13 March 2012

Authors - read this so you don't fall victim to brainwashing techniques!

publishing.pngIn the last two years, I've discovered a lot of brainwashing techniques in the realms of independent and self-publishing. A lot. And it's something that you have to guard against all on your own.

You've probably already fell victim to one.

Here's a hint: It's the title.

Yeah, I know. Kinda crappy of me. There really isn't a substitute for experiencing this stuff, though. Everyone thinks they can keep from being swayed by a fad or scam... until it's too late. There's a great guide on Lifehacker that's worth reading, but I want to show one particular example.

Big disclaimer - I am not asserting intent here. I am stating what was written, and what it looks like to me. That's why I'm not using real blog names. YMMV. Also: I disagree with Amazon's monopolistic tactics.

So indie-publishing blog A recently posted this quote from blog B:

Some of you may not agree with Amazon’s monopolistic tactics, and that’s okay. Some of you, however, have jumped in with both feet. As an independent author, I’m in favor of KDP Select. My first promotion brought me into Amazon’s Top 100 (#55 Paid) and completely transformed the sales of all my books.

There's a problem that the quote from blog B was actually a guest post, and the better-known host of blog B actually said (in the intro to the guest post):

I came down against the [KDP] program overall based on my experience.

This is kind of like Bill O'Reilly introducing Jon Stewart, then quoting Stewart's words as if he were Bill O'Reilly. Of course, it seems to just be sloppy citations, but it's worth noting. I mean, if you miss something that obvious, how closely are you reading the rest of what you recommend? 

But that's sidetracking, because the quote itself bothers me. It reminds me entirely too much of a high-pressure sales technique I encountered when I "interviewed" at a multi-level marketing firm.

"This opportunity isn't for everyone. I am not trying to convince you. Some people just can't get it. Not everyone is able to see the chances in front of them, or is wise enough to [take advantage of opportunity]."

See the similarity?

Some of you may not agree with Amazon’s monopolistic tactics, and that’s okay. Some of you, however, have jumped in with both feet. As an independent author, I’m in favor of KDP Select. My first promotion brought me into Amazon’s Top 100 (#55 Paid) and completely transformed the sales of all my books.

I don't know that this particular post falls into the "brainwashing" category (there's some numbers offered at the back end), but it's not the only one. There's an awful lot of folks trying to convince authors that they, and only they, have the answers. And all you have to do is buy their book...

Keep your critical thinking hat on, folks, and while you keep your mind open enough to try new stuff, don't let your brains fall out either.
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