Via CC Finlay, how to spend a stupid amount of money to game your way onto a best seller list. Note the books being discussed here are business-related books, which appear to be used by their authors as calling cards to get speaking/consulting gigs, which are their primary bread and butter. So maybe for these guys it makes sense to spend tens of thousand of dollars to gin up a bunch of (likely) fake sales. For fiction writers, for whom the honorariums are harder to come by, and probably are already some shade of completely broke anyway, probably less so.
Mind you, now that the Wall Street Journal is reporting on this particular way to game the list, the jig is up and this avenue will be factored in and discounted for future list reporting. So it’s probably too late for you to use it. On the other hand, think of the tens of thousands of dollars you’ll save!
I’m happy to say that generally speaking I’ve gotten onto the bestseller lists by, you know, selling books to people who want to buy them for reading purposes. It’s slightly more complicated than that, in part because the most significant best seller lists have their own proprietary formula for determining list position that aren’t necessarily directly related to raw sales. But that’s the general gist of it. Thank you for reading my stuff in trackably significant numbers, folks. I really do appreciate it.