It’s all about Me, Inc – how to get ahead in the age of egonomics

In a world ruled by social media, online image is the key to success, and now a host of services are springing up to optimise your personal brand – by supplying fake followers, monetising your pets or revealing how to write an Amazon bestseller overnight

So you want to write a bestselling book? Of course you do. Literally everyone and their dog thinks they have a book in them. And while not everyone may be able to write, with enough guile behind you pretty much anybody can make it to the top of a bestseller list.

Take Lani Sarem, for example. For a few hours in August, the novice author’s debut novel, Handbook for Mortals, was No 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for young adult literature. Soon after Sarem’s fantasy novel reached the top spot, however, there was a plot-twist. People on social media began questioning exactly how a book nobody had ever heard of, by an unknown author, put out by an unfamiliar publisher, had suddenly magicked its way on to a prestigious literary list. The answer was somewhat prosaic: bulk-buying copies of the bookfrom bookshops that report their sales to the New York Times.

Bulk-buying is a tried and tested way of getting on the bestseller list and there are even specialist consultancies that will help you do it. However, the practice presents two problems: you actually have to write a book and you have to spend a fair amount of money buying it up. Thanks to the wonders of the modern internet, however, there are less arduous and expensive ways to get bestseller status....more