Would I get sued for an ebook that overpromises?

31 replies
Hi guys,

I'm planning to launch some ebooks with the titles that promise permanently and etc

Would this cause me to get sued if they don't deliver the promises that the book title says? How do I avoid that and what can I do?
#ebook #overpromises #sued
  • Profile picture of the author Ryan3
    If you guarentee they will loose weight possible. Is it likely? no
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLB
    Bottom line is that you need to talk to a lawyer for this kind of advice. If you are making promises you can't possibly keep you are leaving yourself open to legal consequences - whether they are unlikely or not. Only a lawyer could give you an understanding of how to word things in a way that keep you within the law.

    But, a lot of times on the Internet, the chances of that kind of thing coming back to bite you are quite slim. Still, there has to be a way to make claims that are consistent with what your book provides, without sacrificing punch.
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Originally Posted by Bai_Mike View Post

    Would these titles cause me to get sued if they don't deliver the promises that the book title says? How do I avoid that and what can I do?
    Don't sound to confident about your own work Mike?
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    ― George Carlin
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    • Profile picture of the author IneedProfit
      Originally Posted by salegurus View Post

      Don't sound to confident about your own work Mike?
      Considering your signature, your post is great irony. You should learn about "too" and when to use a comma. I am not trying to be an ass, but your holier than thou signature, was asking for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
    I would change some of those titles now that you posted them on here...

    Anyone who would Google the name of any of these books, chances are, they will see this thread since WF has some pretty good authority in Google.

    As for your question, I would go to Amazon and find some similar books with titles similar to yours and see the feedback they received from people who purchased, pay special attention to the negative ones.

    People can pretty much sue anyone for anything. With regards to books, it's pretty unlikely but not out of the question. Have proper disclaimers in place at the beginning of the book.

    Make sure you always grant refunds, that's one of the biggest reasons people get into trouble and get trashed online.

    Errors and Omissions Insurance may also be something to look into...

    Google Kevin Trudeau and try not to do some of the stuff he did
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    Recently, Red Bull Sued over Not giving people wings.

    You go figure
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    • Profile picture of the author heavysm
      Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

      Recently, Red Bull Sued over Not giving people wings.

      You go figure
      And it was hilarious, but ridiculous.

      When it's implied that the product gives performance, perhaps not sprouting wings allowing one to fly, but as a general physical and cognitive enhancer, we all generally understand what they're trying to say. Which is why no one, except the dude in question, went so far as to sue Red Bull due to their slogan/claim.

      The legal front, on the other hand, making a claim in the frame that Red Bull did is very risky as the lawsuit against them proved.

      @ the OP

      Do you have any case studies with verified stats?

      I think the only way you would be remotely safe would be to reference case study numbers/results your customers could potentially attain laying out the expectation that the customer follow the provided instructions to a T. This lays the foundation for you to point out, in the case of you being sued by a complaining customer, that your ebook needed to be followed precisely as you laid out the instructions for any results to be yielded.

      Even then your customer could complain that your example results are not realistic for someone new to your industry, process, material etc.

      And that is why you get the income and "results may vary" disclaimers on so many products.

      If someone really wanted to come after you, you'd have to lawyer up pretty heavily no matter what. But in most cases the people buying the products which would warrant such disclaimers aren't going to go as far as suing you for deceit.

      But i do emphasize the word MOST here because that Red Bull case is the rare but epitome example of exaggerated claims called out for bullsh!t.
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      • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
        Originally Posted by heavysm View Post

        And it was hilarious, but ridiculous.

        When it's implied that the product gives performance, perhaps not sprouting wings allowing one to fly, but as a general physical and cognitive enhancer, we all generally understand what they're trying to say. Which is why no one, except the dude in question, went so far as to sue Red Bull due to their slogan/claim.

        The legal front, on the other hand, making a claim in the frame that Red Bull did is very risky as the lawsuit against them proved.

        @ the OP

        Do you have any case studies with verified stats?

        I think the only way you would be remotely safe would be to reference case study numbers/results your customers could potentially attain laying out the expectation that the customer follow the provided instructions to a T. This lays the foundation for you to point out, in the case of you being sued by a complaining customer, that your ebook needed to be followed precisely as you laid out the instructions for any results to be yielded.

        Even then your customer could complain that your example results are not realistic for someone new to your industry, process, material etc.

        And that is why you get the income and "results may vary" disclaimers on so many products.

        If someone really wanted to come after you, you'd have to lawyer up pretty heavily no matter what. But in most cases the people buying the products which would warrant such disclaimers aren't going to go as far as suing you for deceit.

        But i do emphasize the word MOST here because that Red Bull case is the rare but epitome example of exaggerated claims called out for bullsh!t.
        I am just saying getting sued in america can happen any time and not necessary over a good reason ( Mac got sued because people where getting fat ? ).

        This doesn't mean go ahead and do whatever the hell you want, over promising people can just get you there faster.
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        • Hi

          The best bet always is to Under Promise and Over Deliver.

          Don't make a rod for your own back by sprouting out things that will end up biting you on the backside.

          Regards

          Bronwyn and Keith
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        • Profile picture of the author heavysm
          Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

          I am just saying getting sued in america can happen any time and not necessary over a good reason ( Mac got sued because people where getting fat ? ).

