I have a hypothetical situation for you to consider. Suppose a pastor in the Seattle area had $210,000 to spend and was looking for worthy causes. He could:
- Pay for 280,000 bus rides for people with disabilities.
- Pay for 107,692 elementary school lunches.
- Pay for someone to manufacture sales activity in order to put the pastor’s book on a best seller list.
Before someone points out that the pastor probably does a lot of good things for poor kids and people with disabilities, I’d like to point out instead that this would not mean spending $210,000 to make it look like a book is being purchased by a lot of different people is a wise use of money.
Update – on March 16, 2014, Mr. Driscoll posted an open letter to his congregation which included:
… a marketing company called ResultSource was used in conjunction with the book Real Marriage, which was released in January 2012. My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church. In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the “#1 New York Times bestseller” status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well.