Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A tragic combination: an author uses bad English to present bad advice. She also claims to be a marketing expert, but missed an important and free opportunity to market her book about marketing.

(From Michelle Dunn's Mosquito Marketing Blog in the Nonfiction Authors Network on Linkedin. Left-click to enlarge)

Michelle Dunn says she is an author, but an author should know that the plurals of  "pro" and "con" do not need apostrophes. (Actually, as shown above, she gets it right one third of the time.)

Basic errors in English like this cast doubt on everything an author writes. I am not surprised that Michelle has major errors in her cons about self-publishing.
  • With print-on-demand (which now dominates self-publishing), the author does NOT store, pack or ship books. Books are automatically available through the major wholesalers and online booksellers.
  • There is little point in trying to get self-pubbed books sold in terrestrial bookstores.
  • Michelle said there is "No 'big' advertising budget." Actually, with self-publishing, the ad budget can be as big as you can afford it to be -- even bigger than the ad budget of a traditional publisher.
  • She said, "you keep all the money when you sell a copy." Don't forget the cost of editing, illustrating, designing, marketing, printing and shipping -- and taxes.
Michelle also left out the biggest con of traditional publishing: it can take YEARS to be accepted by an agent and publisher -- and it may never happen.

On the Amazon.com page for her book, Michelle describes herself as a "marketer extraordinaire" and "a high energy marketing expert." BULLSHIT. No real marketing expert would have places on her website (shown above) that urge people to buy her book on Amazon, but not have clickable links to the Amazon page. Michelle has a lot to learn before she tries to teach others. I won't call myself an expert, but I know better than Michelle does.

Her blog often has just one or a few posts each month -- or even no posts. That's terrible marketing and fatal for building a following. A blog report about BookExpo America has abundant bad grammar including "publishers [no apostrophe] booth," "Know what your [no apostrophe and 'e'] talking about," "to busy,” "less people," "less booths" and "that" instead of "who." YIPES!

One blog post title is "Should I only market online?" The misplaced "only" is a common error that is normally avoided after puberty. An expert marketer and author should know better.

A web page promoting her book has inconsistent uppercasing, inconsistent use of  "&" and "and," inconsistent style for book titles, bad grammar, a sentence repeated in two successive paragraphs, and the wrong name for BookExpo America. She once more inserts an apostrophe to form a plural (ironically for "author") and omitted the first letter of her business name. YIPES! There's also a word that needs an apostrophe -- but doesn't have it.

Michelle Dunn recommends having an assistant with you while attending BookExpo. Michelle needs an assistant who can proofread.

1 comment:

  1. This is so bad it's funny! I wish that everyone in the world could read your post and then know to not buy her book and thus have her sell none. (If my wording isn't perfect here, you get the idea.)

    She would look at her assistant and say, "Gee, Frank, we haven't made a single sale. I wonder what the f--- went wrong."

    It's people like her who, truly, are clueless... and still think that they can make money by merely slapping something together.

    It gives the rest of us authors, the ones who really work at it, a lot of hope.