Thursday, May 26

Caveat Emptor Rant

Not long ago, I reviewed Beyond Talent, in which author John Maxwell discusses the idea that instead of worrying about their weaknesses, people would do well to focus on developing their key strengths. The book was excellent, and I highly recommend it.

One of the books Maxwell mentioned in his discussion was Now, Discover Your Strengths. I picked up a copy from my local library, excited about the its promise to help people explore their own strengths and how to build on them. What I found was a huge disappointment that should have come with a giant Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) sticker!!

The entire book revolves around a Strengths Finder assessment, available only on their website. In order to access it, you must have a code. The ONLY way to get a code is by purchasing a brand new book.

I appreciate that they don't want people re-taking the assessment, since its designed to be most effective the first time through. I understand that they don't want people randomly taking the test without reading the book so they understand the results. I appreciate that they are writing this book to make money rather than just out of the goodness of their hearts.

But I find it unreasonably irritating that they ruined such potential with the asinine edict that there is no way to get a code without buying a brand new book.

This book could have had a lot to offer if they hadn't chosen to instantly rip off every purchaser who didn't buy the book exclusively for independent private use.

So, as an avid reader I would like to offer my humble suggestion to authors, present and future: please realize and gracefully accept that not everyone has an unlimited book budget and infinite shelving. Some of your readers will get your book from a library, on loan from a friend, or second hand. Win us over and we will gladly welcome into our circles, probably buying your work for ourselves and our loved ones along the way. Alienate us through greed or arrogance and you only shoot yourself in the foot. Thank you.

One final thought: There is a bright side to my disgust with these authors and their poor decision making - I can whittle down my extensive reading list very efficiently now by striking off anything else they wrote! :0)

1 comment:

  1. I love your silver lining to this whole situation! lol. I love it when I can strike off a complete author. I find it strange that they wouldn't have at least set up the website so that you could register and take the test. After all, if you wanted to retake it you're only messing yourself up. Who cares? Stop being stingy! lol