Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Book That Went Back to Amazon

By Lynne Klippel

I love books, even when they are not perfect. However, I had to break down and return a book to Amazon this week.

Let this article be a cautionary tale of what NOT to do with your book.

The book I purchased for $19.95 received glowing reviews on Amazon. The topic was excellent and the title catchy. It promised the solution to a thorny business problem I had so I ordered it with great anticipation.

When the book arrived, I was a little worried. The cover didn't look very impressive and the book was tiny-just 101 pages.

Yet, I was eager to read it because I wanted the information it promised.

I cracked open the first page and found five pages of glowing testimonials, which made me feel better about my purchase.

The book layout was well done and easy to read, another positive impression. There was a glowing foreword by someone with an impressive title.

Then, I started to read the book and was under-whelmed by the content.

The material was confusing. There were terms used that were unfamiliar but they were not defined so I felt stupid. No reader likes that!

I kept turning the page, waiting to get to the good stuff, only to find I'd reached the end of the book. I never learned the answer to my problem and felt ripped off by the end of the book.

The basic problem with this book was that it did not keep its promise. There was not enough information presented to make it a worthwhile purchase. I felt like I'd been invited to a banquet and only given a lettuce leaf.

The publisher tried to disguise the lack of information with numerous graphics, testimonials at the end of every chapter, and many extra pages at the back with 'additional resources'.

I wasn't fooled.

What's the moral of this story?

There are several extremely useful ones:

  • Give your readers your best information.

  • Ensure that you fulfill the promises you've made on your back cover and in your advertising materials.

  • Avoid teasing readers with a partial answer to their problem and an offer for a coaching group to get the rest of the story.

  • Create enough material so that readers feel like they got a great return on their buying investment. If you don't have enough material yet, write some more and wait to publish.

Your book is creates your reputation in the world. When you work hard to write the best book you possibly can, your efforts will be well worth it.

Want to create a successful book? Discover 8 book marketing blunders that you can avoid. Grab your free ecourse at Lynne Klippel is a publisher, author and book shepherd who specializes in helping authors write business building books.

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