Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A tragic combination: Michelle Dunn uses bad English to present bad advice. She also claims to be a marketing expert, but made major errors in marketing her book about marketing.

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

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

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 and ebooks (which dominate 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, shipping and distributing -- 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 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 more than Michelle does. (I mentioned the linking lapse on this blog more than two years ago, but it has not been corrected.)
  • Her blog often has just one or a few posts each month -- or even no posts in a month. 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. Maybe she should simply stop writing.

Her Mosquito Marketing for Authors is one of the worst books ever produced. It was published in 2010 and Michelle said it "is the first book to be released in the Mosquito Marketing Series." It seems to be both the first and last book in the Mosquito series. Perhaps Michelle has given up on writing about marketing to return to her previous specialty -- advising bill collectors. 

1 comment: