I get press releases sometimes–presumably because I write a column for EContent, maybe because I’ve started writing a column for ONLINE again. Most of them I simply delete. Those that plead with me to call for an interview with Mr. X, I respond to, noting that “disContent”–my EContent column–is based on my being an outsider, a “citizen,” thus having inside contacts would weaken my role.
And then there are others. What appears below in indented paragraphs is a press release I received yesterday. Names will be neutralized, for reasons that may be obvious…
Author A Discovers Cure For Information Overload With Help Of Proven Authoring And Business Development System
B, author and infopreneur guru, demonstrates to fast write a money-making book in less than 12 hours and build a business focused on multiple streams of income.
That’s an italicized small-type sentence under the large-type title. We’re talking about writing and reading a supposedly professional press release, so editorial nitpicking may be in order. Let’s see: no “how” between “demonstrates” and “to.” “fast write a money-making book in less than 12 hours“–well, this isn’t editorial, but I cringe instantly at the thought of a book written in less than 12 hours.
Not too long ago, when someone wanted information, she would have to drive to the library, use the card catalog, and search the stacks of books and magazine to find it. Then the Information Age arrived. Computers and the internet have brought information home to the average person. There is now too much of a good thing because of this fact.
Yep. There were no sources of information other than libraries before the information age–no newspapers, no telephones, no friends to call for advice, no experts. Never mind. It gets better.
Many people believe we are still in the Information Age. What they do not realize is that people are drowning in too much information to the point where they are easily overwhelmed. Anyone who wants to test this can look up almost any search term on Google to experience the feeling of information overload.
Isn’t that what happens with you every day? You look up something on Google and say, “Oh no! I’m overwhelmed! I can’t cope!” And, of course, being smart, you never use Google again. Information overload claims another victim!
Technoradi Inc. estimates that over 75 thousand new blogs are created each day. A recent University of Iowa study calculated the size of the worldwide web at more than 11.5 billion pages. Having too much information to sort through is counter productive.
I wonder how many blogs Technorati thinks are being built? I’ve never heard of this other outfit. And, of course, thinking the number of entities in a universe has anything to do with what you need to sort with is not so much counterproductive (one word) as it is, well, stupid. There are more than one hundred million books; somehow, that doesn’t prevent me from finding the ones I want in Worldcat.org or my local library.
What people are really looking for is not the information, but what results the information will give them. Someone who buys a drill is really buying the holes that the drill will make. One who buys a mattress is in search of a good nightâ€™s sleep. Information is a means to an end.
This paragraph’s OK.
Now people are looking for more than information. With too much of a good thing ready at hand, what they want is a trusted guide to go beyond facts and figures to provide a recommendation. They want advice, easy answers, and a shortcut to the answers they seek.
So when there was less information, people were satisfied to get the information? When (he asks) has there been a time that people were more interested in information than they were in results? And when has there been a time when people didn’t seek shortcuts. Like, for example, shortcuts to writing “books” so that they take less than 12 hours, instead of the several hundred hours that sloths like me require.
Society has moved from the Information Age to the Recommendation Age. The savvy author and entrepreneur who understands the Recommendation Age can become the industry leader in his or her area of expertise and build a business around a book even before the manuscript is complete.
Now we’re getting to the crux of the matter–and it’s clearly not about crafting superior books. “Recommendation Age” leaves me cold, but that’s personal.
A, author of C D, of C.com, currently offers the book as an electronic book or e-book. He is building a business around his system for E and getting feedback from readers as he prepares to publish the book in print. Jensen worked with B and his team at E.com to create the book and build a well-developed business model around it.
If you’re wondering C and D are both multiword phrases, one the title and the other the subtitle of the book; C is in italics, D isn’t. There’s no colon between them.
