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  • Amazon will compete against you using your own proprietary data if you – John T. Reed
    the same thing You can see discussion of that in my article Why I do not sell through Amazon One Marketplace merchant was doing well selling NFL pillow pets Then suddenly Amazon started selling the same product just before Christmas and featuring their competing product more prominently in the buy box than the merchant s according to the Journal The merchant s sales plummeted by 80 When he tried to cut his prices below Amazon s they matched the cuts Ultimately they sold the pets for less than half of the merchant s price It would appear that Amazon does not like high profit margins Their business model is to be Mr Cheap So if you sell on their Marketplace the unwritten law is apparently that you also have to be Mr Cheap If you do not and you have a product that sells enough to attract their attention they will undercut your price and thereby all but wipe out your sales of it They haf vays to make you kooperate namely undercutting you Apparently Amazon s Marketplace works as long as you have no product Amazon decides to also offer One way to deal with that is to be the sole supplier of the product But that did not help my friend Nolo created a product from scratch to compete with his In the Journal example the merchant was merely a middleman and Amazon was able to go around him to his supplier probably getting a better wholesale price So if you are small and new to on line marketing I say Welcome to the NFL rookie You give a competitor access to your sales data at your peril I suggest you try doing things the way I do which is explained in my book How to Write Publish

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog/64282051-amazon-will-compete-against-you-using-your-own-proprietary-data-if-you-are-a-successful-amazon-merchant (2016-02-17)
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  • The 'Your four best friends from high school' market segment – John T. Reed
    have a good book So why don t they do that They don t think of it They figure you write a book on a yellow pad or computer screen Fine That is how I do it computer But if person A and I verbally discuss a field in which we are both knowledgeable then we both go write an article about the discussion mine will be commercially publishable and saleable A s will almost certainly not be Why Mine will sound almost exactly like the verbal conversation A s will bear little resemblance to the conversation Why Because A will remove everything that he thinks might not be popular or that might offend someone or that might be made fun of or ridiculed or criticized Bland may avoid giving offense but you can t sell bland That sort of behavior may help A be mildly popular at the office as it did at his high school but however well blandness achieves popularity or avoids offending anyone in school and organizations it ain t worth spit in the writing business or in any area where they might the describe the most successful as talented When I wrote for a newsletter published by Harcourt Brace in the early 1980s my editor and I once ran into one of his friends in Manhattan He introduced me to the friend as the talent on one of his newsletters I think it s not talent that distinguishes us from the bland masses Rather it is a willingness to just be ourselves and let the world like it or lump it A book I read on how to dress well by a famous expert on that said the well known attractiveness of the way French women dress is their willingness to take a like it or lump it attitude about how others react to the way they dress Just so That is a much broader principle than just dressing or writing Stated plainly to be a writer you have to have some guts or as in my case not give a damn what people think The latter is probably the more common source of saying what you really think among successful writers How could such limited popularity persons become popular writers Ah Excellent question and it is important that everyone learn the answer You do not have to be popular with everyone to be popular with millions Virtually everyone has three or four close friends in high school Around them you are yourself They know and like the real you Yet you keep trying to get the other couple of hundred kids in your school to also like you or you do the same at work Why not instead make friends with the three or four people in all the other high schools in America who would have been your close friends if you had attended those schools There are about 37 000 high schools in the U S That would give you 3 or

