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How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months

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Now, for the first time ever, John Locke reveals the marketing system he created to sell more than 1,100,000 eBooks in five months! His Credentials: John is the eighth author in the world—and the first self-published author in history—to have sold 1 million eBooks on Kindle! He is the first self-published author to hit #1 on the Amazon/Kindle Best Seller’s List, and the Now, for the first time ever, John Locke reveals the marketing system he created to sell more than 1,100,000 eBooks in five months! His Credentials: John is the eighth author in the world—and the first self-published author in history—to have sold 1 million eBooks on Kindle! He is the first self-published author to hit #1 on the Amazon/Kindle Best Seller’s List, and the first to hit both #1 and #2 at the same time! He is a New York Times best-selling author! He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly! He has had 4 of the top 10 books on Amazon/Kindle at the same time, including #1 and #2! He has had 7 books in the top 34 and 8 books in the Top 50 at the same time! These numbers are not positions within a category. They are positions that include all Kindle sales including fiction, non-fiction, magazine subscriptions, and game apps! By the middle of March, 2011, it had been calculated that “every 7 seconds, 24 hours a day, a John Locke novel is downloaded somewhere in the world.” …All this was achieved PART TIME, without an agent, publicist, and at virtually no marketing expense!


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Now, for the first time ever, John Locke reveals the marketing system he created to sell more than 1,100,000 eBooks in five months! His Credentials: John is the eighth author in the world—and the first self-published author in history—to have sold 1 million eBooks on Kindle! He is the first self-published author to hit #1 on the Amazon/Kindle Best Seller’s List, and the Now, for the first time ever, John Locke reveals the marketing system he created to sell more than 1,100,000 eBooks in five months! His Credentials: John is the eighth author in the world—and the first self-published author in history—to have sold 1 million eBooks on Kindle! He is the first self-published author to hit #1 on the Amazon/Kindle Best Seller’s List, and the first to hit both #1 and #2 at the same time! He is a New York Times best-selling author! He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly! He has had 4 of the top 10 books on Amazon/Kindle at the same time, including #1 and #2! He has had 7 books in the top 34 and 8 books in the Top 50 at the same time! These numbers are not positions within a category. They are positions that include all Kindle sales including fiction, non-fiction, magazine subscriptions, and game apps! By the middle of March, 2011, it had been calculated that “every 7 seconds, 24 hours a day, a John Locke novel is downloaded somewhere in the world.” …All this was achieved PART TIME, without an agent, publicist, and at virtually no marketing expense!

30 review for How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Kinrade

    I'm 28% of the way through this book, and as many have pointed out, the first part is mostly John Locke selling himself. I have a sales/business background, so I get this. Why should we care about his technique? He tells us why. Is it a little heavy handed? Yes. Am I still reading? Yes. Why? Because this man is a marketing genius. Because unlike Amanda Hocking who keeps saying no one can duplicate what she did because it was a fluke, he actually tells you how to duplicate his success. I find it I'm 28% of the way through this book, and as many have pointed out, the first part is mostly John Locke selling himself. I have a sales/business background, so I get this. Why should we care about his technique? He tells us why. Is it a little heavy handed? Yes. Am I still reading? Yes. Why? Because this man is a marketing genius. Because unlike Amanda Hocking who keeps saying no one can duplicate what she did because it was a fluke, he actually tells you how to duplicate his success. I find it laughable that many who give this book a low review, do so with the argument "If you want to make money and market your book, this is a great book, but if you want to write quality books, not so much..." I mean, come on, this book is not misleading. "How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months" NOT "How to Write the Great American Novel." I don't get it. If you're not looking for a marketing book, don't buy this book. If you want a book on how to write, look elsewhere. I, for one, know how to write. And I'm not bad at marketing. But I haven't sold 1 million eBooks. And I want to! And I plan to! So I will listen to the man who has done it. What impresses me is that he's done it AND he has a strong business background where he made millions. I trust his business sense, and make no mistake, writing and self-publishing is a business. Too many writers are brilliant wordsmiths and epic fails at the business part. I'll let you know my final review when I'm done. But so far, I'm impressed. ~~ Finished this book in 1 night. A few thoughts. One: I used to be in sales. Insurance (Like the author) & business consulting. So I come to my writing career with many years of professional writing under my belt, as well as a sales career. Two: Anything can be sold and sold profitably with the right system in place. Success is possible to duplicate if the person who generates the success knows what system they used, how and why it works and how to present it to others. Three: The book business is no different. The only difference in the past was lack of control over our own product. We couldn't be business owners, therefore we were at the whim and mercy of publishing companies. Not so now. Now, with self publishing options so easy, we are our own boss and can create and follow systems of sales that work. Four: John Locke knows this and uses this. He created a system that worked after trying everything that didn't work. And now he's sharing it with us. I'm sooo excited I can't even tell you. Five: You don't have to be a sales genius to do what he's saying. But his techniques are subtle. They are not hard, but please don't read "Get a blog" "Get twitter" etc. and think "oh I'm already doing that." Unless you're making serious sales, you're likely NOT doing this. In sales you learn fast that small tweaks to what you do or say can MAKE OR BREAK the game. Tweak what you're doing the way he tells you to and it may well work. I'm banking on it. thank John! And for those who come to this book and complain that it's all about the money and not the art of writing. #um #yeah Read the title. Not hard to figure out!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Donna Brown

