Today was the first day of my Week of eBook Consumption. I organized my collection of 900+ ebooks and ended up deleting about 300 of them.

Man, there are a lot more crappy ebooks out there than I had previously realized! Below I’ve classified them into 8 different categories. Be sure to add your own in the comments.

Quote ebooks

A well-selected quote can be a great way to accent a blog post or start off an ebook chapter. Quotes are great because the odds are high that whoever said the quote is smarter and more eloquent than you. There’s nothing wrong with selectively using quotes in your writing.

To be honest, though, I find quote books and ebooks (ones that are made up entirely of quotes) pretty worthless. The problem is that they’re all fluff with no real meat on them bones. Call me callous, but I don’t go weak in the knees when I browse through “300 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Start Your Day.” Do you?

Old/outdated ebooks

While cleaning out my ebook inventory, I came across a couple that were all about Facebook pages–how to set them up, how to use them, etc. This is potentially good and valuable information, but the problem is that Facebook has changed their pages (including how they’re set up and the various options you have) a lot in the past year or so, and a lot of the info provided in those ebooks is no longer applicable.

I went back to the blogs where these ebooks originated and the ebooks were still there, unchanged and inaccurate. This is bad for the blogger because it makes them look out-of-touch and behind-the-times, and it’s bad for the readers because the information confuses them and ends up wasting their time.

Hideous ebooks

There are some ebooks that I just can’t bring myself to read. They’re too hideous. Realize that the information in your hideous ebook can probably be found in other ebooks, and that bad design can drive people into the arms of your competitors. And heaven help you if you charged for that hideous ebook.

Hyped-up ebooks

If any ebook promises me six figures a month (or year, for that matter), I delete it. If any ebook has the words profits, cash, secrets, or goldmine (especially if the -s- in the word is a dollar sign) in its title, the ebook is usually crappy and I will not read it.

People aren’t stupid, so don’t even try tricking them. If you’re trying to create a real brand for yourself or your business online, keep the hype to a minimum. Valuable information is more important than outrageous claims.

Dictionary/glossary ebooks

I had a couple ebooks in my library that were dictionary-esque. They were ebooks like “Internet Marketing Glossary and Dictionary” But let’s be honest here; no one is going to turn to an ebook for a definition of a word. They’ll Google it.

“Tips from the experts” ebooks

I expect this is the one that will generate the most protests. I am not a fan of ebooks that are along the lines of “21 Internet Marketing Secrets from the Pros.” The problem is that no one wants to spend hours and hours writing quality information for someone else’s ebook. All of the secrets/tips end up being very shallow. They’re generally common-knowledge info (see below) that doesn’t go into much depth.

Common knowledge ebooks

While “What Is Blogging?” might have been a hot ebook in 2004, it’s worthless today. Everyone knows what blogging is. It’s common knowledge, and it provides no value.

PLR ebooks

Peggy Baron might get mad at me for saying this, but I hate PLR (or MRR or whatever) ebooks. Someone buys one of these pre-written ebook and resells it or gives it away as their own. These are ebooks that are almost always hideous in design and generic in scope. They lack any personality, depth, and real value. They are crap.


Final words

Well, it was a good first day to my Week of eBook Consumption. Well… Actually it kind of sucked, because it was spent looking through lots and lots of crappy ebooks. But it was good in the sense that I was able to get rid of everything I didn’t want to read or skim in more depth.

I’ll be writing about ebooks or about things I learn from my ebooks every day this week, so be sure to check back again tomorrow!

  • What kinds of ebooks do YOU think are crappy?
  •  Do you like some of the ones I included on my list here? If so, why?
  •  How are your ebook decluttering and/or consumption efforts going?