You’ve probably heard about this World Magazine story regarding Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill buying their placement on the New York Times.
Seattle’s Mars Hill Church paid a California-based marketing company at least $210,000 in 2011 and 2012 to ensure that Real Marriage, a book written by Mark Driscoll, the church’s founding pastor, and his wife Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list.
According to a document obtained by WORLD, Result Source Inc. (RSI) contracted with Mars Hill “to conduct a bestseller campaign for your book, Real Marriage on the week of January 2, 2012. The bestseller campaign is intended to place Real Marriage on The New York Times bestseller list for the Advice How-To list.”
The marketing company also promised to help place Real Marriage on the Wall Street Journal Business, USA Today Money, BN.com (Barnes & Noble), and Amazon.com best-seller lists. SOURCE.
Driscoll isn’t the only pastor to do this. For years, the rumors surrounding pastors buying their bestseller placement have gone around the Christian publishing world.
The confidentiality agreements that happen around this practice are pretty insane. Most pastors don’t want to discuss.
The way I heard about RSI was through a friend. He said to me, “So, Matthew, you wanna know how Pastor ****** got on the NYT best-sellers list?”
“Sure,” I said.
“He knows a guy in California who makes it happen. He just pays him a couple hundred grand and he gets you on the list.”
“Does this man have name or a website?”
“I don’t know. He wouldn’t give me any names. But said he’d hook me up if I was interested.”
Well, a couple weeks ago, an anonymous source sent me the following, a generic contract that authors and pastors sign with RSI.
In light of today’s news, I think this contract showcases an interesting tale about the agreement and the processes RSI goes through to make the “magic” happen.