Should I Give Bad Reviews to My Competition?

We’re all trying to market our books as best we can and attract buyers to our books. And we all know that getting good reviews on Amazon is an important way to convince readers to buy our books. But what about leaving bad reviews for our competitors? Or even a book making some reasonable critiques and then adding something like, “MY BOOK TITLE is another excellent guide to this subject.”? This was a question I saw on a self-publishing forum recently. I thought I would address it because it raises a few issues regarding some key topics: marketing self-published books and Amazon reviews.

Word of Mouth

So first of all, let’s talk about why this strategy seems like a good idea. Reviews that recommend other products can be quite helpful to the consumer.  I want to know if someone thinks one product is better or worse than another is. We’ve all heard nothing sells better than word of mouth, right? Continue reading “Should I Give Bad Reviews to My Competition?”

How to Find a Marketable Idea for Self-Publishing

In this post I’ll talk about finding a marketable idea for self-publishing. It’s nice to put your teaching materials out there, but how do you know what your potential customers want? What’s the difference between a teaching book that is marketable and one that isn’t, particularly in the education market? What types of self-published books sell the best?

Why are you self-publishing?

Many people self-publish because they want complete creative control over their project. They have a very specific vision for what their teaching materials should look like or how they want those materials delivered.

This is, of course, one of the most attractive benefits of self-publishing your teaching materials. You can write what you please, lay it out as you please, and distribute or market it as you please! If you aren’t concerned with making money, you may not care if your materials are marketable or not. Authors may want to self-publish for a variety of reasons where marketability of the idea doesn’t matter:

  • To use the materials in their own classroom or school
  • To give away to teachers, schools, students, or non-profits in need
  • To give away in order to get the idea out there
  • To add to their resume or gain prestige
  • Personal satisfaction and experience

If any of the reasons above are your main motivation for self-publishing your teaching idea, you may not think about marketability. You’re welcome to skip ahead to my next post about self-publishing resources you’ll need and where to find them.

However, regardless of your motivations, it’s good to take a minute to think about whether anyone will pick up your book free or not. Will it be useful? So it might be helpful to think less about finding a marketable idea for self-publishing, than finding a useful or beneficial idea for self-publishing, one teachers will actually use.

And there’s also no shame in wanting to make a profit, either. You have a right to try to make a living on your work! Continue reading “How to Find a Marketable Idea for Self-Publishing”