quite a lot tutorials myself and love many of them .
I think having people look over your tutorial (copy-editing too) puts you head-and-shoulders above the tutorial writers who don't do that. You are doing a service to yourself and your customers by having others proof and look for content questions/errors.

Excellent.
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  #116  
Old 2010-09-22, 11:01am
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You would think so, wouldn't you? But no, he was given a raft of shit about it. "You're just trying to make money off of other people's hard work", etc, etc. It was ridiculous.
Whoa... really? Who is this "he" and what was the context of the shit. I apparently missed something.

ETA: Oh wait... is Cosmo a "he"? Sorry, my bad. Gotcha now.
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  #117  
Old 2010-09-22, 11:06am
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  #118  
Old 2010-09-22, 11:06am
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... An author may think everything is nice and clear because they know the subject they are writing about. But, it may not be that way for the person buying it.
This can't be emphasized enough. I have done this as well as fallen victim to it.

No one does it on purpose, but it can happen easily and frequently.

That's why it's so important (IMO) to get feedback (ideally BEFORE you put the tutorial up for sale).

I know there has been some talk about authors being verbose and/or too intricate/detailed (aka "dumbing down") with their instructions, but the bottom line is that you have to write for your lowest common denominator... not for the few who may be well-versed in the subject already.

I go into a tutorial with the idea that the person reading it knows NOTHING about the subject (unless the tutorial is specifically stated as being higher-level). But even then, I find that I put things in that aren't common knowledge. So having others test drive the tutorial gives me the opportunity to see from others' perspective... and fix things before going to market.
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  #119  
Old 2010-09-22, 11:10am
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Whoa... really? Who is this "he" and what was the context of the shit. I apparently missed something.

ETA: Oh wait... is Cosmo a "he"? Sorry, my bad. Gotcha now.
Yeah. I was going to do it. When I initially talked about the site, I was just trying to see if there was enough interest to go through with it. I hadn't looked at the numbers to see what it would cost or anything. People asked me if it would cost them anything to list, and I said no, but when they sold a tutorial the site would take a certain percentage. Somewhere I threw out 10% as an example and said that that was just a random percentage I came up with, and that I hadn't done the math.

Everyone got all up in arms and said that 10% was way too much and that I was trying to steal from everyone. I replied that 10% was just a random number, and I didn't know how much the actual percentage was, and that I was just trying to see if anyone was interested.

But, nobody could get past that I said 10% and kept harping on how that was too much of a percentage (again, I said at least 5 times that 10% was not the actual number - it was just a number I threw out there as an example). I even mentioned a couple times that I wasn't trying to get rich and that I was only going to charge enough to cover my expenses. But, nobody was able to get past "10%". They wouldn't let it go and I got tired of being accused of stealing and replying to PM's having to defend myself, so I dropped the idea.

Truth be told, I still think it's a good idea. I'm not about to revisit the idea of making it happen though.

*edit... here's the original thread - http://lampworketc.com/forums/showth...ls+site&page=2 - apparently I said 20%, but I did clarify that it was a random number and not the final number.
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Last edited by Cosmo; 2010-09-22 at 11:19am.
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  #120  
Old 2010-09-22, 11:12am
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I don't know what happened Cosmo. But if you did your market research and a site with tutorials would be a good thing, why not do it? I would be very reluctant to base a business decision on a forum thread.

I know of a jewelry tutorial site that does rather well. I think it could be very profitable as well as provide a wonderful service.

You do realize that LE is a small portion of the lampwork community and those participating in the thread giving you such a hard time is an even smaller portion. Please don't let that be your deciding factor.
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