Online Marketing /Branding Scams (Vanity Awards)


Senior Member.
Ahhhhh, the power of the internet.

Somehow I came across an person (a low-level entrepreneur) who claimed to have won a "Best Selling Author" award, among a few others.
His youtube video looks semi legit....upon first inspection:

He now lays claim to the award, has a beautiful statuette, and uses that award status to boost his credentials and status in his entrepreneurial ventures.
He's officially a "best selling author" , right ?
Well, only if he paid the fee for the award to "The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors ™ " award ceremony created not by any interested creative governing authority, but a scheme of other branding marketers.

It's a way to frankly, falsely claim you are a best selling author.
However, there are ways to end up on, say, the Wall Street Journal's best seller's list, as well as Amazon's top 100 list, and Barnes and Noble's, as well.
Here's How You Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestsellers List

Because the WSJ best seller list is based on book copy sales...marketers have learned to create a brief spike in much so, that their book ends up on the list......just enough of a spike during a single-week rating period.
Presto, they've made the list.

...also described in another article....
The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike....How Are Some Authors Landing On Best-Seller Lists?

It's also known as a "vanity award".

Buying educational diplomas, awards, and other means of personal brandings are somewhat of a known scam.
I find it very deceptive, and identity bunk.

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Senior Member
Great job, I've always suspected this but never had the desire to research it. Often you see media outlets bring authors on the morning talk shows that no one has ever heard of, and they introduce them as a best selling author.


Senior Member.
There are many such "vanity award" .....award schemes (not nearly limited to the one's mentioned in the first post).

(© Princton University)

...the now vanished (2010) vanity, "Creative Spirit Awards"

.....Five vanity awards

....from the same people in the OP...

...many locally targeted "awards" or entry contests that seek-out small businesses, and they'll receive a plaque and/or some certificate of accomplishment/award, for a sub $100 fee.

Many of these schemes tend to target struggling artists or small businesses, in need of some jump-start PR.
Others can be higher-end businesses or persons who have a chunk of cash to expend (like buying 2000 copies of your own book, to help place it on national best-seller lists)

© unknown

Plus there are other marketing ploys.
Perhaps most the infamous is "paid" positive reviews for books or any other merchandise found on user-supplied product reviews, or reviews posted by the sellers themselves under pseudo-names. Amazon customer reviews is a prime example.
(very good article....great read....)
The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy
Untrustworthy Amazon Reviews vs. Fake Amazon Reviews

My own theory on customer reviews are.....people will not normally post positive reviews if the product is satisfactory....unless I'm a net-posting addict. (there may be many such people)
If the product lives up to expectations, why post anything ? If the product is unsatisfactory, I may post something, because I'm pissed off.
(sorry, a little off topic)
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Senior Member.
In a way, many of the more popular "accepted" award ceremonies.....say, around the Hollywood entertainment theme, are actually Hollywood patting itself on it's own back.
I find it very hard to watch these ceremonies. I never do, even though I am in the industry.

I could brag that I have an Emmy (I was part of a group that received one). I have the certificate somewhere in storage, unframed.


Senior Member.
Another vanity award scam.......

There are too many vanity awards to list them all, but I posted this one because of 2 reasons.....

1) It's metaphysical new-age stuff. Yes, there's awards for.....
(lol...."Any product not otherwise specified.")

2) The author of the book I'm reading won 2 of their awards....... She won "Book of the Year" and "Best Alternative Science Book"

I could crack several jokes, but some people take this stuff very seriously, so I will not mock it any more than I have.
Perhaps if I get a good paycheck this month, I can pay the fees, submit something for next year, and display my award.
Catch is...... I need to travel, and purchase an awards banquet ticket too.
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