    As my husband has just self-published his first novel this seemed like a must read but I found myself quite disappointed. The book is quite short but, as Locke points out, he tells you what you need to know so length isn't really an issue. However, the book does build up Locke's strategy throughout the chapters about what doesn't work and how to plan and I was a little deflated when I reached the part that details his strategy. There's no doubt that Locke has done remarkably well from his books As my husband has just self-published his first novel this seemed like a must read but I found myself quite disappointed. The book is quite short but, as Locke points out, he tells you what you need to know so length isn't really an issue. However, the book does build up Locke's strategy throughout the chapters about what doesn't work and how to plan and I was a little deflated when I reached the part that details his strategy. There's no doubt that Locke has done remarkably well from his books but it's very clear from this that his books, his blogs, his Twitter feed etc are very much a business and approached with what I can only describe as an almost cynical approach. Some people will love his strategy and do very well from it but for others I suspect it would take much of the pleasure out of being a writer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hill

    HE BOUGHT PUBLIC OPINION!!! I was reading this book when I came across the NY Times article in which he admitted to paying to get false reviews on Amazon. That should be the subtitle to this book. Once I read that I could not read further. I'm 40% done. This is one of those books where I find myself thinking: Just give one paragraph of the info I need and I won't need to read more. Also, and this is monumental: He didn't begin promotions until he had five books out. If this fact were on the HE BOUGHT PUBLIC OPINION!!! I was reading this book when I came across the NY Times article in which he admitted to paying to get false reviews on Amazon. That should be the subtitle to this book. Once I read that I could not read further. I'm 40% done. This is one of those books where I find myself thinking: Just give one paragraph of the info I need and I won't need to read more. Also, and this is monumental: He didn't begin promotions until he had five books out. If this fact were on the cover, I'd guess that 90% of the authors who purchase this book would reconsider. Great information, but by giving it to the reader we learn the title is misleading! The author SLOWLY built a following on twitter, and wrote 5 books, that took years! Not five months. That, I felt, was a violation of trust. Sorry Dude.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ruby Barnes

    Locked In Ruby’s review of ‘How I sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!’ by John Locke In the last two months I’ve been devouring non-fiction as research to support my new project – a how-to book on novel writing, social media and independent epublishing. It’s been an interesting journey and my final port of call was the much talked about million selling method book by Mr Locke. The first thing I do when considering a popular book is to browse the negative reviews. Locke’s knockers were scathing, Locked In Ruby’s review of ‘How I sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!’ by John Locke In the last two months I’ve been devouring non-fiction as research to support my new project – a how-to book on novel writing, social media and independent epublishing. It’s been an interesting journey and my final port of call was the much talked about million selling method book by Mr Locke. The first thing I do when considering a popular book is to browse the negative reviews. Locke’s knockers were scathing, claiming he didn’t really reveal his secrets, that his method wouldn’t work for most people and he was on an ego-trip. Then I took a look at the three star reviews (the ones that Locke himself discounts when he calculates the positive / negative review score of books). I sensed from those middling reviews that he was connecting with his readers. Not everyone felt they could emulate his approach but they began to give it credence. A sample of the higher scoring reviews showed genuine praise. So I One-clicked and slipped my few bucks into Mr Locke’s bulging pocketbook. First impression? An avalanche of advertising, branding and hammering out credentials. Close to sales pitch overload. I’m a bit of a straight-laced Brit and pushy product placement presses the wrong buttons for me. However, in between the lines of Locke’s opening gambit, I sensed warmth and something akin to humility. So I read on. It didn’t take long before I realised that I was in the hands of a master of rhetoric. That’s a positive super-power, when used for good. Locke’s entrepreneurial understanding of sales and marketing, coupled with that gift for rhetoric, are a powerful combination. He’s a rich man who has unsuccessfully tried to herd his ebook camels into sales heaven through the eye of a needle (or some more suitable metaphor). That was the first major learning. Money thrown at traditional product promotion won’t propel an indie author onto the best seller list. Locke went on to describe how his writing polarises readers and that demarcation defines his market niche. I read that on the day that Peril received its first ever one-star review. The reader had found my anti-hero thriller unpalatable, where others had lauded it. There, I had polarisation. Donovan Creed, Locke’s MC in his main series, isn’t a regular guy and the quirky story lines aren’t mainstream. Bells began to ring in my head as I compared the appeal of Creed with my Peril MC Ger Mayes. Locke has a series of Creed novels and that was where my hopeful comparison faltered (note to self – produce more!) Then Locke went on to describe his GBL (Guaranteed Buyer List) and how these people have become personal friends who not only buy his new releases but are evangelical in spreading the word. I call them the Locked In. He explained his approach to social media and how he engages in a supportive social network where spam is anathema and everyone benefits, how he communicates personally and builds relationships. I thought of people I have met on Twitter, facebook, this blog and in chat forums. How they might have bought my book but I don’t know. How I don’t know if the 17,000 people holding ecopies of Peril even know that I’ve written and released The Baptist! I’m adept at the how-to aspects of social networking and epublishing, and I think I write a decent novel but, compared to Locke’s sleek, tight and smooth machine, my marketing is a pair of old lady’s wrinkled stockings. All the way through the book Locke promotes his sound marketing plan but the major catalyst for his success, the trigger that set Locke’s snowball rolling down the hill, is his incredible rhetoric. He attributes the initial rush of sales to a series of blog posts that hit the sweet spot with potential readers and went viral. The resulting sales success fed into his business plan with all its carefully designed components and he leveraged the momentum to great effect as the Creed series rolled out. If you are an indie author who understands product marketing, customer relationship management and the principles of persuasion, then you have to read Locke’s book. If you don’t understand some or any of those things then you have to read Locke’s book. At the end I wanted to hug John Locke. And I’m not the kind of guy who does man hugs. I don’t think that many people will be able to fully replicate his method. Few have the skill set, determination and work rate that he displays, but there are nuggets in there for everyone and I’m thankful to the man for sharing. And I just bought my first Donovan Creed ebook.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Will Once

