John Locke has Heart, Guts, and Smarts: My review of How I Sold 1 Million eBooks…

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I don’t know John Locke, but I’d like to. I’ve read the same derogatory reviews you have, all of them about how he tackled acquiring reviews for his books on Amazon. Personally, in deciding to read How I Sold 1 Million Ebooks in 5 Months, I put all of that aside for a few reasons. First, I’m an author. All other things equal, if I could have fifty perfect reviews for my novel overnight, it would accomplish nothing. No one would know about it. Reviews, by themselves, are not a marketing plan and anyone who trashes How I Sold 1 Million eBooks because it “leaves something out” isn’t thinking clearly. Second, before reading John’s how-to, I learned he was a highly successful businessman in the same industry that I’ve spent the last fourteen years. My suspicion was that he applied a businessman’s mind to a problem, and found a solution. Last, I read somewhere that he didn’t actually demand good reviews. He merely tried to direct his books to readers with a propensity for liking his work, which is what any marketer, anywhere, does every time. Lastly, his famous line about the other guys needing to prove their books were worth ten times as much as his, priced at 99 cents, also made sense in terms of me buying this book. What’d it cost? 3.99 or so? Not enough to remember. So in value, I got a lot more out of it than I paid, which incidentally, is part of John’s premise.

John comes across as a genuine good guy who applied principles of success he learned in other business ventures to his career as an author. I found it refreshing to read because John gets it. Meaning, he knows his client and seeks to make his client happy. He knows his readers and his enterprise is entirely focused on those readers–identifying them, reaching them, developing relationships with them, encouraging their participation, etc.

What he doesn’t do, which I also greatly appreciate, is come across as pretentious. He’s blunt about his success but hey, that’s way better than false modesty. Nor does John equate sales success with writing the great American novel. So many aspiring writers lament that their work is great, but no one will read it. The game is rigged, etc. Writing is inherently a marketing business as much as it is an art. If the author doesn’t have other people to do the marketing, it falls on his/her shoulders. And in some cases, such as John’s, it’s more advantageous to assume the entire burden–and profit.

John’s insurance business background comes through in this way: insurance sales is about not just finding the right market and gaining access to it. It’s also vital to build real relationships with people. That’s the only way to earn trust, and there is no lasting approximation of it. The insurance business is rife with how-to books about sales presentations and magic techniques and systems, but I suspect John built his insurance business one relationship at a time, just like he built his readership for his books.

I recommend this read to both aspiring authors and anyone who is interested in marketing through social media. John’s insights about online relationships should be worthwhile to just about everyone in business, these days. A final note: I finished this book feeling like I’ve known John ten years. He’s got heart and values, so forget about the detractors that pop up all over the place. If you don’t know anything about building relationships through social media, give How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months a try.


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