New York Times Best Seller list

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The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States.[1][2] It is published weekly in The New York Times Book Review magazine, which is published in the Sunday edition of The New York Times and as a stand-alone publication. The best-seller list has been ongoing since April 9, 1942.

Contents

History

The list is composed 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,[3] 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.

The exact methodology used in creating the list is classified as a trade secret.[4] 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."[4]

The list is divided into fiction and non-fiction sections; each contain ten to twenty titles. Expanded lists that show additional titles are available online through the Book Review website. The lists have been divided several times. In early 1984, the "Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous" list was created because advice best-sellers were crowding out the general non-fiction list.[5] In July 2000, a children's books category was created after the Harry Potter series had stayed in the top spots on the fiction list for an extended period of time.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] "RoyaltyShare, a San Diego-based company that tracks data and aggregates sales information for publishers, will .. provide [e-book] data".[8]

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