I mentioned earlier that Susan Stoner, author of the Sage Adair mystery series, and I are preparing for our YouTube book program, “Just Read it.” Our first 5 airings begin with a review of top paperback sellers listed in the New York Times.
Recently, she and I met to compare notes. We were both surprised by the poor quality of some of the books we’d chosen. They were so poor, in fact, that under normal circumstances, I’d have had to be paid to read them.
Carolyn Kellog, columnist for the L. A. Times may have an answer to the question, “Why do poorly written books get a New York Times ranking?” http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-pastor-contract-resultsource-bestseller-lists-20140305,0,7039368.story#axzz2vZId6D2z. One way is to spend of tons of money on promotion.
Agencies like Result Source, Kellogg explains, are in the business of making a silk purse out of a literary sow’s ear. For a six figure fee, they will buy 11,000 copies of a client’s work, enough to guarantee it will appear on the best seller list. The fame lasts only a week, but it gives the writer bragging rights about being a bestselling author now and into the future.
Companies do exist whose purpose is to expose those who game the system. Book Scan, for example, provides information on the type of sales — whether they are actual customers or bulk book buys. Unfortunately, technology can provide ways to mask the distinction and promoters, like Result Source, don’t hesitate to use them.
Chicanery erodes trust in a marketplace already in decline. Companies like Result Source don’t care when there’s money to be made. For a price, statistics on the number of dog barking complaints in Pocatello, Idaho could burst like a super nova to the top of the best seller list.
(Courtesy of creciendocontunegocio.celeris.cl)