Read a very interesting article the other day about how apparently certain authors, especially in the business book writing field, are hiring special services that buy bulk copies of their books in such a way as to manipulate the sales figures and make these bulk sales count towards their sales figures, propelling them onto the New York Times bestselling list–for the sake of being able to say they were on the New York Times bestselling list.

Just being able to say your book hit the New York Times bestseller list means the difference between huge speaking fees and invitations to conferences–and not.

Doesn’t matter if the numbers were all cooked and that the week after you hit the bestseller list more than half the books were returned to the publisher.

Doesn’t matter.

It’s the fact that you hit the list!

Such market manipulation just makes me shake my head.

Who do they think they’re really fooling?

And apparently there are other services that will type up glowing reviews on Amazon about your book.

For crying out loud!

Don’t they realize that eventually the book has to stand on its own merit? Or lack thereof?

Reminds me of this lady I knew who kept bugging me to blurb her book on Amazon. I liked her, so I gave her something noncommital sounding (because unfortunately the book was not written well). Later she bugged me again and I made the mistake of telling her the truth, that I hadn’t been able to get through her book because it wasn’t written well. (Yup. Lost the friendship over it. Won’t make the mistake of being that honest again!)

It’s one reason why I never ask anyone to blurb my book.

I’m just afraid they’d say something polite.

Oh when you first start in this business! I know people who would check their Amazon rankings every day!


And yet way back when it did occur to me that it might be a good ‘investment’ to buy my own books from Amazon to improve their rating.

But it felt dishonest, so I didn’t.

Besides I do want other people to value my books so much they buy them.

So instead I plug away, doing things the hard but honest way.

Maybe I’m naive to think that this is a way of building an honest foundation for my work.

Maybe it’s naive to think that work ethic and principles really matter that much.

In the hopes that I won’t be some sort of flash-in-the-pan phenomenon.

Building a following of people who can have confidence in the work, that it really is worth taking a few minutes out of their incredibly busy lives to pay attention to what I’ve created–that’s what I’m trying to justify. That’s what I’m trying to develop.

It’s funny though, I keep thinking of Justin Bieber’s fiasco at the O2 forum in London. Apparently he showed up two hours late to one of his performances.

Not good.


Not cool.

Diva behaviour, and you might be able to get away with those shenanigans when your star is still rising, but heaven help you if you try that when you;re not shining quite as brightly as before. And it seems as though the fascade is cracking.

It starts small.

With tiny hair-line fractures.

Little things that might annoy fans here and there.

Maybe your last single wasn’t as good as it could have been.

Maybe it was even a bit derivative, but because they’re fans they ‘overlooked’ it.

But then you do something like this…and the boo-birds come out.

Not easy to recover!

Because once the idea gets planted in fans’ minds that ‘you’re not that worth it’ it’s the beginning of the end.

Yup. The beginning of the end.

Just ask Britney.

Me, I don’t want ever to get to that point.

Focus on the work.

Make that shine!


Make that shine!!!