“It’s a great idea for a book Keith, how did you come up with it?” I was asked this morning when I was talking about AntiManipulation to someone.
So I thought I’d share a brief history of how the book came to be a real project with you too, dear reader.
A Long Time Ago…
Like many people, for a very long time I’d been vaguely aware that some industries seemed to have more than their fair hare of “characters” who would use all the tricks in the book to get you to buy from them. Whether that’s the stereotypical sleazy used-car dealer, or the over-ambitious wannabe investment broker, or the cliched timeshare salesman.
I was vaguely aware of the concept, and over time I knew that governments had brought in various laws to curb their excesses over the years, but other than that I never thought much about it.
12 Years Ago…
Around 12 years ago I found myself getting more immersed in the personal development industry (initially purely by chance, but that’s a story for another time). I studied and trained in NLP, hypnosis, coaching, stage speaking, etc, right the way up to train-the-trainer level (and yes, I’ve trained a lot of ethical hypnotist, NLPers, and speakers in the years since then) As I immersed myself deeper and deeper, learning more and more about the business and what goes on behind the scenes in events and in sales and more, I started to develop an unease about what to me felt like some rather manipulative approaches which were used by some throughout the industry.
The deeper I looked, the more I studied, the more uneasy I got, as I realised that there were indeed some incredibly unsavoury and downright nasty approaches being used to “encourage” people to part with often eye-watering sums of money, money they most likely could not afford.
“Someone should write a book exposing that” I thought, whilst deciding there was no way I was going to use such manipulation myself.
Over time, I spotted it happening more and more. I became increasingly aware of people actively teaching these approaches to others, encouraging them to use them in events and in their ordinary sales pitches to sucker in those who neither wanted nor afforded what was on offer.
“Someone really should write a book exposing that” I thought again, noticing how they were blatantly abusing some very powerful and useful tools, and in many cases giving things like NLP a bad name in the process.
As I looked around more generally, I began to re-notice similar things happening in a wide range of industries, with some very manipulative marketing approaches being used pretty much everywhere.
I mean, many laugh as they talk about the old “Run to the back of the room” approach, and yet it is still used with devastating effect. Yet when you look more deeply, there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s the anchoring, the pit of despair, the manipulation of emotions, the manipulative use of language, and a whole lot more, long before any sale is even suggested.
It’s insidious, it’s nasty, and it’s everywhere.
“Hmm. Nobody has written a book exposing this, I suppose I’ll have to” I thought.
Testing The Idea…
I discussed the idea with a few trusted confidants, and got an overwhelming “Do it, that will be such a powerful book”.
So that’s how I came to start writing AntiManipulation.
Slowly at first, gathering, analysing, researching, observing, and piecing together the tools, trick, and techniques which the unscrupulous were using. The more I looked, the more I found. Not just in live events and in sales and in advertising, but in many other aspects of life too.
Which is why the book has taken longer than originally planned – it’s such a big topic, it turns out!
But we are getting close to publishing now.
The book comes out on 4th March 2023 in paperback and in ebook.
Provided I can raise the funds to cover the professional editing, cover design, and publication costs – to that end I’m running a Crowdfunder this month to help raise funds to help me fund it all. There’s some great rewards on offer for those who like the idea and support the book, covering all budgets.
Plus, the Crowdfunder i a great way to do a final check on whether there is an actual market for this book – if the Crowdfunder fails, there’s clearly not a market for the book; on the other had if it succeeds, then there is a market and the book will be there to help everyone to spot those times when they are being manipulated, and to better defend themselves against it.
So that’s the brief story of how AntiManipulation came to be!
Can you help?
If you like the idea of the book, and would be interested in helping to make sure it gets published (I’ve published 5 books before, I’ve got the process refined, and I’ve got an editor and a designer all lined up ready to go), it would be awesome if you could check out the Crowdfunder and perhaps took part – or shared word of it far and wide to attract others. Thanks!
Award-winning coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and writer of this post, Keith spent his first 40 years suffering from several phobias including being terrified of speaking with strangers. After one incident too many, he started studying and training in NLP & hypnosis to conquer his own issues, found he was rather good at it, and changed careers (aided by redundancy at just the right moment after 20 years in IT). He helps people transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths, and having helped over 5,000 people across 5 continents, he is the UK’s #1 Fear Strategist.