I’ve also long suspected that similar services exist for Billboard’s Top music lists as well.
In January 2012, former megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage went to the top spot on the Hardcover Advice section of The New York Times best-seller list. In March 2014, it was disclosed by evangelical magazine, World, that Driscoll’s publishing success was aided by a consulting firm called ResultSource, which purchased books on behalf of Driscoll in a coordinated effort to spike sales and give the impression that the book was popular with thousands of book buyers. Driscoll recently resigned from his church and one factor associated with his departure is the decision to buy his way onto the best-seller list.
Driscoll later admitted that the scheme was wrong and even asked that the designation “New York Times best-selling author” be removed from his bio and book covers. However, Driscoll is not alone among evangelicals wanting to improve their brand and increase sales. Just after the Driscoll story broke, another megapastor, Perry Noble, admitted using ResultSource on one of his book projects.
Jeffrey Trachtenberg pulled back the curtain on ResultSource’s operation in a 2013 Wall Street Journal piece. He noted that business and health care books have made the list with the help of ResultSource but didn’t report on any books from Christian publishers. The revelations about Driscoll’s Real Marriage best-seller campaign demonstrated that Christian authors and publishers also use the service. In fact, it appears that ResultSource CEO Kevin Small, as a graduate of Liberty University, is right at home with Christian clients.