    This is one of those books where I want to give one star and five stars at the same time. I am in equal parts appalled and inspired. Very odd. The good news first. John Locke did indeed sell a million ebooks on Amazon, so his credentials are sound. This book (eventually) tells you how he did it. Well, most of the way that he did it. And I have little doubt that his method would work for others. He gives some good advice - write more than one book, price lower than the competition, market This is one of those books where I want to give one star and five stars at the same time. I am in equal parts appalled and inspired. Very odd. The good news first. John Locke did indeed sell a million ebooks on Amazon, so his credentials are sound. This book (eventually) tells you how he did it. Well, most of the way that he did it. And I have little doubt that his method would work for others. He gives some good advice - write more than one book, price lower than the competition, market strongly, have a plan. And if that was as far as it went, I'd give the book the full five stars and move on. Job done. But there is more to it than that. For a start, the book is very unevenly written. The beginning is distinctly weird with every other sentence ending in an exclamation mark! And you can't help feeling that this is because it's is aimed at the people reading the look inside feature! Lots of promises about what the book is going to deliver! I nearly stopped reading at the point. Of course a writer doesn't want to give all his secrets in the first few pages. And we don't mind a little hyperbole, but this had all the misplaced enthusiasm of a dog making lurve to your leg. Then we get on to the method itself. And this is where it feels alternatively professional and icky. "Professional" because he works to a plan and sets achievable goals (good) and icky because of the methods he uses (not good). A core part of his method is to write a schmaltzy heart-tugging blog about a celebrity that he admires and then to link his writing (somehow) to that blog. Then he would tweet his blog individually to people who also like that celebrity. Instead of the usual spam of "please buy my book", his is the slightly more subtle spam of "I really admire Michael J Fox, please buy my book." And the word that comes to mind is "manipulative". It's spam, but it's clever emotional spam. Then we come to the elephant in the room. The method that he doesn't mention is that he paid for positive reviews on Amazon. In order to give his book(s) an initial surge in popularity, he shelled out money to have people give him a glowing review even though they had not read the book. And it's that word again - "manipulative". And here's a funny thing. He has written an okay "how to" book. It has some genuinely useful advice. It is a little short at 170 pages (especially when you skip the filler), but nowhere near as cynical as the sub 50 page scams that seem to be all the rage at the moment. I've never read his fiction, but I hear that it is okay too. His method ought to work (in part) for others. But you can't help feeling more than a little ... that word again ... manipulated. Sold to. Marketed to. And I have this horrible thought of all the copycat wannabes who will write their own schmaltzy blogs, fill the twittersphere with self-promotional spam and buy their first few reviews. It's not a bad book, so I won't give it one star. But it's not great either, and it leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. Three stars. That feels about right.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dana Burnett

    I downloaded this for a quick read, thinking it was going to be the same old advice every other How To publishing book drips out, but I ended up reading it four times and counting. Many Indie writers know the advice given for how to be successful: Write Good Books, Well Designed Cover, Price Right, Blog, Promote on Kindle Boards, Get Reviews, and Buy Advertising. Guess what? It's all wrong! You still need to write a good book, have a nice cover, and the price debate still rages on, but everything I downloaded this for a quick read, thinking it was going to be the same old advice every other How To publishing book drips out, but I ended up reading it four times and counting. Many Indie writers know the advice given for how to be successful: Write Good Books, Well Designed Cover, Price Right, Blog, Promote on Kindle Boards, Get Reviews, and Buy Advertising. Guess what? It's all wrong! You still need to write a good book, have a nice cover, and the price debate still rages on, but everything else has been a lie. John Locke breaks down his marketing system into easy to follow steps. Because it's so different from what we've all been told you might have to read it a few times for it all to sink in, but I still highly recommend it to anyone considering writing a book. Even if you are going the traditional publishing route, you'll need it for promotion tips.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Audirsch

    This was an overblown effort to tell authors basically this: use social media to promote your book. If you are new to social media and don't understand some of the etiquette or if you have used it and have not been effective, this book might possibly provide you with a usable template. However, I found it to be rather superficial and shallow. It tells you exactly what to do in a "this worked for me" sort of way. Rather than teaching concepts, theories and methodologies, Mr. Locke simply recounts This was an overblown effort to tell authors basically this: use social media to promote your book. If you are new to social media and don't understand some of the etiquette or if you have used it and have not been effective, this book might possibly provide you with a usable template. However, I found it to be rather superficial and shallow. It tells you exactly what to do in a "this worked for me" sort of way. Rather than teaching concepts, theories and methodologies, Mr. Locke simply recounts what worked for him and that he believes it will work for you too. The only difference is that you are instructed to "know your audience". It came across as a modern social media parody of John Goodman's Bible salesman training speech in "O Brother Where Art Thou". Unless you are lost and floundering and desperate for a basic "how to", I would avoid this book and encourage you to pursue a true social media guide by Brian Solis or someone else like him with a proven social media track record.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gary Marshall

