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Jun 02 2017

Book Review of 47 Mind Hacks for Writers #NewToMe2017

I read:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick 4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

#NewToMe2017 – I have not previously read this book or anything by these authors.

There were parts of this book that interested me as a writer. It would certainly be more relevant for non-fiction than fiction, but it’s still useful either way. The book had some insights and knowledge that I had not encountered before. I enjoyed doing the suggested exercises to the best of my ability (see next section about downloads). The book has helped me set some new goals, and for that, I’m grateful.

To create my “pick up plan” I was supposed to download a template. To download a template, I had to go to the site (again) and enter my name and email (again) and wait for yet another email that never comes (and yeah, I’ve checked spam).
When an author has templates that go with the book and I have “sign up for” or jump through a hoop to get them, I feel annoyed and exploited.
When that template doesn’t come, I feel cheated and betrayed, and my opinion of the author’s authority drops considerably. I question if the author does not believe in the work, and thus created a way to trick readers onto a mailing list.
I wonder what my purchase meant to the author. I wonder if I’m just a number to grow an email list.
I would prefer if I could go to a web page and download the templates which accompany the book, and then be given an option to sign up for a mailing list and such. If a book is genuinely good, then I’d sign up. But I feel that being required to sign up for an email list (especially to get what I’d consider “the other 25% of the book I paid for) is a weak and shady business practice.
As a result of several templates that never came and being required to sign up for an email list to attempt to get them (rather than signing up because of a genuine interest), I’m knocking off two stars. I’m genuinely more displeased at having to sign up for a list than I am that the emails didn’t come. Forcing me to sign up to get the rest of what I paid for is a choice the author made. Only one download (the 8-page workbook) out of all of them coming is probably some computer glitch, and that’s something which annoys me but that I could forgive.

The sections about Trolls were well-written, humorous, and insightful. (However, it doesn’t address how to deal with doxing. Perhaps because no one actually knows how to deal with it yet.) But I liked that section enough to give back one star.

That’s a total of 4 out of 5 stars for this book.
So long as you’re prepared to click on SIXTEEN links to 47MindHacks.com (backslash whatever template or directory), and enter your name and email address each time, you’ll enjoy this book.

I do believe that plenty of people read, and that self-publishing is a viable option, and most of the rest from the workbook. (The only email download from the sign-up list to come.)

UPDATE

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: 47 Mind Hacks for Writers
From: “Steve Dimmick”
Date: Sun, June 11, 2017 1:28 pm
To: JLenniDorner

Hi J Lenni,

First off, I’d like to thank you for buying our book. I know there are lots of books you can choose from on Amazon and I appreciate you choosing ours.

This brings me to the second thing I wanted to contact you about. I saw your review on Amazon and I would like to apologize for the issues you encountered with our email optin process. I can confirm that once you have joined our email list once, you will then get access to all of the extra materials that our book mentions. We definitely wanted to avoid asking our readers to optin for every single extra we have available.

I see that you did receive the email for the Workbook. That email also contained your login details so you can access ALL of the other extras from the book. Now that I look at it, I can definitely see that this could be communicated more clearly so it is easier for people to realize that. I am working on updating that specific email so it is more clear.

Thanks for your feedback and please let me know if you have questions or if there is anything else I can help with.

Regards,
Steve

Steve Dimmick





In fairness, this is an example of what I saw in the ebook:
47 Mind Hacks link in ebook
I went to that link expecting just the template for the pick up plan.

I got to the site and believed I was going to get the template.
47 site image

The template for pick up plan is still the only thing I expected.

47 Mind Hacks for Writers email

This is what came.

In all honesty, I didn’t give it my full attention. I didn’t read it for comprehension. I was motivated by the book and wanted to fill out a template. So I clicked download. It wasn’t the template. I figured the wrong item came and I went back to reading the book. I did not reread the email. (Today is the first time I’ve ever really given that email a proper read.)

I went to more of the links, looking for similar stuff, but never received emails with WHAT I WENT TO THE LINKS TO GET. That was the only email that ever came.

