The Publishing Industry and The Sociopathic Business Model™
Is it really a Bestseller?
It turns out to be true you can’t judge a book by its cover. Much like the celebrities who purchase Twitter followers or Facebook ‘Likes,’ to give the appearance of popularity to leverage endorsement deals, some in the publishing industry are employing similar tactics to create a Bestseller.
ResultSource, a marketing firm out of San Diego, charges thousands of dollars for its services in addition to the cost of the books to authors who enlist their help. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal ResultSource site’s once said:
“Bestsellers initiates incredible growth—exponentially increasing the demand for your thought leadership, skyrocketing your speaking itinerary and value. We create campaigns that reach a specific goal, like: “On the bestsellers list,” or “100,000 copies sold.'”
Author, Soren Kaplan, of the ironically titled Leapfrogging, made a conscious decision and against his Publisher, Berrett-Koehler Publishers discouragement hired ResultSource. He said ResultSource told him it could arrange the purchase of a quantity of books in such a way that they were counted toward national best-seller lists.
According to Forbes:
The company requires authors to make bulk purchases of their own books, then breaks those orders up into small increments to make them look like organic retail sales. For this service, authors or their publishers pay tens of thousands of dollars, on top of the cost of the books whose purchases Result Source launders. The total price tag can approach $250,000.
There is something to be said fo the Publisher, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (who again opposed using ResultSource) and the president of their firm, Steve Piersanti who said:
“Authors should instead focus on long-term goals such as building stronger relationships with potential readers.”
Again stressing the importance of transparency, truth and growing the business organically over time, a theme you will often see on this blog. So let’s run the author and the marketing firm’s actions through The Sociopathic Business Model™.
-View people as accomplices and victims, all accomplices become victims
-Pathological lying (more on the part of the marketing company-the author was truthful when questioned)
-Lack of shame guilt or remorse
-Lack of accountability
-Creates hopelessness in victims (those who work hard and try to get on Bestseller list organically)
-It’s demeaning and insulting to both readers and again authors who organically want to reach the same goals.
-Changes name to distance from crime or unethical behavior ( According to Forbes: ResultSource which previously contained numerous case studies describing the many campaigns it has executed for authors, has been reduced to a bare-bones landing page with a logo and a contact form. CEO Kevin Small deleted his Twitter account, and a Facebook page that appears to be the company’s is now blank.) Should we expect to see a new incarnation of ResultSource soon?
Personally, I have little desire to read anything Mr. Kaplan wrote about business and while he was honest about the employing of unethical tactics it appears he has little shame or remorse for his manipulations and not recognizing the rights of others. Or at the very least read it with a skeptical eye. The same is true for using a company like ResultSource (or whatever name they’ll likely pop up under later). I do however support the ethical decision of Berret-Koehler Publishers. Again, it’s up to each person reading this to make educated decisions on their own and it’ll likely require additional research but it’s a starting point.