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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 October 2013
I have read a number of books in this series (kindly provided free by the publisher in exchange for a review) and I find that this one doesn't really fit into the pattern of the others and is not as good - I'm not quite sure what the author was trying to do.

Instead of being an amusing collection of points and observations about a subject designed for the reader to assume a knowledge they don't have and impress others it seems actually to be a reasonably factual book about starting and running your own business with a few witty asides bolted on now and again. A book of this size cannot be a proper start up guide for someone looking to launch their own business - there is not sufficient capacity to go into the practical detail which is needed. If the book isn't big enough to be a practical guide it also isn't amusing enough to be read as enjoyment by someone who has already started their own business and will recognise and share the author's observations.

In conclusion - because the book doesn't seem to know what it is for then the reader can't really work out why to read it.
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I completely agree with Anne's review, I just don't get who this book is targeting or what it's for.

Is it meant to be a comedy book? Is it meant to be a book to help you in business? Whatever it's trying to be it misses the mark.

The writing is fine, and it has some interesting observations which I can relate to being in business, but from the title I expected this would be funny and interesting to read.

Instead it was fairly dry and at times I felt like I was back reading an A-Level business studies short guide.

I imagine anyone who doesn't work in the sort of environment this book describes about might find this fairly dull. Anyone looking for practical information would be better served by other more targeted books on starting a business.

It also seems rather expensive new (almost £7 at the time of writing) for a book you can finish very quickly.
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on 24 January 2014
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I'd expected to enjoy it for several reasons:

- I spent nearly 30 years working in the commercial world, exposed to the endless round of jargon and changing trends for business success
- I've set up my own small business and thought it would be either amusing or helpful
- I have a keen sense of humour and like the self-deprecating kind that I'd expect from a Bluffer's Guide

This book was therefore a big disappointment. Having received a free copy, I did my best to read it through and get the most out of it, but I found myself constantly struggling even to get through it. I thought the key characteristics would be wit and humour, and although there was the odd wry aside, it was actually quite a serious book at points. However the humour and the serious advice were too mixed together for it be either one thing or the other. A less experienced person buying the book to help him or her get to grips with the world of work might be hard-pressed to work out what was serious and what was satire.

This could have been a much better book and it seems like a big missed opportunity for the publisher to come up with the concept and throw it away. It would put me off picking up other books in the series.

The only thing I did like about it was the format - cute, pocket sized, a bit like a Berlitz language guide. A good size and shape for the Bluffer's concept. I'm sorry that that is the only nice thing I can find to say about it. :(
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VINE VOICEon 22 December 2013
A number of reviewers are asking who this is book is for. I would answer that the Bluffer's guides are either a jumping off point to lead you to explore something more fully, or motivate you to get started. And to allow you to 'bluff' on a subject in a more informed way. The problem is that with starting your own business the stakes are so potentially high e.g. your home and mortgage, and the subject so vast, that it can't function in quite the same way as other titles in the series e.g. beer, cycling opera or football.

But if someone is seriously looking to start their own business, will they really rely on this short book to get them started? I think not. Rather, this a witty and enjoyable read that does manage to give a clear overview of the small business world to a surprising extent. It'll be most enjoyed by people who already have some exisitng knowledge of management and business and so will be best placed to enjoy its humour. For example, this from the very funny Glossary at the end:

Redeployment: someone gets fired
Restructuring: everyone gets fired

You could argue that the book cuts through a lot of bs to get at some core experiential wisdom.

An enjoyable gift and introduction to the subject.
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VINE VOICEon 30 March 2014
Although others may debate the book's concept, at the end of the day it is what it says it is - "The Bluffers Guide". It's easily read in an hour or so and written in a conversational style. It's easy to overlook that some of the topics say in a very few words stuff that others have written books on, but nethertheless are immutably true - especially the importance/relevance of your bank manager or accountant.

So although it's light hearted, it does have a serious side. In particular the glossary contains a list of terms and what they actually mean which is both amusing, alarming and true. "Exciting opportunity" - long shot, "Long term prospects" - the boss's dream, "Slow growth" - dead stop and in reverse, "Considerable boost" - lucky break, etc.

There's also a phrase which is most compelling, "The bluffer will wish to conform to the idea held by others of what a reliable business person in their chosen field looks like". The tragedy is that this way of thinking holds so many businesses back from achieving their full potential.

For the money, it's a short guide that is potentially more useful than many of the seemingly erudite works one sees.
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on 22 November 2013
This is the first book I've read in the Bluffer's Guide series, and I suspect it may not be typical, as the series mostly seems to cover topics of conversation - whereas this one focuses firmly on the practical. The book is short (although not bad value at 85p for the Kindle edition!), and it's easy to read, with occasional moments of humour.

There's a lot of very useful information in these pages, although for anyone seriously looking at starting a business, I'd be rather alarmed if any of it were news. It may, however, be a good introduction to what's involved, for someone who's just starting to sort-of halfheartedly think about it. The attempt to span everything from starting up a one-man operation, to taking on more members of staff later, means that coverage of any given topic is necessarily brief.

Short and sweet, but probably applicable to a limited audience.
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on 7 January 2014
The tone was confusing, comedy book tone but business book information. However, as someone who has suffered through business books, and worse yet, business textbooks, it was a bit of a relief to see things put in a humorous way or spelled out more clearly as puffery and bluff than is usually advocated in textbooks. So while I doubt I'll be rereading it, I will be giving a copy to a timid entrepreneur friend. I personally think the length makes it perfect for this use, as it's not overly long for the reluctant reader but it touches on many topics.
Also, there's something to be said about knowing how to bluff so you can spot bluffers!
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on 25 December 2013
This book is about bluffing--or deluding people--your way into business. As a previous reviewer described, the book is a cliffs-note for how to do everything, from creating a business proposal to promoting your business. I thought the author had some valid points, however if you are serious about owning your own business, use this book only as a starting point and spend some time on more extensive literature to understand the fundamentals of business. ( )
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on 4 December 2013
A gift from the publisher with a request for a review. I found this a witty book that gives you the basic wherewithall to convince people there is nothing you do not know about how to run a successful business. Once you've read and digested the tips, the jargon and the bluffs, you have the rudiments to demonstrate this knowledge.
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on 22 July 2015
Excellent! This book gave me a very clear overview of what it takes to manage a business with a witty edge which made it such an enjoyable read. I would recommend this to anyone starting or managing their own business.
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