I don't know about anybody else, but Pyromarketing by Greg Stielstra is about to jump to the top of my reading list. Stielstra was marketing director for the Purpose Driven Life, which has passed the 20 million mark in hardcover sales. That's Harry Potter country.

Reportedly, there was a rift between Warren and Stielstra over Pyromarketing--with Warren concerned about the term "marketing" in reference to the Purpose Driven Life (or PDL for short). Publishers Weekly ran a story about the alleged spat called "Purpose Driven Interference" (it's only available to subscribers.) Here's the meat of the PW piece.

Stielstra said HarperCollins accepted his manuscript last February, but in early April, he got a call from Warren staffer Doug Slaybaugh. "Doug had become aware of my book and told me that he would use, quote, 'every ounce of influence' he had to see that every reference to The Purpose-Driven Life was stricken from my book," Stielstra said. According to him, Slaybaugh said he didn't want PDL "associated with the word 'marketing' in any way, shape or form."

Since then, the holdup over the book appears to be over, according to Publishers Weekly. 800ceoread.com posted a blurb from the latest PW article.

Here's Warren's side of things.

"My request to Harper-Collins was simply that Greg's forthcoming book not use The Purpose Driven Life as example of pyromarketing, since that would be inaccurate. The effectiveness of 40 Days of Purpose spread from one pastor to another through word-of-mouth endorsement, not through anyone's marketing plan. That doesn't mean pyromarketing doesn't work. It just means that it didn't create the PDL worldwide phenomena.

Warren said he wants all recognition for the PDL sensation to go to God. "My only concern was that no one, neither Zondervan nor myself, claim credit for the astounding success of The Purpose Driven Life book. The worldwide spread of the purpose driven message had nothing to do with marketing or merchandising. Instead it was the result of God's supernatural and sovereign plan, which no one anticipated."

Tim Challies has a couple on in-depth stories here and here on the Pyromarketing story as well. Both stories have reaction from Stieltra in the comment sections.

Adrain Warnock has links to a promotional plan and powerpoint presentation about how the PDL was promoted.

It all makes for interesting reading.


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