Not long after I published the articles “The Twitter Experiment: Can I Increase My Following on Twitter and Sell More Books Than I’ve Imagined?” and it’s follow up “The Twitter Experiment: First Stages,” I discovered that John Locke, back in August 2012, was outed for paying for Amazon reviews–infuriating thousands of readers of his book How I Sold 1 Million Books in 5 Months!
After I found this out, I knew I had a problem: I had bought the book eons ago and had recently recommended it as part of a system I was cobbling together for my own marketing plan! Should I write a post to tell you not to buy the book because the guy’s a shyster, or should I still recommend it because the info is sound?
Some of you might question me…how do you know the information is sound? If he lied about the reviews, he might have lied about what was in the book.
Actually, the methods in his book are recommended by other people in other books and websites, and they have become standard in many marketing plans. So, I’m not worried about the methods.
However, because he lied, there is no way to tell if the methods are what catapulted him to the top or the reviews. In other words, what percentage of buyers came from the reviews, and what from his internet methods?
I cannot tell you, but I do know that marketing in the 21st Century is integrated–with the whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts. So, this marketing plan I’m putting together takes PARTS of Locke’s book and cobbles them together with other techniques from other books, in order to make my own method.
When I’m done, I’ll have the Denise Miller Holmes’ Marketing Method, not the John Locke Marketing Method.
So, I’m not recommending Locke’s book in it’s entirety, I’m recommending key pieces of it and I will be adding those pieces to the techniques I’m using from other books.
My short answer to this post’s title question is–it’s up to you if you buy his book or not! It depends on how you think about it:
- If you think the information is still good, the book is cheap, and there’s no reason to punish yourself just because he’s a scoundrel, then buy the book. I would definitely recommend, though, that you scale down the “one million books sold” to perhaps “10,000.” There is no way to know how many books were sold solely due to positive paid reviews, but I’m guessing that without them, he would have sold less than one million! However, his internet-marketing methods were still a solid part of getting attention to his book reviews in the first place.
- If you think that liars and cheats should not be rewarded with more books sold, then you should NOT buy the book. Other writers are discussing these techniques in internet marketing books, so don’t give him one more dime…the cheat!
As I’ve stated, I already had the book and had recommended it to y’all when I found out about his indiscretions, so I’m still gleaning his methods, even though I don’t think I’ll sell one million books using them. I will, however, sell many more books using some of his methods than if I weren’t using them. Right now, the source of the info is less important to me than the info itself.
But for those in the second camp–throw the bum out!–know that I will be teaching the key parts of John’s system that I am using, and we will learn and experience their use together. So…if you stay here and continue reading my posts, you won’t have to buy the book because I’ll explain it all to you.
Well, that’s all she wrote. If you want to vent in the comments about what a dirty, rotten, cheat John Locke is, then go ahead, but I will warn you–it’s been a while since he’s committed his naughty-ness, and whatever you say has already been said. Everybody wants to cattleprod him off the planet. 😀
Note that the service that John Locke was using–GettingGood BookReviews.com (run by Todd Rutherford)–is out of business. That’s a good thing, yes?
Here are some articles for further reading about John Locke and paid-for reviews:
“The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy” by David Streitfeld; “EXTRA ETHER: Buying Book Reviews – Still Admire John Locke?” by Porter Anderson; “Do I Still Recommend John Locke? No” by Holly Lisle.