- File Size: 1100 KB
- Print Length: 219 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Thunder Peak Publishing (February 17, 2016)
- Publication Date: February 17, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01BWDZRME
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,518 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Zen of eBook Marketing: An Overview of the Marketing Tools That Can Help Make your Book a Success Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
In the first 15% of the eBook, Guido manages to mention his own services multiple times, making it feel very self-serving. While of course anyone writing about a service they provide will mention themselves, I don't expect it so often in such a short span.
More concerning, however, is the outright misinformation and misdirection Guido provides. His section on having beta readers reviewing suggests having them buy copies and then compensating them for the copies to get the "verified tag" (while noting it gives a nice "seal of authenticity" for what is certainly not an unbiased review) or to gift them and do without, yet no where does he make any mention of the FTC requirements that any of those people posting reviews MUST indicate they received a free copy in exchange for the review. I also suspect Amazon would heavily frown on the idea of using the buy/compensate method to get a verified tag, particularly from reviews from beta readers which is almost like asking friends and family to review your book!
The section on paid reviews does not clearly delineate between actual professional review services (of which Kirkus is just one option, not the only one) and review scams where you pay for good reviews only. He also neglects to mention services like NetGalley or several lower priced options which are perfectly acceptable ways of finding reviewers.
The section on Kindle Select wrongly refers to Amazon Unlimited instead of Kindle Unlimited (the actual name - it's all over the website so how can you get that wrong?) and wrongly implies that an author can use both free days and countdown deals without noting that you can only do one or the other during any 90 day period.
When discussing preorders, he states "the release date is not fixed and you can edit at any time" without noting that you are locked out of any editing 3 days before the indicated release and, more importantly, per Amazon guidelines, if you delay the release, you can only delay as much as 30 days and you will still lose your preorder privileges for a year. This is very clearly noted on the KDP website's section discussing preorders! I don't even understand how such a basic oversight could make it into this book when Guido has been around this business for many years!
Oddly enough, the final straw that made me give up on reading this was the section on websites. No, Guido, everything is NOT a blog and no the term website is NOT antiquated. A blog is just one type of website or part of a larger website, it is not the only kind and there are still many websites which are not blogs (including Amazon itself and almost any other eCommerce site, business websites, school sites, social networking sites, etc). Even after making such an erroneous statement, his own section primarily uses website, because that is in fact the correct term, nor is there any requirement for all authors to blog.
I don't mind authors of non-fiction books saying things I simply disagree with. Even in David Gaughran's excellent books, some parts I didn't agree with, but those were subjective areas. And in this book, while there were kernels of good, there was also plenty noted that I wouldn't recommend any new author (or even experienced one) follow, particularly one bit where he noted the tactic discussed had never actually worked for him! But again, those are subjective, so I didn't include them in my review here.
However, for a book from such a well no name to include outright factual errors and give suggestions that could cost people their KDP accounts and earnings, is just, well, disappointing. The fact that Guido apparently disregarded his own advice and didn't have this book edited is almost a negligible issue at this point, though it would have helped the several glaring typos and multiple areas of confusing/stilted/odd phrasing.
As someone who strives to aid new writers get off on the right foot, regardless of which way they go, I won't be recommending this book to any fellow writers, nor will I continue recommending Guido's website to others as I find it difficult to continue to consider him an authoritative source after reading this book.
True to form, Henkel broke down the components of marketing your work and yourself as an Indie Author into detail I haven't seen from any others out there writing on the same topic. This book covers just about everything I could think of and brought up ideas, solutions, and things to try that I'd never imagined myself. It's a fantastic companion to Zen of Ebook Formatting, and I can't wait to put some of these suggestions into practice!
This book isn't so much a guide to marketing as a rant by the author. That wouldn't be so bad but some of the sections have misinformation that could be damaging for writers not familiar with the market, eg. the section on preorders. I'd not definitely not rely on the information the author gives but refer to the actual Amazon guidelines.
Usually, I get a few good tips from marketing books even if most of the info is a rehash of the usual but this one, nothing at all.
I might also add that I recently used Guido Henkel's formatting services for my most recent book and I couldn't be happier with his one-on-one service and personal advice along the way. This particular manuscript had some truly unique formatting requirements so I approached this task with some trepidation. Without Guido's help and expertise in the mobi and epub formatting techniques I am sure the book would have come out looking like a complete mess. Guido couldn't have been more attentive and helpful every step of the way. Highly recommended in all regards.
I picked up Zen of eBook Marketing to see if he had any additional tips I could glean. I'm glad I did.
This book covers a lot of ground, with tips for folks who just published their first eBook on up to folks with many titles in the Kindle store. His discussion of things like metadata give enough to understand just how important the topic is and how to use Amazon's version of it without doing a mind-numbing deep dive into stuff like ONYX v3.
Overall, this is a must-read for folks just starting on the road to self-publishing, but it has some nifty tips and quick wit that will give seasoned pros a reason to peruse the pages. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read a multitude of marketing books, even those specific for...Read more