Drive By Book Review: Internet Riches, The Word Of Mouth Manual

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Today’s drive-by reviews  are two books about making money online and spreading ideas, both on and offline.

The books are:

Internet Riches:

What’s It About? Making money online, nuts & bolts

What Makes It Different? Before I get to what makes the book different, I really have to address something…the title and the promise. Um, how do I say this, the title is just plain cheesy (normally, I love cheesy, especially if there’s a strong marketing purpose behind it, but this time, no). And, the promise is a bit sketchy, Fox defines online “millionaires” in a variety of ways that others might not agree with.

But, once you get past these pretty trivial matters, the content is actually pretty solid. It is very accessible, it lays out a wide range of business models that people are using to generate real money online and it shares a wealth of case studies with links to websites, so you can check out the websites and see the models live in action.

internet richesThe book’s focus is more on defining and illustrating the models and providing general instructions on setting them up. To his benefit, Fox delivers a lot of info in a very easy to understand, user-friendly way. He demystifies much. And, the wide variety of options is great for stimulating ideas.

He also offers all the basic online marketing strategies, but you’ll definitely want to take your marketing knowledge deeper through blogs, trainings or other books to get the most out of each model. There’s a lot more going on in the world of online marketing these days.

Still, lots of great, very useful information.

Who Needs To Read It? Anyone who’s been curious about all the different ways to make money online, especially relative newbies.

The Word Of Mouth Manual: Volume II

What’s It About? Word of mouth (WOM). Spreading ideas through person-to-person interactions.

What Makes It Different? Before you even get to the content, two big things make this book different. One, it was written by Dave Balter, who runs Bzz Agent Inc., a marketing firm that taps its network of more than 400,000 volunteers to help spread the word about ideas, products and services.

And, two, the way he launched the book is pretty innovative, giving 20 select bloggers the privilege of offering their readers a FREE PDF version of the book (see above link), then making a limited number of bound copies for sale for $45 at This strategy, alone, got a lot of people talking about the book. The man knows his industry.

word of mouthNow, about the content, what makes it different? Dave’s experience. It’s safe to say, there are few people who earn their livings figuring out how to facilitate word of mouth. Dave knows how to get people talking and he’s analyzed a ton of WOM campaigns, both successful and failed.

This experience shows through in the many interesting case studies, stories and techniques revealed in the book. From this comes a lot of big picture advice, but not a lot of highly-specific, nuts and bolts tactics and strategies. Which led me to believe it would’ve been more aptly names a manifesto than a manual. And, I still am not sold on Dave’s proclamation that their exists a clear difference between viral and word-of-mouth. Seems to me they are still two points on the same spectrum.

Who Needs To Read It? Anyone who is interested in developing a better understanding of how ideas spread from person to person.  That’s pretty much anyone with a point to make or a product to sell. Plus, people, it’s friggin’ FREE. For crying out loud, go download it now.


As always, if you’ve got a book you’d like me to review, please first e-mail me at jonathan [at] jonathanfields [dot] com to make sure it’s on topic. If it sounds like a good fit, then we’ll talk further.

Well, that’s a wrap on this week’s Drive By Book Reviews.

Have you guys read either of these books? I am curious to know, also, what you think about the distinction between WOM and the viral effect…

What do you think?

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8 responses

8 responses to “Drive By Book Review: Internet Riches, The Word Of Mouth Manual”

  1. […] Go to the author’s original blog: Drive By Book Review: Internet Riches, The Word Of Mouth Manual […]

  2. Thanks for the positive review of Internet Riches, Jonathan.
    I wasn’t thrilled with the title the publisher stuck on the book either. But thanks for recognizing the hard work I put in compiling useful real-life examples of e-commerce success stories and techniques.
    If your readers like that sort of thing, there are plenty of free updates via email & RSS at

  3. Justin says:

    I’m always interested in learning new ways to make money online, maybe I’ll check that first book out.

  4. Natasha says:

    I’m just curious to know how you manage to review 2 books a week. You must either spend a lot of time reading or be an extremely fast reader. If you don’t mind me asking, exactly how much time each day do you spend reading books?

    And also, how do you find good books to read and where do you get them (if at a store, which store, and if online, which website)? Okay, sorry to ask so many questions but I really want to know.

  5. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Natasha – I set aside time for reading/personal development every day. Plus, I only do reviews every two weeks (not every week) and sometimes I review only one book. So, it’s actually a pretty easy sched.

  6. Natasha says:

    Thanks for your response, but I’m still curious about how you find good books to read and where you get them. Also, you say you set aside time every day, so I’m just wondering, how much is necessary (like 30 minutes, 2 hours, etc)? Sorry about all the questions but I would like to start reading more myself and a book a week or even every two weeks seems like a lot to me (which is good).

  7. […] Brogan, Jonathan Fields, Seth Godin, Jackie Huba, Guy Kawasaki, Drew McLellan, John Moore and several more authors I read […]