Category Archives: Reviews

Amazon Reviews

I really don’t understand these reviews. I’ve sold hundreds of books and can barely get a single review, yet this book has been released just over a day and it has 54 reviews. Half 5 star, half 1 start. I’m not sure how someone can read a book in 24 hours then find the time to write a fair review about it. I don’t ever plan on reading this book, but I just think that something else has to be at work i.e. paid reviewers.

How to make $10,000 in eBooks in 10 days.

I was reading this book called The $100 Start-Up. I was about 1/3rd the way through the book when I read this story about Brett Kelly who created an eBook called “Evernote Essentials“. I found the story great, but I was curious.

No place mentioned in the book or on the blogs was “how” he did it. Basically it was “if you build it, they will come.” Which immediately I was doubtful of the rest of the book. I was thinking, here we go again another bunch of recipes for how to succeed without telling you the “Real Secret” of success.

But I found a video interview of Brett, he seemed like a nice enough guy and he spilled the beans, it was able to get a spot on the Evernote Blog, and had a few of his famous friend bloggers mention his eBook. Without those two things the book would have made him a little extra cash, but not the $100,000 plus he’s made today.

I find that a lot when I read these books about how easy it is to make money by just creating digital content. I’m not entirely sure if the number they are saying are real or just made-up. I also know that without the blogging connections they have, which most of their readers don’t have, none of them would make anywhere near what they are espousing.

Links and referrals are the key. It’s still who you know, even in the Internet Age.

Books are not what they use to be.

I’ve struggled to put together a book idea into a coherent logical sequence. Something like:

  • here’s the overall pattern/theme
  • part 1 of pattern
  • part 2 of pattern
  • part 1 connects to part 2 like this but not like that
  • summary of the pattern

But I’ve noticed as I am reading (very popular books) that the books have a basic title and a coherent table of contents, but there’s very little beauty in how the book is put together or woven from one topic to the next. The books are more-or-less, just a loosely connected collection of thoughts, connected by a table of contents and a title.

I’ve purchased and read a lot of books now that I have Kindle for the iPad and I’m thinking that maybe I’ve been trying too hard, the bar has been lowered… Sad.. Glad…

4 Hour Work-Week Math – It doesn’t add up!

The biggest problem with The 4 Hour Work Week is the math, you see the entire book is just built on this faulty premise: a 10 cent PPC or Pay Per Click.

When you start to add up how many impressions you would get from such a low PPC you would need keywords totally in the hundreds of thousands per month to get hundreds of clicks per month.  Then with a conversion rate of a generous 2%, you might get 4-5 sales per month.

To really make anything meaningful you need to have a PPC between $0.75 and $1.00, but at these cost you only really get profitable at over $100 profit per sale, this is because your advertising cost per sale are between $75~$100.

So while I loved the book, I wish I would have read this PPC assumption before I had to figure it out by spending a few hundred dollars…

Business Books and Personality Type

A few weeks ago I revisited the Myers Briggs personality test. Why? I am not sure, but this was something I remember taking a long time ago to find out why I think a certain way, and how I interact with others. I took three test, on one I came out as an INTP and on two others I came out as an INTJ. I’ve come to realize that this personality type only accounts for 2-3% of the population.

It dawned on me after re-reading some fantastic books about business (4 Hour Work Week, Crush It, Meatball Sunday, etc.) that these books are geared for a certain personality archetype. They are geared for people that think in certain ways, and it’s indicative as to why certain types are more successful at strategies outlined in these books than others.

I then had this moment of enlightenment when I realized why some of the things I’ve read and tried to do, just flopped or drained me completely of energy, it’s because they were trying to get me to see and interact with the world in a way that was not natural for me (my personality).

Some books try to make Extroverts out of Introverts… Others try to tell you to see the world differently or counter to your intuitive or judging/perceiving mindset. It’s not the books fault, I mean, hey it works for them and their personality, why can’t it work for everyone? Well it can’t because we all see the world and interact with it differently.

Some Interesting Numbers: Introverts/Extroverts are rather evenly split. But people that rely on their senses outnumber people trusting their intuition 74% to 26%, and feelers outnumber thinkers by a 60% to 40% margin.

What does this mean? I don’t really know, but I think it’s an interesting observation.

Book Review – The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated

First please refer to my previous review on the first book here.

On to the newer content…I purchased this book because I was going to re-read this book. It seems like a good thing to do for the new year (reset and plan) it's also time for some much needed vacation.

  • Would I recommend the book? – Yes, it's only $11-$12 and if you can tell from my first review, the content is worth it.
  • What's updated? – Well if you have been to the four hour blog website, there's some additional content from that site. It also has some updated links and tools for how to do certain things. As far as the content is concerned, not much has changed.

DVD Review – John Adams

I have just seen Episodes 1 & 2 and what an excellent series. I think that it adds to another mini series released last year by the History Channel, call “The Revolution“.

Episode 1 – Details the trial of British troops where John Adams provides a successful defense. It also lays some of the seeds of discontent in Boston.

Episode 2 – Details some of the important moments of the Continental Congress, like creating a continental army and drafting the Declaration of Independence.

I will summarize the remaining episodes as I get a chance to watch…

Book Review – The 80/20 Principle

I purchased this book after re-discovering The 4 Hour Work Week a few weeks ago.

The book somehow started forcing a re-wiring of my brain. I started thinking of everything in a non-linear way, probability, chaos, something perfect for my mind, something that rekindled my more decisive younger self.

The cool thing about the book was the mathematical examples of how often Pareto’s Principle appears in life. The describes real world examples of this mathematical principle and talks a little about life simplification, but not too much.

The book is an easy read and I highly recommend it.

Book Review – The Power Of Less

I just got this book today and find it a nice read. While very similar material exist on the website or on similar zen/productivity sites I purchased it to read while on vacation.

There are a lot of good ideas/concepts for simplifying things. I for one was tired of doing too much and not doing enough of it well. I started to reduce things in my life before reading this book but it validated some of my thoughts and put them in the context of a different way to live.

Book Review – The Four Hour Work Week

I purchased this book after much searching about my business and questioning the effort I was spending doing everything form development, to marketing to managing, to admin, to everything that a small business person has to do.

On first read I thought the book was some idealized way of thinking, but for the heck of it I tried a few things, like virtual assistants, eLance, and so on. I ended up canceling the virtual assitants, firing my contractors on eLance and scratching my head…

Then a few weeks ago out of the blue, I started talking to someone over a few beers and found myself preaching the very same things that were in the book. So I picked it up and started to re-read it, this time with less skepticism and found I could relate to the thoughts more.

I recommend you get this book on audio and then skim the book vs. reading from cover to cover, each time you open it look for one thing you want out of the book and find the section, read it well, then if you can listen to that section. Another way that works well, listen to the book on a long drive, then go back and read the section or two…