Christian and Rasmus aka the Mikkelsen twins run a ton of YouTube ads. Let me just play devil’s advocate with the one I just saw. Christian starts off by saying all you hear about, in terms of making money on Amazon, is people selling physical products. So sentence one, I have to disagree. A year ago, yes, FBA was all the rage. But thanks to your ads, today, we all know self-publishing ebooks and audiobooks is where it’s at, right?
Christian then flashes what appears to be him and Rasmus on the cover of a December 2020 Forbes issue, which, at first glance, seems crazy impressive. But then I Googled it and discovered Travis Scott was actually on that cover. Turns out, all they had was an article deep in the archives of the Forbes website, that read like a pitch for their Publishing Life brand, by some chick who’s no longer a contributor there. My guess is they paid for that article and then photoshopped their own cover to make it seem more legit.
Say I’m right. Is that ethical? To not disclose that you paid for the mention? And then to go out of your way to trick people into thinking you actually graced the cover of Forbes magazine? Alongside people like Spotify’s Daniel Ek, the OG of PCs Michael Dell, Vice President Kamala Harris, and billionaire tech twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss? I’m gonna go with no, it’s not. And you know what? Shame on Forbes for selling out and allowing this sorta thing in the first place.
Christian’s next line in the ad is that he and Rasmus have a “never before seen way of using Amazon to make money.” Yet, when I Google “make money with audiobooks” or “earn money self-publishing on Amazon” or anything similar, I see step-by-step guides dating back to 2011. Oh but it gets better. Literally the fourth result is a YouTube video from 2018, uploaded by (*wait for it) Mikkelsen Twins – PublishingLife. I mean, it’s laughable what these two will say and do to get your money.
What else? Christian insists their way of making money on Amazon is inexpensive, extremely passive, and again, “brand new and completely untapped, with almost no competition.” But when you look into the business model more, those statements are exaggerated. A quality outsourced audiobook could cost two grand. That’s pricey. And it’s not set and forget. You have to market it, and get reviews and such. Because, well, it’s actually quite competitive these days because people have been doing it forever.
But Christian promises anyone can buy their Audiobook Income Academy course and profit, hand over fist, without much hassle. And you can do so within days. Yet, when you check out some of their more recent YouTube videos, you’ll hear their own AIA coaches saying the opposite. That this is still a business, that you gotta be patient and put in the work, give it six to twelve months before you can really expect any results. Why mislead people like that? Won’t it just attract the wrong type of students anyways?
The ad ends with some testimonials and then Christian says to go attend the “one hundred percent free training” he put together to teach you this “new way to make money on Amazon that has nothing to do with selling physical products.” Of course, it’s not a training and it’s not technically free. It’s a long-winded pitch for their two thousand dollar AIA 2.0 program. For me, the model’s fine, the offer’s fine, it’s just the way they gas up the opportunity that I don’t agree with.