Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Moneymaker," March 23, 2013

List rental

No longer does an author need a good story or a publicity tour to make the bestseller list. ResultSource, a San Diego marketing firm, says it can catapult any book to the top of the New York Times bestseller list—so long as the author is willing to pay. According to Leapfrogging author Soren Kaplan, who contracted with ResultSource to claim a spot on the less-prestigious Wall Street Journal list, the formula is straightforward: If he could guarantee 3,000 in sales to his friends (or to himself), he could have ResultSource pre-order the books in a way that made sales appear the book had enormous demand. Kaplan said the company promised him a spot on the Times bestseller list if he could shell out more than $200,000 for 11,000 in sales. 

Cold shoulders

Hours after First Lady Michelle Obama’s surprise appearance Feb. 24 at the Academy Awards, Iran’s semi-official news website was accused of doctoring her image. The first lady appeared at the awards ceremony to hand out the Oscar for Best Picture dressed in a shoulder-baring Naeem Khan dress. But when the Fars News Agency carried the story on its website, graphic designers with the state-controlled media apparatus Photoshopped sleeves onto her red carpet gown, presumably to make her appearance less offensive to the site’s readers. 

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