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Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: John Locke, an Imprint of Telemachus Press, LLC (June 17, 2011)
New York Times best-selling author John Locke is the international best-selling author of 25 books in 5 different genres. Every book he has written has become a national best-seller. Locke is one of only 14 authors in history to have sold one million eBooks on Kindle (others include James Patterson, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, George R.R. Martin, and David Baldacci). Locke has had 4 books in the top 10 at the same time, including #1 and #2. His Donovan Creed thriller series has sold millions of copies. Foreign rights have been acquired by 6 major publishers for Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, and Lithuanian translations.
There is a key piece of advice crucial to his success that he left out of this book: pay readers to leave fake reviews. In an interview with Locke in today's New York Times, he admitted that he paid for 300 reviewers to heap praise on his books, a sleazy promotional technique that seems to have worked for him. Locke admits to buying reviews because "Reviews are the smallest piece of being successful, but it's a lot easier to buy them than cultivating an audience." I have some advice for Locke on a more honest and ethical approach he might want to try: Actually write good books. That's how to build an audience. You do not gain readers, or recognition, by swindling readers into buying your books with fake praise. It's unethical and shows a startling lack of respect for your reader.
This book is fine if you're only interested in reading page after page about the author's own success. I was, however, looking for tips on how to be a successful indie publisher, and there are none here you probably couldn't figure out on your own.
Here's what you will find:lots of ads for John Locke's other books, ads that start even before the first page; lots and lots of bragging interspersed with cries of "I'm not bragging!" (the author doth protest too much); lots of talk about why e-publishing is better than traditional publishing; how he spent $25,000 making mistakes (which might be helpful to the few indie publishers who think paid advertising and the like is worth it); lots and lots of promises that he will tell you how he did it (which never goes beyond the obvious) spread over many pages; stuff like "What? I'm giving you a ten thousand dollar idea in a $4.99 eBook, $9.99 paperback? Yup. And I'm including a wealth of other valuable ideas, too" (sounds like an infomercial, doesn't it?); a question and answer session where he asks himself questions like "Where do you get your confidence? How did you know you were going to be successful as an author?" and "How does it feel to have a best selling book?"; a lot about the target audience he writes for and how he interacts with it; an entire chapter about all the things he says you're doing wrong (because who doesn't like an author who assumes his readers are doing everything wrong?); setting goals and how this relates to the time he spent as an insurance salesman (yup, he was an insurance salesman. You can write your own joke here); join Twitter!; develop a brand!; keep writing books!; create a website!; and lots of other things ending with exclamation points!Read more ›
To all my fellow John Locke and Donovan Creed fans.
I cannot believe we're talking about the same John Locke! Tell me this is a wind up! I was a fan until I discovered that John Locke or Donovan Creed had deliberately inserted the words Michael J Fox and Parkinson's Disease in a blog, in a carefully thought through strategy to wind readers in, and then insert a link to sell more books. He seems proud to share with his fans how he came up with this fantastic marketing technique.
Check it out for yourself, if it's still on his blog. It was there two days ago but have you noticed that anything that hints of criticism gets deleted overnight? Three people have asked for an explanation. Seems they're still waiting.
If that wasn't bad enough how about his new on-line poll? "Should I or should I not publish my book about the terrible things that happened to a young 15 year old girl who was imprisioned and tortured?"
That is sick. The poll also seems to be rigged. 'NO' votes are not being registered so the outcome will give him the OK to go into print. Guess what? Tell him you love him and feed his ego and your posting WILL be printed. Say something critical and you'll be deleted by the 'Moderator'. My fear is that when it's available, he'll post a sob story about a young Austrian girl who suffered for 25 years in a dungeon. His ploy of using Michael J Fox is, I fear about to be repeated but with the approval of his fans! He's been invited to promise he won't do that but as yet....no response. Watch this space because that's what it will soon be. John H
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I will admit right now, I didn't finish this book. I got too annoyed by having to sift through the details of his novels in order to find info on what he did. Sadly, this annoyance was great enough that I gave up, took the recommendation on another book (Smart Self-Publishing by Zoe Winters) and, that was that.
Wow. The tone of this book makes me hate the author. It's like reading a transcript of a Billy Mays Oxyclean commercial. Not only is the advice obvious, 'Promote yourself on Twitter! But be careful! It's addicting!' it's definitely not worth the $10,000 he claims it is. The main thing I learned from this book is don't spend any money on anything this author has to say.
From the "The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy", NY Times, August 26th, 2012:
One thing that made a difference is not mentioned in "How I Sold One Million E-Books." That October, Mr. Locke commissioned Mr. Rutherford to order reviews for him, becoming one of the fledgling service's best customers. "I will start with 50 for $1,000, and if it works and if you feel you have enough readers available, I would be glad to order many more," he wrote in an Oct. 13 e-mail to Mr. Rutherford. "I'm ready to roll."
In a phone interview from his office in Louisville, Ky., Mr. Locke confirmed the transaction. "I wouldn't hesitate to buy reviews from people that were honest," he said.
I bought this book, which goes on about the basics of internet and social media marketing. I applauded Mr Locke for his honest blog posts about his own likes and dislikes- instead of talking about writing and selling books, as many writers are wont to do with their blogs. But he left out how he gamed Amazon's algorithms by buying reviews from a paid review site, which no doubt shot his books up the rankings.
I bought this not expecting to make a million, but to learn tried and true methods for marketing without becoming a bullhorn of self-promotion. Instead, it looks like he took advantage of a system that Amazon has since patched. I should have known when his fiction was 99 cents and this was $5 that I was being played for a sucker.