Yes, money can buy fame. In this case, a lot of money.
The Price Of Fame
ResultSource is a company that, for about $50,000 will guarantee your book, however briefly, will make it onto the bestseller lists.
For instance, take the enterprising Soren Kaplan.
Mr. Kaplan purchased about 2,500 books through ResultSource, paying about $22 a book, including shipping, for a total of about $55,000. (The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike, Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal)In return, ResultSource made sure Mr. Kaplan's book, Leapfrogging, sold 3,000 copies in its first week pushing it into the number three position on "the Journal's hardcover business best-seller list". In addition, "it hit No. 1 on BarnesandNoble.com on Aug. 7".
It's amazing what money can buy.
There is a trick, though. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg writes:
To make a business-book best-seller list, a title doesn't need to sell as many copies as in other, bigger categories, like general fiction and nonfiction.
A title that sells 3,000 copies in a week, for example, might hit the Journal's business list, confirmed Nielsen BookScan. (The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike)
But Mom! Everyone's Doing it!
Here's what Soren Kaplan has to say about his decision to game the system:
I ... was introduced to someone who had just left her role as an executive at Harvard Business School Publishing. She was the first to mention “bestseller campaigns” to me. According to her, “everyone” was doing it, especially for non-fiction business books like mine.Soren Kaplan was told that "Three thousand books sold would get me on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Eleven thousand would secure a spot on the biggest prize of them all, The New York Times list."
I also spoke to two of my professional heroes, gurus in the field of management and both regular staples on the Thinkers 50 – the who’s who list of the world’s leading business thought leaders. Both of them told me that if they hadn’t used bestseller campaigns for their own books, they wouldn’t have hit the bestseller lists. “Guruship,” they told me, came from playing the game in a way that reinforced their personal brands as thought leaders. Ponying up the dough for the bestseller campaign was a small investment that would pay off later in speaking fees and consulting contracts. (Debunking the Bestseller)
11,000 books at $22 a pop is a far cry from 30 pieces of silver, but it feels the same.
Do you think buying ones way onto the bestseller lists is a common practice?
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