Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best-selling author? The UK's leading...? Really?

There's always debate about what labels you can give yourself. Many argue (and I agree with them) is that the best labels are those bestowed on you by others. Nevertheless, some people choose to promote themselves to various degrees of hyperbole.

I know it's been mentioned here before, but the "Amazon best-selling author", or its shortened form "best-selling author" is still rife. This is trading on the fact that Amazon publishes hourly lists of sales performance in every category and sub-category (and even sub-sub-category) of interest. If you can persuade your pals to buy your books at a specific time, on a specific day, you can be ranked top of a list for an hour. Take a screenshot, and Hey Presto! - best-selling author! Except you aren't. It's what we call misrepresentation, especially if you drop the "Amazon"

Which brings me to "The UK's leading..." or "Europe's most sought-after..." If someone of respected stature has called you that, fine. If you made it up, it's probably not true.

So stick to the facts, please. Self-promotion is great. Over-claiming is inauthentic and dishonest.


Steve Trister said...

Great shout Alan! I think there is a consensus around that people are fed up with bullshit. I certainly am. Nowadays, because there are so many of these slogans around I don't take any notice of them. They've actually lost all meaning to me. Its a HUGE turn off!

Anonymous said...

Thank God for common sense. I hate self attributed titles such as expert, guru and best selling author. As Steve said it becomes more of a turn off than something of value.

Ann Hawkins said...

Well said Alan. I've been asked to take part in the Amazon scam activites several times and was recently sent an ad for a teleseminar where the promoter described herself as author of a certain book in every paragraph. Smacks of desperation.
I would like to say that Mr Steve Trister's act as Guru John Popolini is one of the funniest ways to expose the bullshit that I've ever seen. Highly recommended!