Let us say....that I was a individual that wanted to hand someone of major public status a significant amount of money....say a million....and wanted it to be a legitimate amount of money...legally given.....legally received....even taxes paid....and I didn't want it to appear as a bribe or a pay-back. How would you do it in the modern era?
You'd get the "innocent" guy to walk up to a publishing house and work up a "book". Me....the guy with the big cash who wants to help my friend or my public figure....I go up to the same book company and make a very special deal.
Normally....you write a book and get a contract....but special folks get a "bonus"....so I'm helping to rig up a special bonus. A book at the store might be priced on the shelf as new and at $25....which the book shop probably paid $18 per copy....sometimes more....sometimes less....depending on my deal. I make my seven bucks profit off that book. And the book company gets their $18.
So as the guy who wants to help my "friend"....I make a deal with the book company....instead of $18....I offer $23 a book....and I want a guaranteed delivery of 150,000 copies of the book. I take a loss of $5 times 150,000...which means $750,000 of profit for me lost....but not to worry....I will just write it off as a loss....but it'll help the book company offer the friend of mine....$750,000.
Last week....we had a wonderfully illustrated case of such a game....with the governor of Massachusetts. There was a serious discussion going on with casinos in the state....and the governor had disappeared for a couple of days....with little explanation. A few days after his return....we learn of his meeting publishers in New York City.....to sign a book contract.....and collect a bonus.
Most folks in the rest of the world outside of Massachusetts are wondering why any idiot would want to read a book from a less-than-average governor from Massachusetts....but then if you figure all of the special favors he gave away.....he needed to get "paid" for his favors in a honest way. So don't worry about the book really being a top 1,000 book or even a top 50,000 book. The purpose of this book.....is to pay the poor guy his bribe money.....legally. So when you step into a bookshop and pay $25 for a book.....by some hopeless idiot.....think about what the $25 is really for....and then you might appreciate the book more......or maybe less.