    200 words padded out to ebook length. You know those "when I explain the secret of my sales technique / kung fu style / fried chicken recipe you'll be blown away" books that are 99% repetitive "don't skip this bit, because nothing will make sense if you do!" padding and 1% content? It's one of those. You could cover the whole method in a pamphlet, and I think some of the Twitter-related suggestions come perilously close to spamming. Although the fact I bought it suggest that I'm the dumbass here. 200 words padded out to ebook length. You know those "when I explain the secret of my sales technique / kung fu style / fried chicken recipe you'll be blown away" books that are 99% repetitive "don't skip this bit, because nothing will make sense if you do!" padding and 1% content? It's one of those. You could cover the whole method in a pamphlet, and I think some of the Twitter-related suggestions come perilously close to spamming. Although the fact I bought it suggest that I'm the dumbass here. Then again, it was recommended to me by a friend who said it was great. So who's the dumbass now? That's right. It's my friend Kyle. Kyle the dumbass.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Emunds

    The basics are there. The book is outdated, but the price still justifies a buy. The highlight: the concept of 'fan transfer'. I read somewhere that Locke admitted he cheated, paying for reviews to boost his books. I didn't verify it. Anyways, these marketing principles only worked miracles in the early days. Everybody is using them now. It's a good buy if you just started to research this subject.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rolando Garcia

    This is not a book about writing. Mr. Locke admits that he is not a great writer, but he also states he doesn't "suck". And this is fine because, as he also points out, he writes to entertain, not to impress. So this book will not improve your writing. This is a book about how to sell what you write. Between being the best novelist and the best selling novelist, the author states he'd rather be the latter, and many would say he has succeeded. Mr. Locke begins the book by telling us about all the This is not a book about writing. Mr. Locke admits that he is not a great writer, but he also states he doesn't "suck". And this is fine because, as he also points out, he writes to entertain, not to impress. So this book will not improve your writing. This is a book about how to sell what you write. Between being the best novelist and the best selling novelist, the author states he'd rather be the latter, and many would say he has succeeded. Mr. Locke begins the book by telling us about all the mistakes he made spending thousands of dollars to market his books while his sales languished. Then he tells us about how he developed and applied his system, which caused his sales to take off. The interesting thing is that his system involves things many writers already do like writing a blog and using twitter, but he uses these tools in his own particular way which often runs against conventional wisdom. For example, haven't we all been told that we need to constantly tend our blogs, posting daily if necessary? Well Mr. Locke posts only 12-15 times a year in his blog! And Twitter, I have used Twitter for one year. Well, after the author revealed how HE uses Twitter I had one of those "duh" moments. I can't believe I didn't figure that out by myself! While many writers may find it difficult (I would even say "unnatural") to follow Locke's central directive on how to go about writing, I still think the book has a lot of great ideas to improve your sales strategy. At $4.99 this e-book is towards the high end of what e-books should cost. However, as the author states (and he sounds very sincere), he would have paid $10,000 for these ideas when he was in low-sales limbo. If you are also in this sales netherworld or want to avoid ending up there, this book may give you the framework that you need.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    As someone who has been in the writing business a long time, I'm constantly looking for new ideas to market my work. In today's publishing climate, publishers--traditional and indie--are throwing ideas against the wall to see what sticks. There is no magic formula. I repeat: There is no magic formula. Success is built on trial and error, and by looking at the successes and failures of those who have gone before. Young writers are taught (or should be, anyway) to model the work of exceptional As someone who has been in the writing business a long time, I'm constantly looking for new ideas to market my work. In today's publishing climate, publishers--traditional and indie--are throwing ideas against the wall to see what sticks. There is no magic formula. I repeat: There is no magic formula. Success is built on trial and error, and by looking at the successes and failures of those who have gone before. Young writers are taught (or should be, anyway) to model the work of exceptional writers, to feel how the writing happens, to try it on for size. Writers are now also required to be marketers. It's a ridiculous situation. Artists are not temperamentally suited to endure the vagaries of the business world, but that's the reality. We need marketing guidance. I've read both Konrath's Newbie's Guide and Stephen King. Now John Locke. All are crazy-smart and successful. Why wouldn't a writer who is about to plunge into the wild world of publishing--indie or traditional--want to be armed with good information and ideas? Locke's enthusiasm may sound over-the-top to some, but I find his approach humorous and encouraging. I, for one, am thrilled to have his ideas for cheap, and can't wait to give them a go.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Simeone