          This doesn't mean go ahead and do whatever the hell you want, over promising people can just get you there faster.
          Erm...just want to point out that i enjoyed your Red Bull reference, which is why i used it.

          I wasn't attacking or criticizing your post, so please don't feel like you need to defend yourself =)
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    • Profile picture of the author sunoy14
      Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

      Recently, Red Bull Sued over Not giving people wings.

      You go figure
      That's not true. I got a nice pair of wings after drinking red bull. I flew to America.

      In my dreams ;D

      OP. why are you trying to be dishonest with your products? You will never gain loyal customers that way.

      And even if you are being dishonest with your product, why are you making it public by posting your intentions in top forums like this one?
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      • Profile picture of the author Andre Slater
        How about create a product or a ebook that actually helps people? That you had true results with?

        Eons ago when e-books started online and Clickbank was just starting there was a slew of crappy ebooks being sold and pretty much 90% of stuff was pure garbage...

        Then a Forum called WF came out that discussed these products and reviewed them. Then people started getting wise to the garbage and immune to it.

        Then, product creators got clever and started figuring out upsells and such and made more advanced products and it got a little better about 70% of stuff was garbage...

        Then people got wise and started teaching others how to make crappy products by rehashing PLR products and the internet went wild with garbage, which raised the bar back to about 90% garbage...

        Then as WF got more popular and people started voicing their opinions and the amount of products, competition, and pure education online and GOOGLE we are at an all time low of about 30% garbage and with easy refunds less than that probably.

        And with Clickbank, WF, JVZOO being the neighborhood watch and making sure crap is not easily promoted... We have a good system going right now where you can get good knowledge without big risk.

        So, go ahead and put your garbage out there to compete with the 70-80% good stuff and people's opinion and refund rate and see what happens.

        I made up all those percentages
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        • Profile picture of the author Crowsnest
          I don't think I would sleep well if I was making promises which I had any doubt over. I personally believe that if I can offer a product which delivers great value, then there is really no come-back (even though the guarantee is there anyway).
          Whether the person uses that information is of course another matter!
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  • Profile picture of the author wyatt2011
    Why would you over promise something? Doesn't sound very honest. You should just make changes to the titles. Problem solved.


    Angela
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  • Profile picture of the author kibebe7
    These titles sound like you are advertising for a movie...say Nutty Professor.
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  • Why not stick to what actually delivers?
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  • Profile picture of the author Monkmoney
    Even if itd not over promised, the risk is there, its not a large risk, but people are weird
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Be honest in all that you do and it can never come back to bite you in the butt.
    Have a disclaimer at the front telling people that results are different for everyone, etc., etc. Talk to a lawyer if necessary to protect yourself but never over-promise.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

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  • Profile picture of the author Zenoth
    An ebook that overpromises will probably bring you some short-term gains, but on long-term will not help you gain the trust of your buyers.

    You will get some negative reviews and so on. It really depends on how far are you thinking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    If this were true, majority of eBook publishers would have been sued by now. It is my personal opinion that you have nothing to worry about.
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  • Profile picture of the author QueenMelanie
    thanks for letting us know that your new book is over-promising , will keep that in mind
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by Bai_Mike View Post

    Hi guys,

    I'm planning to launch some ebooks with the titles that promise permanently and etc

    Would this cause me to get sued if they don't deliver the promises that the book title says? How do I avoid that and what can I do?
    If you run a con game on people and get caught, can you get sued? Sure, and you can also go to jail.

    In some of the health fields, especially those dealing with potentially deadly diseases, the original buyer may not sue you, but the next of kin may try to nail your hide to the barn door.

    And I, for one, will be rooting for them...
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    Originally Posted by Bai_Mike View Post

    Hi guys,

    I'm planning to launch some ebooks with the titles that promise permanently and etc

    Would this cause me to get sued if they don't deliver the promises that the book title says? How do I avoid that and what can I do?
    If you overpromise, you under-deliver.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    If you are going to create and sell a product, don't over promise. Instead over deliver. You can make a little money by over promising but why would you want to be deceptive?

    If you want to create a product that will make you a lot of money then focus on a product that will help a lot of people.

    If you deceive, you will not 'receive'.

    But it's not too late for you to start in the 'right' direction starting now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    And I, for one, will be rooting for them...
    I second that emotion!

    Google Kevin Trudeau and try not to do some of the stuff he did
    Like don't get caught?? Is he still in the Joint??
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    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilippaWrites
    Your bio doesn't say where you're based but, in the UK, you could certainly be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority if somebody felt you had engaged in false advertising.

    In any case, STARTING on a project with a plan to under-deliver is a really, really bad approach! Why not step up and create something that's actually awesome, rather than something that says it is, when you know it's not true.
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  • I wouldn't guarantee anything you can't deliver for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    Never make promises you can't keep. Nothing wrong with a strong sales pitch but be careful as if your claims are wildly out then you would leave yourself open to legal action. Focus on delivery of promises.
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  • Don't promise anything that you haven't achieved, that's all I have to say. If you haven't earn or gained a certain amount of success, don't say you have achieved that success. Not only is it wrong, but overpromising when you aren't sure of the results of what your readers will achieve is not good to do. At the end of the day, it isn't at all about whether you are allowed to over promise or not, but more so if you are willing to risk your reputation to say people could achieve X amount of results when you really can't guarantee that.
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