Posted on October 21, 2022 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The definition of and formulas for a bestseller have been highlighted recently as much more gray than you might've expected.

Take, for example, the conversations about bulk orders of Donald Trump Jr.'s book and Mark Dawson's purchases of his own book.

And now the website Public Books has a much deeper dive into the matter, looking specifically at the incredibly influential New York Times list.

For years, the NYT didn't even calculate paperback sales, notes Jordan Pruett — thus excluding authors whose work sold better there.

And that, in and of itself, is a value judgment about what deserved to be counted.

Check out Pruett's exploration of the history of what counts as a bestseller and what it reveals about readers, authors, and the publishing industry.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Bestsellers, Publishing

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