Sunday, November 16, 2014

Throckmorton at Daily Beast: How the Religious Right Scams its way onto the NY Times bestseller list

Quoting the final paragraph may suffice for a summation.

These authors may represent the tip of the iceberg, or they may represent a tiny fraction of authors who seek publishing success the old fashioned way. At present, given the silence of the largest Christian publishers, and the apparent willingness to go along with manipulation of the best-seller list, the Times’ rankings have lost their luster as a gold standard of book popularity. Until publishers declare the practice to be unethical, it will not be clear which authors are the real deal and which have purchased their way on the list.

With evidence coming out that not only Mark and Grace Driscoll but David Jeremiah, Perry Noble, and Les and Leslie Parrott have books that have benefited from Result Source Inc. assistance it seems Throckmorton's got a point, that we don't know whether at this point we're seeing the tip of an iceberg of graft in popular Christian publishing or whether these are anomalies.

Wenatchee has doubts that this game that has been afoot is strictly "political" in alignment.  If we're really just seeing the tip of an iceberg then we should be prepared for the possibility that if Christian publishers let rigged books reach the top of the NYT bestseller list that they don't care whether the book tilts to the left or right theologically or politically just so long as it earns money.  After all, Thomas Nelson published a book by Mark and Grace Driscoll the same year they published Rachel Held Evans' A Year of Biblical Womanhood.  Wenatchee is not particularly thrilled in either direction but does not doubt that Held Evans actually wrote her own book.  The Driscolls' book looks as though it were so lazily cobbled together that Mark Driscoll might have just thrown the thing together over a three-day weekend. 

11-16-2014  3:15pm

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1 comment:

C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

Has anybody else wondered what drives W. Throckmorton?

He is clearly driven. So the question is inevitable.