3 out of 4 stars
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Most people who know me know me as a reader; very few people know that I am also a writer with quite a few independently published books. Why do people not know about my books? Simple answer: because I don’t market them. So when I got the opportunity to read and review Rachel Thompson’sThe BadRedead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge, you can bet your sweet noodles that I wasn’t about to turn that down. Anyone in the indie publishing world knows who Rachel Thompson is, even little no-bodies like me. If you don’t know who Rachel Thompson is, then you’re way behind in the times. She’s pretty much THE marketing aficionado of the indie publishing scene. She writes/publishes books, but I know her more by her attributions to helping other authors market their books on a variety of social media platforms.
The 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge is just one of several books she has for authors or bloggers to use as a resource for marketing themselves and their books. As the title implies, the book is designed to be a challenge that can be accomplished in 30 days. Each day has a different topic and an assignment for that day. Assignments can range from anything such as creating an effective Twitter bio to reading up on some materials to learn more about SEO basics. Don’t know what SEO means? Neither did I before I read this book, but it’s extremely important if you want readers to know about your book.
Obviously, this book has a specific target audience. This isn’t just something that anyone out there would pick up and read in a bit of spare time. Even I had a hard time figuring out if this challenge would even work for me. It does seem to be designed more for full-time writers/authors whose only job is writing. While most of the challenges are quick and simple, some of them require a little bit of dedication on a regular basis, and most of them require long-term commitment. For a nursing mother working 50 hour weeks with a 2 hour commute each day, that hour of free time on Sunday morning is just not going to work. You have to be able to put in the time and the effort if you want this challenge to work for you. That being said, the book doesn’t actually make any promises about selling your book.
I am giving this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars for quite a few complex reasons that I may or may not be able to articulate adequately. First of all, the writing style is fun and easy to read. It’s written like we are friends sitting down to play a game together, colloquial everyday speech and all (and perhaps a scattered handful of typos thrown in as well), which makes it much easier to follow the challenges assigned each day. I certainly recommend this book to authors who are willing to take the time to sit down and do it. I obviously didn’t do it; I just read through it to see if it would even be feasible. I recommend that other authors do the same as well in order to prepare ahead of time for what is yet to come. I wouldn’t go into this blindly; some assignments are simple, but others need a little preparation and perhaps even some additional research. This leads me to the negatives of the book.
The dreaded “b” word. Blog. If I never read this word again, it will be too soon. Here’s what happens with this book. The first 13 days go nice and smoothly. Everything seems simple and doable. Then on day 14, that all changes. Suddenly, blogs are a thing. A very, very important thing. They come up again and again in the second half of the book, and there is an underlying expectation that you should already have a well-established blog with a decent following. I almost gave up reading at this point, ready to throw in the towel on my entire writing “career.” I hate blogs with a passion. I never read them, I certainly don’t write them, and I seriously thought that they were an internet fad that disappeared back in the early 2000s. I guess I was wrong. I would be willing to accept this, except that the remainder of the book gives off a rather condescending tone toward writers who don’t have a blog with quality content and regular updates. It was a little off-putting to me, and I lost a little bit of respect for the author because of that “I can’t even with you if you don’t” (p. 125) tone.
I actually found myself a bit frustrated with quite a few pieces of advice in the book. There are a lot of things to read and research. About 20% of the book is a just list of references to help you out. It’s overwhelming and intimidating. But at the end of the day, Rachel Thompson is the one selling books, not me. She knows what she is talking about, and I should probably pull my head out of 1998 and get with the times. This book was designed to be a challenge, and that’s exactly what it accomplishes. A challenge is not meant to be easy; it’s called a challenge because it’s challenging. That’s how words work, and that’s how this book works. Does the book deliver what it’s meant to deliver? Absolutely. Would I actually complete this challenge? With enough motivation and perhaps a few boxes of chocolate as a reward for approaching the dreaded “b” word, probably, when I’m at a place in life where I am able to follow through. This book has its flaws, but it’s definitely worth the read for authors looking to get some tips on marketing.
The BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge
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