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog/64281731-the-your-four-best-friends-from-high-school-market-segment (2016-02-17)
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  • Self-DISTRIBUTION is more important than self-PUBLISHING – John T. Reed
    the time I was just writing newsletter articles for HBJ Press and Leigh was a subscriber to my newsletter He asked me if I ever considered writing books I said Yeah but I understand there s no money in it There is if you self publish he said I then asked how much and when I learned it was six figures I instantly decided to become a self publisher of books my current main activity Did I too make six figures from self publishing Yes But in 2001 my distributor Publisher Group West which was also Leigh s distributor fired me apparently for complaining too much about their lousy treatment of me So I was forced to become my own distributor In one year my net income jumped 257 In 2006 Publisher Group West went bankrupt It could t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys My book How to Write Publish and Sell Your Own How To Book explains all this in much greater detail Any how to or reference book author who is still letting others publish and or distribute his books needs a guardian appointed to take care of his financial affairs He or she is leaving 100 000 or more a year on the table if it is a reasonably successful book I thought when I revealed this to the world the number of self publisher distributors would skyrocket It is increasing but I have been astonished to encounter enormous resistance Why As far as I can tell the authors who still go with publishers and distributors lack self esteem big time They are so interested in the cachet among ignorant laymen of being published and being in book stores that they will give up 100 000 or more a year to get that status How psychiatrically sick are these authors How sick would you have to be to walk away from 100 000 or more a year In effect they are willing to pay that much to be a celebrity i e being published and or being in book stores This is spite of the harm done by abandoning that money to their family themselves their retirement their health that would be enhanced by their having more money and therefore more time for exercise and other good habits Sick Sick Sick 9 15 07 Wall Street Journal story The Wall Street Journal said about the same thing as I m saying in an article on 9 15 07 Their article was broader than books but it applies to books Their headline and subtitle were The Distribution Trap It s every manufacturer s dream to get on the shelves of Wal Mart and other mega retailers Too often it turns into a nightmare I warned against distributing through such retailers in both my Succeeding and How to Write Publish and Sell Your Own How To Book The Journal goes on to warn that retailers use their power to demand price cuts and other concessions like

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog/64281155-self-distribution-is-more-important-than-self-publishing (2016-02-17)
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  • The Wal-Mart versus Amazon book price war – John T. Reed
    factory and home mortgages and bigger car payments As Marshall McLuhan said To the spoils belongs the victor Crown Books One of my Harvard Business classmates was Bobby Haft He founded Crown books the first company to discount book prices His used to appear in his own commercials saying in his extreme New Jersey accent Books kawst too much That s why I started Crown Books If you paid full price you didn t buy it at Crown Books He figured out that books became a commodity when they were available from more than one retailer Fundamentally the copy of Stephen King s Under the Dome you buy from Amazon is identical to the one you buy from Wal Mart or Crown Books if that company still existed Since the copies are identical the only way Amazon can compete with Wal Mart is on price Poof Instant transformation of a branded product into a commodity It s simple and obvious if you think about it But millions including big successes like Stephen King have apparently not thought about it and are behaving like lemmings Crown was too small to win the price cutting war The flaw in Bobby s theory was that he could be the low cost producer No way He was never the biggest book retailer He instantly got underpriced by bigger retailers like Sam s Club and Costco Amazon could also undercut him because they had no brick and mortar stores Crown went out of business But Bobby had let the book discounting cat out of the bag Only one company can win in commodity businesses Indeed Wal Mart said If there s going to be a Wal Mart of the Web it s going to be Wal Mart com Business self destructing The music business is self destructing Part of the problem there is piracy But the other part is more than one retailer selling the recordings in question They can only compete with each other by price cutting That way lies bankruptcy Bottom line Any author or recording artist who sells their creation through more than one retailer needs his or her head examined They should all do like I do and distribute their creations themselves exclusively on their own Web site I explain how to do that in my book How to Write Publish and Sell Your Own How To Book Real publisher or record company The notion that you need a real publisher or record contract with a major distributor ended or should have when the Internet was created The typical stupid response from the authors and artists is I don t have time for distribution Bullshit My wife and son do it at our house for an hour or so a day while they are watching TV What you don t have time for is letting retailers get rich ripping you off while you create books and music for minimum wage Wise up Why does Amazon still exist Since Amazon founder Jeff

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog/64280259-the-wal-mart-versus-amazon-book-price-war (2016-02-17)
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  • What are the most common mistakes would-be writers make? – John T. Reed
    author you are not little old you anymore You Da Man 4 Thinking writing is different from talking Everybody can talk But everyone can t write Why not Mainly because they assume writing is different from talking that writing is some big formal deal that requires all sorts of different new skills and behavior I often get this compliment from people who read one of my books after having known me for a while In your book you sound just like you talk They say that with great surprise in their voices What the hell were they expecting Telling a writer he writes like he talks is like meeting Miss America in person and telling her that she s really beautiful Who d have thought that Or like meeting a pro football defensive tackle and telling him he is really big What are the chances The problem is I am the first author they ever knew They assume that since writing is so different from talking that an author talking would sound much different from that same writer s book words Nope One of the main reasons most people can talk but can t write is they assume writing is some big new thing that they have to spend years learning All they have to learn is to get out of the way of their what they ve been doing almost their whole lives talking 5 Writing to impress rather than to express Lots of would be writers believe writing is an activity in which the objective is to impress the reader with how literary and well read and educated and intellectual you are Nope Wouldn t you be disgusted with a new acquaintance who did that to you in conversation Writing is the same as talking remember It sounds just as dopey and annoying in print as it does in person The purpose of writing is to communicate thoughts facts logic analysis motivation To write is analogous to installing a plain glass window in the side of your head so others can see your thoughts Writing to impress rather than to express is like installing that window but making it a stained glass window It says Look at my window Isn t it beautiful and clever Often you cannot even see through the stained glass window literary or actual at all It is another violation of truth in advertising The title of your article or book is your advertising your promise to the reader The title is why they are reading the book They want to learn about that topic They are not the least bit interested in your stained glass skills Nor are they interested in how literary or classically educated or well read in The Great Books you are Try entitling your writing to impress work honestly Look at the clever words and obscure cultural references I gathered to throw into this article on U S policy in Somalia and see how many readers you get A few writers most notably Maureen Dowd seem to get away with this stained glass act at times Not with me she doesn t I do not read her columns She is not much more than an incorrigible show off and so are you if you write like that The late William F Buckley Jr whom I enjoyed reading also loved obscure words President Ronald Reagan joked that he spent many an enjoyable hour in his easy chair with a Buckley National Review article in one hand and an unabridged dictionary in the other Bing Crosby was also famous for enjoying using obscure words But Buckley and Crosby were doing a self parody shtick They did it with a wink Beginning would be writers are actually trying to make us think they really talk like that with their friends or relatives Not if they want to keep them And you do not write like that if you want to get and keep readers either Do not use obscure words or foreign words or sprinkle your writing with all sorts of majored in literature references to obscure high culture See the writing chapter of my book How to Write Publish and Sell Your Own How To Book It actually has a list of the 850 most used words in the English language C K Ogden s Basic English and admonishes you to use words not on that list only when absolutely necessary to EXPRESS your thoughts Go beyond that list only at gun point My book also refers you to E L Thorndike s list of the 1 000 most often used English words and Dr Edgar Dale s 3 000 most common words known to fourth graders You say you don t want to write for fourth graders Me neither What you do not understand is that fourth graders basically know about all the English anyone needs to express thoughts The additional vocabulary you learn after fourth grade is of the impress not express variety I have met enormous resistance telling would be writers that they should only use the simplest words One said she objected severly because such writing is boring Bullshit Write down the names of your favorite writers When analyze their writing in accordance with the various measures of Plain English like the Gunning Fog Index the Flesch Readability score C K Ogden s Basic English human interest score and so on All that is discussed in my How to Write Publish and Sell Your Own How To Book and the pertinent references are listed in the book s bibliography If you do that I predict that you will be shocked to find that your favorite high tone writers write as if they read my book on how to write Actually I read their books on writing I did not dream up the great need for simplicity on my own I kept being told that by books I read about writing Thorndike said that the 1 000 most

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog/64280003-what-are-the-most-common-mistakes-would-be-writers-make (2016-02-17)
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  • John T. Reed’s self-publishing blog
    do Dumb word or phrase Correct version Why administrate administer There is a word taxation but we do not call the verb taxate It s tax The fact that there is a noun orientation does not mean the verb is orientate It s orient Please ceasate doing this adverse averse Adverse is a good word It Read more What the James Frey A Million Little Pieces incident reveals about real publishers Posted by John Reed on Oct 08 2015 In my book How to Write Publish and Sell Your Own How To Book I denounced the so called real publishers up one side and down the other I urged readers to self publish as I do instead In an article at my Web site about best selling financial books www johntreed com bestseller html I also denounced them for not caring one whit about whether the nonfiction books they publish are accurate or give valid advice Some readers may have thought I was overstating my case I refer them to the brouhaha over James Frey s mega best seller A Million Little Pieces Frey we now know originally Read more All self publishing articles Posted by John Reed on Oct 05 2015 Amazon will compete against you using your own proprietary data if you are a successful Amazon merchant Anonymous sources are not anonymous to us reporters Author says Amazon and book publishers won t give sales figures Best selling real estate authors HarperCollins new policies Keys to success self publishing how to books Nov 10 2015 My former book store distributor went bankrupt Self DISTRIBUTION is more important than self PUBLISHING The Your four best friends from high school market segment The silliness of looking for symbolism in literature The Wal Mart versus Amazon book price war Those who

