The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States.Published weekly in The New York Times Book Review , the best-seller list has been published in the Times since October 12, 1931. In recent years it has evolved into multiple lists in different categories, broken down by fiction and non-fiction, hardcover, paperback, and electronic, and different genres.
A bestseller is, usually, a book that is included on a list of top-selling or frequently-borrowed titles, normally based on publishing industry and book trade figures and library circulation statistics; such lists may be published by newspapers, magazines, or book store chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and specialties. An author may also be referred to as a bestseller if their work often appears in this category. Well-known bestseller lists in the U.S. are published by Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Most of these lists track book sales from national and independent bookstores, as well as sales from major internet retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
The New York Times Book Review (NYTBR) is a weekly paper-magazine supplement to The New York Times in which current non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed. It is one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry. The offices are located near Times Square in New York City.
The list is based on a proprietary method that use sales figures, other data and internal guidelines that are unpublished—how the Times compiles the list is a trade secret.In 1983 (as part of a legal argument) the Times stated that the list is not mathematically objective but rather editorial content. In 2017 a Times representative said that the goal is that the lists reflect authentic best sellers. The list has been the source of controversy over the years.
Although the first best seller list in America was published in 1895, in The Bookman , a best seller list was not published in The New York Times until 36 years later with little fanfare on October 12, 1931.It consisted of five fiction and four non-fiction books for New York City only. The following month the list was expanded to eight cities, with a separate list published for each city. By the early 1940s, fourteen city-lists were included. A national list was created on April 9, 1942, in The New York Times Book Review (Sundays) as a supplement to the regular city lists (Monday edition). The national list was ranked according to how many times the book appeared in the city lists. A few years later the city lists were eliminated entirely, leaving only the national ranking list, which was compiled according to "reports from leading booksellers in 22 cities". This methodology of ranking by bookseller sales figures remains to this day although the exact data compilation process is a trade secret and has evolved over time.
By the 1950s, The Times's list had become the leading best seller list for book professionals to monitor, along with that of Publishers Weekly .In the 1960s and 70s, mall-based chain bookstores B. Dalton, Crown Books, and Waldenbooks came to the forefront with a business model of selling newly published best-sellers with mass-market appeal. They used the best-selling status of titles to market the books and not just as a measure of sales, thus placing increased emphasis on the New York Times list for book readers and book sellers.
Publishers Weekly (PW) is an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents. Published continuously since 1872, it has carried the tagline, "The International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling". With 51 issues a year, the emphasis today is on book reviews.
B. Dalton Bookseller was an American retail bookstore chain founded in 1966 by Bruce Dayton, a member of the same family that operated the Dayton's department store chain. B. Dalton expanded to become the largest retailer of hardcover books in the United States, with 798 stores at the peak of the chain's success.
Crown Books was a bookseller headquartered in Largo, Maryland. It was founded in the Washington, D.C., metro area by Robert Haft in 1977. Crown Books (retail) is of no relation to Crown Books (publisher), although the former carried inventory from the latter.
The list is compiled by the editors of the "News Surveys" department, not by The New York Times Book Review department, where it is published.It is based on weekly sales reports obtained from selected samples of independent and chain bookstores and wholesalers throughout the United States. The sales figures are widely believed to represent books that have actually been sold at retail, rather than wholesale, as the Times surveys booksellers in an attempt to better reflect what is purchased by individual buyers. Some books are flagged with a dagger indicating that a significant number of bulk orders had been received by retail bookstores.
A dagger, obelisk, or obelus is a typographical symbol that usually indicates a footnote if an asterisk has already been used. It is present in Unicode as U+2020†DAGGER. The term "obelisk" derives from the Greek: ὀβελίσκος, which means "little obelus"; from ὀβελός meaning "roasting spit". It was originally represented by the subtraction and division symbols by Ancient Greek scholars as critical marks in manuscripts.
The New York Times reported in 2013 that "we [generally do not] track the sales of classic literature," and thus, for example, new translations of Dante's Inferno would not be found on the bestseller list.
The exact method for compiling the data obtained from the booksellers is classified as a trade secret.Book Review staff editor Gregory Cowles explained the method "is a secret both to protect our product and to make sure people can't try to rig the system. Even in the Book Review itself, we don't know (the news surveys department's) precise methods." In 1992, the survey encompassed over 3,000 bookstores as well as "representative wholesalers with more than 28,000 other retail outlets, including variety stores and supermarkets." By 2004, the number was 4,000 bookstores as well as an unstated number of wholesalers. Data is adjusted to give more weight to independent book stores, which are underrepresented in the sample.
