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Sunday, February 11, 2018

All Free Books are not a Stupid Act or Marketing Gimmick

The post is a review of the book titled, "How to Think Bigger: Aim Higher, Get More Motivated and Accomplish Big Things" by Martin Meadows.

The very title is quite long. It contains 13 words and 78 characters. However, total pages as per the Amazon counts are merely 106 pages and 1031 locations. It includes seven chapters and an Appendix. A list of books for further reading is included there. It is free and ready for download.

There is a need for, to begin with, a comment on the title of this post itself and the idea of getting this book.

There are numerous books which are available free of cost not only on Amazon but elsewhere also. It is not a researched based conclusion but an experiential observation that such offers are just a Marketing Gimmick. The marketing people are making use of indie-publishing paradigm as a part of the craft of their profession. It is even taught in business schools to write brochure in the form of books or comics to introduce your product and then present it as a book. The booklet is also advertised to promote the selling. The game plan is to tell the world that the book which is a brochure, is free, free and free. A greedy person like me will collect it. If you are sincere and posses my kind of psyche, you may also obtain such free things. Now, if you happen to read the contents, you learn that it was an advertisement for some product. The task of the advertiser was to apprise you of his product, and he had achieved his job if you had fallen into the trap.

I had fallen for such a bait on many occasions. The title was simple. The name of the title attracted me. It was free of cost. I pushed the "Buy It" button and the rest followed.

I have collected this title in the manner stated above. Now, it was not the only title which I had obtained. There are a good number of titles which I have collected. I receive such titles from Hourly History series. I have written about some of their books on this blog. I have read a large number of their other titles. However, I have not written posts on all those books which I have gone through that I have received from Hourly History publication. I am not suggesting that Hourly History series is also a gimmick. I will emphasise that the actual import of the title of the present post in their support. I mean to say that every free book is not a marketing gimmick. I repeat that all free books are not stupid acts. The Hourly History series is doing a good job. I will come out with more posts on their titles. On the other hand, I have found some such free books as a mere gimmick or Stupid Act.

I may be a greedy person. I do not feel shy to accept it. However, I am a reader also. I read. It is next to breathing for me. If I do not read, I feel suffocated. Therefore, I read. I write also. I write with fountain pens. If I write on the computer, I blog. However, many registers are piling up with me which contain all the pages blackened with black Parker Ink written with Parker, Hero (Chinese) and Elegante Camlin. Some of the pages are also in gel and ballpoint blue ink. Whenever I read, I write too. Now in case of this title, I did not pick my fountain pen. I came to the computer and wrote this post.

I must say that the author is sincere. He wrote about what he had experienced. He is not someone like Napoleon Hill or Dale Carnegie or Joseph Murphy or even Swami Vivekananda or Devadutta Patanik asking you to follow some Christian or Vedanta ethics. He seeks references from research-based observations of psychologists, sports trainers and contemporary corporate winners like Jeff Bezos (I am not advertising for Amazon), Richard Branson, Elon Musk and many such celebrities. He refers to his experiential observations. No doubt it is his ultra selling point that he stands as an example of the efficacy of the methods which he propounds. No doubt he also advertises about his writings. He tells about his other books. He has made some of his titles available free of cost, and now I will read his title 'Confidence: How to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs and Achieve Goals'. The book is also available free of cost, and it is already in my collection. I hope that I may not change my view after reading his second title. I may buy some of his other titles by paying the cost of the title. If these two free books are his marketing gimmick, then he is a success.

He writes well. His narration is smooth. He does not use intricate terms or flowery language or difficult technical terms in his pursuit to get references from scientific research.

One of the statements made by the author about the ways to improve your Self is to give importance to reading. It is the most responsible statement of the author which is a practical and result oriented (Kindly do not ask the evidence of any research here. Continue to read, and you will get the answer). I do not know about the views of psychologist and neuropsychologist. However, this is something which anyone can verify on his own. It is an experiment which one can perform on his own and learn the benefits. However, in this world of Whats-app, Facebook, Instagram and other social media, (kindly exclude blogging out of it as it turns up as an archaic activity), the humanity is denying itself one of the most straightforward exercises and the methods of self-improvement.

His book is also a teaser for me. He has published this e-book on Amazon. He has used endnotes which works immaculately. I am of the impression that the footnotes or endnotes do not work while formatting on Kindle Direct Publishing. However, in this book, there is a good demonstration of this feature. It means that I have yet to learn about formatting a manuscript on KDP. I believe that the problem exists in the use of the word processor software. I use OO, and most of the writer use MS Word. In short, the success of the feature of the endnotes suggests that I do not fully understand the use of word processor and formatting of an e-book.

It is a continuation of above paragraph. The writer has used a simple title. It is not gaudy or flashy. I differ on this issue with some of the authors and publishers. In case of Fiction genre, there is too much stress on this feature. You can grab the attention by a flashy title, but if the content is not worth the salt, then you are in the business of cheating.

However, there are some irritants also. Who is "Martin Meadows"? It is a pen name of an author as per his claim in the book. Even on the author page of Amazon portable, he or she has not written anything more than that. He has not shown any photograph of self. He talks about his achievements, but he does not introduce himself. That is not fair Martin Meadows.

The second irritant is that he keeps on referring to other titles authored by him to elaborate his point and expect the reader to read them for further clarification. He has mentioned titles authored by some established authors. He has even suggested a list of titles. He has done it in the form of an essay termed as Appendix A. The fascinating thing is that the writer has not found the urge or need of claiming evidence in its favour based on research.

The use of the phrase that "The research I conducted" is a norm, a fad and the buzz words presently. In India, even a Yogi, covering his torso with saffron coloured sheets, is making claims that he has researched for 25 years on the herbs and produced a pill for Blood Pressure or discovered a formulation of toothpaste or face cream to look white like a European or American research institute demonstrates that mineral oils are not safe in hair oils, therefore, his herbal hair oil is research approved because it does not contain mineral oil. I accept the value of research. However, I hate it because everyone uses it without actually understanding the meaning of research. A research claim without pondering, without contemplating, without thinking, and merely using ratios, the sum of the total, beta charts, technical charts, mean, median and mode is not research. Every data procured from experiment preceded by the right type of questioning on the issue in hand demands an interpretation. You say everything with some responsibility. It has to be researched. You write and claim with responsibility. However, why is this insistence of repeating every time that whatever is being said is based on research? I hate the day when a poet will say; I have researched and written this poem. What will happen if tomorrow a research paper says that Cambridge University has proved that Oxford University has produced more politicians and a lesser number of Nobel Prize winners?

Further, it is my observation, that all such Self Help and Self Improvement Books are personal statements of each author. If a book has become popular, then it is because of the writing skills of the author. If you face some problem with the Self, then one of the ways is to seek the help of a psychologist. The second method is to meet your self on your own. Accept your self. Then do experiments with it. You may seek clues and advice, but ultimately you have to deal with it on your own. Your methods may not work for others. At the most, it may divert the attention of a reader for a time. However, if one faces a problem with Self, then remember, the Self is with you and in you. You are the master and the director. You learn cycling on your own. No manual can teach you cycling. It is your body, your muscles, your self. If there is some physical problem, then consult a doctor. However, kindly keep your Self in your ownership. Accept it and deal with it.

A Parting Message:

This book is also an advertisement. It will ask you to download the next free book. You click the link. You will receive the instruction to register by providing your email. You will get a confirmation email which includes the catalogue of his books. It will ask to buy one of his books. It is a quite deal. But my question remains. Who is this Martin Meadow from Portland, Oregon, USA?

Attention Please: It is an Advertisement. It includes the books of Martin Meadows which are free.

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