I’ve recently downloaded some Kindle books on writing and book marketing, one of them was free and was a the top of the charts so even though I was dubious about the title, “How to Write a Kindle Book in Hours”, I thought I’d give it a go.
The subtitle emphasised that “quality” was important, not quantity, so I was quickly put off when I encountered a typo on the very first page – cringe! Now, we all make mistakes and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that didn’t have some kind of error in it, so I carried on. Unfortunately, page 2 mentioned installing a “free desktop article spinner”, which horrified me. I’d come across article spinning when I was a freelance writer a few years ago. There were often jobs advertised for article spinning for website content and I always avoided those; I was a writer not a charlatan. Anyway, I carried on, perhaps the author was referring to some different type of spinning.
Well, it didn’t get much better. The author advised making your decision about what to write based on the question “what are people buying?”. Well, of course it is important to know that there is a market out there for your writing, but I don’t think authors should have to change from writing about history, for example, to writing about dating or gaming just to make a buck.
The next section was better. It covered what to include in your ebook and gave sound, practical advice, but it was quickly followed by a chapter on how to write your ebook by spinning content to make multiple variations of the same article. There was no explanation on why you should do this – I assume it was so that you could produced a few ebooks from the same content – and it was all very odd. Then, the author moved on to hiring freelancers to spin articles for you… (face palm). I flicked through the rest of the book, but came to the conclusion that it must have been spun from articles by the author as there was so much of it that just didn’t make sense. It was truly awful.
It reminded me of the get-rich-quick schemes for online marketing that I used to hear about in emails, the lazy way to make money by taking advantage of people. Where’s the quality in spun content? It shocked me that books like this, and the one I mentioned a couple of weeks ago advising people to fake reviews on Amazon, are out there and are at the top of the charts in their genre. Lots of people are reading these books and I’m worried that self-publishing is going to get a bad name because people are willing to put their integrity to one side in order to make a fast buck.
If you’re a writer and you’re going to publish then please put your readers first. Write quality content, get it professionally edited, respect your potential readers and other authors, and give yourself a clean conscience. It’s worth it, honestly.