    My recommendation to anyone who decides to read this book is to skip the first part. The first section is mostly self-congratulatory hype, and I suspect it is what the readers that gave this book very low scores found most annoying. If you start in Part Two, you will find that Locke has taken standard book marketing 101 ideas and tweaked them in an unusual way to sell his books. Those reviewers that complain that there is nothing new are both right and wrong. Tactically he is doing things that you My recommendation to anyone who decides to read this book is to skip the first part. The first section is mostly self-congratulatory hype, and I suspect it is what the readers that gave this book very low scores found most annoying. If you start in Part Two, you will find that Locke has taken standard book marketing 101 ideas and tweaked them in an unusual way to sell his books. Those reviewers that complain that there is nothing new are both right and wrong. Tactically he is doing things that you can read about in other book marketing books. In fact, even his law of transference isn't new. Cialdini studied it and wrote about it years ago. What makes Locke's approach interesting is his strategy. He thinks about twitter and blogging differently than other authors who have written "how to sell your book" titles. And he takes the reader step by step through his process, which has worked for him. Overall, this book provides useful food for thought if one is looking for a way to customize existing practices into a plan that will work for your audience and your book. Finally, it is a helpful reminder that there are many ways to think about book marketing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    Very interesting. It's a quick read, explaining the simple system that got him over a million sales in the Kindle store. This makes it seem doable--I'm interested in trying it. What kills me about this book is the guy's writing style is ok in most of the book--not great, not terrible. But he quotes some passages of the promotional stuff he uses for his fiction, and it's the worst crap I've ever read! Yet ingenious in how perfectly it's targeted to the people he wants to attract. He's crazy like Very interesting. It's a quick read, explaining the simple system that got him over a million sales in the Kindle store. This makes it seem doable--I'm interested in trying it. What kills me about this book is the guy's writing style is ok in most of the book--not great, not terrible. But he quotes some passages of the promotional stuff he uses for his fiction, and it's the worst crap I've ever read! Yet ingenious in how perfectly it's targeted to the people he wants to attract. He's crazy like a fox. My hat's off to him. Some of the scornful reviews on Amazon (calling it social media 101, mainly) almost dissuaded me from buying this, but it's worth a read. I've heard a ton of stuff about how to use social media, and his twist on it is a bit different from anything else I've seen. More importantly, he shares the details of how he got his stuff selling in the Kindle store and the strategy of how it works. I'm not sure his exact strategy is for me--it relies heavily on direct email contact with all of your fans, and you need a shitload of fans if you're making 35 cents per sale, which you are if you price your books at 99 cents. Good lord that's a lot of email. :P

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    This guy is a liar and a cheat. Not only is his book just a bunch of repackaged techniques used by car salesmen, but John Locke has openly admitted to paying people to review his books. He said that it's easier to just buy people's respect than actually earn it by writing good books (which his aren't). John Locke and this new generation of self-published, egomaniacal ebook authors have taken the magic out of writing and replaced it with a glorified pissing contest. The actual quality doesn't This guy is a liar and a cheat. Not only is his book just a bunch of repackaged techniques used by car salesmen, but John Locke has openly admitted to paying people to review his books. He said that it's easier to just buy people's respect than actually earn it by writing good books (which his aren't). John Locke and this new generation of self-published, egomaniacal ebook authors have taken the magic out of writing and replaced it with a glorified pissing contest. The actual quality doesn't even matter anymore. The only thing that matters is that a lot of people buy it. This is not the art that writing is supposed to be. These people don't care about creating art that makes people happy. All they care about is being able to say "hey, mom and dad, look at me! I sold a million ebooks!"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Philip Athans

    There is some really good, basic common sense advice in here. I recommend, though, that you concentrate more on the core of the message (consider how you plan to sell it and who you plan to sell it to, use Twitter and a blog, etc) than the specifics, which frankly came off as a little creepy/spammy. Also, please don't just blindly accept that what he's done is necessarily reproducable. His success has a very big "right place at the right time" element to it. The e-book market won't be so There is some really good, basic common sense advice in here. I recommend, though, that you concentrate more on the core of the message (consider how you plan to sell it and who you plan to sell it to, use Twitter and a blog, etc) than the specifics, which frankly came off as a little creepy/spammy. Also, please don't just blindly accept that what he's done is necessarily reproducable. His success has a very big "right place at the right time" element to it. The e-book market won't be so product-starved for long, believe me. Still look for some (modified) self-pubbed efforts from yours truly, and some friends too, in the very near future... There is gold in them thar hills, but an awful lot of prospectors, too.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirkus MacGowan

    It's my personal preference, but I believe the book could have been literally cut in half and been just as good. The first half is primarily about him. Interesting, but not what I was looking for. The second half was very good. It's not really a step-by-step process, but more of his overall approach as an author. The part I found most interesting was his usage of the newsletter. He was already experienced in the business world before he became an author, and you can see it in how he uses the It's my personal preference, but I believe the book could have been literally cut in half and been just as good. The first half is primarily about him. Interesting, but not what I was looking for. The second half was very good. It's not really a step-by-step process, but more of his overall approach as an author. The part I found most interesting was his usage of the newsletter. He was already experienced in the business world before he became an author, and you can see it in how he uses the newsletter to focus on his target audience. Decent book in my opinion. Definitely worth checking out, but don't expect it to be the one and only key to your success.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dan Taylor

    John offers sound advice for indie authors in this book. I enjoyed reading it, too. John's able to put his unique personality into everything he writes. Sure, he soends far too long excusing the book's short length, but any author stuck not knowing how to promote their books should take a look. John Locke is a class act.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sofia Wren