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog?page=1 (2016-02-17)
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  • Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write. – John T. Reed
    books would be too small Les Scher writes well I do not know if he is actively buying property John Schaub is a decent writer and a good speaker and I believe he is still an active investor Many who would like to write try and find they cannot write readable writing Seems easy to me but I have seen some really awful stuff That s about it among the guys I know who are both good writers and actively investing So if you have that policy you can only buy their books That s one of the big flaws in this way of thinking The people who espouse it are ignorant of the number of good writers who are also active investors They assume there are hundreds of good writers to choose from In fact there are only a handful Liking writing I like writing I write the equivalent of several term papers a day To most people that would be agony They don t like to write Many hate writing Virtually all active real estate investors fall into that category Won t write Many of the active successful investors whom these consumers would read are unwilling to write about investing Why They don t want to reveal their hard won secrets because they fear it would increase their competition and thereby drive down their return and income per hour Research Good nonfiction or how to writing requires research For example federal income tax law is important to real estate investors To keep up on it I subscribe to three tax law periodicals When a new law or court decision or regulation or ruling or revenue procedure comes out I have to get hold of a copy to read and analyze it Carleton Sheets has a very big guru business He used to have a booklet on income tax laws related to real estate in his package I reviewed it and ripped it to shreds because it was all fouled up I have since been told that he removed it from the package and has not replaced it with a correct version I ll take that as an admission that my criticism was correct and has Sheets running up the white flag on his claim that he can be an active investor and a big time guru who knows what he is talking about at least on income taxes Also Sheets insisted to me that he was currently active and buying or selling at least weekly I then asked for a list of the properties he had bought or sold in the last 90 days Silence He told me he bought a nothing down house the week before I asked for the address and lender name Silence A lot of real estate investment gurus say they are active investors Show us the addresses They won t do it I also read all sorts of business and real estate books and periodicals to keep up That all takes part of

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog/63396291-those-who-can-do-those-who-can-t-write (2016-02-17)
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  • Anonymous sources are not anonymous to us reporters – John T. Reed
    Times v Sullivan 376 U S 254 1964 Like other investigative journalists I identify them as well as I can to the readers like an executive of ABC Corporation without revealing their identity Indeed we journalists generally do not use the phrase anonymous source Rather we identify the person as narrowly as we can without exposing him or her The people who sneeringly use the phrase anonymous source are almost always the accused and his or her supporters Unlike a lot of journalists I do not go to jail to protect the identity of a source and tell people that when they talk to me I will keep your identity secret until a judge orders me to disclose it I was ordered to reveal the name of an attorney that way once Tellingly the lawyer who demanded that and railed against the anonymity for months beforehand instantly dropped the matter when he learned the name of the lawyer Oh I know him was his response His litigating stance had been that the anonymous lawyer I was quoting must not exist or must be a moron or a liar When I revealed the name of a respected Harvard Law School graduate Manhattan attorney poof went all the bullshit about anonymous sources being not only worthless but a fraud Deep throat Who is the most famous anonymous source ever Deep throat And for how many years did the allies of President Nixon mock the anonymous sources of Woodward and Bernstein A bunch of Nixon people want to jail Nixon himself needed got and accepted a presidential pardon from President Gerald Ford And who was the anonymous source who was never anonymous to Bob Woodward FBI Associate Director Mark Felt the number two guy at the FBI As in my experience all the mocking of the anonymous source was instantly vaporized by the revelation of who it was An army of heroes I wish someone would Google all the anonymous source stories of the past 40 years or so and see how they ended up My impression is that they were almost all true The truth is anonymous sources have been key sources in thousands of investigative stories and subsequent remedial actions that were extremely important to the nation Generally the anonymous sources and the reporters who quoted them have turned out to be heroes who exposed important scandals Look at the journalist not the source ID You cannot evaluate the validity of an anonymous source story from just the phrase anonymous source as supporters of the accused imply You measure the validity of the anonymous source story by the reputation of the journalist in question If it is Bob Woodward or another respected journalist it is a reliable source If it is some guy hiding behind a handle at an Internet chat group it is not reliable A recent anonymous source hot story as the Hermain Cain sexual harassment accusation The right has in my opinion made fools out of themselves going

    Original URL path: http://www.johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-self-publishing-blog/63385539-anonymous-sources-are-not-anonymous-to-us-reporters (2016-02-17)
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