Would you ever buy a book from a man who describes himself as a contrepeneur?
If the answer is yes, then you probably grab yourself a copy of Mike Winnet’s 144-paged blank ‘novel’, titled ‘The Contrepreneur’s Guide: How to get a #1 Amazon best-seller’.
The British ‘demotivational speaker’ devised the scheme as a way to expose wannabe business gurus.
“Everyone’s an Amazon best-seller these days and contrepreneurs use it to establish authority, get speaking gigs and upsell you other products,” Winnet said in a video documenting the scheme.
It took him just over an hour to complete the gag.
“I couldn’t be arsed writing a proper book,” he said.
Instead, he knocked up a flashy cover, which included glowing (and very fake) testimonials, a reduced price sticker and a promise for readers to “make millions”.
The book was then uploaded to Amazon Direct Publishing, which allowed him to save on any upfront costs and instead only pay Amazon a royalty when someone ordered a copy.
It was here where he was able to effectively game Amazon’s best-selling list.
He ensured the book was uploaded into a very niche sub-category, in this case it was ‘Business Quality Management’.
“[This is] so you’re competing against boring, low-selling, sh*te books in the charts.”
Despite being told the book would first face a thorough review from Amazon, the title was live that same day.
To get to the top of a chart on Amazon, the book must be the top-seller for just one hour.
To achieve this, Winnet dropped the price from £7.97 ($AUD14.32) to £0.99 ($1.78) and pushed it on social media.
Sure enough, the flashy cover and bargain pricetag propelled The Contrepreneur’s Guide: How to get a #1 Amazon best-seller to #1 on the Business Quality Management list on Amazon, promising Northern hemisphere readers a “nice and short read for summer”.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon has since banned the book, which Winnet brags makes the book a “genuine limited edition”.
In total, 49 copies of the book were sold.
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No surprises. It EXPOSES how easy it is to become a bestseller and how bad #Amazon are at checking self-published books. – So now I am the proud owner of a BANNED #1 @amazon Best-Seller… which is probably cooler. – Well done to anyone that bought a paperback, they're a genuine limited edition now. – #TheContrepreneur
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