    So it's true-- across several titles John Locke was able to sell an enormous number of Ebooks in a short amount of time. According to this book Locke's previous dribble of sales had not responded to the $20,000 investment Locke made in advertising and marketing. In this book he shares the steps that he believes created his breakout success. 1. As a successful businessman in other ventures, John Locke had the wherewithal and capital to try many marketing techniques to sell his book. John Locke So it's true-- across several titles John Locke was able to sell an enormous number of Ebooks in a short amount of time. According to this book Locke's previous dribble of sales had not responded to the $20,000 investment Locke made in advertising and marketing. In this book he shares the steps that he believes created his breakout success. 1. As a successful businessman in other ventures, John Locke had the wherewithal and capital to try many marketing techniques to sell his book. John Locke tried a whole bunch of ways to sell his book: ways that cost money, and ways that didn't work. Some examples of things that sounds like they might work (but don't) are hiring a PR guy, advertising on a kiosk in the mall in front of a book store, and appearing on radio interviews. Most people don't have the resources to throw money around like this. It's pretty awesome that there is someone willing to share their failures so that others may benefit. 2. Locke creates a step step outline of how another author can mimic his technique for success. When I say Locke outlines his method, I mean he numerically outlines his method. The major gist is: know your reader, write for your reader, and get your readers attention with blogs and social media. It's a familiar equation if you've been reading around on the Internet already, but Locke really delves into the example of his own work to provide clarity. He gives pages and pages of what he knows about his reader. He provides the pivotal blogposts that exploded his brand. And there is something special about what he is doing. He posts once every few months with something emotionally powerful. 3. The moral message of the book is admirable. The key to selling books is-- provide great entertainment for readers. This book is not about using the nitty gritty of using amazon to sucker people into sales. It focuses on presenting a genuine and compelling image to your fans. Locke's advise is to blog about the things you love, and hopefully readers will transfer their loyalty over to you because you have things in common. Locke is all about pleasing the fans and doesn't encourage manipulating them for gain. It has to be something true to really inspire long term loyalty. Seriously, you can check out Locke's blog and see how he does this crazy thing. I had tears in my eyes at his latest post and clicked the book on the bottom. I think I'm going to send it to my Dad. He used his method on me! It's so simple. 4. There does seem to be some filler here. Locke goes deeply into his history. I could have done with less of that, and less reiteration that the book is not about Locke's ego. I get it. But at the same time I found his journey interesting, and I can understand why he put his success on certain methods over others. In sum: All in all. I'd say this is a great book for author-bloggers, as well as authors who have not yet pinpointed their audience. It is a good companion for the very different How to Make a Killing on Kindle. If you liked this review, please visit my blog

  19. 4 out of 5

    J.H. Moncrieff

    This is easily one of the best books on marketing for self publishers I've ever read. I kept saying "Wow" as I read, sharing Locke's insights to whoever was around me at the time who would listen. After ten years as a marketer, with a lot of that spent running social media accounts for companies, you would think I'd know this stuff by now, but Locke had a ton of tips and tricks that I never would have thought of. I can't wait to try out his suggestions and see how they work for me in practice. This is easily one of the best books on marketing for self publishers I've ever read. I kept saying "Wow" as I read, sharing Locke's insights to whoever was around me at the time who would listen. After ten years as a marketer, with a lot of that spent running social media accounts for companies, you would think I'd know this stuff by now, but Locke had a ton of tips and tricks that I never would have thought of. I can't wait to try out his suggestions and see how they work for me in practice. Highly recommended!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I'm the author of 11 traditionally published books. My 12th was an ebook entitled The 11 Secrets of Getting Published. As a newbie to epublishing, I looked forward to learning from someone who's walked the path. This book has me thinking. And strategizing. And noodling. All good things. What I loved: 1. His anatomy and tutorial about how to write a blog post revolutionized the way I think about my own posts. I've been a blogger since 2004, but haven't stumbled upon his method. This week I'm going I'm the author of 11 traditionally published books. My 12th was an ebook entitled The 11 Secrets of Getting Published. As a newbie to epublishing, I looked forward to learning from someone who's walked the path. This book has me thinking. And strategizing. And noodling. All good things. What I loved: 1. His anatomy and tutorial about how to write a blog post revolutionized the way I think about my own posts. I've been a blogger since 2004, but haven't stumbled upon his method. This week I'm going to write some new posts using his insight and see how that works. 2. He gave me confirmation for what I've been doing all along, building strong fans/friends. I've spent several years responding to every reader email. I have an email distribution list of folks who go to bat for me. (This is humbling and heartening!) So I'll keep loving people, seeing my Twitter and Facebook interaction as vital to my career. 3. He writes conversationally.And he's generous with his information. What niggled me: 1. I'm a craft person. My goal is to write a better book each time I write one. This means I spend a lot of time writing and improving. Though I don't think Locke would advocate writing terrible books, he does dance the line. 2. It appears (I certainly could be wrong) that he violates CAN/SPAM laws when he sends emails out to his fans. If you're not familiar with that, I have a guest post on my blog outlining it succinctly. Emails you send out en masse must be permission based (which his are), but they also have to have an unsubscribe feature to be legal. Again, I haven't received an email from him about his books to say if he does or doesn't do this. But I believe he needs to be very clear about this. I wouldn't want to see people's websites get shut down because they violated these laws. All in all, I found this book to be valuable. It's rare that I read a marketing book (and I read hoards of them) where I feel energized and empowered. And it's doubly rare that a marketing book has me up at night thinking of new ways to present myself to my readers. Mary DeMuth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    John Locke is a super-salesman/businessman who regardless what he does figures out how to make money and be a success. Everything he touches turns to gold. If he ever writes a real memoir, I'll buy it. I'm not one of his niche readers, will never buy one of his .99 books or even read a free one. Not because they aren't good, I have no idea if they are or not, but they're just not my kind of read. However, a book that gives guidelines and tips on being more successful especially when it has to do John Locke is a super-salesman/businessman who regardless what he does figures out how to make money and be a success. Everything he touches turns to gold. If he ever writes a real memoir, I'll buy it. I'm not one of his niche readers, will never buy one of his .99 books or even read a free one. Not because they aren't good, I have no idea if they are or not, but they're just not my kind of read. However, a book that gives guidelines and tips on being more successful especially when it has to do with my own rather unplanned, unorganized, write it and they will come approach to my career definitely has my attention. How can anyone not be impressed with his accomplishments as a self-published author? In this book that I downloaded to my Kindle for just $2.99 he outlines how he did it. Some of his plan is applicable for about everyone, others are the kind of things a born salesman/successful rich guy will do and that would be really tough for a reserved, anxiety-ridden, overly stressed already woman (like me)to follow suit and have even 1/10 the same results. So I don't believe that everything works for everyone, but what I do believe in is making plans and setting goals. What Locke's book made me realize is that although I do this kind of planning and goal-setting in nearly every area of my life I have never done it for my own writing career. So he really opened my eyes to that. My regret is that it wasn't longer. He has a very appealing voice as he talks about what did and didn't work for him, as he talks about his writing, how he feels about his books and his readers. I would've liked for him to expand on all of that.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy Jones

