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Well, That's Fantastic...
on 27 March 2014
I wrote and published my own book on starting and running a martial art school, "Small Dojo, Big Profits", back in 2004 and it has been on file with the U.S. Library of Congress since that time. And, since I first published it, my ideas on martial arts business have spread throughout the industry, both in the United States and abroad. And, while I've often seen my ideas and concepts copied by others without attribution to the original source, it's rare to find someone with the utter lack of originality and sheer chutzpah to borrow so liberally from my work that their own book practically follows the outline of "Small Dojo Big Profits" chapter by chapter. That's why I was absolutely delighted to have discovered Mr. Tehlhaber's book recently while browsing on Amazon.
Always curious about what others have to say on the business of martial arts, I clicked on the image of the book, making good use of the preview feature that Amazon provides. Lo and behold, as I reviewed the table of contents for his book I found some quite startling, and should I say almost scarily coincidental, parallels between the chapter headings and subheadings from my book and Mr. Tehlhaber's...
Curious enough to further investigate this seemingly anomalous display of quantum physics and extra-sensory perception, I purchased the book. And what did I find when I opened it and perused the contents? AMAZING! SHOCKING! GLORIOUS! It would seem that Mr. Tehlhaber has written the EXACT SAME BOOK I wrote all those many years ago (albeit with less actual content and advice, but more fluff) by covering many (well, most) of the exact same topics and concepts I covered in my own book, but written in his own words and in much less detail.
Now, in spite of the eerily coincidental similarities between this book, published in December 2012, and my book, published way back in 2003, the most curious thing about Mr. Tehlhaber's book (at least in my estimation) is not that he managed to restate my book in its entirety without directly plagiarizing it (a talent, to be sure) but that in the introduction to his book he clearly decries the books that are "predominantly focused on the U.S. market." And yet, he chose to rewrite an American martial arts business book in a mind-boggling display of originality and wit. What an astonishingly original twist on an established premise, Mr Fehlhaber... I applaud your audacity!
The fact of the matter is, you can't restate someone else's ideas enough, especially when those ideas have stood the test of time and been accepted by thousands of satisfied readers plus proven by hundreds of people who have implemented them successfully in starting their own martial art schools. I so enjoyed reading my own work in the revised and rearranged form that Mr. Tehlhaber has republished it in, I couldn't help but take this opportunity to laud his book here on Amazon (and thanks to Amazon for allowing me the opportunity to express my opinion publicly). Of course, this journalistic review only reflects my personal opinion, and I invite the reader to compare this book with my own in order to draw their own conclusions.
I'm sure upon comparison of both works, you'll react as I did and state out loud, "Well, that's fantastic!" In fact, I'm still exclaiming "W.T.F." every time I think about it. But, that's the gift that Amazon self-publishing has given us, that along with all the well-written and original new works that are brought to us daily by self-published authors, anyone with a keyboard and basic typing skills can publish their own derivative works for all the world to purchase. Thanks Jeff Bezos, and thank you Mr. Tehlhaber for sharing your brilliant book with us all.