We live in a hyped world. Anybody who screams "This or that is bad" has a better chance of getting heard than the ones who offer solutions.
We see the same effect in politics. Even though I am appalled by many or even most things President Trump says, he was completely right when he blamed Mitch McConnell for failing to come up with a decent health care bill.
Mitch McConnell became Senate Minority Leader in 2007 and Majority Leader in 2015. Under his "leadership" the Republicans screamed "Repeal and Replace Obama care" for 7 long years, maybe to pretend that they were working.
If they would have been working, they would have conferenced with insurance experts, ran numbers, and discussed them in town-hall meetings just like they finally did, during the last seven months.
According to Mitch McConnell there wasn't enough time. Dare I say, "Senator, if you would have used every minute you spent saying, "Obama care needs to be repealed and replaced" with working on the issue you might have made it."
Only screaming "This or that is bad" isn't leading to a solution; all it is, is "hyping the issues."
We see the same from indie author bloggers who make their case, that "everything is Amazon's fault" just like many Republicans suggest that "everything is Obama's fault."
But, are the bloggers working on solutions?
Full disclosure: I am also the author of half a dozen indie author "how-to"-books, however, I only write about topics I am a known expert in.
By my concept:
Good Blogs are written by industry experts who share some tidbits of their expertise, also to introduce their work (Somehow we have to find out whose goods and services we want to buy).
Bad Blogs are rehashed content presented in 50 shades of pink (hopeful and optimistic) or 50 shades of grey (as a stern warning).
It's the year 2017. As I write this blog, at 10:30 a.m. EST, more than two millions blogs have been published — today! Yesterday, it was the same and also the day before and the day before that. Therefore: Don't believe everything you read..
Ugly Blogs cause real damage. Though they may present novel content often they violate industry guidelines or suggest cheater methods that will be discovered.
(FUN exercise: Please click that link and write down the number of blogs you see.)
Meantime, the 89 millions blogs about "how to get book reviews" have increased to 375,000,000 blogs about this topic; in short, people reblog or rehash and rephrase the same content on their blogs. Most often, this type of activity only increases the amount of useless information.
That is why I offer only blogs with real solutions. If I have nothing to contribute I don't blog.
And, while thousands of people read my blogs, unlike the hyped blogs they are not been shared thousands of times.
Maybe, because some of the thousands of readers thought, "Ghee, this might work. I better keep this to myself." Though this concept thinking is understandable, please ponder the consequences.
Whenever a "good blog isn't winning" an inferior blog is winning
As an example:
1) Here is my Expert Blog
The 5 Most Common Mistakes When Seeking Book Reviews From Amazon Top Reviewers
Please note: Though this is still clever advice, in the meantime Amazon disconnected their top reviewers' email addresses (I'll get to this in a bit.) - In contrast
2) An Inferior blog [I am not naming names] might state:
"... Just tailor this template and send it to top reviewers..."
A) As a result, top reviewers received thousands of emails tailored after the mentioned or slightly different (silly) templates.
B) Equally, bad bloggers came up with the great idea to blog, “Here is what I do... To my email I attach a .mobi file of my book...”
Eventually, many top reviewers had enough and blocked their profiles.
C) Lastly, the really UGLY bloggers came up with the idea to subscribe reviewers to Mailchimp lists, without their permission, which is a clear violation of the CAN-SPAM Act 2003.
Which was probably the reason why Amazon disconnected the top reviewers' email addresses. Amazon does not want to be accused of enabling SPAM, by their reviewers or the FTC.
Did you notice that every time one of these hyped blogs got shared and multiplied honest and good indie authors lost opportunities even if they did not participate in any of this?
In contrast to previously mentioned useless suggestions, buyers of my book "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews" got to read, "Save only the email addresses of the top reviewers who read your specific genre on a spread sheet..." & "Don't treat them as part of Amazon' inventory..."... Maybe send them best Christmas wishes...
The authors who bought my book and followed this advice still have a way to reach the top reviewers. They just need to pull their spread sheets.
In the 3rd version of this book I present how to contact top reviewers under the new, changed conditions. Top-10 and Hall-of-Fame reviewer Bassocantor called this method "... true, useful, and ethical..."
Which is another reason why expert authors and bloggers have to produce excellent, "... true, useful, and ethical..." content. Their colleagues would just tear them apart and their reputation would evaporate quickly.
The bad and ugly don't worry about that.
They'll find a different reason to scream "It's all Amazon's fault"..." and yeah, "everything else is Obama's fault."
The truth is
Amazon gave indie authors an awesome marketing opportunity
They gave indie authors access to the email addresses of their top-10,000 out of 50 million reviewers (of which about 5,000 reviewed indie authors' books)
Bad and ugly blogging led to this opportunity being taken away.
Just like all authors who followed or didn't follow the incorrect advice became victims of the ugly bloggers, so did I. Though it's a fact that I wrote the bible of 'how to get book reviews' I had to pull the ebook edition of the 2nd version off the market because at this time only very few top reviewers can be reached. In short, I had to write the third edition of this book within three years.
To help authors overcome Amazon's new limitations, I examined other options, including Facebook.
The latest, 3rd, edition of my book reveals that Facebook is showing your author postings to only 2.5% of friends and fans, backed-up by data and facts.
I also found out that Facebook split their feed. Just like Amazon shows only verified reviews by default, Facebook too is showing only half of your postings by default.
Most interestingly, I could not find a single author blog that addressed this topic. I also contacted my Facebook savvy contacts on three continents and not one of them knew about this; apparently, Facebook didn't tell anybody.
Now, please click this link again and compare numbers:
That's how many blogs were published while you read this blog. It's your guess how many of these blogs are good, bad, and ugly blogs.
How to find great blogs
1) Remember the First Amendment
When reading a blog always remember that in the United States the First Amendment guarantees people the right to write, even about things they know nothing about or can’t prove to be true.
2) Check the blogger’s background!
Every blogger features a short resume at the beginning or the end of their blog. Always study it and also — verify it. Don’t hesitate to ask poignant questions.
The same goes for books. Some of the bad and ugly write books instead of blogs.
3) Don't follow the lead but think for yourself
The other day I noticed a "new Amazon review expert." This author had published only two books in less than two years. Can anybody with less than two years experience be an expert? — I read this author's book about getting reviews. It had dozens of glowing reviews. Only after I published my thoughts suddenly other reviewers too articulated doubts about the presented method. (It's extremely questionable.)
4) Check the date!
If a blog is older than six months, chances are at least some parts may be outdated. Things change quickly these days and not everybody is an ethical writer who un-publishes obsolete content.
5) Don't share bad or even ugly blogs!
In the long run you may pay the price even though you yourself may not have followed the suggested concept.
On Twitter, many authors share blogs they don't read. In reality, they share the title of the blog.
At a time when 4 to 6 million blogs get published d a i l y doing that can be quite dangerous.
Years ago, I read a super blogger's advice, "Don't spend more than two hours on writing your blog but think about the title for a whole day." While that may be smart advice, it may also have helped to kill marketing opportunities for indie authors.
I'd love to open up the conversation about this topic, so please share your thoughts in the comments.
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Gisela Hausmann is a 29-year publishing industry veteran who self-published her first book in 1988.
Her work as an Amazon ecommerce review expert has been featured on Bloomberg (tech podcast) and on NBC News (biz blog); her work as an email evangelist was featured in SUCCESS and in Entrepreneur.
Gisela's website: http://www.giselahausmann.com/
Gisela tweets @Naked_Determina
Title picture: Avatars by Toonstyle(dot)com via Shutterstock