Tuesday News: Gaming Amazon’s bestseller lists, a glitch in the Sony-Kobo transfer, an essay defending NY book editors, and wacky book covers

Tuesday News: Gaming Amazon’s bestseller lists, a glitch in the Sony-Kobo...

My Buying Community Want to Help Authors Beat the Kindle Store Best Seller List – My Buying Community, with a purported 10,000 members, seems to be another way to game the system on Amazon. The idea behind the service is that an author can get members to purchase his or her book, driving it up the lists. Can Amazon figure out this crap is happening and put a stop to it? Where’s the Change.org petition to get THAT to happen?

Like the MyKindex site which operated for a period of time last year, MBC connects authors with a willing pool of book buyers. The site looks to be entirely author funded, and from what I can tell as a reader it works along the same lines as the services that sold reviews to authors like John Locke.

A user signs up, request to purchase a book, and after the purchase is verified the user is credited the price of the ebook plus an additional 30%. After a user buys enough books to pass the minimum payment threshold, they can request a Paypal funds transfer. –The Digital Reader

Welcome US and Canadian Reader Store Customers! – So who, among former Reader Store customers, has attempted to use your Kobo account? I haven’t yet, but apparently there has been a problem with the supposedly automatic transfer of gift certificate and other credit balances to Kobo. According to the Kobo site, they are aware of the problem and are attempting to resolve it, but if you are supposed to have a credit in your account, and haven’t yet checked Kobo, this might be a good time to do so.

Kobo Customer Care has received calls regarding credit balances that didn’t transfer to Kobo customer accounts. We are working with Sony to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. If your account is affected, Kobo will notify you directly. Thank you for your patience. –Kobo Store

YES, BOOK EDITORS EDIT – In his response to the essay collection MFA vs NYC, Harper Collins editor Barry Harbaugh defends the work of New York publishing’s editorial staff against accusations of irrelevance, laziness, and even non-existence. However, even if you aren’t familiar with the source of Harbaugh’s defense, his essay is still an interesting commentary on the numerous tensions within traditional publishing, including the role of the editor, who have historically served as underpaid workhorses for publishing houses.

The editorial staffs of New York houses are not the faceless lemmings that a certain retail giant with a vested stake in self-publishing would have us be. And though it would appear to outsiders that the health of our careers depends solely on measurements of quantity (of the books that we acquire and the units sold), we’re not numbers-obsessed automatons. Editors edit. A lot. As a group, we’re hesitant to speak up for ourselves, lest our decorousness be tainted by saying something too self-aggrandizing. But I’ll take the risk: I probably mark up fifty to a hundred pages a week, most of it on the weekend. I ask questions and cut sentences and write chapter titles and all that stuff. The other editors at my company, and editors I know socially from other companies, are just as rigorous. –The New Yorker

The weirdest, most bizarre book covers ever published – While I’m pretty sure these aren’t THE weirdest and most bizarre book covers, some of them are pretty darn creepy, from Mommy Drinks Because You’re Bad (a “Quality Religious Book for Children”), to Harpo’s Horrible Secret (which I’m sure you can guess, even without looking at the cover). –news.com.au