I did not look at the email and then go to another link and log in and then try to get stuff again. That is what the email intended for me to do.
I was meant to

  1. STOP reading the book.
  2. Go to a link.
  3. Input my email.
  4. Get an email (not with the desired item, but with instructions).
  5. Fully read the email instructions.
  6. Go to another site.
  7. Log in.
  8. Do whatever there to get the goods. (I don’t know because I never went.)
  9. Still feel motivated enough to do the template.
  10. Go back to reading the book.

If you’re the sort of reader who will do all those steps, you might well enjoy the book more than I did.
I do not care for this system. My star rating remains unchanged by this information.
To each one’s own.
In the comments, you’ll see that Juneta had a better experience and DID complete the required steps.

I’ll also mention that the workbook (the download I thought would be the pick up plan template but wasn’t) was meant, in part, to be done before reading the book. But I didn’t go to a link that triggered an email until the Pick Up Plan template link was up, which is 36% of the way into the book.

Do you feel that templates with reference books should be easy to access, or that authors should require an email sign up in order for a reader to get the accompanying book material?

8 comments

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  1. Juneta

    I went to the site and gave it my email once and got my freebies fine. I think I ended up receiving two emails one confirming and then another directing me to the links for that book. It list of the links on one page. The extra email pop up was just part of the site if you go to their site direct. I did not have to sign up to get my freebies twice.

    I would do it again if you really want them. I got mine fine. The site had some interesting articles.

    The template is set up in Google Docs. You go to the document once click on the each link in the list and then you make a copy from file drop-down menu in Google Docs where it says copy in the list as it is set to read-only. Anyway, copies the templates into your google drive and it may give a download link (did not look for that) but I use google docs so just copied into my own Google drive just fine. I got all the book promised.

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
    Juneta has this post to share DREAMS, GOALS AND ADVENTURE BY AUTHOR MICHAEL D. DITTONMy Profile
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    1. J Lenni Dorner

      I was not as lucky as you. I don’t really want them now. I’ve finished the book, I’ve done it to the best of my ability, and I’ve written my review. But it’s nice to know that others had better luck than I did with getting the templates.
      I didn’t use a gmail address for this. Might that be part of the issue?
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  2. C. Lee McKenzie

    I like signing up for anything to be as simple as possible. I’m easily discouraged by multiple clicks. I offer a free story for signing up on my mail list and I try to make the process as uncomplicated as I can. Sign up. Verify. Get the story. From then on, I treat my followers with respect. Thanks for the follow. No frequent pestering, but offers of content and other free books when possible. What has put me off about following some writers or entrepreneurs is the constant jamming of my inbox.

    Anyway, there’s my 1.5¢
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    1. J Lenni Dorner

      Yeah, I think it’s fine to say “sign up and get a free story” or whatever.
      It’s just, “to get the rest of the content of this book that you paid actual money for, sign up for an email list!” and then the content doesn’t even come. I felt it was my duty to mention it in the review.
      Were this a print book, I’d like to think worksheets would come with it.
      Or even a website with a downloadable template. I have that on my main site! If you want to sign up with email, that’s fine. But if you’ve bought my non-fiction and feel the download will help, it’s right there waiting. Other than normal maintenance (which EVERY site has), it’s available 24/7. In fact, you don’t even need to buy the book to download the template thing. Not that most people would know what to do with it, though nearly every answer is right here on my blog, but still! No jumping through hoops.
      Maybe I took it personally. I don’t know. But it really pissed me off.

      And I know how you feel about inbox jamming. I entered one contest, and now I’m getting 27 emails a day from authors. Some of it is welcome, some of it I hit unsubscribe because I have no idea who these people are or what they write. I’m sure it’s great marketing for most people, but it works the other way on me.
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  3. Julianna Aislynn d'Merricksson

    Oh, this book has been on my TBR list. Glad to hear it’ll be worth the read.

    #getsocial17

    1. J Lenni Dorner

      Let me know your thoughts.
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  4. Bargnhtress

    Sounds like an interesting book! Visiting from #getsocial17
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    1. J Lenni Dorner

      Yeah, it certainly gave me some motivation and several blog posts, so that’s something.
      Find on Twitter:

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