When Not to Buy an E-Book

iBook_plastic_letters_floatI’m going to piss a lot of people off with this one. For the record, I have helped edit e-books, I’ve written them anonymously for clients, and I’ve even purchased a few.

In most cases, my own personal purchases were met with disappointment.

Mostly in myself, mind you, for being a sucker. The writing on most e-books is more or less the same–full of breathless enthusiasm and encouragement which is never a bad thing for a new writer to read. But as far as specific, actionable advice beyond the “Write good content and sell your book everywhere you can” type advice? Um….well, at the risk of being totally shameless, I’ll just say my friend and fellow FZ writer Yo Prinzel does a MUCH better job than the writers I personally have bought and paid for to read–head and shoulders above, in fact.

But I find the e-books you should consistently avoid have some of the same flaws–and the biggest one is usually right there in the title, telling you loud and clear not to buy the book.

Ask yourself what’s wrong with this title: “Make A Fortune Writing Copy For People Who Can’t Write Copy For Themselves”.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? If you can indeed make a fortune doing what the author says you should do, why on EARTH would the presumably now-rich writer be bothering to write an e-book? Don’t they have BETTER things to do, like polishing the brass on their 60-foot yacht?

No, the author has NOT made a fortune–at least not the kind of fortune you and I think about where you can buy a 60-foot yacht. If they had, they wouldn’t tell US about it, no way–they’d be too busy setting up their best friends and family members to make a fortune too. Maybe one day when they’re bored and have nothing to do they would write an e-book, but then the e-book would be all about what they did with all those vast piles of money.

If you don’t agree with this sentiment, then do yourself one last favor before you purchase that e-book. Do a Google search on the author and see just how stinking rich they really are. If they are indeed fabulously wealthy, by the e-book now, but ask yourself. Why didn’t they just have it printed in hardback or paperback like everybody else? Why an e-book?

Don’t get me wrong, e-books have PLENTY of potential AND value. But don’t let anybody fool you into thinking you’re going to “make a fortune” doing ANYTHING they tell you to do in an e-book. Make a decent living? Hell yeah. A fortune? Nahhhhh.

5 thoughts on “When Not to Buy an E-Book”

  1. As a sucker who has been burned a couple of times, I completely agree with you. But I wouldn’t stop the advice there. I recently purchased an atrocious self-published hard back book by someone who claimed to be the social media guru of his industry. I would have saved myself $14.95 if I’d bothered to Google him instead of taking his outrageous claims at face value. I’m still kicking myself.

    Sure, they may get it printed up, but that still doesn’t mean its worth the paper.

  2. Oooh, Jenn, now you’ve piqued my curiosity. Who is this self-proclaimed SM “guru?” (Tell me privately if you don’t want to share — I’m curious to know if it’s who I’m thinking of.)

  3. Alas, the only people you’d possibly piss off are the ones who don’t really care. The prurient itch to “EARN A SIX-FIGURE INCOME IN YOUR UNDIES!!!!” will continue to beckon in the same way that all get-rich-quick schemes do: the triumph of hope over experience. Darwin will eventually have his way with you.

    The truth, which is that you can earn a fine living as long as you apply sound principles and sweat equity as you would to any business, isn’t quite as sexy. And yes, I realize I’m preaching to the choir here at FZ 🙂

    I’m reminded of Robert “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Kiyosaki, who made his fortune on books and ancillary products, which he then used to buy real estate…while the books and infomercials imply that he made his fortune in real estate. I don’t begrudge him his empire, but a lot of people lost their a**es using his equity-rolling scheme when the bubble burst. Talk about an expensive $14.95….

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