On The Observer, Brent Underwood recently posted on article about how it only took him $3 and five minutes to become a “#1 Bestselling Author” on Amazon. In order to prove his point, Underwood published a “book” on Amazon titled “Putting My Foot Down” and consisted of a single page that featured a picture of Underwood’s foot, pictured above. Describing the publishing world, Underwood says:
… it’s begun to feel a bit like a losing battle. Because those authors [trying to trick others into thinking they’ve written great books] are everywhere these days. The title of my fake book was “Putting My Foot Down” for a reason: I’ve become utterly exhausted with phony “authors” and the scam artists and charlatans who conspire with these folks–the cottage industry that has built up around them, selling courses, instructions and hacks. A quick Google search returns dozens of “bestselling books,” courses, packages, schools, secrets, summits, and webinars teaching you how to become a “bestselling author”. Hell, this guy even promises to show you how to be a bestselling author “Even if You Have No Book Ideas, Writing Skills, or Any Clue Where To Start” in a “5 Phase Formula.” Heart Centered Media will give you “Guaranteed Bestseller Status” for just “3 payments of $1,333,” although they let you know “Book Sales are NOT Guaranteed.” Denise Cassino promises that with her services, “You’ll forever after be a ‘Bestselling Author!’ a tag that will open doors otherwise closed to you”…for just $3250. Jesse Krieger over at “Bestseller Campaign Blueprint” encourages you to “Imagine looking on Amazon and seeing…Your Book on the Best-Seller Lists Next to Your Author Heroes” and lets you know he can deliver that dream for just $997. Peggy McColl has “Launched Perhaps MORE Bestsellers Than ANY Other” and will teach you how for only $2,497.
Following Underwood’s argument, he proceeds to list the steps – with screenshots! – and detail how he became a “#1 Bestselling Author” on Amazon with only $3 and 5 minutes. It will probably take me a lot more than that to properly dissect his argument. Regardless, here is what I’ve gathered so far:
- Premise 1: Many people who publish books are only looking to make money, not to write good books.
- Premise 2: Anyone can publish a book by themselves without being hired by a publishing company.
- Conclusion: Therefore, it takes little to no writing skills to earn the title of “#1 Bestselling Author.”
The first premise cannot be proven factually true nor factually incorrect because this is simply Underwood’s opinion, and there is no data and evidence to prove that this premise is true. However, the second premise is factually true because it is actually possible to publish a book on Amazon by yourself, as proven by Underwood’s experiment and my own first-hand experience. The argument is valid, however, because this conclusion may be drawn from the two premises: it takes little to no writing skills to earn the title of “#1 Bestselling Author.” As a result, this argument could be sound, as long as the first premise can be proven to be factually true.