Bob Bly Direct Response Copywriter Official Banner

Prove Your Claims

May 15th, 2009 by Bob Bly

A motivational speaker just sent me a free review copy of his new book, published earlier this month.

A banner on the front cover proclaims the book is an “international best-seller.”

Yet when I check it online, the book is ranked #292,514 on Amazon.

Surely, if this just-published book were in fact an international bestseller, it would be at least in the top 100,000 on Amazon right now, no?

Does the author realize how silly, or at least unbelievable, his claim to bestsellerdom looks to the intelligent reader who bothers to check?

Or is his assumption that people today are so naive they will believe anything correct?

My experience, by the way, is the opposite: people are more skeptical than ever today, and their B.S. detectors have never been more accurate.


This entry was posted on Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 3:45 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

45 responses about “Prove Your Claims”

  1. John Soares said:

    I hope people are using their B.S. detectors more, and I think they are.

    Bob, I’d like to know your opinion of the tactic of getting a book briefly (an hour, maybe) to #1 in a category on Amazon so the author can claim “#1 bestseller” status. This process typically involves a major e-mail campaign among dozens of Internet marketers to use tons of freebies to entice people to buy the book from Amazon on a specific day.

    To me this is not a true measure of the actual popularity or merit of the book.

  2. dianacacy said:

    Not too long ago, I checked on who a certain author was. I saw this author’s name mentioned as being a scam by a watchdog group. Found a press release where she described herself as a “bestselling author”. Did a search and she’s not a bestseller anywhere. Not even a “local bestseller” as far as I could find.

    Now, I never take such claims for granted.

    Might fool people once, and that’s not that often, but most are smart enough to not be fooled a second time.

  3. Fiona Fell - websitePROFITS said:

    My B.S detector is well and truly up and running each time I read an obvious marketing piece.

    I am not sure if the ‘exaggerators’ are inflating their own egos, and really hoping to pull the wool over the eye of prospective buyers, but I think in the end their plan will come undone.

    Tell the truth, the whole truth. And come out on top.

  4. Prove Your Claims - blog - direct marketing blog « Marketing Direct said:

    […] View post: Pro­ve Y­o­ur C­l­ai­m­s­ – bl­y­.c­o­m&… […]

  5. ‘Prove Your Claims’ by Bob Bly said:

    […] Prove Your Claims… […]

  6. Jim Logan said:

    John: I know you asked Bob the question – and I too would love to hear his perspective – but I’d like to offer my opinion…it’s pure BS.

    As a tactic to promote and sell the book? OK.

    As a tactic to claim bestseller? BS.

    I’ve seen several authors do this in email campaigns to later post on their blog how they’re #1. To me, it’s nothing more than a trick – deceitful.

    Other than that, I have no opinion 🙂

  7. Cathy Miller said:

    To me,one of the “negatives” of the internet is that anyone can claim just about anything and not have to face any consequences for false statements. If we were to believe everything we read, there sure are a whole lot of “#1”, “BEST”, “THE LEADER” companies, products, services…yada, yada, yada.

    The overstated (at a minimum) and outright lies have spilled over to all forms of marketing. As a person who really found the value of the internet when I went back to school, I also recognize that “Buyer beware,” is even more important today.

    Do I sound too much like the Baby Boomer I am? 🙂

  8. Terrance Charles said:

    Bob, interesting post. This is something I see everyday too. And, I’m glad you called it out, I see people sometimes saying “how to make x amount of money etc” and when you actually check them out, they don’t even have their own domain name or product, but their telling you what to do.

    That’s another thing the internet marketing industry needs to cut down on, that will help lead people in the right direction when their really getting information from a expert that walks the walk.

    Terrance Charles

  9. Bob Bly said:

    John Soares: In my opinion it is a legitimate tactic, and I have used it myself. For more info see:

  10. Mele Williams said:

    What is the “true” definition of a bestseller? Or, perhaps better put: when can you call yourself a bestselling author? When you do it without the benefit of an email marketing campaign?

    I am not being smart-alecky. I really want to know.

  11. Mele Williams said:

    Correction on my last post:

    I posed this question: When CAN you call yourself a best-selling author? When you do it WITHOUT the benefit of an email campaign?

  12. Bob Bly said:

    Mele: Is James Patterson not a true best-seller because his books are heavily advertised in radio commercials?

    If your book is in the top ten best-seller list on, you can call yourself an “Amazon best-selling author.” Marketing your book to help it get there does not disqualify you in any way.

    If your book is in the top ten NY Times best-seller list, then you can call yourself a “NY Times best-selling author” or “best-selling author.”

  13. Kevin Stirtz said:

    Bob – I agree. People are more skeptical, or, as I prefer, smarter. We have more information and we have more confidence in using our smarts to accomplish what we want. There are still too many people who think the path to business success is paved with lies and manipulation. But the Internet will out them in due time, just as you outed this author.


  14. How to Convince the Skeptical Customer said:

    […] a recent post, copywriter Bob Bly said “people are more skeptical than ever today, and their B.S. detectors […]

  15. SEO hosting | Dave said:

    Bob, this is a great post. You have done a great job throwing light on things that never occur to the newbies.
    The prospective consumer has definitely gotten way more smarter than before. They do run some background checks on the company before signing up with them or buying products from them.
    It sounds just so stupid when those coming up web hosting companies talk as if they’ve been around for a few hundred years and are serving clients not only from the earth, but the moon too.

