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127 of 140 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2013
I avoided reading this book because I had read some of Holiday's articles online about how HARO was flawed. I'm a digital native and a blogger so I was aware of these flaws, and didn't need these pointed out to me.

I have never been so glad to be mistaken. This book is primarily about how businesses can manipulate the blogosphere in order to get 'credible' publications to cover them. I consider myself to be an ethical blogger and I found myself nodding constantly when he brought up examples. Heck, I've been caught up in PR firestorms online so have first-hand experience about a lot of what Ryan said.

The book structure is flawed, as others have said. At times, it feels repetitive. It was brilliantly written though, which I know is a contradiction. There was a number of times I just wished he'd get to his well-written point.

I've read the other reviews and I suspect the anger is moreso because we've been manipulated, rather then a flaw in writing. It does make a lot of digital content creators - and those that consume online content - look like morons. And, it can be hard to shake the feeling you are being manipulated. I recommend shaking off those feelings. Everyone who works in marketing/PR needs to read this book so they know the rules of the new digital landscape. If you aren't aware of these techniques, they can be used against you.

Highly recommended. You don't have to use the techniques he talks about. You just need to know about them.
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165 of 192 people found the following review helpful
This book makes the other books I have read on social media and blogging virtually worthless. Holiday lays out more effective plans, proven by his track record, and pulls it off for less money. If you have any interest in business, social media, or blogging than it is a must read.

That said, I think it does ultimately fall short of its potential for a few specific reasons. The good outweighs the shortcomings, but there are people I won't recommend the book to because of them. First, the good.

The Good

* Ryan Holiday can write. He is a great writer, and this is a refreshing read.
* Gut-wrenching info on the structure of today's media. Literally made me sick to my stomach at points.
* Content is very strong, delivers high value for the money. If you are thinking about getting this, get it - you will get the best marketing advice you have read for a pittance.
* Well-researched, funny, and an entertaining read.

The Bad

* The structure of this book is a little muddled. It's really three books in one. First, it is a confession of what Holiday has done for his clients. Secondly, its a book on how you can do it yourself. And lastly, its a book that proves that you should not do it and should actively fight against how the media is structured.
* Because of the three-books-in-one, I have found that I have fewer people in my sphere to recommend it to. There are many people that I wish I could give the warnings about the media portion to, but the other parts of the book would be useless to them. For me, and probably for any entrepreneur, the whole book is valuable - for the general public, not so sure.

The Ugly

* The writing is very good, the content is excellent. But, Holiday inserts vulgarity at various points in the book that detract from its value. The internet and media portions of the book have enormous value, but some of the style choices take away from the value rather than add to it.

Holiday is young and will have many more books in his future. I have followed his reading list for close to a year, and anyone who reads as much as he does has much to offer. If you have any interest in the media, buy this book. It is eye-opening, scary at points, and disenchanting . . . you will also learn a lot. Recommended.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2013
"Question the incentives of every author" is what I took away from this book, along with a more complete understanding of why I see so much of the same garbage in the news.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2014
I've been in the communications/public relations world for a number of years. I've worked for the U.S. federal government, private companies and non-profits. This book was referenced by a student in my master's program and I decided to pick it up at the local bookstore and give it a read.

It is not often I don't finish a book I start, but unfortunately I found "Trust Me, I'm Lying" to be a complete waste of time. Maybe I come at it from an angle to educated on the subject to be entertained by Ryan Holiday's "ground breaking" discoveries and maybe I just expect better writing.

First, discoveries: Nothing Holiday writes is "new." There are good actors and bad actors in the world of PR. This is true of any industry. The bad "flacks" tarnish the image of the good "flacks" just as a bad doctor tarnishes the image of a good doctor. Holiday comes from the world of "bad flacks." That's fine. The truth eventually catches up with them. Bad individuals and bad firms earn reputations that follow them around. Do they find work? Sure. So do criminals though. That's not a testiment to their virtue. "Look we can shape opinions with cleverly crafted lies." The crafting isn't clever and shaping opinions with lies is nothing new.

