As a bonus, you can also take a pre-release peek at what’s in store for you when you read the book by reading the excerpt below.
My formula for success, my business model, my way of doing things, my whatever-you-want-to-call-it””it’s a simple five-step process.
1. Set-in-stone prices.
I always shoot for pluses””D-plus, C-plus, B-plus””to allow for teacher error. A customer’s happy if she gets a higher grade; she’s ticked off if she gets a lower grade. So I play it conservatively. Often, I feel like a philanthropist, to tell you the truth, like I’m working pro bono, as my classmates pay for Cs and teachers let them off the hook with B-minuses. Okay, so they’re not lowering or destroying writing standards the way some adults say they are, but they are hurting my profit margin.
2. Binding contracts and careful, deliberate progress.
When my offer made its hush-hush way around to students in my ninth-grade class (ninety-eight of them in all)””my offer, that is, to forever remove paper writing from their busy high school lives””I sat down with each interested customer (thirty-three of them), one on one. I still do this with each new customer. Together, we read fastidiously the contract I drafted.
Writing Services Contract
In concordance with the conversation between
Mr. Charles Remington Dremmel (service provider) and ______________________________ (customer), Mr. Dremmel will compose, proof, and print every written assignment for the _______ school year. Per the customer’s decision, each of these papers will earn this grade
Any and all grade upswings will be gradual and deliberate, so as not to attract suspicion toward technically unethical contracted business agreements. The customer will be responsible for making the corresponding payment at least four days prior to the assignment’s due date. Late payment will result in the assignment’s late submission.
The paper will be handed to the customer as many days late as is his/her payment. Any lowered grade from the teacher due to lateness will be the customer’s responsibility. The customer must follow any other timetable requirements presented by the service provider.
This is a legal and binding contract.
Charles Remington Dremmel _________________________
Service Provider (Customer)
After reviewing the contract with a client, I always reinforce what it says: There will be no jumping from Ds or even Cs to As. Obviously too suspicious. And once the contract gets signed, I explain, there will be no looking back. That’s right. The signee can never turn in her3own English or history paper that school year. Not even a typed journal entry or response paragraph.
When a teacher assigns small in-class writings, there’s nothing to worry about. Teachers don’t expect these to be polished pieces. Many don’t read them as carefully, either. (How misguided is that, by the way? A small in-class piece is a perfectly authentic sample of a student’s writing, untouched by parents, tutors, or other students, and waiting to be read. That’s precisely whata teacher should read closely, if you ask me.) We’re not taking any chances on typed take-home assignments, however. I don’t want a teacher mumbling to herself, “Why is she comma splicing all of a sudden?”
Oh, you should know: The comma splice is my pet peeve. No, it’s more than that. It’s my nightmare. Nothing this side of genocide annoys me more. My eighth-grade English teacher, Mr. Klerman, showed us all how to avoid them, and it drives me insane that so many people around me (including my parents and some of my teachers) still put a wimpy, scrawny commabetween two independent clauses. (What’s an independent clause? A fair question. It’s a very technical-sounding term that means this: words put together so they could stand on their own as a complete sentence. So “The dog upchucked” is an independent clause. It has a something””a dog””doing something””in this case, upchucking. “The dog” all on its own is not a complete sentence, because it only has a something and doesn’t say what that something is doing. Likewise, “upchucking” on its own is not an independent clause, because it’s something one does, but a reader doesn’t know who did it. Got it? Lots of great sentences aren’t completesentences, of course, but a complete sentence does have a subject and a predicate, a something doing something, and a comma can’t sit on its own between two complete sentences.) That’s expecting the comma to support too much weight. It’s like asking a wide receiver to pancake block two 300-pound defensive tackles coming from different directions at the same time. More on comma splices later.
3. A payment plan I believe in.
None of this “I’m probably selling my PS3″ crap. Seriously: Get a job, or we’re not having this conversation.
For the final two steps in Charles’ formula for success, and so much more!, read Andy Hueller’s “How I Got Rich Writing C Papers.”