Throughout history, there have been shadowy organizations such as the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and Hellfire Club. To gain entrance into these secret organizations, you have to know secret handshakes and obscure Latin passwords. Within these fraternities, initiates are led down dimly lit catacombs where they’re forced to disembowel goats in the middle of pentagrams.
Getting on the New York Times Bestseller List may be no different. According to the New York Times website, “Rankings reflect sales reported by vendors offering a wide range of general interest titles.” The List tracks the sale of a variety of books from independent retailers, national chains, and online vendors. The way your book ends up on the list sounds phlegmatic enough.
According to Wikipedia however, William Blatty’s Legion (the basis for Exorcist 3) was denied a place on the list based on content. Blatty sued the New York Times for denying Legion a place on the List. What’s interesting about this famous case is the court upheld New York Time’s claim that the List is “editorial content” and therefore doesn’t have to be mathematically objective. Also worth noting is that some authors bought thousands of copies of their book to make it on the list, which is why the List includes a dagger next to books purchased in bulk.
According to an article in Forbes, there is a San Diego company called Result Source, which will guarantee you a spot on the List for a vast sum of money. In the article by Jeff Berovici, “It does this by taking bulk sales and breaking them up into more organic-looking individual purchases, defeating safeguards that are supposed to make it impossible to ‘buy’ bestseller status.” In a follow-up article dated 4/18/14, Berovici pointed out that Result Source has gone dark, getting rid of its Facebook page and Twitter account after being exposed by the Wall Street Journal. Amazon has stopped doing business with them. The company still exists, but the home page is blank except for a message which reads, “Contact Us.” Who’s to say you won’t have to meet one of their reps in a dark alley on the wrong side of the tracks while carrying a briefcase full of money?
Some of us will never lose our anxiety over best-seller status. So, in the spirit of a free market, I will guarantee you a spot on the bestseller list. For a modest fee of 2 million dollars, eye of newt, a toad, and bat’s wing, I will get you a top spot on the New York Times Bestseller List in your genre. For an extra million and the name of your unborn child, I will get you a movie deal. There are no refunds, and you can’t inquire about my methods. (Disclaimer: I am not an actual sorcerer and have no power to get you on any list except my shit list.)
last 2 images borrowed with thanks from silhouettedesignstore.com