Top positive review
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A Well-Written Marketing Book... 4 1/2 Stars
on 29 May 2013
I bought a copy of Make a Killing on Kindle in November 2012, a month after self-publishing my first novel, and despite some concerns, which I will get to in a moment, it has since become one of my ‘how to’ bibles.
1) Easy to read, humorous, intelligent, interesting, very motivating and hard to put down. I spent two days glued to this book, it’s that good.
2) For the most part, the author’s blunt advice is excellent. I learnt a great deal and, following his advice to the letter, I put most of it into action, dramatically improving my book’s page, both in description and presentation, and also my book’s formatting, title and cover. I have been delighted by the results, although it does take time and effort. There is no easy, quick fix.
3) The author includes a contact email address for any inquiries, or comments at the end of the book. We’ve exchanged a few emails when I needed his help, and the author responded almost immediately and was friendly and helpful. I was impressed by that because some writers are only interested in making the sale, not in caring about their reader’s post sale comments and queries.
4) The author stresses that his techniques do not guarantee success if you have written a bad book. This is a typical example of his blunt and usually sensible advice. He is also quick to stress, and does so a few times, that the Amanda Hockings of this world are few and far between. This is invaluable advice. Talent isn’t enough, unfortunately. Luck is, however, and that leads me to my next point.
1) Even if you have written a good book, there’s still no guarantee of success, no matter how hard you work. Sorry, but that’s just the way it goes. I expected my sales to pick up dramatically. They didn’t. Perhaps because the advice in this book is more suited to non-fiction.* It may also be due to me refusing to follow two particular pieces of advice because I consider them immoral. See below.
*(Note: A few days ago, I purchased the author’s new book, How to Sell Fiction on Kindle. I have not finished it yet, nor have I had a chance to put his advice into action. When I have, I’ll review that, too).
2) I completely disagree with the author’s suggestion that one should create false accounts in order to post reviews of one’s work, and also encourage friends and family to post reviews, in order to get the ball rolling and instil confidence in would-be buyers. While I understand the author’s logic, and have noticed that even now, some authors are still using this technique, and a few are doing extremely well financially speaking as a result, it is immoral and bound to bite you on the backside eventually. The same goes for asking someone to ‘Put a Billboard for Your Book on Your Competitors’ Pages.’ No. No no no. Better to have twenty genuine and variable reviews than two hundred fake ones and be content with that. Also, posting a ‘billboard’ will get you reprimanded by Amazon for blatantly advertising yourself. It’s amazing how people find out about things like that and you will gain a bad reputation as a result and no doubt lose sales in the future. Had it not been for those chapters, I would have rated this book 5 stars. I don’t know if these chapters are still in the latest edition, but if so, I wouldn’t recommend doing as suggested.
Despite these errors of judgement, Michael Alvear has written an informative, invaluable book that, frankly, I wish I could keep to myself. The pros so outweighed the cons that, as I have already mentioned, I have bought his latest book and will probably buy future books. Although his advice didn’t turn my novel into a best seller, it did greatly improve certain things (cover, title, formatting, etc.) and also the book’s Amazon page (and also its page on other online stores), and that, I believe, did help improve sales, if only by a little.