Is it Cheating or is it Not? - Ploys to get on the Amazon bestseller list

I was over at Angela Hoy's website today and read an interesting comment she made about people getting over on the Amazon ranking system by sending out email lists to get people to buy your book on the same day with freebies as incentives. She honed in on John Kremer who used this tactic to get his books on Amazon's bestseller lists and is urging other authors to do the same on his blog.

John Kremer isn't the only one who has used this tactic, but it is on his blog where a certain "anonymous" poster tells him like it really is. Here's the post that started it all. After that, sparks started to fly after John read Angela's article and posted this on his blog. Whoa...if you want some excitement in your day, this is the place to be. It's like St. Helen's erupting again!

As for me, when my book came out, I had heard of this way to get your book to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, but thank God I didn't have any freebies to hand out because it can be looked at as manipulation of the system. I guess it depends on whether you want to turn a blind eye to this fact and become a bestseller overnight. I know some people - highly respected people - that have done this effectively and I don't think of them less, but I wouldn't do it for personal reasons.

I knew that one day someone was going to have a field day with it and I didn't want to be in the line of fire. Peacetime is waaaay better for me.

But, I'm curious. What are your views on this? Is this cheating or is it not?
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