Second, the writing: Bad. Just bad. Holiday's writing reminds me of a few papers I wrote in my early high school days, where I was searching for filler. You know the kind of paper.... restating the exact same idea 10 ways to get 10 paragraphs. Now extend this idea from the early high school filler paper to an entire book. It's exhausting and sad. But then, this is what happens when someone writes "above their paygrade."

I have no doubt Holiday has SOME experience in the world of communications. I do doubt that extent of that experience. I don't agree with the techniques he describes in his book, but that's a discussion for another day, and not related to an Amazon review. And finally, I just find his writing style to be of a poor quality.

Poor writing and poor substance equal a poor Amazon review. Don't waste your money on this, it's a poor intellectual investment.
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1,074 of 1,332 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2012
Make no mistake. This is not some reformed offender coming clean after some soul searching, as the author is attempting to project himself. And no, this book is not a free manifesto to download to help us clueless masses get enlightened about the ways of the media. No sir! This is a man with an overpriced product to sell, a man out to remove money from your pocket using the exact same tricks he deployed in his book for his clients.

In the book he talks about Jeff Ritze (one of his many fake profiles) who went about planting deceptive stories (using fake email addresses) in the media to help his clients manipulate public perception, sell more and make a fortune.

The author continues to use that self-same deception to now sell THIS book.

In the book's description he says, "Why am I giving away these secrets?...I'm pulling back the curtain because I don't want anyone else to get blindsided". But alas, he goes about promoting this book using the exact same fraud that he describes delivering for his clients.

Here are some of them...

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1) Fake profiles
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'C.L.Mershon' was the FIRST person to give this book a 5-star review. CL Mershon then hangs out in the comments section, answering questions from readers, bending over backwards to resolve their queries, as if he were the CUSTOMER SUPPORT person for the book! And if that was not enough of a giveaway, he then religiously UPDATES his review to bring you Ryan Holiday's "LATEST" exploits in the media. :)

----------------
2) Assistants that neutralize enemies on the net
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One of the reasons I updated this review is to inform readers about the speed with which people swarmed in and marked my review UNHELPFUL. Within minutes of my posting, 3 people had marked it UNHELPFUL! By the following day, a whole bunch more had marked it unhelpful. The speed with which this happened indicates that the author's assistants (that he has admitted to using in the book) are hard at work here too.

Here's more proof that the author uses virtual assistants. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles has 244 five star reviews but do u know how many people have clicked its LIKE button on Amazon? Just 43. Compare that with this book under review Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. It has just 28 five star reviews and do you know how many LIKES? 63!

Steven Pressfield, the author or War of Art is a world famous author with a massive fan following, while Ryan Holiday the author of this book is a total newbie.

Yet, the former has just 43 likes despite 244 five-star reviews while the latter has 63 LIKES with just 23 five-star reviews.

This can only happen when an army of cheap, elance powered VAs (virtual assistants) from Bangalore (India) are swarming the net clicking UP for the author, and clicking DOWN for all opposition.

See, it's easy to get a VA to hit a LIKE button or mark a review as UNHELPFUL. All it takes is a click. But getting VAs to write 5-star reviews is not so easy. That takes brains, not so cheap to buy.

But there is a way to cleanse the world of media manipulating viruses like Ryan Holiday. And that's by staying away from ANY BRAND he is associated with, because you can be sure the brand employs deception and fraud to manipulate your perception.

Spread the word : Avoid anything or anyone associated with Ryan Holiday. Let's make the world a better place.
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53 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2013
Ryan should be commended for sharing his experiences, making the most of the system, making it work for him, and teaching you how to do the same.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2013
If you are a marketer then this is an absolute must read book. One of the best marketing books I have ever read
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2013
If you want to learn how blog/media industry works, read this book. There are few books where people will learn something new. This book has it.

Love the part where he wrote why refreshing the webpage was a technique to increase page views. Has so many "aha" moments, I am already reading his next book :)

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PS: Buy, download or steal. Get it and read it.
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47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2013
It's rare for me to find a book that I can't put down but this is just one of them.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
An absolute must read for anyone in the media/marketing world.
For the more naive/ idealistic amongst you ... hold on to your socks!!
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