Author Mark Dawson revealed that he bought 400 copies of his own book titled The Cleaner for himself. This incident has lead to Mark losing his place in the Top 10 position in the Sunday Times bestseller charts for his thriller.
Book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan began investigating after Dawson revealed on his podcast, The Self Publishing Show, that he had placed an order for 400 hardback copies of The Cleaner with a children’s bookshop in Salisbury, for a cost of £3,600. Dawson said he was motivated to do this after seeing he was in 13th spot on Nielsen’s midweek chart, and that he contacted readers overseas to see if they would purchase the novel from him if he bought the books. The purchase meant the novel, published by independent press Welbeck, moved up to eighth place in the Sunday Times hardback fiction list.
Dawson’s actions were criticized by other authors. Nielsen told the Bookseller that after initially believing that the sales had been part of a virtual book signing, it had concluded that they “did not meet its criteria”. It will now recalculate the charts for the week ending 4 July, and the Sunday Times will also issue a correction.