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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:42 PM

10. I just found this link on how NYT builds its Best Seller List. Hope it helps.

Given what I've read here, I'm surprised he got on the non-fiction list at all. Thanks for posting about him and the weird politics that seem to be behind the NYT lists.

(Italics are mine)

The timeframe changes depending on this list, but the more velocity of sales you create—meaning, the more sales you pack into the shorter period of time—the better.

It is hard to sell 5,000 books in a year. To sell 5,000 in a week is ridiculously difficult, as evidenced that only a very small percentage of all books published each year do it.

In fact, barring some extreme stroke of luck, the only way I’ve ever seen first-time (or lesser known) authors hit any significant bestseller list is by first creating a large platform with an installed audience that is waiting for the book, and then selling the book into that audience...

The Times list is a survey list, not a tabulation of total sales. This means that they poll a curated selection of booksellers to estimate sales. They literally decide which bookstores and retail outlets are “important” and then only count those sales, ignoring all other sales.

They also heavily weight independent bookstore sales. This is because they think that the type of people who shop at indie bookstores are more “serious” readers and thus their reading decisions deserve more attention. I’m serious, they have said this in public.

They also focus on individual sales and try to not include bulk sales in their calculations. They do this to prevent people from buying their way onto the list (which we discuss below). If you sell 1,000 copies to a company as part of a speaking engagement deal, this is a great way to move copies and make money, but it’s not very effective for hitting the list, because they won’t count it.


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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
riversedge Nov 2019 OP
napi21 Nov 2019 #1
pat_k Nov 2019 #2
C Moon Nov 2019 #4
pat_k Nov 2019 #6
Bernardo de La Paz Nov 2019 #9
wiley Dec 2019 #13
C Moon Nov 2019 #3
Berlin Expat Nov 2019 #8
SergeStorms Nov 2019 #5
pat_k Nov 2019 #7
LineNew Reply I just found this link on how NYT builds its Best Seller List. Hope it helps.
ancianita Nov 2019 #10
LiberalLovinLug Nov 2019 #11
Haggis for Breakfast Dec 2019 #12
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