How’s That Scytoma Working Out For Ya?

…it never ceases to amaze that when I read over a piece of writing – one I’ve proofread as best I can – I find the most glaring mistake right under my nose.

There’s a letter missing. – There’s a word that’s repeated. – Or there’a misspelling that even a five year old could easily spot.

But to my brain, it fills in the pothole of a missing word, the hiccup of a repeated word, or that spelling that I know for the life of me is wrong.

And that’s what Scytoma is.

The inability to find your own typographical errors, but see them in everyone else’s work.

Doing that makes us feel good about ourselves. – We’ve all been there.

You find a glaring mistake in a book by a traditionally published author and your smugness level goes up a notch, seeing the mistake others missed. 

Same goes for business too.

We can walk out the door of business that’s doing badly, and know for a fact, that there’s ten things we’d do to turn it around.

The owner, however, is sinking in debt and hasn’t got a clue what’s going wrong, or doesn’t see their blind spots. – Because they’re not on their radar.

That’s one reason why I always recommend mixing with people that aren’t in the writing business. – You’ll always see, or hear, something that you didn’t notice or know before.

If you can’t find those folks, another thing you can do is use Tim Ferriss ‘Red Team / Blue Team’ thinking.

One part of you tries to find all the things that can go right with an idea. The other one tries to pull it apart to find it’s flaws. 

Once you know those flaws, you can prepare in case they ever happen, or ditch the project if it’s not going to work out.

So when I saw an email, advertising a piece of software from a ‘marketing friend’,  I thought it looked promising.

Who wouldn’t want to be able to pull all the book descriptions from Amazon to help you write a better book description?

Blue Team however, didn’t like that idea.

Why not just study the book descriptions from the traditionally published authors? – Because if they’ve got the money to hire good copywriters, then those are probably the better book descriptions to study.

The stats thing – where the software also gives you the ranking of the books to go with the book descriptions – was also a non runner.

In that, Amazon stats can change for a lot of reasons, other than books descriptions. – You’ve got giveaways, promotions, new releases, book reviews, and a host of other things you’ll never know about.

When I wrote a series of kids books years ago, the last ones still did well, even with the slimmest of book descriptions.

If kids wanted to keep reading, they kept reading, regardless of how bad my descriptions were.

Would I have sold better? Probably…but that wasn’t where I focused my time. It was on the book’s characters, and how to keep my little audience reading.

If you bought it, have fun. But beware of it’s flaws.

As for me and my flaws?

This here, is probably my biggest business mistake.  And probably one I’m gonna regret.

It might make sense to get your foot in the door before it goes away for good, or goes up in price again.

PS – And if you see my ‘marketing friend’, say ‘Hi!’ from me. – He still hasn’t answered back that time I reached out to him over a year ago.

Guess I’ve got a blind side I’m not aware of.  🙂