The lists are divided among fiction and non-fiction, print and e-book, paperback and hardcover; each list contains 15 to 20 titles. The lists have been subdivided several times. "Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous" debuted as a list of five on January 1, 1984. It was created because advice best-sellers were sometimes crowding the general non-fiction list.Its inaugural number one bestseller, The Body Principal by Victoria Principal, had been number 10 and number 12 on the non-fiction lists for the two preceding weeks. In July 2000, the "Children's Best Sellers" was created after the Harry Potter series had stayed in the top spots on the fiction list for an extended period of time. The children's list was printed monthly until Feb. 13, 2011, when it was changed to once an issue (weekly). In September 2007, the paperback fiction list was divided into "trade" and "mass-market" sections, in order to give more visibility to the trade paperbacks that were more often reviewed by the newspaper itself. In November 2010, The New York Times announced it would be tracking e-book best-seller lists in fiction and nonfiction starting in early 2011. "RoyaltyShare, a San Diego-based company that tracks data and aggregates sales information for publishers, will ... provide [e-book] data". The two new e-book lists were first published with the February 13, 2011, issue, the first tracks combined print and e-book sales, the second tracks e-book sales only (both lists are further sub-divided into Fiction and Non-fiction). In addition a third new list was published on the web only, which tracks combined print sales (hardcover and paperback) in fiction and nonfiction. In December 16, 2012, the children's chapter books list was divided into two new lists: middle-grade (ages 8–12) and young adult (age 12–18), both which include sales across all platforms (hard, paper and e-book).
The list has been criticized by authors, publishers, book industry executives, and others for not providing an accurate accounting of true best-seller status.These criticisms have been ongoing ever since the list originated. A book industry report in the 1940s found that best-seller lists were a poor indicator of sales, since they were based on misleading data and were only measuring fast sales (see "fast sale" criticism below). A 2004 report quoted a senior book marketing executive who said the rankings were "smoke and mirrors"; while a report in Book History found that many professionals in the book industry "scoffed at the notion that the lists are accurate".
Specific criticisms include:
In 1983, author William Peter Blatty sued The New York Times for $6 million, claiming that his latest book, Legion (filmed as The Exorcist III ), had not been included in the list due to either negligence or intentional falsehood, saying it should have been included due to high sales.The Times countered that the list was not mathematically objective but rather was editorial content and thus protected under the Constitution as free speech. Blatty appealed it to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case. Thus, the lower court ruling stood that the list is editorial content, not objective factual content, so the Times had the right to exclude books from the list.
In 1995, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, the authors of a book called The Discipline of Market Leaders , colluded to manipulate their book onto the best seller charts. The authors allegedly purchased over 10,000 copies of their own book in small and strategically placed orders at bookstores whose sales are reported to BookScan. Because of the benefits of making The New York Times Best Seller list (speaking engagements, more book deals, and consulting) the authors felt that buying their own work was an investment that would pay for itself. The book climbed to No. 4 on the list where it sat for 15 weeks; it also peaked at No. 1 on the BusinessWeek best seller list. Since such lists hold the power of cumulative advantage, chart success often begets more chart success. Although such efforts are not illegal, publishers consider them unethical.
In 1999, Amazon.com announced a 50 percent decrease in price for books on the Best Seller List to beat its competition, Barnes & Noble.After a legal dispute between Amazon and The New York Times, Amazon was permitted to keep using the list on condition that it displayed it in alphabetical rather than numerical order. By 2010, this was no longer the case; Amazon now displays the best-seller list in order of best-selling titles first.
In 2013, Forbes published a story titled "Here's How You Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestsellers List."The article discusses how ResultSource, a San Diego-based marketing consultancy, specializes in ensuring books make a bestseller list, even guaranteeing a No. 1 spot for those willing to pay enough. The New York Times was informed of this practice and responded: “The New York Times comprehensively tracks and tabulates the weekly unit sales of all titles reported by book retailers as their general interest bestsellers. We will not comment beyond our methodology on the other questions." The New York Times did not alert its readers to this, unlike The Wall Street Journal, which admitted that books had landed on its bestseller list due to ResultSource's campaign. Soren Kaplan, the source who admitted he had paid ResultSource to land his book, Leapfrogging, on The Wall Street Journal's bestseller list, revealed the methodology on his blog; he posted: "If I could obtain bulk orders before Leapfrogging was released, ResultSource would purchase the books on my behalf using their tried-and-true formula. Three thousand books sold would get me on The Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Eleven thousand would secure a spot on the biggest prize of them all, The New York Times list."
In 2014, the Los Angeles Times published a story titled "Can bestseller lists be bought?"It describes how author and pastor Mark Driscoll contracted the company ResultSource to place his book Real Marriage (2012) on The New York Times Best Seller list for a $200,000 fee. The contract was for ResultSource "to conduct a bestseller campaign for your book, 'Real Marriage' on the week of January 2, 2012. The bestseller campaign is intended to place 'Real Marriage' on the New York Times bestseller list for the Advice How-to list." To achieve this, the contract stated that "RSI will be purchasing at least 11,000 total orders in one week." This took place, and the book successfully reached No.1 on the hardcover advice bestseller list on January 22, 2014.
In July 2015, Ted Cruz's book A Time For Truth was excluded from the list because the "overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales [of Cruz's book] were limited to strategic bulk purchases" to artificially increase sales and entry onto the list. In response, Cruz called the Times "a liar" and demanded an apology.The Times said it stood by its statement and evidence of manipulation.