    This is the perfect "how to" book for aspiring indie authors. Whether you're just getting started or you've circled around the block a few times, there is something valuable for every indie who wants to sell their books in this read. What I especially loved about this book was the tone of the author. I admit when I downloaded this book to my Kindle I dreaded reading it and was positive I would cast it aside and forget about it before I got to the third page. I absolutely hate non - fiction, no This is the perfect "how to" book for aspiring indie authors. Whether you're just getting started or you've circled around the block a few times, there is something valuable for every indie who wants to sell their books in this read. What I especially loved about this book was the tone of the author. I admit when I downloaded this book to my Kindle I dreaded reading it and was positive I would cast it aside and forget about it before I got to the third page. I absolutely hate non - fiction, no offense to those of you who write it, read it and adore it, I'm just being honest. My point is, the author held my attention and that is saying something as I confess to being an obsessive YA paranormal romance book fiend. The book doesn't read like an instruction manual. Instead, it felt like I was getting sound advice and encouragement from a friend. Mr. Locke takes a no nonsense approach to his business of books. He knows time is valuable to authors (he is one himself) so he doesn't beat around the bush. He gets right to the point in an informative manner that is easy to follow and holds your interest. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to write and sell a book or knows someone who wants to write and sell a book. Amy Jones, author of Soul Quest, Book One in the Soul Quest Trilogy http://amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com http://www.soulquesttrilogy.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisette Brodey

    I was very interested to read John Locke’s book for the most obvious reason. I’m an author and this book is all about being a successful independent author. Additionally, having known John from Twitter long before this book was published, I knew firsthand how he presented himself, though I had no idea that this successful businessman was on his way to making history on Amazon. But he always stood out in a positive light. John gives the reader exactly what he promises and only delivers I was very interested to read John Locke’s book for the most obvious reason. I’m an author and this book is all about being a successful independent author. Additionally, having known John from Twitter long before this book was published, I knew firsthand how he presented himself, though I had no idea that this successful businessman was on his way to making history on Amazon. But he always stood out in a positive light. John gives the reader exactly what he promises and only delivers information germane to the topic of his book. The very good news is that all of the expensive promotional techniques that John can afford (and most cannot) didn’t work for him. In the simplest words possible, John talks about finding his target audience, writing blogs, developing a Guaranteed Buyer List, effectively using social media, and much more. I took quite a bit away from this book. Although John is a very different kind of writer than I am, there are still many commonalities. This book was extremely helpful for me in learning what I was doing right, what I could be doing, and in planning promotional efforts for my current and future endeavors. I also found this book to be extremely motivational and it leaves the reader/author with the distinct feeling that the sky is the limit. It’s a pretty amazing story, too.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eric Thomasma

    This is the best marketing book I've ever read. And I've read a lot of them. In a former endeavor, I read book after book on marketing and while they all offered some useful information, most of them were filled with advice and theories without real world examples to illustrate how to put them into practice. As a result, I was never able to figure out how to adapt their message to my goals. I don't come from a business background and often get lost in the sales-speak terminology that permeates This is the best marketing book I've ever read. And I've read a lot of them. In a former endeavor, I read book after book on marketing and while they all offered some useful information, most of them were filled with advice and theories without real world examples to illustrate how to put them into practice. As a result, I was never able to figure out how to adapt their message to my goals. I don't come from a business background and often get lost in the sales-speak terminology that permeates many of these types of books. Nothing in this book left me wondering what he was talking about. Mr. Locke does not tell you what to do. He shares what he did, both what worked and what didn't. He gives it to you in a friendly conversation, using his story-telling skills to entertain as well as inform. I read this book in a single sitting. Cover-to-cover in a matter of a few hours and I came away with a sense of renewed purpose, a new concept, and a plan of action. If you are self-published, or are thinking about self-publishing, stop what you're doing and read this book. It will change your life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Larry Sheridan

    I am only 30% through the book but can't put it down. John Locke is what we independent self-published authors have needed. He not only tells you his mistakes but also tells you how he was successful. It is simple and straightforward - probably too blunt for many to take but hey, if you want to play on this playground then you need to toughen up and look to those already playing there. Though my novel, A Work in Progress, has been successful on a critical level the sales have not been as strong I am only 30% through the book but can't put it down. John Locke is what we independent self-published authors have needed. He not only tells you his mistakes but also tells you how he was successful. It is simple and straightforward - probably too blunt for many to take but hey, if you want to play on this playground then you need to toughen up and look to those already playing there. Though my novel, A Work in Progress, has been successful on a critical level the sales have not been as strong as I had hoped they would be at this time. Looking at it today, I believe that was the symptom and this book is (I expect) the cure! Thank you John for writing this book!! My novel, A Work in Progress , will benefit greatly from your work! I will write more when I finish the book but had to say something now because I couldn't wait! Okay - now that I have finished the book I must say "attaboy" John Locke - and also, Thank You! It only got better!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Roberts

