New York Times Best Seller list

The ""'New York Times" Best Seller List" is widely considered to be the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. [John Bear, "The #1 New York Times Best Seller: intriguing facts about the 484 books that have been #1 New York Times bestsellers since the first list, 50 years ago", Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1992.] [Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Chairman, Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection, said "the "New York Times" best-seller list is widely considered to be one of the most authoritative lists of which books are selling the most in American bookstores" during his [http://www.techlawjournal.com/cong106/database/19990615tau.htm Opening Statement for Hearing on H.R. 1858] on June 15 1999.] It is published weekly in the "The New York Times Book Review" magazine, which is usually found inserted in the Sunday edition of "The New York Times", or as a stand-alone subscription. The best-seller list has been ongoing since April 9 1942.

List

The list is created by the editors of the "News Surveys" department, and not by "The New York Times Book Review" department, where it is published.

The list is based on weekly sales reports obtained from selected samples of independent and chain bookstores, as well as wholesalers, throughout the United States. The sales figures are widely believed to represent books that have actually been sold at retail, rather than wholesale figures, [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B03E0D61438F93AA1575BC0A965948260 "Blatty Sue Times on Best-Seller List"] , from "The New York Times", August 29, 1983.] as the Times surveys a number of actual booksellers in an attempt to better reflect what is actually 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. As of 1992, according to Edwin Diamond in his book "Behind the Times", the survey encompasses over 3,000 bookstores as well as "representative wholesalers with more than 28,000 other retail outlets, including variety stores and supermarkets."Edwin Diamond (1995). "Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times". [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0226144720&id=LAfZ-Y13obwC&pg=PA364&lpg=PA364&ots=XQAwzfMECJ&dq=%22New+York+Times+Best+Seller+list%22&sig=xSluZ32O22b7mQFid3CISEltXDU#PPA364,M1 Page 364] ]

The list is divided into fiction and non-fiction sections, with each containing ten to twenty titles. Expanded lists showing additional titles are available online through the Book Review website. In early 1984 the "Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous" list was created because advice best-sellers were crowding out the general non-fiction list. ["New York Times Book Review", "TBR: Inside the list". February 24, 2008. page 26.] In July 2000 a children's literature section was created; some publishers complained that the Harry Potter series wouldn't leave the top spots on the list and was not leaving enough room for their books. [ [http://www.riverdeep.net/current/2001/11/111201t_top10.jhtml Bestseller Math] . November 12, 2001.] Starting with the September 23 2007 issue, the paperback fiction list was divided into two lists, "Trade Fiction" and "Mass-Market Fiction", because "it gives more emphasis on the literary novels and short-story collections reviewed so often in our pages". ["The New York Times Book Review", "Up Front", pg.4 - September 23, 2007]

In 1999, Amazon.com announced a fifty percent decrease in price for books on the Best Seller List to beat its competition, Barnes and Noble. [ [http://www.newyorktimesbestsellerlist.org/news Who owns the New York Times Best Seller List? by Scott Rosenberg, Salon.com, June 23, 1999] . Amazon then sued "The New York Times" after it demanded that Amazon stop using the Best Seller list on their site. [ [http://www.salon.com/tech/col/rose/1999/06/23/times_bestsellers/index.html Who owns the New York Times bestseller list? ] , by Scott Rosenberg, Salon.com, June 23, 1999] . The parties settled before the case went to trial. [ [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-55388629.html Amazon.com and The New York Times Settle Legal Dispute Over Use of Times Best Sellers List] , Business Wire, August 9, 1990]

Analysis

According to Alan T. Sorensen of Stanford Business School, [ [http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm0502/research_sorensen_consumers.shtml "Readers Tap Best-Seller List for New Authors"] , "Stanford Business Magazine", February 2005. Last accessed December 2006. See also Alan T. Sorensen, "Bestseller Lists and Product Variety: The Case of Book Sales", May 2004.] who studied sales of hardcover fiction, the majority of book buyers use the Times’ list to see what is worth reading. Therefore, according to Sorensen, relatively unknown writers get the biggest benefit from being on the list, while for already best-selling authors such as Danielle Steel or John Grisham, being on the list makes virtually no difference in increasing sales.

ee also

*List of bestselling novels in the United States
*List of "New York Times" Non-Fiction Best Sellers
*Bestseller

References

External links

* [http://www.nytimes.com/pages/books/bestseller/ The New York Times Best Seller List (current)]
* [http://www.hawes.com/pastlist.htm The New York Times Best Seller List (historical)]
* [http://www.newyorktimesbestsellerlist.org/news Who Owns The New York Times Best Seller List?]
* [http://www.hawes.com/no1_f_d.htm Previous Fiction #1 Best Sellers]
* [http://www.hawes.com/no1_nf_d.htm Previous Non-Fiction #1 Best Sellers]
* [http://archive.salon.com/mwt/feature/2000/08/16/bestseller/index.html Controversy Regarding New Children's List]


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