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With Hindsight, Locke has had a considerable amount of negative publicity by his real methods of how he made his sales (buy buying reviews) but I bought the book before I was made aware of this. I don’t buy into the whole hype of, these tips will make you millions, but at the time I thought I would be able to gleam at least some tips from his book.

Because Amazon changes it’s algorithms, what might have worked for one author a few years ago probably won’t work now. On that basis alone I wouldn’t bother investing in Locke’s book.

However, if like me, you wonder if there is still one or two golden nuggets of wisdom hidden away under the hype… then here are my thoughts after I read the book back in 2012…

As an independent author, I invested in Locke’s book to learn his secrets so I could apply them myself, hopefully improving my sales.

Locke’s book is not very long and it’s easy to read, his casual writing style is enjoyable and easy to understand. Locke portrays himself as One Of Us, because he too was a struggling author for such a long time, that he’s a business man and came up with this solution to sell millions of ebooks.

I couldn’t help feeling misled by Locke’s portrayal of his formula. At the beginning I felt his writing quite inspiring, and I couldn’t wait to find out his secrets after all his stunning credentials and sales. Then I felt very frustrated because the first 28% of the book feels like filler. Locke discusses in depth about his own writing life and experience, some background on self-publishing authors and the industry, some commonly asked concerns of writers looking to publish and advertising that didn’t work for him. Although some of it was interesting, very little was useful and I was still waiting for his secrets, to which his language had excited me for. At this point I was feeling very annoyed.

I felt misled to believe there was a remarkable secret that, when applied, would bring instant success. But I know that there’s no such thing as an overnight success, which Locke also touches on in this book despite the misleading build up. It made me feel deflated.

Part Two touches on a business plan, targeting your audience, what NOT to do, how to engage fans, and some basic steps for beginners like create a website, twitter and of course… keep writing. Nothing new, revolutionary or insightful for me I felt, but perhaps a complete beginner could benefit a lot more. I felt that his points on developing a list of guaranteed buyers could prove useful. I had to say I was feeling a little deflated thinking ‘is that it?’ and I was disappointed with the basic information.

When I began part three I was hoping to finally get down to business and learn Locke’s real secret. 51% through the book. Part three was probably the most useful for me as Locke explores blogging articles and how to engage and interact with readers to bring more traffic through your blog using twitter. His insight and methods I’m hoping to apply in the coming months. He also discussed the benefit of an email list and developing close relations with loyal fans.

By the end of the book I felt more relieved, having learned something I could actually apply.


  • Useful for beginners
  • Some useful information on business plan, blogging articles, email lists and reaching readers
  • Cheap


  • Misleading
  • Mainly filler
  • Nothing new or ‘secret’
  • He plugs his own books A LOT

The main thing is – did I feel it was worth it? After finishing the book I felt it was. Despite the downfalls and feeling disappointed, by the end I was glad I bought it for the useful information, although I had to wade through a lot of words to find it. Since the review scandal came to light I feel cheated that I even dared waste my time and money, that I believed his methods. Now I’m thinking how much of this would be useful? Not a whole lot if Locke resorted to paying for fake reviews. I feel like I’ve been scammed.

What I want you to take away from this review is that there is NO overnight success when it comes to writing. You work hard for a long time to gain success. Locke also knows this.

Would I recommend his book? No, purely on the grounds that he cheated the system.

How I sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! By John Locke, Amazon UK
How I sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! By John Locke, Amazon US

If you’ve read Locke’s book I’d like to know what you thought about it, did you find it useful and have you applied his techniques? Do you feel cheated after the scandal?