    The title sounds like a pitch you might hear on a late night infomercial, but this short book is far more sincere than that. This is not an A-B-C 'how-to' instructional manual about selling gadzillions of ebooks online, though John does share his e-marketing model that's proven so successful for him. Locke's business approach to selling ebooks was eye-opening for me, and his understanding of e-publishing versus traditional publishing is worth the read. Most important is the concept of finding, The title sounds like a pitch you might hear on a late night infomercial, but this short book is far more sincere than that. This is not an A-B-C 'how-to' instructional manual about selling gadzillions of ebooks online, though John does share his e-marketing model that's proven so successful for him. Locke's business approach to selling ebooks was eye-opening for me, and his understanding of e-publishing versus traditional publishing is worth the read. Most important is the concept of finding, growing and nurturing your niche market through social media. To be successful as an 'indie' author does not mean trying to reach the broadest market possibly but finding that target market who will love your work and then cater all your marketing efforts toward them. To paraphrase Mr. Locke, "I'm not looking for 500,000 people who might buy my books; I'm looking for the 10,000 devoted fans who will - every time." Good read for all indie authors struggling with marketing their work.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Storm

    I think Locke did a commendable job in writing a book about book marketing without constantly throwing his own written works in the reader's face. I liked his attitudes regarding turning online acquaintances into online friends, making the readers OOUs (One-Of-Us es), finding the right audience and knowing them intimately, and building-up a list of for-sure fanatical buyers. I read this in one sitting while in bed with the flu and really liked the pacing. That being said, I didn't gain much from I think Locke did a commendable job in writing a book about book marketing without constantly throwing his own written works in the reader's face. I liked his attitudes regarding turning online acquaintances into online friends, making the readers OOUs (One-Of-Us es), finding the right audience and knowing them intimately, and building-up a list of for-sure fanatical buyers. I read this in one sitting while in bed with the flu and really liked the pacing. That being said, I didn't gain much from it. However, I own a book marketing firm, so I'm not of the no-nothing-about-promoting-my-books variety. Quite the contrary! Sometimes I loved Locke's personability, and other times I found him to be a bit haughty (but I guess most of us would be FAR MORE haughty given his sales record). Overall, I enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a book to market or needs a pick-me-up after a poor review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Mayer

    I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty details as John does that in his book (I'd have to charge $4.99 for this review) I found the information to be well laid out, excellent advice and very obviously his methods work well. Do I think everyone could use his methods and sell their books? Yes and no. I think like John says in his book, everyone COULD, but will they, that is where I think a lot of authors will fall down. They forget that while this is a writing business and the writing is I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty details as John does that in his book (I'd have to charge $4.99 for this review) I found the information to be well laid out, excellent advice and very obviously his methods work well. Do I think everyone could use his methods and sell their books? Yes and no. I think like John says in his book, everyone COULD, but will they, that is where I think a lot of authors will fall down. They forget that while this is a writing business and the writing is central to the whole system, it is still a business and needs to be treated as such. For anyone wanting to treat their writing as a business and not just a passion or a hobby, then this is a great book, one that I easily reccomend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    John Locke's books are the McDonald's burgers of the publishing world. He whips them off fast, and appeals to the appetites of his readers. When his market research tells him readers want salt, fat, and sugar, he gives them salt fat, and sugar. He prices his books low and does a volume business. If you aspire to be Burger King, Locke's experiences might be of some value. If you as a writer are a multidimensional human being seeking to touch the lives of other multidimensional human beings, this John Locke's books are the McDonald's burgers of the publishing world. He whips them off fast, and appeals to the appetites of his readers. When his market research tells him readers want salt, fat, and sugar, he gives them salt fat, and sugar. He prices his books low and does a volume business. If you aspire to be Burger King, Locke's experiences might be of some value. If you as a writer are a multidimensional human being seeking to touch the lives of other multidimensional human beings, this book will tell you nothing about that particular process. It will, however, tell you tell you what your book will be competing against once you release it to the market. Locke's whipping off books like so many Big Macs repels me. But he's making more money than I am.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Kiedis

    I have never read a John Locke's Donovan Creed novel. I probably never will. But I am glad I bought How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months. This book was insightful, practical, and his process quite doable. I received a couple of stellar insights in addition to his publishing process. That made it worth every penny I paid. Thanks John! If you not familiar with Locke's Donovan Creed series, read the reviews. They garner a variety of reviews, not all flattering. If you read "How I Sold 1 Million I have never read a John Locke's Donovan Creed novel. I probably never will. But I am glad I bought How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months. This book was insightful, practical, and his process quite doable. I received a couple of stellar insights in addition to his publishing process. That made it worth every penny I paid. Thanks John! If you not familiar with Locke's Donovan Creed series, read the reviews. They garner a variety of reviews, not all flattering. If you read "How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months" you will discover that he cares -- and he doesn't. The man knows his audience and delivers what they want. I bought the book to discover John's publishing process and learn all I could from a guy who has done what I have not. I am glad I did.

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