Top 5 Cheat Sheet

TOP 5 Cheat Sheet, The unofficial Author’s Guide, an e-book by Richard McCartney.

An introduction details why “self-publishing authors are not playing on a level playing field against the traditionally publishing houses.” Specifically: 1) Indie author presence in actual bookshops (except for a few small ones) is negligible to zero even if reaching ‘best-seller’ status – unfortunate because many readers still prefer printed books; 2) Their titles are not included in the online catalogues from which most libraries and bookstores order; 3) They receive little to no coverage by traditional media – known book reviews (Kirkus and 1-2 other exceptions) rarely cover them and most ‘better known’ reviewers seldom, if ever, publish their reviews in other than traditional papers/magazines. Reasons stem from: 1) the large number of new titles published; 2) a lingering belief that they are poorly written/produced; 3) also amusingly perhaps, because of an unrecognized underlying discomfort about the reviewer’s ‘stature’ being affected if they should deign to review one of these ‘lesser offerings’. If this statement appears absurd to the reader, consider that basically in everyone’s psyche is the belief that accomplishment depends upon attainment (doing) as described by a very old adage: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach.” If a reviewer has not personally successfully ‘published’ but has attained a certain ‘status’, he unconsciously may be less secure in departing from the ‘traditional’ track – a track most regrettably remaining from the early days of POD and the many inferior publications that followed. Fortunately, this really no longer applies. This reviewer recently has read many excellent ‘indies’ and conversely, some quite inferior offerings by well-known authors and/or publishers. Thus, as McCartney suggests, indie authors may counteract this regrettable ‘loss of recognition’ situation and achieve a well-elevated position close to that derived from being published and/or reviewed by the establishment. You can join the new age of publishing where “online position visibility rapidly is approaching that held by appearance in brick-and-mortar stores” and you can achieve this if you “sell within the Amazon universe, “the biggest online store in the world.”

The author previously provided a book for Indie authors, “Self-Publishing: The Secret Guide to Becoming A Best Seller”. Now, he has added a most useful marketing ‘Cheat Sheet’ of “some of the lesser-known facts about buying and selling books on Amazon”. In five chapters he explains how to work your way through the Amazon jungle to best market your book AND does so in explicit, detailed steps. Chapter one explains how to circumvent the fact that “Amazon hides most of the best categories for your particular book”. The second chapter explains how to reduce the extra charges Amazon places on international buyers of your book. The third provides a detailed method “to get your book into the Amazon Hot New Releases”. Four, an opportunity for linking “a Best Seller book in your genre to your own book”. Chapter five explains “How to remove bad reviews of your book”, with an important caveat. The author then sneaks in a sixth chapter because, as he bluntly states: “What is the point of a cheat sheet, if it doesn’t provide a cheat itself?” AND this chapter describes a real treasure for the author struggling for recognition. It describes how to manage to have your book exhibited “alongside Best Seller and other famous books”.

Discussion/Conclusion: McCartney has set forth a book which is a boon to the indie author. It provides exactly the ammunition required to market a self-published book at the top level of competition. It presents explicit directions in a clearly understood, step-by-step manner that the reader easily may follow to gain top exposure in the rapidly exploding online market. In this reviewer’s opinion, this is a remarkable book that can place the indie author almost immediately on an equal footing with those in the ‘establishment’ group. It is a must read for any self-publisher or author whose work has been published by any other means.

5* A must read for indie authors.

 

Super Sized Success

Super Sized Success, 9 Steps to Maximum Riches in Minimum Time ISBN: 9780996659079, Maxar Press, a self-help e-book by Linda Zander.

The book is presented in Three parts: Part One – Success and God: the Supreme Joint Venture. Part Two – Success and You: Building Your Total Package. Part Three – Unleashing Your Inner Tycoon Epilogue: Super Sized, A League of Your Own. Success Superheroes. Part One includes seven steps in the first chapter, number 8 in the second and step #9 in the third. Part Two includes the Cornerstones of building – Mental, chapter 4; Physical, Chapter 5; Financial, #6; Moral Character, #7 which “Initiates the Way of Christ: Identifying Your Own i-Christ-like values. The 49 Moral Values of Christ Owning Your Top 4 Values.” Part Three follows “Unleashing Your Inner Tycoon Epilogue: Super Sized Success Superheroes. A League of Your Own.” A plethora of suggestions are included throughout the book.

Discussion: This is a book that can provide much for a person who is searching for ‘a proper path to follow in their life to gain the level of accomplishment they wish to attain while doing so in a manner compatible with God’s teachings’. The heavy emphasis on God and Christian beliefs becomes obviously understandable as we read and learn more of the author’s personal life. She is a “self-made multimillionaire, success coach and award-winning athlete, who ‘beat’ addiction (remarkably now clean for 26 years) and a bout with cancer (now clear for more than 9 years) after refusing to accept the physicians’ directions for treatment. Reportedly, her refusal was the result of acceptance of a strong ‘sense’ that to follow their recommendations would be fatal. She quotes an anonymous author: “God gives miracles to those who believe, courage to those who dream, and love to those who accept.” Numerous other famous and near-famous quotes are included along with positive suggestions that individuals seeking help certainly will find quite useful. Regrettably, there is an overabundance of redundancy such as lecturers frequently employ for emphasis. In such an arena activity of this nature often is helpful, but it is tedious when transferred to a written form. Another gross error, at least in this reviewer’s understanding, is inclusion of controversial figures as examples of persons to be emulated. Specifically the author states: “Having feelings is normal but allowing them to control you is not a healthy procedure. Learning to control them for the benefit of a positive outcome is having the emotional intelligence of a champion and a leader. Here are a few examples of world leaders who led with emotional intelligence. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Clinton, Nelson Mandella, Martin Luther King, Jr.” Application of the criterion to most of those mentioned undoubtedly would generate immediate acceptance. Granted, inclusion of Margaret Thatcher may be somewhat marginal because of the controversy that flourished during her last days in office. However, inclusion of Hilary Clinton certainly would not appear to be a good choice because: 1) she still is extremely active so her decisions are too ‘new’ to properly be evaluated and 2) regrettably, her personal position as the center of tremendous controversy with respect to the intelligence of some past decisions as well as the veracity of some of her statements are much in question. It is entirely immaterial whether this situation is politically initiated or even whether the questions are right or wrong in this instance. Inclusion of ANY person still involved in political activity, in this reviewer’s belief is a huge mistake and more especially if validity, rightly or wrongly, is in question. Such inclusion immediately opens the author’s hypotheses to question and even can provide a massive negative reaction that can undo all of his/her serious, and often beautiful presentation.

Conclusion: A well-intentioned presentation that could provide some help to numerous searching individuals that most regrettably has been compromised.

3* Best evaluation possible because of reasons listed.