New York Times Best Seller List

The Ultimate Book Lover's Site


Welcome to The New York Times Best Seller

About the Editor:

My all-time favorite books are Alice in Wonderland, Catch-22, and best of all, Gone With the Wind. I read when I first wake up at breakfast, during breaks at work, before going to sleep, and most times in between.

Fascination with other cultures is one reason I love to read. Reading takes you all over the world while in the safety and comfort of your own bedroom. While reading, I can open my mind to different perspectives and ways of life while reaffirming my own. And, reading is a way of escape, to create worlds that are bigger, better, and more infinite than the one we currently live in.

That’s why I created this site. Its purpose is to share personal opinions on books as well as create a forum in which other people can discuss and recommend books. Here’s my favorite quote:

“One year from now you will be the same, except for the books you’ve read, the places you’ve seen, and the people you’ve met.”

Besides book reviews, the site offers author interviews.  Check out two favorites of readers, Rhonda Byrne here and Stephenie Meyer here. I remember growing up that my personal heroes were always authors. It was their bios I wanted to read when I went to the library–it was into their creations that I was investing all of my time.

I am also hopelessly caught up in the fascination our world has with Hollywood celebrities, which is why you’ll find on this site several celebrities and their favorite books, as well as some interviews and videos with them. Often, from their sheer celebrity status and maybe not from their writing skills, their books have landed on The List. On the site you’ll find a random sampling of books by celebrities, from TV superstar Tyra Banks to famed quarterback Troy Aikman to the daughter of Muhammed Ali, Laila Ali.

A final thought:

Ultimately, I feel that literacy is the solution to our world’s ills. When people read, and often, they come into contact with enough ideas that they develop their own idea of truth, which is much more likely to be accurate when exposed to ideas in all forms.

I’d love to hear from you if you have questions or comments about the site. Click here to contact me.

About the Site

You’ve come to the right place if you…

Are looking for a recommendation of a book to read (check out the Book Reviews section found on the Home page, which says why a book is enjoyable and what works and doesn’t work in the book).

Are looking to avoid books that may be popular but don’t fit your style (check out the Book Reviews section, which has a star rating based on the quality of the book).

Are a writer yourself and would like to know how other writers found their inspirations (check out the Authors section on the Home page and the summaries of the interviews of the people whose books became bestsellers).

Would like to voice your opinion on the current books that are lining bookshelves today (feel free to comment on the blog or book reviews).

Would like to meet and discuss books with others with a passion like yours (sign up for the newsletter today, and create discussion topics on the forum.

Would like to find convenient links to New York Times Best Seller List books on, or are interested in a specific genre from religious to travel to book dater sites to past books from the List (check out the Bookstore).

About the List:

New York Times Best Seller List

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The New York Times Best Seller List is widely considered to be the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States.[1][2] 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.



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,[3] 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.[4] 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.”[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] 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”.[7]


According to Alan T. Sorensen of Stanford Business School,[8] 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.

See also


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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 Opening Statement for Hearing on H.R. 1858 on June 15, 1999.
  3. ^ “Blatty Sue Times on Best-Seller List”, from The New York Times, August 29, 1983.
  4. ^ a b Edwin Diamond (1995). Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times. Page 364
  5. ^ New York Times Book Review, “TBR: Inside the list”. February 24, 2008. page 26.
  6. ^ Bestseller Math. November 12, 2001.
  7. ^ The New York Times Book Review, “Up Front”, pg.4 – September 23, 2007
  8. ^ “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 owns the New York Times bestseller list? Illustration of Scott Rosenberg
On the Net, fighting to hang on to every last chunk of intellectual property is a recipe for stagnation and failure.

– – – – – – – – – – – –
By Scott Rosenberg

June 23, 1999 | Obviously, the New York Times owns the New York Times bestseller list. Right?

Well, on the Internet, everything is just a little more complicated.

Last month set out to outflank its chief rival,, by announcing a 50 percent discount on all New York Times bestsellers. The move seemed timed to steal some of the thunder of the IPO for Barnes & Noble’s online bookstore. B&N quickly matched the Amazon discount. Then lawyers for the New York Times — which has an online bookselling partnership with B&N (as does) — demanded that Amazon stop posting the Times’ list. Amazon countered by suing the Times in federal court.

Now there is precious little the Times could — or would — do to stop your neighborhood bookstore from clipping the bestseller list from the back of the Times Book Review and posting it on the wall with a “SALE” sign over a row of discounted books. But on the Net, people go a little crazy trying to nail down their intellectual property rights — mostly because the definition of those rights remains so much in flux on this new terrain.

