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Sunday, August 20, 2017

5 Ways to Spot - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Author Blogs.

We live in a hyped world. Anybody who screams "This or that is bad" has a better chance of getting heard than the ones who offer solutions.

Only screaming "This or that is bad" isn't leading to a solution; all it is, is "hyping the issues."

We see this kind of approach from indie author bloggers who make their case, that "everything is Amazon's fault" just like many Republicans suggest that "everything is Obama's fault."

But, are the bloggers working on solutions? 

Full disclosure: I am also the author of half a dozen indie author "how-to"-books, however, I only write about topics I am a known expert in.

There are good, bad, and even ugly blogs. 

By my concept:

Good Blogs are written by industry experts who share some tidbits of their expertise, also to introduce their work (Somehow we have to find out whose goods and services we want to buy).

Bad Blogs are rehashed content presented in 50 shades of pink (hopeful and optimistic) or 50 shades of grey (as a stern warning). 

It's the year 2017. As I write this blog, at 10:30 a.m. EST, more than two millions blogs have been published — today! Yesterday, it was the same and also the day before and the day before that. Therefore: Don't believe everything you read.. 

Ugly Blogs cause real damage. Though they may present novel content often they violate industry guidelines or suggest cheater methods that will be discovered. 


(FUN exercise: Please click that link and write down the number of blogs you see.)


Already last year, I pointed out that there is no way that the 89 million blogs about "how to get book reviews" make sense.

Meantime, the 89 millions blogs about "how to get book reviews" have increased to 375,000,000 blogs about this topic; in short, people reblog or rehash and rephrase the same content on their blogs. Most often, this type of activity only increases the amount of useless information.


That is why I offer only blogs with real solutions. If I have nothing to contribute I don't blog.

And, while thousands of people read my blogs, unlike the hyped blogs they are not been shared thousands of times.


Maybe, because some of the thousands of readers thought, "Ghee, this might work. I better keep this to myself." Though this concept thinking is understandable, please ponder the consequences.

Whenever a "good blog isn't winning" an inferior blog "wins"

As an example:

1) Here is my Expert Blog
The 5 Most Common Mistakes When Seeking Book Reviews From Amazon Top Reviewers

Please note: Though this is still clever advice, in the meantime Amazon disconnected their top reviewers' email addresses  (I'll get to this in a bit.) - In contrast

2) An Inferior blog [I am not naming names] might state:
"... Just tailor this template and send it to top reviewers..."

A) As a result, top reviewers received thousands of emails tailored after the mentioned or slightly different (silly) templates.

B) Equally, bad bloggers came up with the great idea to blog, “Here is what I do... To my email I attach a .mobi file of my book...”

Eventually, many top reviewers had enough and blocked their profiles.

C) Lastly, the really UGLY bloggers came up with the idea to subscribe reviewers to Mailchimp lists, without their permission, which is a clear violation of the CAN-SPAM Act 2003.

Which was probably the reason why Amazon disconnected the top reviewers' email addresses. Amazon does not want to be accused of enabling SPAM, by their reviewers or the FTC.


Did you notice that every time one of these hyped blogs got shared and multiplied honest and good indie authors lost opportunities even if they did not participate in any of this?


The "Bad and Ugly" don't worry about that.

They'll find a different reason to scream "It's all Amazon's fault"..." and yeah, "everything else is Obama's fault."

The truth is
Amazon gave indie authors an awesome marketing opportunity 
They gave indie authors access to the email addresses of their top-10,000 out of 50 million reviewers (of which about 5,000 reviewed indie authors' books) 

Bad and ugly blogging led to this opportunity being taken away.


Now, please click this link again and compare numbers:

That's how many blogs were published while you read this blog. It's your guess how many of these blogs are good, bad, and ugly blogs.


How to find great blogs

1) Remember the First Amendment

When reading a blog always remember that in the United States the First Amendment guarantees people the right to write, even about things they know nothing about or can’t prove to be true.

2) Check the blogger’s background!

Every blogger features a short resume at the beginning or the end of their blog. Always study it and also — verify it. Don’t hesitate to ask poignant questions.

The same goes for books. Some of the bad and ugly write books instead of blogs.

3) Don't follow the lead but think for yourself

The other day I noticed a "new Amazon review expert." This author had published only two books in less than two years. Can anybody with less than two years experience be an expert? — I read this author's book about getting reviews. It had dozens of glowing reviews. Only after I published my thoughts suddenly other reviewers too articulated doubts about the presented method. (It's extremely questionable.)

4) Check the date!

If a blog is older than six months, chances are at least some parts may be outdated. Things change quickly these days and not everybody is an ethical writer who un-publishes obsolete content.

5) Don't share bad or even ugly blogs!

In the long run you may pay the price even though you yourself may not have followed the suggested concept.

On Twitter, many authors share blogs they don't read. In reality, they share the title of the blog.

At a time when 4 to 6 million blogs get published d a i l y doing that can be quite dangerous.

Years ago, I read a super blogger's advice, "Don't spend more than two hours on writing your blog but think about the title for a whole day." While that may be smart advice, it may also have helped to kill marketing opportunities for indie authors.


I'd love to open up the conversation about this topic, so please share your thoughts in the comments.

~~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is a 29-year publishing industry veteran who self-published her first book in 1988.

Her work as an Amazon ecommerce review expert has been featured on Bloomberg (tech podcast) and on NBC News (biz blog);  her work as an email evangelist was featured in SUCCESS and in Entrepreneur.

To subscribe to Gisela's Blog pls subscribe to the RSS feed at the top of this blog's web-edition or sign up to receive summaries

Gisela's website:

Gisela tweets @Naked_Determina


© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann
Title picture: Avatars by Toonstyle(dot)com via Shutterstock


  1. Amazon has blocked access to top reviewers' email addresses. Facebook gives you exposure that is pretty much laughable. So how are you promoting your third edition?

  2. Hello Venky :)) how are you? Hope all is well is India. I am going to get to see my first solar eclipse tomorrow.
    Would you like to share your experiences with Amazon, FB, Twitter et al.?
    As for your question... Please consider reading my book.

  3. Hi Gisela,
    I hope you enjoy the solar eclipse! I'm too scared to watch it.
    I have a question. I wrote down some reviewers email addresses before they were taken down. One gentleman reviewed my second book. When I tried to re contact him, he put a filter on his email, with an automatic response that I had to fill in information so he could filter out unsolicited emails. Am I a solicitor if he didn't ad me to his list from the first time I contacted him? I don't want to get myself into trouble if I try to contact him. Thanks!

    1. @Jessica - I am so INSANELY proud of you!!!!!
      If he now added a filter you just go along with it and he'll see your request the way he wants to view it. All is good.
      Keep on going! I am very proud of you!!!!!
      Too often I find out that people postpone to take action. These days, that can lead to regrets.

    2. Great, thank you very much! I appreciate it!

  4. I assume all this is pertaining to blog posts that specifically address how-tos of the publishing industry. You say don't share ugly blogs, but what if they post bad how-to content one day and entertaining story content the next day. What if I don't care about a bloggers bad advice but enjoy the creative material they produce?

    1. Well, @Toi, :)) obviously, all of this is difficult. I am a nonfiction author so I believe in the sharing of best nonfiction info. The opposite does cause problems.

    2. Yes, it is difficult. Thanks for your reply.

  5. We see the same from indie author bloggers who make their case, that "everything is Amazon's fault" just like many Republicans suggest that "everything is Obama's fault."

    Thank you for signaling your knee-jerk politics. Goodbye.