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Old 02-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #1
Prestidigitweeze
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How to Buy Your Way onto The New York Times Bestseller List

Source: Forbes (by way of The Wall Street Journal).

Though Forbes writer Jeff Bercovici singles out the NYTBL because of its arbitrary prestige, he also shows that a presence on virtually all bestseller lists can be bought in the same way:

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ResultSource, a San Diego-based marketing consultancy, specializes in getting books onto bestseller lists, according to The Wall Street Journal. For clients willing to pay enough, it will even guarantee a No. 1 spot.

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Old 02-23-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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Check this one:
http://www.leapfrogging.com/2013/02/...k-sales-spike/

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When No One’s Talking, You’re Living In the Status Quo

Trachtenberg asked me about my experience with a company called ResultSource, the firm I had hired to help me hit the bestseller list from day one. Trachtenberg said he had contacted all of the major New York publishers, but no one would speak to him about the firm or the role of so-called “bestseller campaigns” in helping authors reach the coveted status. No comment. Dead silence.

I can’t say I was eager to be the first person to go on the record about the topic. But then I realized something – Trachtenberg’s surprising phone call was an opportunity to live up to what I urge my readers to do in my book Leapfrogging.

I’ve seen the phenomenon of corporate silence repeatedly in my career. There’s a big, smelly, ten thousand pound elephant in the conference room. Everybody knows it’s there, but no one’s willing to take the risk and point it out. As Trachtenberg was discovering, bestseller campaigns are the unacknowledged pachyderm of the book business.

There’s good reason why most industry insiders would prefer that the wider book-buying public didn’t learn about these campaigns. Put bluntly, they allow people with enough money, contacts, and know-how to buy their way onto bestseller lists. And they benefit all the key players of the book world. Publishers profit on them. Authors gain credibility from bestseller status, which can launch consulting or speaking careers and give a big boost to keynote presentation fees. And the marketing firms that run the campaigns don’t do so bad either.
Curators of culture? Special snowflake?
Yeah, right.

Just like these guess were curators of culture:
http://oldies.about.com/od/oldieshis...ayolaroots.htm
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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Yet another reason to ignore Best Seller lists.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Yet another reason to ignore Best Seller lists.

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Old 02-23-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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Yet another reason to ignore Best Seller lists.
What's a Best Seller list?
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:00 PM   #6
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What is the big deal?

Anyone that peruses these lists has the option of using them or not.
I prefer to use them as an indicator of a presence that needs to be checked out at least once.
Wow, who is that? Ugh...

I won't mention names but some of the books that are extoled are pure crud. Most are just mediocre. Some are excellent.

The other thing to remember is that an author may do a great job with one book or series, and then in another they just seem to be flailing a dead horse. It just gets worse and worse.

So remember don't expect consistent great works or terrible works from any author. All of us produce varying results.

And by the way the same expectations work for movies.

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Old 02-23-2013, 07:09 PM   #7
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What is the big deal?

Anyone that peruses these lists has the option of using them or not.
I prefer to use them as an indicator of a presence that needs to be checked out at least once.
Wow, who is that? Ugh...
And you know what? My random choosing of books after reading blurbs probably has the same success rate.

Best Seller lists are just another marketing technique and I don't need anymore marketing techniques.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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And you know what? My random choosing of books after reading blurbs probably has the same success rate.
That's how I do it too... I seem to mostly end up with books I really enjoy reading.

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Seller lists are just another marketing technique and I don't need anymore marketing techniques.
I so agree with that
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:26 PM   #9
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And you know what? My random choosing of books after reading blurbs probably has the same success rate.

Best Seller lists are just another marketing technique and I don't need anymore marketing techniques.
Blurbs are better!

I hunt everywhere for descriptions once a book catches my eye.
My attitude is: "Prove to me I want to read this book."

AND I don't mean the "OH. SO WONDERFUL! ENTHRALLING! WOW!"

I can handle running into a spoiler, but I don't handle letdowns well.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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Best Seller lists are just another marketing technique and I don't need anymore marketing techniques.
What? To market the New York Times?

I think it is newsworthy that a book is popular. It tells you something about the direction society is going. As for bulk sales, the New York Times puts a dagger next to titles being pushed up that way, when it notices. The OP article says that they have sometimes failed to award a deserved dagger, and I'm sure that's true. I love newspapers, but, as someone said, they're just the first rough draft of history.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:05 PM   #11
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Not only BSL's but most reviews are also worthless. I suspect that many of them simply reprint the press release they got. I think I agree with frahse though-often I'll bypass a book, even by an author I know, if all the author/publisher/whoever can find to say about it is how much they liked the author's previous books. Unless it's part of a series that I like, then I'll probably buy it-and occasionally I'll be disappointed that way too. I have several series that I've read the first couple of books & stopped either because it appears the author is saying the same thing over & over (me good guy, me fight bad guy, me win is an example) or is simply unable to develop the story in a way that's interesting to me.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:32 AM   #12
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Are we supposed to be surprised that money is used like this?
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:03 AM   #13
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I'm not surprised, but then I never pay attention to best seller lists anyway; I've always picked my books by there blurbs. An author's opinion might sway me - either to buy it or to put it back on the shelf - depending on whether or not I like the recommending author's own work. If I recognize recommending authors as belonging to the same literary circle as the book's author, I disregard them.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:55 AM   #14
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Are we supposed to be surprised that money is used like this?
I think we're supposed to be surprised that money works so specifically and effectively for anyone who has it, no matter how unconnected they might be. It's a question not of NYTBR being corrupt but of its fraud markers being bypassed.

Corruption would have been my first thought. I'd have assumed this was another form of payola, which determined visible successes in the music industry until late 1991, when Soundscan began reporting which albums actually sold the most -- far more hiphop than had ever been acknowledged, for example, which led to its dominance in that decade.

I was in the industry then and remember that from real life: from an established client's sudden inability to buy their way into airplay and sales (which I hadn't known about until no one could do it), and from rock professionals' reactions to the sudden ascendancy of kinds of music which they'd assumed were irrelevant.

Just now, I looked up the Wikipedia entry for SoundScan to confirm my recollection of the dates and found an article and a book in the footnotes which confirm soundscan's role in hiphop's success.

Fascinating, to watch privileged information become historical fact.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:36 AM   #15
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A company claims it can game the system, so the list-keepers try various tactics to get on the list. *Yawn*

This is very different than payola. Amazon and the NYT are not demanding payments in order to put a title on the list, they're actively trying to thwart efforts to play the system. The publishers aren't the gatekeepers of those lists, so blaming them is beyond ridiculous.

The bottom line is a few people are willing to spend ridiculous sums of money to proclaim that their book is a "best seller." Since the term is already meaningless and applied regardless of how well a book has sold, I can't imagine why anyone gets vexed over the issue.
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