I get a bit of spam in the Self-Publishing Community I started over on G+. This one looked familiar though – I’d already seen it before. So before I review Fast Kindle Cash – and point out how much of a scam it is, let’s cut to chase. So you want to:
Rank Your Book #1 in Amazon?
Here’s the secret three steps:
- write a good book;
- include the keywords you want to rank for in the book’s title when you upload it to Amazon
- sell some copies or give them away using Kindle Select’s free giveaway days
Really, you say – that easy? Yes: here’s my proof: check “vacation packing tips” or “Kindle NonFiction Formatting – yeah that’s me #1 – wow it was hard though! Not – seriously 3 steps – that’s it. Why does step 1 matter – because I want my books to keep earning me money long-term.
However what I really want to talk about is the anatomy of a scam – because this sales page is really quite clever. The image above is pretty much what you’d see above the fold on most screens. Do you have the impression that you can produce books just like the one’s pictured in less than a week – you know books like these:
Windows 8: Out Of The Box #11 for User Interface section of computing at the moment – I suspect it was #1 when it published though be cause it was published by O’Reilly’s – one of the biggest technical book publishers on the planet to coincide with the release of Windows 8
Super Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Moms – don’t ranking in any category at the moment #170,000 over-all – which is probably less that a book sold every week or so – so I think his claim of a $99,600 royalty may be a little out there. Wonder if this author used the system, but didn’t actually write a decent book – so the book’s sales has now collapsed because of bad reviews?
Act Like a Lady Thin Like A Man #1 in Mate Seeking, #877 overall in the Kindle Store – I can believe the royalty claimed on this one except of course the author won’t ever see it – this is a traditionally published book by Harper Collins – I wonder if they like having their name associated with Fast Kindle Cash
Know Your Bible – ranking well at #319 over in Kindle store at #2 in Bible/reference – this book is published by Barbour Books which appears to be a small Christian imprint. Again – I wonder if they know they are a shining example to Adrian’s fans – with the implication that they are associated with them in some form?
So on the above evidence – it seems like one title has collapsed it’s sales, another is on the way done and the other two are doing OK – woops one might say! Oh and some books are seasonal (slow cookers) and some will have a moment of popularity and drop off (e.g. Windows 8 is not new anymore).
Now notice how our copywriter is now a hero he’s found a truly easy way to make money online and decided to share it with you.
Think about that for a moment: he’s found an easy way to make money online, passive income no less and he’s telling the world about it? Like if you found a way to print money – you’d tell everyone else how to do the same? Wouldn’t that devalue the money until it was worthless? Why would he need to even teach you this – because he obviously can already make as much money as he’d ever need.
But hey – maybe he’s just a nice guy… Who uses the juxtaposition of other people’s books to sell his own product while denigrating their intellectual property (any one can write a book in a week…)
Okay, so Kindle’s are popular – hmm that was sorta last year, at the moment it seems that more people are actually buying eBooks to read on tablets, iPads and smartphones. But I’m not arguing eBooks are huge. Let’s face it the market didn’t exist to 2007, and the takeup has been phenomenal – we can I think, agree on one thing – there is a demand for eBooks.
I would however, qualify that by saying there is demand for good eBooks.
Now the other thing that some of you may have noticed – is that Amazon is not the only bookstore selling eBooks – others do too – some you may have heard of: Barnes&Noble, Apple, Kobo. But no, our friend Adrian “KIndle” Duante (no I couldn’t find him when I googled him or looked on Amazon either) doesn’t want to mention any of them – just Amazon. But seriously do you want to tie your books up with just one retailer? Maybe, there are advantages, but there are also disadvantages too – like a lot less crap floating around on the other retailer sites because these types of scam schemes haven’t targeting them, yet.
Most of my books are at the $2.99 price point – they are about 22,000-30,000 words – that’s an awful lot more than 15-20 pages. Which means absolutely nothing on an eReader- but if we say 250 words/page – that’s 3750 words – perhaps I should slap a cover on it and call this blog post a book?
Now let’s be clear – again these three author’s aren’t anything to do with Fast Kindle Cash – they are just having their name and image associated with it – presumably without prior permission. Both E.L.James and Amanda Hocking are now traditionally published after becoming successful as Indies in the early days e.g. 2009 as far as I know John Locke is still self-published – and his promotional activities owe nothing to Duante.
Oh and their genres: erotica, vampires and westerns. Yup not a non-fiction book between them (except for a single book by Locke on how he sold a million books (paying for reviews was part of the answer) ). Weren’t we talking about non-fiction books at the start. Oh and I’d lay good money on the fact all of these author’s books took a little longer than a week to write! In fact their success is indisputable – and also utterly irrelevant to the sales pitch at hand.
