Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Half-Baked Amazon.com Book Reviews

The following Amazon.com review of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books really misses the point. While the reviewer notices that my website is informative, he really missed on the reports and my book. As an author, having people review your book and totally mislead potential customers is really frustrating. The following review does that.

Below is my critique of the review. Perhaps I'm giving the review too much publicity by blogging about it, but it is so uninformed that I couldn't let it pass. I'm sure many of you have felt the same about reviews of your books.

Review: "John Kremer's web site is very informative, so I expected more from this book. (I also purchased a CD containing numerous short articles that was extremely disappointing)"

As noted, my website is very informative, but the articles are even more informative. If he was disappointed in my Book Marketing Reports on CD, he didn't read many of the reports. Because the reports are very detailed and cover many areas that I don't cover in the book -- and in more detail. Whoa, how did he miss this?

Review: "The problem with this book is that it tries to tell you so much that it doesn't tell you enough. Kremer seems to want to overwhelm you with ideas, many of which are marginal at best (e.g. skywriting as a marketing tool) and the result is a confusing mishmash of half-baked ideas. Much of the text is regurgitation of very basic marketing principles you can glean from any marketing text."

Skywriting is not a marginal idea. It certainly isn't for everyone, but it has been used effectively by more than one publisher -- as noted and described in the book.

There might be a few half-baked ideas but not many. The individual obviously hasn't spent much time in marketing if he feels that "many" of the ideas are half-baked. Almost every idea I feature in the book is backed by examples of authors and publishers who used the idea effectively. How, then, can the idea be half-baked? More like fully cooked, served, eaten, and enjoyed!

Yes, the book includes many basic marketing ideas. It has to in order to be complete. But it also includes many details that haven't ever been discussed in any other book on marketing books. The chapter on Internet marketing could easily sell as a manual for anyone marketing anything via the Internet. And sell effectively with many happy customers. The chapter on subsidiary rights covers that subject in more detail than entire books that have been written on the subject.

Review: "The book seemed poorly organized and fragmented."

Yikes, what book did he read?!? Not 1001 Ways. It is very well-organized. Intensely so. And thousands of readers and reviewers have praised it for its organization.

I can understand the fragmented critique. Because my book does itemize many things rather than try to integrate everything into a flow of prose. But each item is highly integrated into the topic.

Review: "Kremer apparently sold "ads" in his book disguised as short "informational" articles by people trying to sell various products and services to book publishers."

I didn't "apparently" sell ads. I very obviously sold ads. And make it very clear inside the book. These ads were sponsorships where I invited people I respected to write a useful article and include information about their services. No one could sponsor my book without writing a useful article with some great advice and tips.

Review: "I found these extremely annoying, especially when found in a book that is priced 50% higher than other (better) books on the same subject."

My book is not priced 50% higher than other books on the subject -- more like 40% higher ($27.95 versus $19.95). I hate inaccurate reviews. Plus the book is twice the size of any competitor. It is actually underpriced, as many reviewers and readers have told me.

Better? Not by a chance. Not by a sliver. Not by any measure of "better" when viewed by any objective standard.

I know all the books on marketing books, and none are better. Of course, I am biased, but it really stings my butt when I see such blatant inaccuracy when the rest of the review shows such poor judgment.

Now, I've probably created an unfriend by commenting on this review, especially when the person really liked my website, but I can't sit by when such a poorly informed review hits Amazon.com. At least I can blog about it.

And that I've just done.
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