I stockpile books about writing and creativity featured for free on the Kindle. Some of them are books that were intended as freebies overall, as gateways into purchasing other works by the same author, others are short term offers to generate interest in the book and then return to the book’s “regular” price point a couple of days later.
One of the things that I don’t like about these books for the Kindle format is that a lot of times, the information presented as a book amounts to little more than that contained in a magazine article, and a poorly written one at that.
I understand that one of the many benefits of e-books is flexibility of the the publication length and presentation of the content in such a way that a traditional print publication cannot produce at a profit. No publisher is going to print a 27 page booklet loaded with hyperlinks and information promoting other products offered by the same author or closely related products by other authors. There is no way for this publishing model to be profitable. The ebook format makes shorter work possible and possibly profitable.
About this book: The wording is awkward in many places. As if the author is trying to stretch out and pad the story so it can be seen as more significant (in size) than what it is. I am also annoyed that over 16% of the book, and a rather short book at that, is devoted to promoting other titles by the author. I understand that self-promotion is one of the benefits of self-publishing and helps cover the costs generated by offering the current book for free, but I don’t think that it should be any more than 5% of the total page count at most and going this high of a percentage should only be in extremely long, substantive works.
The introduction states that the “purpose of the book is to show you where the best innovators get their ideas. What they do to develop the idea that makes it look unique.” The problem is, Mr. Stables doesn’t use many examples of how the best innovators get and implement ideas. The only concrete example of this I discovered was his story about how Duncan Bannatyne came up with the idea of a chain of care homes for the elderly. He also cites a case about how a popular bar in the UK redesigned a glass collection area, which might have been enlightening, but it was confusing and hard to visualize what he was talking about. He also tries to illustrate the information he provides in the book with examples he has no experience with or even has attempted before:
“I’m no expert angler. However, I don’t know, but an angler may well be able to improve his casting ability by adapting a golf swing technique. Maybe that’s something for you to look at if you’re an angler.”
Awkwardly written. Confusing conjecture on applying one skill to another in a creative way.
This book would have benefited from more specific examples of how well-known innovators used the principles he describes in his book, instead of trying to explain them in vague, general terms.
Pros: The book is formatted well for the Kindle. The cover design is uninspired, but interesting enough.
Cons: Many. If you are looking for a really, really short and basic book on the creative process, maybe this will meet your needs, but I don’t think so. Pass on this one. Even at a free price point, it is probably not worth your time.
Rating: * Waste of a good e-tree ($2.99 Kindle eBook)
About Ratings: ***** — Well Worth it at Full Retail Price; **** — Buy on Sale/Discounted; *** — Buy Used; ** — Borrow It from the Library; * — Waste of a Good Tree