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Thursday, May 23, 2013

SHH! BIG SECRET REVEALED:
there are no secrets in books


The American government has a Secret Service and the United Kingdom has an Official Secrets Act. Lots of very smart people spend their careers trying to uncover or protect secrets -- especially "top secrets." Secrets are exciting. Every child wants to learn some special, restricted bit of information. 


"I've Got a Secret" was an extremely popular TV show that originally aired from 1952 until 1967. It was revived for brief sessions in 1972-'73 and in 1976 and from 2000-'03. There was even an at-home game based on the show. (I think it should have been called "I Have a Secret.")


In Animal House, Delta Tau Chi fraternity was put on "Double Secret Probation" by Faber College Dean Wormer who wanted to find a way to ban the fraternity for bad behavior and bad grades.  


Do you want to know a secret? was an extremely popular Beatles song from the 1963 album Please Please Me, sung by George Harrison.The single reached #2 on the Billboard chart in 1964 and the #1 position in 1981.

Apparently, lots of people want to know secrets, especially "dirty little secrets."

Amazon.com lists 186,862 books with "secret" in the title (up from a mere 150,000 or so a year ago). Some are fiction, and many are nonfiction. "Secrets of success" is a very popular book title cliche. Thousands of books use the phrase in their titles.

Here's a dirty little secret: none of the books promising secrets actually reveal secrets because no secrets are secret after even one person reads the secret.

The author of Secrets of Self Publishing 2 is so proud of his secrecy that he put the title TWICE on the cover of the horrible book. The slim volume is badly written, badly formatted and apparently unedited. I found exactly one alleged secret in the book: "The secrets of self-publishing are the same as the secrets of success. One must be willing to research all outlets, and find a method which fits your program." That's not much of a secret.

E-Book Publishing Secrets has 24-pages and sells for $15! When I checked, it had no reviews on Amazon and almost no sales. I’m not surprised. Who would pay more than sixty cents per page for a book? (The subtitle has several grammatical errors—bad for a book about publishing.) Of course, there are no secrets in the book. Strangely, the author likes to refer to himself as "Mr." John Wallace Hayes. His books are notable for egomania, bad grammar and poor sales.

Please find some way to attract readers to your book without putting "SECRETS" in the title.

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