The ebook is available through Lulu.com. While Lulu won’t show me somebody else’s sales, it does show anybody what the sales rank for an item is. So how is A doing on feedback from readers of the ebook? Well…let’s just say that the item ranks somewhere below 60,000. The print version of Cites & Insights 2007 ranks somewhere around 31,000. It would be inappropriate of me to say what the actual sales are, I suppose–particularly since sales rank may not mean the same thing for ebooks as it does for print books. (I will say that C&I 2006 has sold fewer than one-half as many copies on Lulu than Academic Library Blogs, which is doing better on Amazon–and that book, in turn, has sold roughly 5% as many copies as Balanced Libraries at Lulu. I’ll also say that BL is nowhere near my previously announced “Success point.” Draw your own conclusions.)
Bâ€™s F Program teaches clients to write a money-making book in 12 hours of actual writing time. Clients who complete the program discover how to write a book that is â€œentrepreneurially sound.â€
I went to E.com. Yep, it’s there in big type: “Write A 100 Page Money-Making Book In Less Than 12 Hours Of Actual Writing Time And Gain Instant Access To A New York Publisher.” Note That Every Word Is Capitalized, including articles and conjunctions. Yes, the string from the space before “12″ through “Publisher” is also underlined (interestingly, the underlined space is on the line before the rest: this page doesn’t for any of that new-age flowing text crap), but of course it’s not a link. There is a link a little further down. If you click on that one, you get the same text–but this time it’s all underlined. Further down, there’s the eloquent “Here you will see for yourself Why our program works and what sets us apart from others who make similar claims”–a random capital letter being one of the marks of successful book writing.
Here’s a warning for you: “WARNING: If You Are Not A Knowledge Broker In The Recommendation Age, You Are A Nobody!” All in big red type. (Look, B is a Former Vice Principal, so you better not doubt his word–you’ll get detention.)
Taking B’s program, A has discovered how to turn his expertise into a step-by-step system through which people that have X can achieve better physical and mental health. His consulting and speaking business is growing steadily. The feedback he is receiving as a result of working with individuals and speaking to groups allows him to develop his business to match the wants and needs of his target audience.
I wouldn’t be surprised if A actually had worthwhile expertise. I would be very surprised if A wrote that ebook (>250 pages) in less than 12 hours–and unless there are other editions hiding somewhere, A sure isn’t getting a big business based on ebook sales.
B has dozens of video testimonials of successful clients like A on his website and blog. He offers his case study driven H e-class, a $700 value, at no cost on his website F.com. B, a former Vice Principal with Two Post-Graduate Degrees, replaced his income and his wife’s income with a proven, breakthrough system he created. He now teaches his clients how to replicate his proprietary program. B is founder and President of G. B also provides keynotes, seminars, workshops, teleseminars, and [another trademarked term], as well as being known as an international speaker. In addition helping entrepreneurs with business authoring, he also teaches entrepreneurs and business owners how to successfully create a digital product and then build an online business that produces consistent, multiple streams of income. For additional media information about F or B please visit F.com.
Ah, more random capital letters–and a “$700 value” course offered “at no cost.” Would I be cynical if I suggested that there are costs, and big ones, somewhere down the road? Including, for example, the cost of thinking you’ve written a hot stuff book in less than 12 hours and that you’ll gain wealth and fame from the New York publisher you’ll be introduced to and the multistream income system that accompanies it.
B even throws in $300 worth of books or ebooks as part of the offer, speaking of setting sales records. Yes, B does have one book on Amazon; yes, it’s within the top 50,000 in sales. (Worldcat.org shows three copies in libraries.) People who buy it buy lots of other get-rich-quick books, particularly ones having to do with the fabulous wealth that can be yours from writing, even if you’re nearly illiterate.
I know. This is sour grapes. If I’d taken this free course, I’d be rolling in dough from multiple income streams from the book(s) I’d have written–each in less than 12 hours time!–and whatever it is I got from that New York Publisher. After all, it’s a proven, breakthrough system.Or maybe I could do PR for outfits like this. Given the attention to checking firm names and grammar and to normal (dull) English rules of capitalization, that press release sure as heck took less than 12 hours to write–maybe less than 12 minutes.Sigh. Back to my plodding old slow writing. If only I could learn Authoring instead.