An author in the UK bought 400 copies of his own book to push it onto the bestseller list. Brilliant idea or dirty pool? I’m asking this question sincerely. I went to a literary festival many years ago and had a killer reading of my book of aphorisms that resulted in hundreds of sales that night (and into the rest of the week) and an unexpected appearance on a bestseller list was my reward. Seriously. Poetry on the fiction best seller list because there was nowhere else to put it. So I my publisher now calls me a “bestselling poet”. Debatable, but sounds great. But could I crow so easily if I (or hell, if my rich family/the Republican Party) were the one who bought them? Personally, I couldn’t sleep at night. But bestseller lists don’t make or break poetry books. I mean, because, you know, they’re all pre-broken, in terms of sales. Any takes on this?
Mark Dawson, a British writer who just over a week ago hit No 8 on the Sunday Times hardback list with his thriller The Cleaner, released by the independent publisher Welbeck at the end of June. This is a great achievement for any author or small publishing house, but Dawson had done something remarkable: he bought 400 copies of his own book, at a cost of £3,600, to push his sales high enough to make the top 10.