The former adviser to Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, released a new book, and it’s achieved a spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Yet, for some reason, customers have been shrugging it off on Amazon, one of the largest book dealers in America.
According to the Daily Caller, Jarrett’s book was published on April 2 and to crack the top 100 on any site save the NYT bestseller list, which placed it at 14th. However, Amazon’s numbers show that the highest placement the book got was 1,030. It didn’t fare much better at Barnes & Noble, where the book hit a placement of 1,244.
Naturally, this raised some questions, with an anonymous book industry insider telling the DCNF that with placements this bad, there’s no way it should be on the NYT’s list.
“Given the organic sales of that book and the fact that during the entire week of rollout it barely cracked the top 100 on Amazon, there’s no way the book should have a place on the NYT Best Seller list. Inconceivable,” said the insider to DCNF. “There’s likely an effort to game the system, it’s the only explanation.“
This “game the system” the anonymous insider is referring to is done via a companies that are in the game of helping authors achieve a spot on the bestseller list by buying a book in bulk, but making it seem as if individuals were purchasing them, and all within the first week of the book’s release:
For a price, companies such as Result Source will help authors buy their way onto the bestseller list. The bestseller lists exclude bulk sales, so they work by buying large numbers of books in a way that appears as manual, individual sales. The purchases are also concentrated during one week, ensuring that its numbers are high enough to place in the top 10 during its crucial launch week, even if it means stockpiling and trying to resell those books over a long period of time.
“They just take three months worth of their events books, all their corporate clients and speeches, and they funnel them through this company,” the editor said.
Result Source generally bought between 10,000 and 11,000 copies in the first week in order to ensure a spot on the bestseller list, he said, another red flag with Jarrett’s 12,600 number. “Is that 11,000 bulk sales and then only 1,600 copies? If Viking paid $1 million and the organic sales were 1,600 …”
Making your book seem like an NYT bestseller is a gamble that requires you to pay a lot of money to essentially buy your own book in hopes to spur on a sales hike to cover the cost. This may or may not work, but one that you can do is call yourself a “bestselling author” and raise your prices to match how in demand you will likely become.
Even so, the placement of Jarrett’s book on the bestseller list is pretty dismal, especially for the amount of money that was paid to get the book at a top spot.
“Viking supposedly paid seven figures for this, so they were hoping for Michelle Obama level publicity and number one bestseller,” the anonymous book editor told the DCNF. “Number 14 is a huge disappointment. For $1 million you want to sell 200,000 copies in order for this to work out. For a book like this that should have been publicity driven, you’d want 40 to 50 thousand in the first week.”
“There’s no demand for the book and no one is reviewing it,” the editor continued. “She’s gotten very little media. She doesn’t know how to sell it and no one wants to sell it for her.”
That a book was even released by Jarrett is a surprise to many. It would appear that after the Obama administration left power, Jarrett’s star had fallen drastically.