So now we are actually getting the OFFER – it’s pretty fine print but you may miss that you are signing up for a 39-page PDF – I’m kinda guessing those are small pages and large font, but that’s okay because you will get the video (saying the same thing) and the Powerpoint slides (adding value there!) Oh and checklist – as you can so get lost in 39 pages and cover template – say what I need a cover for my book? Of course full psd templates will only work with Photoshop – you do have that rather expensive bit of software don’t you? But hey a template is cool – will make it so much easier for the guys at Amazon to weed out the “me too” books that will soon be flooding the market for Windows 8, slow cooking, getting a date, and Bible studies. Bonuses too – that’ like extra value – a Word template to fix your formatting – (you already know why I think Word sucks as a formatting tool so I won’t go into it here) ,and a couple of other random reports which he hasn’t decided on which PLR to use yet for so can’t name. AWESOME.
But wait there’s more …
I’ll try to keep this shorter than his actual sales page so here goes. Remembering of course that if you sell some copies of your book, mention the keywords in the title and blurb and don’t have a totally offensive cover and start to the book that the reader can preview, you will be on page 1 anyways.
Guaranteed Page #1 Amazon Kindle Rankings
Title: you need to have your main keywords in your title. It’s pretty easy – which bit didn’t you get. No you don’t need anyone to work with you – you just need to do it!
Description SEO:. Having your keywords in your description is handy for your readers but there is no evidence that Amazon’s search algorithms use the description to rank books. Unfortunately Duante restricts himself to only doing an SEO review of the description – if he was offering a copywriting review I’d probably sign up – because, if he wrote this page, he’s a brilliant copywriter.
Description Formatting: Yes you can use HTML for the description. If you actually want a detailed description of how to do this plus some excellent copywriting tips check out Unlimited Books Sales Machine – How To Sell More Books (it’s got a crap title, the grammar is dodgy,but it’s actually pretty good for basic copywriting tips – and costs $2.99 – probably took him more than a week to write!)
KDP Publishing Setup: If you exclusively publish your eBook for 90 days with Amazon you can set your book to free. I speculate that then everyone else who’s signed up for the program downloads each others books. May work, for now, until Amazon gets bored with being gamed …
Amazon Likes: Fiverrr gig – you pay $5 – they like your page.
Tweets: Fiverr gig tweets from people who have no followers (if they are even people not bots) who have no interest in your book. Yeah that will work
Backlinks: Backlinks have no part in the Amazon ranking of books. Oh and hundreds of backlinks from crappy sites will sink a page, even on Amazon, as fast as Google will catch you.
Indexing of Backlinks: hasn’t been required since 2008 – no wonder this guy failed at Internet Marketing!
Author Central Optimization: Pen-names are fine – using someone else’s model picture and passing it off as yourself is not. Authorcentral is important – it’s not hard – fill in the fields on authorcentral.com and again on every other authorcentral.
Professional Cover: I agree important – suggest that for the price of admission to this service you could get a pretty bloody good cover done!
Facebooks likes: see Twitter
But wait there’s still more …
Amazon Reviews: Yes important to have a few before you go free – even free is a hard sell if there is no feedback. Not that hard to do if you give people a copy of the book, contact reviewers who review books in the field or similar.
Personal Support: This is his USP (unique selling point) – he’s your friend, he’ll help you PERSONALLY. It’s possible he may even do so until the money back guarantee has expired. – I mean do the maths – this is a lot of money because now finally we see the special offer of $297 Actually when I went to the site and clicked back off the page the price dropped to $47 – yup prices are truly what the market will pay when there is little to no intrinsic value on offer. Plus there always has to be scarcity – limited time offer..
Now again copywriting 101 – and a good trick to use in your own book blurbs – think of every objection and answer it, then of course we have that offer again, because usually you have to ask repeatedly to get people to sign up – after all they are still reading – so what do we do now?
Now this is probably where you’d expect the page to end – but no – what’s he’s done now is sorta told you what he’s offering, but now he needs to go back to selling the dream. Who couldn’t use $5,000/month – I could, you could, let’s face it if you weren’t interested in the money you wouldn’t be reading this ad in the first place! Sell the sexy girl, not the car – oldest trick in the book.
This is a clever coda. Yes you can outsource your book for peanuts – and yes it will be generic, bland rubbish. That said you outsource to a decent writer, but frankly if you are just starting out, I’d suggest you don’t pay $500+ to outsource the book, instead write it yourself, learn the business, learn what works, what does not. Writing isn’t a gift, it’s a skill anyone can learn.
Now if you are worried about this being a “get rich quick scheme” – you’d be totally right. The subtle part is that – if you do self publishing right – then I think it’s an exciting sustainable, fairly passive income business. That’s why I’ve moved into it. I think it’s more stable than trying to fight Google to rank websites. That’s why suggesting that I’m partnering with Amazon is very powerful for Internet Marketers who have had a rough 12 months from Google.
The twist of course, is that sooner, rather than later, Amazon will have to clean up the crap books. How it will do it I have no idea, but I am also supremely confident that my books will pass whatever tests are applied. Because you see they weren’t written for peanuts and promoted using dubious fake social media and reviews.
Notice the juxtaposition of Kindle/Amazon known trusted brands and Adrian who? But he’s giving you a guarantee that’s worth something isn’t it? Yeah right. Under this name there is no such author on Amazon – funny that.
