--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "authfriend" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, a_non_moose_ff <no_reply@> 
> wrote:
> >
> > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "authfriend" <jstein@> wrote:
> <snip>
> > The issue is best-seller list compliers. I assume they have some
> > standards to reduce deceptive ploys that makes things seem to be
> > "better" than they are. Like bulk sales.
> The best-seller list compilers' interest is in
> their own credibility--whether their lists
> reasonably reflect the number of people who have
> shelled out money for a book.
> Publishers depend on these lists to decide whether
> to order another printing and whether it's worth
> putting more bucks into promotion.  Book distributors
> and sellers depend on the lists to know how many
> books to order.

AND many book buyers depend on these lists to narrow down the list of
books they will consider buying.

>One thing you need to bear in mind is that best-
seller status is not some prize awarded for the
quality of a book; 

I disagree, per above. 

> rather, it's a measure of the
success of the book's marketing campaign in
convincing individuals to buy the book.

Thats one aspect of it, more important is the publics perception of a
book if it is on the bestsellers list.

> If the distributors and sellers order more books
> than they can sell, they return the books to the
> publisher for a full refund.  The only entity that
> stands to lose money from a skewed best-seller list
> is the publisher.  But in this case, the publisher
> *made* money from the Chopra strategy, as did the
> booksellers and distributors.
> As to their standards with regard to bulk sales, it
> depends on the bulk sale--who the buyer is, and what
> then happens to the books.
> For example, I know of a right-wing publication
> that has bulk-bought the book of one of its
> columnists (or editors, I forget) and then sold
> the book on its Web site to the publication's
> readers at a greatly reduced price, touting the
> book as a best-seller in its ads because the bulk
> sale has put it on some list.  That's considered
> marginal, ethically speaking.
> Other political Web sites make bulk purchases of
> a book that advances one of their partisan causes
> and then give the book away as a premium in
> exchange for a donation to the site.  That is not
> considered unethical even if it puts the book on
> a best-seller list.
> Authors make bulk purchases of their own books and
> then sell the books at their speaking engagements. 
> That isn't considered unethical.  Chopra did the
> same thing.
> Scientology's bulk purchase, in which most of the
> books ended up in a warehouse, was considered
> distinctly unethical.

While I appreciate your examples, I am not sure who "considers" this
or that practice ethical unethical. And "ethics" is a bit of a
strawman. My concern was "deception". 

To me, "decption" /slight of hand is more objective. It happenend or
it didn't. Ethics is in the eye of the beholder. All of what you
describe above is deceptive if, as you say, " [best seller lists are
a] measure of the
success of the book's marketing campaign in
convincing INDIVIDUALS to buy the book." 
Individuals being the operative word.  That some  practices are
considered by some amophous body as ethical or unethical is another issue.
> > 
> > Well its a matter of degree. Should a 1000 book bulk sale be 
> > counted? No. Should four months of "normal" sales be counted in one 
> > month? And compared to other books' "normal sales". No. Not in my 
> > book (nice pun,huh. :) ) I think thats deceptive. You may differ.I 
> > may draw the line higher than you.
> No, you're just ignorant of how the publishing
> industry works. 

Thats funny. "I think thats deceptive. You may differ.I 
may draw the line higher than you." is an invalid statement because
[I am] just ignorant of how the publishing 
 industry works." ????????? My standards are contingent on KNOWLEDGE
OF how the industry works??????? hahaha. Maybe that says a lot about
your standards.

As you say bestseller lists are a measure of the
success of the book's marketing campaign in
convincing INDIVIDUALS to buy the book. When people buy "bulk" -- more
than one copy, and not for their own use, for the purpose of pushing
up sales in the first month, they are tweaking the system, "I think
thats deceptive. You may differ. I may draw the line higher than you.  " 

> > I fail to see the difference, in substance -- though I do in 
> > degree -- bewteen this and Enron (and any number of other corrupt 
> > companies).
> Oh, please.  Apples and oranges.  

Um, I said "I fail to see the difference, in substance -- though I do
in  degree" -- its apple and oranges in degree. I "said" that. But not
in its nature, its substance. A deception might be big or small. It is
still deception.   
>Enron's ploy
> involved other people's investments.  People lost
> their life's savings as a result.  Who lost money
> as a result of Chopra's ploy?

Obviously the book sellers and authors whose book would have been on
the best seller list had the chopra book campaign not used slight of
hand practices.

"lost money" if meant in an absolute sense, is a bit of a strawman.
Its more an issue of "lost money relative to what would have occured
without the distortion." The bumped book may have still made money.
maybe not. The issue is their true earnings potential was skimmed by
Chopra and co. Same with Enron -- in the specific example of reporting
next years earnings this year. Many eneded up with lower profits or
higher losses than they would have had the distortion not taken place.

> Your complaint is basically about the nature of
> marketing itself, the purpose of which is to induce 
> people to spend money on something they wouldn't
> have bought otherwise.  There's a case to be made
> that marketing is inherently deceptive in that
> sense.   

No, thats not correct. That is not my argument. Some marketing is
deceptive. I am against that. Some marketing is informative. I am for

>But to pick on the marketing strategy in
> question and claim it's somehow more dishonest
> than any other marketing strategy, as I said,
> makes no sense at all.

HAHAHA. Faint praise. And a shallow basis for ethics. "We were no more
deceptive than anyone else." Jeff Skilling said the same thing. George
Bush says the same thing.

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