Showbiz Sandbox 184: How Authors Rig The Bestseller Lists

March 4, 2013

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When Soren Kaplan’s “Leapfrogging” was published last summer it immediately appeared on the Wall Street Journal’s list of best-selling business books, a position that would be maintained for only a week. That was more than enough time for Kaplan to cement his status as a best-selling author which, in-turn, helps him land lucrative speaking and consulting gigs.

That is precisely why Kaplan hired a marketing firm to purchase copies of the book upon publication to assure it would appear on bestseller lists. During an interview with the Journal, Kaplan reveals how authors buying their way onto the bestseller list is a dirty little secret the publishing industry would prefer you not know about.

Dreamworks Animation is not being completely honest either. They took huge write-downs on their most recent release “Rise of the Guardians” and faulted the film’s weak performance as the reason for laying of 400 employees. However many question whether the company’s decision to move some of their production to China may have more to do with it.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including the best yearly music sales since 1999, the end of Daily Variety and whether NBC is looking to part ways with Jay Leno (again).

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Prince Michael Jackson Heading to 90210
http://www.vulture.com/2013/02/prince-michael-jackson-90210.html

Susan Boyle Gets a Movie Role
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/susan-boyle-gets-a-movie-role/

‘The Hobbit’ Tops $1-Billion Mark in Worldwide Box-office Sales
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-hobbit-billion-box-office-20130303,0,5171207.story

Box Office Milestone: ‘Les Miserables’ Crosses $400 Million Worldwide
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-milestone-les-miserables-425294

Foreign Box Office: ‘Die Hard’ Hangs On to Top Spot While China Propels ‘Hobbit’ Past $1 Billion
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/foreign-box-office-die-hard-425761

Stephen Chow Building Theme Park
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/stephen-chow-building-theme-park-423438

Disney’s $200 Million Gamble On Oz
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oz-great-powerful-disneys-200-424526

Jeffrey Katzenberg on DreamWorks Animation Layoffs
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jeffrey-katzenberg-dreamworks-animations-very-424699

DreamWorks Animation Takes $87 Million Write-off for “Rise Of The Guardians”
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dreamworks-animation-takes-87-million-424648

Len Riggio Intends to Purchase Barnes & Noble Retail Stores, Take Company Private
http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/len-riggio-intends-to-purchase-barnes-noble-retail-stores-take-company-private/

B&N Weighing Nook Losses
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/business/media/barnes-noble-weighs-its-nook-losses.html

Scaling Back Nook Bad News For Publishers
http://www.techhive.com/article/2029326/scaling-back-the-nook-e-reader-would-be-bad-news-for-book-publishers.html

The Mystery Of The Book Sales Spike
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323864304….

Debunking the Bestseller
http://www.leapfrogging.com/2013/02/18/debunking-the-bestseller-book-sales-spike/

Bill O’Reilly’s Next Book Is Killing Jesus
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2013/02/20/bill-oreilly-new-book/1934031/

Ebook Bestseller Prices Plummet To Below $8.00
http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/ebook-best-seller-prices-plummet-to-below-8-00-as-retailers-get-set-to-start-discounting-macmillan-titles/

Indie Bookstores Sue Amazon and Publishers Over DRM
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/56042-indie-booksellers-sue-amazon-big-six-over-e-book-drm.html

NBC Discussing Jay Leno Leaving
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sources-nbc-discussing-jay-leno-425669

A La Carte Wars: Cablevision Sues Viacom For Bundling
http://www.adweek.com/news/television/la-carte-wars-cablevision-sues-viacom-bundling-147565

Music Industry Records First Revenue Increase Since 1999
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/technology/music-industry-records-first-revenue-increase-since-1999.html?hp

IFPI 2013 Annual Report
http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_resources/dmr2013.html

The iTunes Value Structure
http://www.asymco.com/2013/02/26/the-itunes-value-structure/

CBS Wins February Sweeps; NBC Hits Historic Lows
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-cbs-wins-february-424383

Ratings – Duck Dynasty Returns
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-duck-dynasty-returns-425292

Morrissey Cancels TV Performance, Citing ‘Animal Serial Killers’
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/morrissey-cancels-tv-performance-citing-animal-serial-killers/

Netflix’s ‘Arrested Development’ to Run Just One Season
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127…..

Pandora Caps Mobile Listening, Cites Rising Royalties
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2013/02/pandora-caps-mobile-listening-cites-rising-royalties-.html

Spotify Officially Coming to Ford
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/02/spotify-ford/

Shazam Drives $300 Million A Year In iTunes, AmazonMP3 Sales
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2013/02/shazam-drives-300-million-a-year-in-itunes-amazonmp3-sales-.html

Copyright Alert System Launches, U.S. ISPs to Get Infringement Notices This Week
http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1549880/copyright-alert-system-launches-us-isps-to-get

Variety taps Eller, Littleton, Wallenstein for Editor-in-Chief Roles
http://variety.com/2013/film/news/variety-taps-eller-littleton-wallenstein-for-editor-in-chief-roles-819262/

Daily Variety Dead: Names 3 Editors-In-Chief And Turns Weekly; Claudia Eller Exits LA Times; Can This Failing Trade Be Saved?
http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/variety-names-3-editors-in-chief-claudia-eller-to-leave-la-times-but-can-they-save-it/

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