As many of you know, I am still in the process of writing my special report titled “Beat the Getty Images Extortion Letter”. And although I am about 35% complete and NO ONE has seen it yet, I received a negative and critical comment to that announcement.
I have just read your letter responses to Getty (as per the link on your home page) and can’t believe how bad they are – they serve as excellent examples of how NOT to write a letter when confronted by a legal situation. If you don’t know how to write such a letter you should get a lawyer to do it for you. if you did consult your lawyer before sending these letters – sack him!
Based on how poorly you have handled your own case, you really shouldn’t be offering advice to anyone else and certainly shouldn’t be looking to charge for such a ‘service’.
I did not delete that comment. It simply gave me the opportunity to acknowledge those that would criticize the project, the price, or my efforts.
There is no question that the letter I wrote in 2008 had a lot of rough spots in it. In fact, if I were to do it again, I would have written a different letter. But it was what I knew at the time and I muddled my way through. Nevertheless, that is what I wrote with all its ugliness and imperfections. Even when my Special Report comes out, my ugly, imperfect letters will still be available for all to read. They can copy or emulate it (or from your comment) they should use it as an example of what NOT to write and what NOT to do.
When I write, I aim to be effective and get my objective accomplished. I am not trying to win literary awards or impress English majors. Either someone gets my intentions and what I am about or they don’t. Either it gets the desired result or it doesn’t. As you have alluded to, my letters don’t necessarily paint me in a positive light and they don’t make for elegant reading. But when I am in fighting mode, I am not trying to look good or impress people, I am looking to win the fight and get what I want at nearly all costs. I can be nasty, get personal, and vindictive and I want my opponents to know that.
Regarding lawyers, I value their knowledge and advice but I also don’t blindly follow their advice. I have learned from experience that just become someone is a lawyer doesn’t mean they have wisdom or can get the job done. I also happen to know that many lawyers come from a very narrow perspective and don’t always see the big picture.
There is no end of people who come through the ELI website and ELI Forums trying to find this magical pill or learn how to write a dazzling, legalistic letter to stun Getty Images (or other stock photo company) into submission. That almost never happens. For nearly 4 years now, I have tried to tell them there was no such animal. There are many other factors and forces at play. I have written and provided free posts, articles, and videos over the years to mostly a grateful audience. However, for some, that has not been enough. People continue to email and call me even when I have intentionally left out my personal email address and phone number.
You notice I have left your negative comment up. I do so because I stand by what I say and do. I don’t claim to be perfect but I know what I know and I experienced what I experienced. I have no special claim to be smarter or more qualified than anyone else on the subject except that I have lived this subject for nearly 4 years with literally over 100+ people who have communicated with me through the forum posts, emails, phone calls, and submissions. Further, I work with a team of ELI volunteers that have supported the ELI cause with their insights, research, and commentary. For better or for worse, I have gathered all this commentary, research, and information from the myriad of sources and incorporated them into the Special Report.
Let me go on record and say that 75%-80% of the information is freely available on the ELI Website and ELI Forums. However, that information is scattered across thousands of posts and many hours of videos. This Special Report is “essential information presented on a silver platter” plus extra goodies and the glue to connect it all together. Further, the Special Report is a way to encourage our readership to financially support the ELI cause. Make no mistake, my time and resources are valuable. If there were zero dollars that came in month after month, ELI would have to come to a stop. There would be no new articles, new website updates, and no ongoing forum. I would freeze and lock the whole thing down because I already donated hundreds of hours during many late nights since this thing began.
I never planned nor wanted to get into phone consultations or publish this Special Report. But the need appears to be there. It is for those who are interested in what I have to say, not for people like you who are not. I don’t ever do a hard sell, only soft sells. I make a resource available and let people decide for themselves. I am even telling people that the majority of what I write is already freely available IF you want to take the time to sort and find the information. I am charitable but there is a limit to how far I will go. If people want free, they need to go dig out the information themselves and NOT consult me. However, for those who want to save a ton of time and do want to hear what I have to say, that resource is there also.
Regarding you specifically, my information says your IP address is from the U.K. specifically London. This report is for primarily U.S. letter recipients, not anyone else outside the U.S. although I feel that some of my insights and my approach will be applicable to many outside the U.S. The reason I can say this is that I don’t fight exclusively on the legal front. Most people think this is entirely a legal fight when it is not.
And while I appreciate your comment and contribution to the discussion, you will have to forgive me if I don’t take your negative advice. As an independent publisher & blogger, I write and publish what I want. I decide what I will make available for free and what I won’t. I decide what business I will get into and what business I won’t. I decide which people I want to help and acknowledge and those I don’t. You or anyone else don’t get to tell me what I should or should not do. I get to decide for myself. The ELI readers and community members get to decide for themselves. I stand by my reputation, credibility, experiences, and accomplishments. Anyone who isn’t interested in contributing to the ELI cause or otherwise see no value in this Special Report are welcome to ignore it and move along. I am not twisting anyone’s arm to buy it or contribute to it.
My responses and rebuttals to Getty Images was not my first or last rodeo. I have been in business for 20+ years (both in corporate America and as a self-sustaining entrepreneur). I have dealt with all kinds of issues and scenarios both legal and not legal. I have successfully represented myself “pro se” on many occasions mostly as a plaintiff but also as a defendant. I have written several hundreds of letters, memos, and other written communications in that time to persuade or influence people, so I know something about how to get favorable results.
Bottom line, your opinion is your opinion. I allow others to form their own. And if they don’t like what I offer, I say go offer something better.