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Initial post: Aug 17, 2007 8:08:12 AM PDT
Brett Jiu says:
The author, in his first post, claims "There has never been a self publishing manual like this." But we know at least one other book, one by Brent Sampson, also discusses selling books on So how does this book compare with Sampson's?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2007 12:28:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 25, 2008 4:36:15 PM PDT
Brett, to answer your question, I can do no better than to quote Brandon Simpson, who has read and tested both books in practice:

"Many people on Amazon praise Brent Sampson's "Sell Your Book On Amazon" and Aaron Shepard's "Aiming At Amazon." Some people argue that Sampson's book is better than "Aiming At Amazon," but it's not. I can't say anything too hasty here, so you can read my review of it in my blog at

"One thing I can tell you is that the book filled me up with false hope. It promises so much, but delivers little. While I was employing all of Sampson's advice, I was definitely in a foolish dream. I'm awake now, and can see that "Aiming At Amazon" is by far the better marketing book."


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2008 9:20:15 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 24, 2008 9:34:04 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 1:07:30 PM PDT
Why is your book better?

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 12:46:48 AM PDT
Joanne, if you mean why is my advice better, one reason is that it's based on over a decade of publishing on Amazon, with multiple successes -- a track record that Brent cannot match. So, instead of telling you things based on wishful thinking, I tell you what actually works and what does not. It's worth noting that I make my living off publishing, while Brent makes his off selling publishing services. That, of course, is not a criticism of Brent, but it might indicate to you that this is not really his area of greatest expertise.

Posted on Nov 13, 2009 1:19:11 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 23, 2012 4:01:18 PM PDT]

Posted on Nov 13, 2009 2:25:10 PM PST
Hi Gang. I'm not quite sure why you think I said customer reviews are not important, but in fact, I think they're vital. Over 5% of my book, in three different sections, is about obtaining and dealing with customer reviews and testimonials. But that includes warnings about ways that are _not_ good to get them, including ways recommended by Brent -- so maybe that's what gave you the wrong idea.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 5:51:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2009 11:54:17 PM PST
Thanks for the clarification.

As I have mentioned, both your book and Brent's book are very helpful. I suggest people buy them both, why?

Because they are extremely well-written, VERY cheap, and are well worthy of the money.
For example, your detailed discussion on the subtitle alone (the maximum number of characters allowed by Amazon, how to choose the words to increase the search-ability of a book, etc.) can substantially increase the book sales and can help an author to make back the $12.00 cost of the book in no time.

I did not mention all the good features about you book simply because many others have already mentioned them, and I want to present a balanced view for the readers.

Gang Chen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Author of "LEED GA Exam Guide," "Architectural Practice Simplified," "Planting Design Illustrated," and other books on various LEED exams, architecture, and landscape architecture

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 9:21:27 PM PST
My review of "Sell Your Book on Amazon" is no longer in that particular blog. I moved it here:

I recently wrote a new post about the effectiveness of "Aiming at Amazon" and "Sell Your Book on Amazon":

If my words don't convince anybody, hopefully my graphs will. You can really see the difference in profit between Outskirts and Lightning Source.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2009 11:52:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2009 9:32:57 AM PST
Thank you for the information. I think if you can add one more element to you chart, it'll be better: time, because time is money.

Comparing the money you make by using Outskirts Press (OP) and Using Lighting Source (LSI) is like comparing apple to orange: they are not in the same category. LSI is a wholesaler, while OP is a retailer.

Of course you'll get a better price from a wholesaler, this is true with everything: You'll get a much better price if you buy all you materials and do the cooking yourself, but you also spend more time.

It is a matter of personal choice for the writers.

If you are only writing a few books, you are probably better off using a retailer.

If you are writng a lot of book and you are computer savvy, you are probably better off using a wholesaler. It make sense for you to spend time to learn all the in and out about publishing, and do everything yourself, or hire a book cover designer and a book interior designer.

For example, my first book, "Planting Design Illustrated" is much better off published by OP because it has many photos and line drawings. If I become a publisher, and do the typesetting myself, it'll take me a lot of time. If I pay a book designer to do the interior typesetting, it'll cost a lot of money. So, I created the cover image myself by hand in 10 minutes, and then I used a template interior layout by OP, and I paid for a customer cover design for the cover layout. It turned out to be very good for me because I save time and spend very little money upfront: I did not know my book would sell well or would even sell at all at that time.

I read a few of your Amazon postings, you are a very talented writer. I think you deserve much more than $100 or $200 per month for royalties. A few minor changes that may instantly increase your book sales:

1. Take a professional photo and put it at Amazon (This is Brent's advice in his book, you did not follow it several months ago, but you still have NOT updated your photo. Brent's advice is: either use a photo by a professional photographer or use not photo at all). You are a good-looking young man, but your current Amazon photo is NOT good enough.

2. Get better covers for your books, they are NOT attractive enough. People do judge a book by its cover. Your book sales may double because of a better cover.

3. Raise you book's price if possible. I think their prices may be too low. You need to do a market research for your books. If your books are really good, you should NOT price them lower than you competitors, otherwise people may think there is something wrong with your books.

Gang Chen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Author of "LEED GA Exam Guide," "Architectural Practice Simplified," "Planting Design Illustrated," and other books on various LEED exams, architecture, and landscape architecture

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2010 6:51:28 AM PST
It is telling that Brent Sampson has not bothered to join any of the serious publishing mailing lists
like pub-forum, Self publishing, Publish-L, smallpub-civil, POD publishers, or Print-on demand. Without a presence on at least one or two Sampson has no reputation among self and small publishers.

There are indeed other authors on my publishing shelf, about 30 all told, including Weber, Poynter, Ross, Reiss, Kremer, Sansevieri, Horowitz, Hemmerly and so on. If you search for shortlist you can download a free annotated bibliography of these books.

John Culleton

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2010 7:15:32 AM PST
Apparently Sampson is connected with Outskirts Press, one of the smaller of the subsidy publishers. My studies of the subsidy publishing world show that among the better known ones books from Booklocker beat the others two to one on Amazon rankings. But I don't recommend the subsidies as a class. Their books are overpriced and their reputation among influential reviewers totally negative. A book from a vendor is self serving. And Outskirts is famous for pushing letters from satisfied customers. I find that marketing ploy annoying.

Shepard's book is aimed at a different audience, the more serious self publishers who have avoided the subsidy trap.

John Culleton
former editor, Rowse Reviews

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 8:13:51 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 28, 2012 9:52:20 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 6:00:09 AM PDT
This post is just a plug for a book and off-topic.
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Participants:  8
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Aug 17, 2007
Latest post:  Oct 15, 2012

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Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing, or How to Publish Your Books with Print on Demand and Online Book Marketing on
Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing, or How to Publish Your Books with Print on Demand and Online Book Marketing on by Aaron Shepard (Paperback - January 1, 2007)
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