Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

When books don’t heal

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

When my customers request refunds, which is unusual, by far the most common reason given is that the book didn’t solve their problem. About half of them add some kind of complaint about my legendary negativity. Here is a typical recent example:

This eBook didn’t decrease my shin pain. Apparently you think nothing works.

Not many self-help books go to great lengths to stifle false hope and unrealistic expectations … but mine do. My shin splints book is not intended to “decrease shin pain,” and I warn readers about that, in several ways, in both the free introduction and in the main text. In fact, I would say it’s impossible to actually read and understand my book and still think that it should have “fixed” anything. It’s an unreasonable expectation of any book … but particularly one that goes well out of its way to caution readers against that expectation!