Urgent – stop over-analysing it and just ACT NOW okay! Otherwise you’ll end up with an over 2000-word blog post pointing out the copywriting techniques being used.
17 replies on “Fast Kindle Cash – How Sales Letters Deceive”
Love this Lis. Gonna share on Twitter. So glad for people like you!
If there is one aspect of online marketing that still gives me the shits. It is a**eholes like this that still get green and newbie marketers caught up in the scam.
My first foray into internet marketing was 5 years ago and I learn’t the hard way myself. I got caught with a marketing technique that used a setup to easily (cough, cough) $100 website and write some guff on it (articles with keywords, yes!) and it will earn you cash on autopilot!!!! Problem is I took some time to realize that 1,000’s of people would be doing the same as me (sign up to the scam) and I sat back and wondered for a couple of months why the cash didn’t come in.
Fortunately I persevered and decided not to spend money needlessly and learn’t by spending time trying out new things and learning the craft slowly and getting well educated.
Since I am in the midst of writing my first non fiction ebook, for the same reasons as most are at this time, which is no longer interested in Googles dances. I really get riled up seeing this kind of marketing and knowing that people will get suckered and end up out of pocket.
I appreciate the way you have meticulously picked apart this scam and explained it out in detail. It will go a long way in at least helping out alot of new marketeers out there.
This Adrian Danut I have found all over the web too. A Romanian that is spouting this Amazon fastkindlecash in as many places as possible, like on
Google + etc
Thanks for a great article and a clear explanation of how to spot the scam.
What he and many others don’t realise is that Amazon has real user feedback – and by giving self-publishing a bad reputation of crappy eBooks – he’s making it harder for those of us who produce decent books. I think I may start putting a publisher name on my books to distinguish them
Hi Lis. I still haven’t entered the field of self-publishing, even after months of preparation. Other things in my life have taken priority. Of course, I’ll be ready when I’m ready and it won’t be with the help of some scam artist.
You see these offers all the time, especially in places like the Warrior Support Forum. Rarely do I find anything that isn’t a scam in those forums. It’s simple logic – if I’m making thousands of dollars of month using some super secret method, why the heck would I be sharing it?
Simple logic I agree RT – just seems to rather lacking in the “real world”
You are such a cynic. Love it!
Thank you Blair 🙂 I like to think it’s a Kiwi thing …
Ha. Nice job. I’ve just been sending people over to you for the Kindle stuff now. Where’s the best part of your site to send them, though?
Thanks Paul – appreciate it! I’m actually launching a new site for book formatting here: http://BookFormatter.com but in the meanwhile my services page https://lissowerbutts.com/kindle-formatting-service/ is still good.
Great. I’ll link to there for now. I’m subscribed, so I’ll know when you change ove to the other site.
I can always tell these type of offers are a scam as soon as I see “get instant access, even if it’s 3AM!”. That line has been used since about 1999 and every “guru” since then has copied that aggressive style of pitching an offer. When I see the “3AM” line that’s a dead giveaway that they’re just copying some salesletter template and have no REAL talent or secret knowledge. Why do all these sales letters look the same? Because every goober thinks he can just copy something and rake in a million bucks selling a dream of sipping drinks on sandy beaches while the cash rolls in.
Hi Lis –
I’ve been quiet for awhile, but this article livened me up a little bit. Thoroughly enjoyed the subtle snipes!
It is not just sneaky copy-writing that gets the victims here, it is the sad fact that people WANT to believe the wonderful offers.
Hi – I see I’m months behind everyone and everything here. I was thinking of buying an Adrian Danut product and having wasted quite a bit of money before, I decided to check out the name and so landed here. Boy am I glad I did – not only did I learn an awful lot from the blog comment itself but also from your subscribers’ comments! I don’t know if you can answer this. I just want to write – yes it needs to make a living income – I’m not looking to shoot to the stars. I’m thinking along the lines of article writings, a blog and/or books. I’m an IM and techno dinosaur – a complete newbie. Can you suggest any viable, good, ethical training courses which cover ,all aspects of writing/publishing from A- Z.
Cheers and thanks for already saving money!
Same as Mike,
I was almost going to do this (I even started paying by paypal but stopped when it wanted approval to take money every month) – it just seemed to good to be true. It was suggested to me by someone on Goodreads (another author) but when I checked this same individual was targeting lots of other writers with the same sales pitch. Then I did some googling and found this.
I’m not self published but I am with a small publishers (Class Act Books). My book sales have been very poor and I guess I’m just grasping at straws at the moment.
Thanks though – so glad there are people around who expose these things
Been watching this guy for a while and his pseudo-marketing products are pretty worthless. You are right. He is all that is bad about self-publishing and suckering authors into his golden pyramid.
His latest venture is a ghostwriting system – you know, want to write a book? Just sit back, throw me an idea, and my team of experts will write and promote the book for you! Very James Patterson-esque! Just watch the money roll in – to Adrian, that is!
That probably explains the influx of jobs on eLances – which pay $100 for a whole book! Wonder how many of those clients realise that copyscape won’t pick up a plagraised book…