My Kindle PMP Book Update – Stats, Lessons & a Key Review

pmp book best seller

I have got mixed reviews for the PMP book on Kindle, and it is heartening to see that over 90% of them are 5 stars – which means that the book is serving it’s purpose.

This is my very first book on Kindle platform and I have been learning a lot by looking at the stats, feedback, reviews and few experiments.

I decided to write a short post highlighting what I have learned from my experience of publishing first Kindle book. It’s been roughly two and a half weeks since the release.

(Image on the left is for representation purpose only, it is not yet available in printed form.)

Here are some stats as of today (write to me if you want to help with authoring a Kindle book yourself!) –

pmp kindle book best seller rank
  • The book was downloaded 972 times, in 13 countries. Canada, Japan, UK, US, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France, India and Italy – in no particular order.
  • Roughly half the number of people than ones that got if for free, bought the book.
  • Few people went ahead and bought the book even when I was giving away the book for free. This was their way of showing support. I am indebted to you guys (you know who).
  • The best seller author rank I noticed is 4826 (I checked on random days and time, so I don’t know whether it went any better than this). Which I thought was cool, considering there are possibly gazillion authors on Amazon.
  • The book has received 30 reviews – 27 of them 5-star, one 4-star, one 3-star and one 1-star rating.
  • One of the reviewer said the book is not a study guide, and she preferred HeadFirst PMP instead. While I agree on her assessment, it was an Apple-to-Orange comparison. I only hoped she’d read the description before the purchase, because it is mentioned clearly in the description that the book is NOT a PMP study guide. It’s a blueprint approach based on experience of hundreds of PMP students (including mine). I did learn a lesson – communicate the obvious more clearly.

There was one particular review that I enjoyed the most.

An unsolicited critical review that highlights the good points of the book, shows proof for the content in the book AND puts across the goal of the book in a way better than the author could have written – is any author’s dream! And I felt so grateful for having received it.

I was so impressed by it (even the title is so prudent, I thought) that I decided to call it out on this post. Thank you, !

Title: Take What You Need and Leave the Rest (but, you will hardly find anything that’s NOT useful in this book)

Shiv Shenoy’s book, Crack the New (2016) PMP® Exam in 4 Weeks: Using Simple, Proven, Step-by-step Approach (Ace Your PMP®), is phenomenal; an indispensable supplement to the PMBOK, and other resources.

I am in my last week of prep for my PMP Certification re-test (2nd try), and bought the book 2.5 weeks ago. I will update the Review, once I’ve completed my test, but thought it important to share my experience, so far.

I read it–cover to cover–almost immediately; it’s a rather short book. It is packed with many, many useful strategies; the two I found the most helpful (and there were MANY others) were:

1.) Testimonials by others. I must admit, I was a bit reluctant–at first–to read through the “success stories” of some of Mr. Shenoy’s past pupils, but they don’t at all detract from the book. Rather, they reinforce and strengthen the book’s structure with real-world examples of students–of quite dissimilar backgrounds–and how they overcame the challenge for PMP success. You will surely find yourself (or a version of yourself) in one of the stories. More importantly: Each PMP shares their own “lessons learned” about what worked, FOR THEM. And, there are resources which compete with Mr Shenoy’s book and Blog services, but are shared nonetheless. Obviously, the author wants you to buy his book and use his site and services offered. But, I love that each person spoke, unencumbered, about what really worked, for them. Many offer links, etc. to other resources and services. Plus, they share insights to what worked. The testimonials and Mr. Shenoy’s sharing of knowledge, are truly a manifestation of PMI’s concepts of knowledge-sharing, knowledge-generation, mentorship, lessons-learned, etc. No one should keep their knowledge to themselves; it is the openness and transparency which will make all of us better. It is through the development of the Profession overall, that the entire PMP profession shall all benefit.

