Ted Cruz’ Bestselling Book Not on Bestseller List
The NYT has left Ted Cruz' new book off its bestseller list, despite it selling more copies than 18 of 20 titles on said list.
The NYT has left Ted Cruz’ new book off its bestseller list, despite it selling more copies than 18 of 20 titles on said list.
Politico’s Dylan Byers (“N.Y. Times keeps Cruz off bestseller list“):
The New York Times informed HarperCollins this week that it will not include Ted Cruz’s new biography on its forthcoming bestsellers list, despite the fact that the book has sold more copies in its first week than all but two of the Times’ bestselling titles, the On Media blog has learned.
Cruz’s “A Time For Truth,” published on June 30, sold 11,854 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Bookscan’s hardcover sale numbers. That’s more than 18 of the 20 titles that will appear on the bestseller list for the week ending July 4. Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance,” which is #2 on the list, sold fewer than 10,000 copies. Ann Coulter’s “Adios America,” at #11, sold just over half as many copies.
“A Time For Truth” has also sold more copies in a single week than Rand Paul’s “Taking a Stand,” which has been out for more than a month, and more than Marco Rubio’s “American Dreams,” which has been out for six months. It is currently #4 on the Wall Street Journal hardcover list, #4 on the Publisher’s Weekly hardcover list, #4 on the Bookscan hardcover list, and #1 on the Conservative Book Club list.
That’s fairly impressive. So, why the omission? Initially, NYT was cagey:
“We have uniform standards that we apply to our best seller list, which includes an analysis of book sales that goes beyond simply the number of books sold,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy explained when asked about the omission. “This book didn’t meet that standard this week.”
Asked to specify those standards, Murphy replied: “Our goal is that the list reflect authentic best sellers, so we look at and analyze not just numbers, but patterns of sales for every book.”
That’s not exactly transparent. Finally, they came clean:
“In the case of this book, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases,” she wrote.
Presumably, then, the sales are mostly driven by interest groups who then distribute the book for free. If that’s the case, that raises questions about conflicts of interest. The House of Representatives banned that practice two decades ago after a series of scandals. The Senate’s rules on book sales aren’t public. Hillary Clinton came under heavy scrutiny back in 2001 for an $8 million advance for her tell-all book; the Senate Ethics Committee ultimately approved the transaction.