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Sunday, July 3, 2011

YOU MIGHT NOT SELL A MILLION e-BOOKS, BUT . . .

YOU MIGHT NOT SELL A MILLION e-BOOKS, BUT . . .

John Locke became the eighth author and the first self-published author, to sell 1,000,000 e-books via Amazon. Unlike the other seven Kindle Millionaires, Locke did it with all his titles priced at $.99.

So, what does the guy go and do next? He publishes a how-to book, of course, detailing his system for e-book sales success and prices it at $.99 – no, wait, that’s wrong, How I Sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months is priced at $4.95!

What’s with this Locke guy? His 1,000,000 sales have got to be a fluke. After all, his books are nothing special – those sales have got to be a fluke, a chance in a million, the guy is a lottery winner nothing more. And now, he’s adding insult to injury by rubbing the noses other self-publishing authors, and established authors who are joining the e-revolution in droves, in the stink of his so called success – and charging them $4.95 for the privilege.

No way does he have a workable system to increase sales for other authors – and if he did, why would he share it? How I Sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months has got to be a rip-off.

Adhering to the established code of a sucker being born every minute, I pushed the Amazon One Click button, and downloaded How I Sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months to my Kindle. I knew I’d been ripped-off the second I pushed the button. Hey, I’ve been ripped-off before by better scam artist than this John Locke guy, but I opened the book up anyway, resigned to my fate.

I read the first chapter of How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months, and then the second chapter, and found out a couple of important things. First, John Locke doesn’t come off as a scam artist – he’s a salesman and a damn good one. Secondly, he really came across on the page as sincere.

Not much of a surprise there. The best con men in the world can sell you Greek Treasury Bonds while making you feel like they’re your best friend. Despite how I was feeling, I knew Locke was still ripping me off. I’d paid $4.95 for How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months, and I still hadn’t sold one extra e-book file.

I read on, convinced Locke had nothing to teach me. After all, I’d been writing novels for twenty years. I’d certainly understood the frustrations Locke was talking about in the early pages of How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months, but I knew there was nothing to be done about them. I’d even converted my backlist of ten novels into electronic files, found a fabulous cover artist, and joined the e-book revolution. This upstart Locke guy had only been around for five minutes – okay, five months, but you know what I mean. He couldn’t possibly have learned techniques for moving books I didn’t know about.

But wait, Locke wasn’t lying about selling 1,000,000 e-books in five months. It wasn’t just a jumped up claim that couldn’t be verified. It was Amazon who kept those records, and it was Amazon who placed the mantle of Kindle Millionaire on Locke’s shoulders. 1,000,000 e-books in five months . . . maybe, I needed to read a couple more chapters.

As Locke reviewed all of the traditional things he’d tried as an author to increase the sales of his books and failed, I felt his pain – been there, done that, fell flat. Hold on, was I identifying with this guy? Man, he is good! What a scammer!

Then Locke began to share some of the techniques he’d discovered that did work – the techniques that jumped his books from miniscule e-sales to 1,000,000 e-books in five months. And finally, finally, I had the guy!

This stuff might have worked for him, but he’s a natural born salesman – I’m not. I didn’t want to even think about trying some of the things Locke was talking about. I don’t have that gregarious type of personality, plus I didn’t have the time or the energy to learn new tricks.

I stopped reading, exited the electronic version of How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months, and put my Kindle to sleep. Maybe I hadn’t been ripped-off, but the stuff Locke was explaining, I didn’t want to do. It obviously worked for him because he is one of those friendly, outgoing, personalities I try to stay away from at parties, but it wouldn’t work for me.

Later in the day, I picked up my Kindle again intending to do little light reading. However, I clicked on How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months. I reread some of the stuff I’d read earlier in the day. I read some more about the techniques Locke developed for shooting his sales into the stratosphere.

I didn’t sleep a whole lot that night. My brain was spinning, turning over a number of techniques Locke had explained. No, I couldn’t do those things the same way he did, but I could redesign some of them to fit my personality, my books, and my target audience. I might not have the same success as Locke, but I could see how adjusting his techniques to my style could make a big difference – certainly, I’d have some impact on my sales.

And so the plot thickened. I realized Locke was sincere in his efforts to explain how he’d achieved his sales success. The $4.95 price even made sense when Locke explained it.

Locke was a very successful business man before turning his attention to the business of being an author. His approach is businesslike, which can perhaps rub authors the wrong way who think writing books should be on a level above business concerns. However, if you recognize and approach writing as a business in order to pull in profits (how gauche is that?), then Locke does have a system to propel your sales.

Was buying How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months going to translate into the same sales for me – most likely not, but I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be pleased with the results of applying what I have learned from Locke.

The title of Locke’s book is How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months not How You can sell 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months. The techniques Locke shares are only going to work for you if you can understand how to adjust them to suit your style and personality. But this can be done without a lot of heavy lifting.

How I sold 1 Million e-Books In 5 Months is surprisingly not the rip-off I was expecting. John Locke is not a con-artist out to take advantage of other self-published authors. Locke is a sincere guy who has found a way to use his innate understanding of business and the e-book revolution to sell a ton of books – and he’s willing to share this experience with you in plain terms.

What you do with the knowledge is up to you – sit back and say it’s not for you, or find away to make it work for you. Either way, you’ll have gotten you $4.95’s worth and more.

2 comments:

  1. And to think, I've only heard of this guy because he puts nice legs on his covers.

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