The utopian visionaries of the Internet’s youth may have been a little giddy with their battle cry that “information wants to be free,” but

they had a point. Intellectual property is a fuzzy concept at best, but in the offline world, lawyers have spent decades hashing out its principles. The rise of the Net means that all the old battles get to be refought — and some of the old principles no longer make sense

Scott Rosenberg’s column appears once a week in Technology

+ Biography
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Who’s right in the matter of vs. the New York Times? At first blush, Amazon looks pretty reasonable: Unlike B&N, it is not using the New York Times’ Gothic logo, and it is listing the bestsellers alphabetically rather than by rank.

All it is doing is saying to its customers, “These books are New York Times bestsellers, and we will give you a discount for them.” Does the New York Times own the fact that “White Oleander” is a New York Times bestseller this week? If so, did I need the newspaper’s permission to publish the previous sentence? What if I proceed in this paragraph to name all the other books on the list?

But what if I did so every week? At some point, the pragmatic tradition of “fair use” fades into the much more suspect zone of “rip-off.” Furthermore, if you think of the Times’ bestseller tally as essentially a database rather than a simple list, then presenting it on the Web becomes a little more questionable.

Then again, the data that the Times compiles comes from booksellers around the country; if they stopped providing their stats, the list would vanish. In other words, there’s a cozy long-term quid pro quo in this industry: The bookstores give the Times the information it needs to compile its list, and the Times lets the bookstores use the bestseller list as a marketing tool.

Everybody’s happy — until they move online, where the Times’ own double roles, as compiler-of-list and partner-to-megabookstore, seem to conflict.

I’m still inclined to side with Amazon. But more important, the Times’ response — sic lawyers on the miscreants! — is woefully unimaginative. As the Web corrodes old rules, it creates new opportunities, too. Say you’re the Times exec charged with responding to Amazon: Just imagine what else you could do.

What if the New York Times approached Amazon and said, “Look, you want to use our bestseller list? Fine! You’ve got an awful lot of traffic — why don’t you just link to our New York Times Book Review site every time you mention our name, and we can call it a day?”

An executive mired in old ways of thinking might recoil from such a proposal, which on the face of it would seem to further entwine the fortunes of Amazon and the New York Times rather than keeping them discrete and distinct. But it’s in the Web’s nature to blur boundaries. If the Times’ partners at Barnes & Noble found such links upsetting, all the Times has to point out is that, as a result of such an arrangement, at least some Amazon customers would be likely to stray onto the Times site — where they would be exposed to a full array of Barnes & Noble “buy” buttons.

My point is that the Times could have looked at Amazon’s use of the bestseller list as an opportunity for another partnership and a chance to extend its reach. Rather than sending “cease and desist” letters, it could be growing its traffic.

It’s not only “old media” companies that are making this kind of “hands off — it’s mine!” mistake. Over at eBay, the online auction giant, they’ve been calling out the lawyers, too.

EBay is unhappy that its users are taking the “feedback” credentials earned on its site, where auction participants “rate” one another’s trustworthiness, and posting them on other auction sites elsewhere on the Web. The feedback data is proprietary, eBay says; the company, not the user, owns it.

Based on a clause in eBay’s user agreement, the company is technically right — but looking at the issue both from a user’s perspective and from smart business thinking, it’s way wrong. EBay is behaving as if its users are stealing its property by posting their feedback ratings on other auction sites. Instead, eBay should simply ask any site that posts eBay feedback info to link back to eBay with each re-post of a user’s rating.

Scott Rosenberg’s column appears once a week in Technology

+ Biography
+ Archives

Rather than viewing its users as potential thieves, eBay could employ them as potential marketers. This kind of approach is pretty obvious to Web-savvy businesses these days; eBay’s failure to grasp it is a sign that the pioneering auction house — having grown too big or too quickly — may be losing its touch.

At this point in Net history it should be almost too obvious to say this, but the lesson still demands repeating: In the online world, you can’t make users do what they don’t want to do just because it happens to be convenient for your business. You have to let them do what they want to do — then align your business in such a way that what they want to do benefits you, too.

The latest enterprise to suffer for failing to follow this principle is Divx — Circuit City’s foolish scheme to create a digital video format that metered usage of home movie watching. Divx evoked little actual customer enthusiasm and lots of howls of protest and outrage; all it had going for it was a fervent wish on the part of Circuit City and its Hollywood partners that people would adopt it. When Circuit City pulled the plug on Divx last week, there were few mourners among the general public.

Divx won’t be the last technology the industry tries to shove down consumers’ throats. As MP3, the online music technology that millions of users have embraced, continues its rise, look for more Divx-style flops from a music industry desperate to squash MP3 and substitute some other scheme more to its liking.

If the recording industry has any brains it will rethink its position. Instead of trying to push back against the river of online human behavior, it should be thinking, “How can we turn this to our advantage?” It shouldn’t take too long to come up with some creative ideas.

As technology keeps redefining the nature of owning information, fighting to defend every last chunk of intellectual property on the Net may look like a sensible strategy. But in the long run, it’s like trying to hold on to a snowball in the sun.

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