Not so along, in the days before Amazon.com book rankings, I called on a brandname management consulting firm. A negative article about it had just been published in FORBES. It contended the boutique provided off-the-shelf solutions.
The firm was in such a panic that it was in denial. So it grilled me if I perceived the FORBES piece as negative. Of course it was. I was gentle with the truth. They were right to anticipate that such criticism could deep-six its business.
The same pull force to the grave can now be exerted by tanking rankings on Amazon.com. After all, consultants publish books in order to get more business and reassure their current clients that they are with the right vendor. So, publishing is now a new kind of risk for ambitious business people.
No question, those in the loop check the consultants' Amazon.com ranking just as they check their LinkedIn profile and what's going on with them on search engines such as Google. Books on a downward trajectory send a red flag. Maybe the consultants' expertise is shallow. Maybe their perspective is not useful. Maybe they should simply be ruled out and business done with those in professional services who know how to put together the right kind of packaging.
Yes, when in doubt, leave it (the book which will be on Amazon.com) out. A useful marketing material in the form of an ebook, with great Infographics, can be knocked out on the computer and distributed strategically to diverse constituencies. Eventually, if that is a homerun, then it can be presented for a listing on Amazon.com.