Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Marvin Olasky June 2014 interview with David Jeremiah, Throckmorton raised question of Jeremiah's use of Result Source

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/11/10/jeremiah/
Warren Throckmorton raised the question of whether David Jeremiah may have used Result Source Inc to land a book on a bestseller list. 

While World Magazine played a necessary and pivotal role in breaking the story that Mars Hill Church contracted with Result Source Inc. it now seems that that incident was the tip of an iceberg that may shed light on the entire Christian publishing industry in the United States, depending on how common gaming books may be. 

Since we're about to hit the one-year anniversary of Mefferd's confrontation with Driscoll on air let's revisit an earlier piece published in World Magazine in which Marvin Olasky interviewed David Jeremiah.

From the google cache:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:eAJAWVHBGugJ:www.worldmag.com/2014/06/a_team_effort+&amp%3bcd=2&amp%3bhl=en&amp%3bct=clnk&amp%3bgl=us
A team effort
Q&A | David Jeremiah shares marketing secrets that help Christian authors like him find readers
 

By Marvin Olasky
Issue: "2014 Books Issue," June 28, 2014
Posted June 13, 2014, 01:00 a.m. 


Marvin Olasky: The New York Times for its bestseller list counts sales from a bunch of secular stores; I understand there’s a company that will go in and buy several books in each of these bookstores. The companies that do that spread the release point of these books that are purchased by individuals so they can get attention. Is that legitimate?

David Jeremiah: The bottom line is you’re selling these books and they’re just not getting noticed. If you want the books to be noticed so that you can reach more people with them, you’ve got to figure out how to do that. I don’t know all of the ramifications of it, but I know that you can’t just write a book and say I’m not going to have anything to do with marketing. If you don’t care enough about it to try and figure out how to get it in the hands of other people, nobody else is going to either. 

And for those who want something more direct ... :

http://www.worldmag.com/2014/06/a_team_effort
Marvin Olasky:
I appreciate your demystifying the process of authorship. What about becoming a bestseller?


David Jeremiah:
We release a new book every fall, and around that book are eight rallies that we do across the country in arenas. We have radio and television programs and a magazine read by 200,000-300,000 people: During the month the book is released all the articles, all the devotionals, everything has to do with the content of that book. We have a prelaunch campaign from August 15 to the first days of October, offer that book through the internet. We try to get people to pre-buy the book, and in order to do that we say if you pre-buy the book, we will open up for you a whole library of digital assets. 


Marvin Olasky:
Then comes the release. 


David Jeremiah:
We keep those books as they’re ordered until the book is released. Then we push them all through the wicket at the same time. When that happens, the book gets noticed: It’s not about how many you sell; it’s about how fast they go through the sale programs so they get noticed. One of the challenges if you write as a Christian is that Christian bookstores don’t report to the bestsellers lists, so you’ve got to build a marketplace in the Barnes & Nobles, the Books-A-Millions, the Targets, the big houses so the books get counted. For the first time last year we sold more books in secular bookstores than we sold in Christian bookstores.


Marvin Olasky:
The New York Times for its bestseller list counts sales from a bunch of secular stores; I understand there’s a company that will go in and buy several books in each of these bookstores. The companies that do that spread the release point of these books that are purchased by individuals so they can get attention. Is that legitimate?


David Jeremiah:
The bottom line is you’re selling these books and they’re just not getting noticed. If you want the books to be noticed so that you can reach more people with them, you’ve got to figure out how to do that. I don’t know all of the ramifications of it, but I know that you can’t just write a book and say I’m not going to have anything to do with marketing. If you don’t care enough about it to try and figure out how to get it in the hands of other people, nobody else is going to either.


Okay then.

Now, to be sure, top-selling positions have been rigged for books since as far back as at least True Grit. And it's known by anyone who bothers to read the history of music (popular and otherwise) in the United States that payola got many a song on the radio waves.  The questions that can emerge about the ethics of that gaming can and have hinged on questions about why the system was gamed.  In a mid-20th century setting where musicians of color might not even get airtime on some stations without a little monetary help some have considered payola a necessary evil and with cause. 

But if evangelicals go with the "Christians are held to a higher standard" the controversies surrounding Mark and Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage has begun to suggest that by and large the Christian publishing industry may believe Christians, particularly famous ones, are to be held to significantly lower than average standards until someone points out the obvious (and not so obvious).

As Wenatchee has noted before, the full scope and implications of the scandals connected to Mark Driscoll's books don't have to (or actually do) stop at just the Result Source and plagiarism scandals.  Even assuming Mark Driscoll didn't intend to plagiarize his intent was irrelevant to any copyright infringement that actually happened.  That not a single author whose work Driscoll made use of took any legal action might be "grace" since Mars Hill certainly let Stokes & Lawrence issue a cease and desist letter to a church plant in California.  The double standards afoot here would seem too obvious to bother mentioning but for the fact that these kinds of double standards don't seem to get mentioned. 

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