2.) EXAM OPTIMIZATION TECHNIQUES. It’s capitalized for a reason. Mr. Shenoy’s system espouses a “Four Pass” approach. Quite simply, you will make four passes through the exam; each time with a different focus. Here’s my summary; First Pass: All the easy stuff; 2) All the Formulaic-type questions; 3) All the super-complex-hard questions; 4)All the rest. These are the ones where you might have to break the questions down, and use your 50/50 guess (from Who Wants to be a Millionaire)–maybe. The book, offers some guidance on what that entire process looks like, ie, how much time that may take? (you should have plenty of time, don’t worry) WHY you should do this, etc. Simply stated, the method is about flow. Rather than getting bogged down in the gearing up and down, from the various question types and difficulty levels, his system guides you through a pragmatic and easy to follow, step-by-step process. (I used to race several triathlons, and the most challenging parts of the race were always in the transition from one discipline to the other–bike to run, for example–and then, how difficult it was on the body to RUN, when your legs have been going in circles for many miles!! I believe, that this process, ensures you have a smooth transition from one discipline–or question type–to another. You gear up for a systematic and smooth flow.)

I started using his system right away in my simulated exams and quizzes (I have been using Cornelius Fichtner’s PMP Exam Simulator (which I highly recommend, BTW) and my scores leapt up almost immediately. My comfort levels went up, and stress levels went down. As a matter of fact, I achieved my first score over 80 on the full (200 Question) Exam Simulation yesterday, using his methodology. Furthermore, I completed the four-hour exam with 35 minutes to spare.

Now, here’s the caveat: I don’t know what that will mean when I re-take the full PMP Exam; will it help? Hinder? I will say that my methodology for the first attempt wasn’t even comparable. I went through the Exam, question by question; I marked some for later, etc. Eventually, I ran out of time for the questions marked to review, or answer later. My system, or lack of a SYSTEM, was a real bottleneck on my first Exam try. I believe my second attempt, will be markedly different.

I will append this review, soon, with results and further impressions once I have completed the real Exam. In the meantime, get the book. Read it on your Kindle, PC, whatever. Take the methodology and apply it. Believe it. Do it. Then, share with the rest.

I’d love for you to leave an honest review for the book by clicking here.

By the way, as I was writing this post I noticed some unusual activity from the corner of my eyes. Just outside my home office was a simian family – mom and 3 young ones. The youngest one was quite cute and naughty, so I decided to snap a picture. She was so protective that she sensed the shutter click from some 40ft far and hurried away from the scene.

It appears as if the little fellow is giving me a thumbs-up! 🙂

simian family small

I know you figured out that it’s actually the tip of his ear that looks like a thumb.

It isn’t hard to imagine a world where all species could communicate with each other and the fellow actually gave me a thumbs-up as I was getting ready to publish the post, is it? 🙂

There you go! I’m off to work now.

I appreciate you. Have a productive week ahead!

UPDATE 17 Mar, 2016

Subsequently I found the author of this awesome feedback. He is Dave Lorenzo.

Dave passed his PMP exam few days after he bought the book. I was glad to see that the content of his book did help him in acing his exam. Here’s what he wrote –


dave lorenzo pmp book testimonialI just want to send a note of Thanks, for the support and advice as I sought to acquire my certification.

I passed the exam on my second attempt, yesterday, March 6, 2016, while achieving a “Proficient”, in all five domains.

Your book was a key ingredient in my success.

The process and battle to study and successfully learn the material—not rote memorization, but to truly UNDERSTAND it—was challenging. However, the test-taking skills and tips in your book were nothing short of phenomenal; they made all the difference.

On test-day, I progressed through the Exam quickly and with the utmost confidence, thanks to your book. I finished my first pass on the Exam (read all 200 questions, answered all Easy ones) at the 2h:20m mark. I wrapped the test with 17 minutes to go and I never felt super-rushed, or flustered.

The strategies and advice shared in your book—well, they simply work. The PMP certification is not the end of the line; it is a step in furthering my skills and the strength of my abilities and contributions as a Project Management Professional.

I want you to know that you helped make it all possible and I send a most heartfelt, thank you.”

PS: Hey, thanks so much for your messages and mails on ‘Concepts For ITTOs’ book series. As of now I am giving the whole set of books for FREE. Here’re two places you can grab them from (you’ll also get the updated version with 2016 exam changes for free when I bring it out soon) –
>> here
>> and here
As always, write to me with your suggestions and feedback.
And do let me know if you are interested to write your own Amazon Kindle book. Who knows, it could turn out to be a best seller! 🙂

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