aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

You, too, can be #1 – for an hour

The Wall St. Journal talks about people who shell out ten to fifteen thousand dollars in an effort to make their books #1 on Amazon or Barnes & Noble – if only for an hour.

"New York public-relations firm Ruder Finn says it can propel unknown titles to the top of rankings on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble with a mass email called the Best-Seller Blast. Popular authors such as Mark Victor Hansen of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series recommend your book in messages to fans, and offer a deal: Buy the book today and you'll get downloadable "bonuses" supposedly valued at thousands of dollars -- such as recordings of motivational speeches and contact information for important people. Orchestrating even 1,000 book purchases in a single day can drive a title from obscurity to the top of the charts.

"Rick Frishman, who oversees the campaigns for Ruder Finn's Planned Television Arts, also is a client. His 2004 book "Networking Magic" went from a sales rank of 896,000 on barnesandnoble.com the morning it was published to No. 1 at 4 p.m. He has a poster in his office showing the sales chart he briefly topped. "I'm a nobody, but I was somebody for a day," he says."

(Full disclosure: My first book, Circles of Confusion, was once #43 on Amazon. I didn't spend any money to make that happen. And somewhere along the way, I've lost the printout, so you'll just have to believe me.)

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Tags: who's #1?
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