In August 2017, a young adult fiction book, Handbook for Mortals by previously unpublished author Lani Sarem was removed from the list, where it was in initially in the #1 spot. According to a statement issued by the Times, "after investigating the inconsistencies in the most recent reporting cycle, we decided that the sales for Handbook for Mortals did not meet our criteria for inclusion. We've issued an updated 'Young Adult Hardcover' list for September 3, 2017 which does not include that title."It was uncovered, by author Phil Stamper, that there had been unusual bulk ordering patterns which inflated the number of sales. The book is published by GeekNation, an entertainment website based in Los Angeles. The book was originally written as a script, and was rewritten as a novel in an attempt to launch a film franchise.
In August 2017, conservative publisher Regnery Publishing said it would no longer allow its writers to claim "New York Times best-selling authors" due to its belief the Times favors liberal books on the list. The Times responded the political views of authors have no bearing on the list and noted conservative authors routinely rank highly on the list. The Associated Press noted the Times is a frequent target of conservatives and Republicans.The Washington Post called Regenery's ban a "stunt" designed to increase sales, "What better way to sell a book to a conservative audience than to promote the idea that the New York Times doesn't like it?" The Post compared the list to best seller lists from Publishers Weekly looking for bias but could not find anything convincing.
In February 2018, Toronto Star published a story by books editor Deborah Dundas who found that the best-selling book 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson, who topped Publishers Weekly chart list, did not even chart on The New York Times bestsellers list, without reliable answers from NYT. The NYT stated it was not counted because it was published by a Canadian company.According to Random House Canada, the book was handled properly for the U.S. market. American conservative commentator Dennis Prager wrote an article for National Review titled "The Times Best-Seller List: Another Reason Americans Don't Trust the Media" in which contends that the issue with Peterson's book, as well his The Rational Bible: Exodus, is their conservative context and the lack of inclusion is the American mainstream media's manipulation. NYT denied any bias.
A Stanford Business School analysis suggests that the "majority of book buyers seem to use the Times' list as a signal of what's worth reading". The study concluded that lesser-known writers get the biggest benefit from being on the list, while perennial best-selling authors, such as John Grisham or Danielle Steel, see no benefit of additional sales.
Print-on-demand (POD) is a printing technology and business process in which book copies are not printed until the company receives an order, allowing prints of singular or small quantities. While other industries established the build to order business model, "print-on-demand" could only develop after the beginning of digital printing, because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing.
IndieBound is a marketing movement for independent bookstores launched in 2008 by the American Booksellers Association. With resources targeted for "indie" booksellers, it promotes fiscal localism. IndieBound's curated reading lists include the Indie Next List and the Indie Bestseller List.
AbeBooks is an e-commerce global online marketplace with seven national domains that offers books, fine art, and collectables from sellers in 50+ countries.
Christine Feehan is an American romance-paranormal writer. She has published more than 40 novels, including five series, and numerous novellas since 1999.
Nielsen BookScan has been a data provider for the book publishing industry, owned by the Nielsen Company up to 2016, though it is still in use via the NPD Group. BookScan compiles point of sale data for book sales.
This is a list of lists by year of The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers.
Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. In common parlance, the term usually refers to physical written media, such as books and magazines, or digital media, such as e-books and websites. It can also apply to albums, pamphlets, brochures, video content, zines, or uploading images to a website.
This is a list of lists by year of The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers.
Tosca Lee is a bestselling American author known for her historical novels and thrillers.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the thirteenth novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Published on 12 April 2013 in Japan, it sold one million copies in one month.
Kendall Ryan is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling American novelist. She has written more than two dozen novels, including the self-published bestsellers Resisting Her, Hard to Love, The Impact of You, Hitched, Screwed, The Fix Up, Filthy Beautiful Lies and The Room Mate. Her books are described as "beautiful, electrifying love stories that can make even the most pessimistic person believe in happily ever afters." She writes romance, new adult and romantic comedies, and her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. Her traditionally published books include the bestselling Love By Design series with Simon & Schuster.
Rachel Abbott is a British author of psychological thrillers. A self-publisher, her first seven novels have combined to sell over three million copies, and have all been bestsellers on Amazon's Kindle store. In 2015, she was named the 14th bestselling author over the last five years on Amazon's Kindle in the UK.
Mistborn: The Bands of Mourning is a high fantasy novel written by American author Brandon Sanderson. It was published on January 26, 2016 by Tor Books and is the third book in the Wax and Wayne series and sixth in the Mistborn series. It is preceded by Shadows of Self in 2015 and is scheduled to be followed by The Lost Metal in 2019.
What Happened is a 2017 book by Hillary Clinton about her experiences as the Democratic Party's nominee and general election candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Published on September 12, 2017, it is her seventh book with her publisher, Simon & Schuster.
As of 2018, several firms in the United States rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Cengage Learning, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Wiley.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life is the FCC first book by blogger and author Mark Manson. In it Manson argues that life's struggles give it meaning, and that the mindless positivity of typical self-help books is neither practical nor helpful. It was a bestseller.
it gives more emphasis on the literary novels and short-story collections reviewed so often in our pages