Reading bestsellers lists can be baffling. You know the whole world isn’t going to spring for literary fiction or erudite essay collections all the time, but sometimes a book seems so bland and unremarkable that you wonder how so many people went crazy for it.
According to Forbes.com, the crazy may be coming from quite a different source: authors who pay a company exorbitant fees to bulk-buy their books and artificially inflate their sales stats. A quote from one such author:
To ensure a spot on The Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list, I needed to obtain commitments from my clients for a minimum of 3000 books at about $23.50, a total of about $70,500. I would need to multiply these numbers by a factor of about three to hit The New York Times list.