Books and MLM: two things that don’t normally go together

I was browsing through my day’s websites as usual, when I came across this odd business. Someone is trying to turn books into the next multi-level marketing business! Geez, I thought, how is that possible? The margins in publishing aren’t as great as in other industries, like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals or whatnot… how can it be done? Also, books aren’t as sexy as other products, so…

Well, I visited Bookwise to find out what it was all about… It’s basically a book catalogue with a monthly required purchase which fulfills your membership requirement. In addition, you will get some other stuff like e-books and advice.

bw-biz

So, anyway, I found the video, which is long (very long, in fact). It took ages to download, but it showed two prominent people, Richard Paul Evans, a well-known author and Richard Allen, author of “Multiple Streams of Income” fame talking about Bookwise. They were very enthusiastic about the club, and all of the value that they would pour into your joining the club! The fact that it would cost only$35+pp made it sound like it was the best thing since sliced bread

I must admit I’m intrigued by this! Mostly because of the idea that I could use books to interest people in topics close to my heart! Mmm. So how does the deal stack up?

The deal is quite simple: To join the club as an Associate, you will pay a $39 enrollment fee. Thereafter, you’re charged $35 per month (plus applicable taxes and shipping), with an annual renewal fee of $30.

So your first bill will be $74, and annual purchases will be around $450-460 for your membership plus membership requirement. You will, of course, get a starter kit including a business guide, instructional content, promotional material including stickers and brochures, and more

There are other benefits, including one hardcover book, you can purchase additional books from the BookWise catalog at wholesale prices – cheaper than Amazon.com’s (and I checked several books), a newsletter every month, as well as discounted entry to BookWise conferences, etc.. etc.. There are also additional charity links that might appeal, too!

I’m intrigued by this and I think that it could be a powerful tool in the right hands to make money! But, as with most MLM schemes, most people are unlikely to make as much! Still, very intriguing, … Have any of you been involved with Bookwise at all? What were your experiences? Share with me! I’m considering purchasing a membership, out of curiosity! I love hardback books!

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7 thoughts on “Books and MLM: two things that don’t normally go together

  1. Benjamin Fitts

    Hey Kenneth,

    Thanks for reviewing Bookwise.

    You did miss one important thing. Bookwise is offering a 1 year guarantee on your membership. If during one year you decide you don’t like it you can get your money back and you can keep the books. You wouldn’t get the $39 one time fee, but you would get back the $35 monthly fee for up to one year.
    – Ben Fitts

  2. Elizabeth Adams

    Hello, Ken …

    Bookwise is basically just another membership with an mlm twist. Speaking just for myself, I’m a little burned out on membership sites. I need another membership site like I need a hole in the head!

    Still, if you really like books, and if you really like network marketing, you could maybe make it work, but my feminine intuition informs me that you have only about a 3% chance of making any real money with it. You’d do better in Las Vegas. At least there the odds are closer to 50-50, and you could have some fun with your money while you’re losing it.

    If you *really* like books — which I do — then you already know, for example, that you can go to Amazon.com and get any title you want for a fraction of the retail price simply by opting for a used copy … and “used” at Amazon generally means in such close-to-perfect condition as makes no nevermind. What I mean is, it doesn’t have that new-book “smell”, but none of the pages are missing, and all of the words are on the page, so … well, what more do you really need?

    On top of that, down at the bottom of most Amazon book entries are scads of real reviews written by real people expressing genuine opinions for the benefit of other readers, not con artists and carnival barkers bent on bigger bottom lines. You can get a pretty accurate feel for whether or not you would really enjoy a particular book — whether or not you would really get *results* with a particular book — just by perusing these comments.

    And, as I say, if you buy used for a fraction of the price of new, then for the same money that these guys are asking you to pay them every month for *one* book — I know, I know, there’s an ebook and an audio book and schmoozy interviews with authors thrown in — you can get a whole *shelf* full of books!

    What I’m saying here is probably going to fall on deaf ears, due to the power of the “infomercial” video those two guys have done on this, but I had to try. I had to speak up and say, “Hey, you’ll get lots more for your money over at Amazon!” And then add, “And don’t forget your local public library, which nowadays can get any book in the world for you in just a couple of days!

    Please understand that these guys are just clever marketers. If you get in their clutches — if you allow them to pick your reading material for you — then in my humble opinion, you’re in trouble. *They* will be doing your thinking for you, instead of *you* doing your thinking for yourself. And it will only be a matter of time before they’ll hit you up for even more money. And more money. And more money.

    Like I said, they’re marketers. And they’re very, very good at what they do. They could sell refridgerators to Eskimos.

    Want my advice?

    Put this one on “The List”.

    What’s “The List”?

    Well, “The List” is your handy-dandy steno pad with the words “3-Day Waiting Period” written in big black letters on the front of it.

    Write this Bookwise thing down on “The List”. That’ll make you feel almost as good as if you’d bought it because you know you’ve given yourself permission to buy it as soon as the 3 days are up.

    Bet you don’t!

    Bet the 3 days goes by and rational thought reasserts itself and you start thinking along the lines of what I’ve just said above … that there’s plenty of used books over at Amazon, if you’re in a mood to spend money on books … and that there’s plenty more in the library, if you’d just as soon save your money for something else and read them for free instead!

    Warmest regards …

    Elizabeth

    🙂

    P.S. Also, in *my* book, Robert Allen is in the same camp as Shawn Casey and Ben Fitts. I’ve had less-than-satisfactory business transactions with each of these guys; and, as a consequence, I wouldn’t recommend them to a dog I didn’t like, let alone to a friend.

    Just my 2¢.

    🙂

  3. Benjamin Fitts

    Elizabeth,

    Thanks for commenting. I’m curious what product of mine you had a less than satisfactory experience with? AND did you get a full refund?

    As far as Bookwise goes on my site I’ve mentioned that if all you are looking for is Books Bookwise is not the best for you. You can get them cheaper elsewhere.

    BUT Bookwise is about more than Books. You can for example listen to a weekly “wealth” and “financial” tips call from the likes of Robert Allen and Richard Paul Evans. You have to agree these guys know what they are talking about. You might not always agree (like in the no money down stuff) but just some of the basic financial advice they give is well worth $35 a month.

    Plus you get a tax tip call once a month. (usually about an hour) This call helps you learn how to save money on your taxes. If you make a lot of money then this call is well worth it because you get to put money in your pocket instead of sending it to the IRS.

    Third the monthly speed reading lessons. If you really like books and want to read more faster, then this is what you will enjoy.

    Fourth, do you want to be an author? How about a monthly call with other budding authors and discussing how to break into the industry?

    They have plans for more stuff. I “think” they actually want to try and help people get published too.

    So yes you can compare Bookwise to Amazon.com if you want, but Amazon.com has been around for what 9 or 10 years now? They sell electronics, games, GROCERIES, all kinds of crap. Bookwise has been around for less than a year. Give us 9 or 10 years and see what kinds of products we sell, how many authors we help get published, etc.

    PS. I too am leary of Robert Allen… I’m leary of some of his past record, but I’m willing to try it… and the 1 year money back guarantee allows me to know that if I decide it isn’t right for me, I can get my money back.

  4. kennethdickson Post author

    Thanks for the brief summary, Benjamin.

    You covered a lot of extra details I missed out. I really didn’t know about the one year guarantee. I also checked, the book prices for the few books I checked didn’t seem particularly more expensive than Amazon for members.

    of course, I didn’t factor in shipping charges!

  5. Benjamin Fitts

    Hey Kenneth,

    Since Bookwise just launched they are only available in the US currently. It is the nature of starting a new business they want to open it up on a limited basis and get some of the bugs worked out before going international. I’m hoping they will open internationally soon as I’ve had a lot of interest from Canada and the UK. If you’d like just pop me an email and I’ll add you on my waiting list.

    – Ben Fitts

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