I have recently become aware of the book Aftershock. It is a book that claims to see the economic future of the United States in considerable detail. Since PushBack envisions a fictional economic future of the United States, I was curious to know how Aftershock viewed the country’s economic future and downloaded a sample of Aftershock onto my wife’s Kindle reader. The sample seemed to be slanted towards promoting the book and revealing the superior and unique economic knowledge of the author. I then read the reviews and they confirmed my take on the book, which was to not waste the time needed to read the full text of Aftershock.
However, despite the many negative reviews, Aftershock is a best seller. Why? I’ve read that negative reviews can be disastrous for a non-fiction publication. Apparently not true for Aftershock. I’m not qualified to explain the phenomena; however that does not prevent me from putting forward an opinion.
First; the fear factor is used in the book to get the reader’s attention. If a self-anointed visionary is able to see the future and sees that the economy of the country will be going to hell in a hand basket, and this visionary can also reveal to you how to not only avoid personal economic disaster, but even prosper while the country goes down the tube, well you have the prescription for the perfect cure all snake oil. Then you cleverly promote the book that everyone must read in order to build personal wealth while the looming economic disaster brings the country to its knees.
I do admit being impressed by the success of the techniques being used to promote Aftershock. To be able to move a book with as little merit as Aftershock into a best seller status, and keep it there is a notable achievement. It is something I’m sure many authors and publishers would like to emulate. I for one would welcome the results being enjoyed by Aftershock, but lack the ability, desire and moral bent to to pull it off.