  16. Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula : @ProBlogger said:

    […] Here’s an example of proof gone wrong from the copywriter Robert Bly: […]

  17. Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula said:

    […] Here’s an example of proof gone wrong from the copywriter Robert Bly: […]

  18. Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula | My Blog said:

    […] Here’s an instance of proof left wrong from a copywriter Robert Bly: […]

  19. Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula : Webmaster Tutorials said:

    […] Here’s an example of proof gone wrong from the copywriter Robert Bly: […]

  20. Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula | said:

    […] Here’s an example of proof gone wrong from the copywriter Robert Bly: […]

  21. Now I Can Sleep » Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula said:

    […] Here’s an example of proof gone wrong from the copywriter Robert Bly: […]

  22. Best Coffee | Chris said:

    Great article and it is a shame that we have to be so skeptical in this day and age. I believe like you that most people have their B.S. detector on and you have to be upfront, truthful and honest in all of your endeavors.

  23. Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula - Anythingking Global Media Online And Streaming said:

    […] Here’s an example of proof gone wrong from the copywriter Robert Bly: […]

  24. Mozella Dugre said:

    Great operate! Which is the sort of details that are supposed to become shared around the internet. Shame online for no longer placement this post greater! Occur above as well as check with my own web page . Thanks Equates to)

  25. download dxgi.dll windows xp said:

    Great info. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!

  26. dfdhgfs said:

    Here is our full guide to 2021 Chiefs vs Hurricanes Super Rugby live or watching Hurricanes vs Chiefs Live it on TV. How to live and watch Hurricanes vs Chiefs Super Rugby Aotearoa Television, Radio and Online.

  27. One Dasty said:

    Bringing home a new puppy is a wonderful experience involving the whole family, which is why we begin training early to ease the transition to their new home and familyers a great amount of support, we assist in the preparations to make it less stressful. To provide a completely different environment for our puppies, we thoroughly researched and make sure this puppies will only go to respectable families

  28. dholesingh said:

    payslip view is an online portal for tescoemployees. Tesco have lots of employees who are working for them but managing their payslip is difficult. payslipview portal provides easy solution to view and download payslips online.

  29. Widya said:

    Love what you’re doing here guys. This is truly a great content for your all your readers. ~ Vendor Jual Partisi Kantor ~

  30. Maulana Mustafa Ali said:

    Having additional issues or marriage undertakings get numerous issues our lives. We will in general move away from our accomplice and lead an off-base way in our life.

  31. Ndure Shoes said:

    Ndure presents the ultimate fashion formula for men in the form of sports shorts for men. Get the best chino shorts from NDURE that are not only sports shorts but also great for everyday wear. Our wide range of shorts for men is crafted keeping in mind your comfort. So shop online to get your hands on the best shorts in Pakistan.

  32. biseonline said:

    Allama Iqbal Open University AIOU BA result has been announced on 6 July as per university officials. Now, students are able to check their BA results.

  33. Ndure Shoes said:

    Shop best quality sandals for women from Ndure. Shop from a wide range of colours and styles, available exclusively at Ndure. Ndure Sandals for girls are made from best quality materials, with soft shoe sole. Style a chic look in best quality Sandals for women. At Ndure, we have fashion for every one of You.
    Shop from a wide range of women shoes from Ndure. Ndure offers Womens Flats chappals, sandals, sneakers, sportswear, heels and Pumps shoes for women. Our shoes are made from best quality material that is durable.

  34. Shop ECS said:

    Buy shoes online from ECS to make you footwear comfortable. The ECS is providing quality products which are cost-effective as well.

  35. Cobalt Dreir said:

    cobalt 12% are importers of cobalt octoate products devoted exclusively to advance materials in industrial bulk and laboratory/research quantities.

  36. Rivaj UK said:

    Rivaj offers the best cosmetics and related products like Maybelline concealer and similar Concealer products So, grab the best concealer today and enjoy Their concealers are truly unbeatable and offer a high degree of satisfaction Rivaj offers the best concealer in Pakistan to their customers every day

  37. Alexpeter said:

    The Career Coach is Europe’s top career coaching consultancy – and has helped more than 10,000 people land their dream jobs, all in less than 40 days.

  38. The Citizen said:


  39. HazelJames said:

    Website development Ireland and Dublin that offers a complete digital solution for taking your business online. Our Award Winning Agency not only devises strategies for your brand, but we own it like our own.

  40. shaypari said:

    advancefitness by Bilal Brothers, established in 1979, is the leader in exercise, fitness, gymnasium and indoor sport equipment all over Pakistan. We work only with the world’s top brands and are proud to serve our customers with top-notch after sales service.

  41. ash12 said:

    Affordable Flights by FlightsnTravel gives you the most amazing flight to travel all around the globe with your love one

  42. Mike Rooney said:

    Your blog provided us with valuable information. I am looking forward to read more blog posts from here keep it up!Cyberpunk Leather Jacket

  43. Andrew Mark said:

    Wonderful article. Fascinating to read. I love to read such an excellent article. Thanks! It has made my task more and extra easy. Keep rocking.
    Cyberpunk 2077 David Martinez Jacket

  44. lorde said:

    Use credible sources: melon playground When citing evidence, it’s important to use sources that are reliable and trustworthy. This might include academic studies, government reports, or reputable news sources.

  45. John said:

    But, how to cliam it online?

Leave a Reply