When you set out to write your “How To. . . " book or any book selling information, do not make the mistake of leaving your readers with more questions after reading your book than they had before starting it. They will punish you for misleading them and the Internet will get their opinion out to anyone with an interest in researching your book before buying it.
Before you publish your book and start selling it, give copies to a few friends that do not know a thing about the topic. Ask them to read it and let you know if they have questions that were not answered in the book, but should have been. If necessary, do some editing to make sure these questions get answered before you make the book available for sale to the public.
As a consumer myself, I always look at what other readers have to say about a book before I purchase it. If a particular book has a few stellar reviews, an equal number of good reviews, and some negative reviews, I do not assume it is good or bad, I try to determine if the book gives the reader what its marketing says it will. That is, if the negative reviews come from readers that were advanced practitioners of the subject, and their negative reviews are owing to the fact that they got nothing out of a book intended for beginners, I cannot fault the book or the author. On the other hand, if I am looking to buy a book about advanced engineering mathematics and reviewers gave the book bad reviews because the book only included high school algebra, I would decline to buy it and would assume the negative reviews were deserved.
In writing “How To. . . " books, the old saying, “Honesty is the best policy" is certainly applicable. In a world where everyone is looking to make a quick buck, you will find yourself in debt as an author if you shortchange the customers of your book. If your book is marketed as a book that will teach them how to do something, make sure it does. This is particularly true if you are marketing a book that purports to instruct the reader with respect to how to do something to generate an income. Readers of this type of book are not happy when they pay good money for your book and find that after they have read it, they still do not have a clue about how to use the information to make money. They will justifiably give you bad reviews assuring that others do not become victims of deceitful marketing. Give your readers everything they expect and more, and they will give you good reviews that will lead to even more sales. Then, if you do write a follow-up or companion book, they will know they can expect a quality book from you.
This practice applies to other products and/or services as well. I cannot count the number of products I have purchased over the years that broke or malfunctioned within a week of taking them out of their packaging. In fact, I have found that packaging these days is usually more durable and functional that the products inside.
How many times have you purchased something that looked or sounded great only to find out when you open the package that the product is significantly less that what you expected? The Internet and information sharing can be devastating to even the best product if it does not meet the expectations of the consumers buying it, so before you start selling something, whether it be a book or another product, test it yourself and ask others to test it to make sure it will live up to consumer expectations. If it does not and you proceed to sell it, sales will be brief and your customers will speak their mind.
Michael E. Mould is the author of “Online Bookselling: A Practical Guide with Detailed Explanations and Insightful Tips, " [Paperback ISBN 1427600708, CD-ROM ISBN 1599714876] and the developer of “Bookkeeping for Booksellers" [CD ISBN 1427600694], you can learn more about online bookselling at: http://www.online-bookselling.com , or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .