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....Barbara O'Brien explains how bulk buys usually work in the world of right-wing publishing:
"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."
... Murphy emailed late Thursday night to further clarify the reasoning behind the Times decision.
"In the case of this book, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases," she wrote.
... here’s how it works: Somebody writes a book titled Liberals Are Awful and Will Eat Your Baby. Conservative “book clubs,” think tanks, and other organizations buy up tens of thousands of copies in bulk, making the book a “best seller.” Then they either re-sell copies at a steep discount or give them away at conferences or as part of a promotion for something else (sign up for our newsletter and get a free copy of ...). It’s a variation of “wingnut welfare,” in other words.But Salon says that, in this case, the bulk-buying technique was subtler:
Eventually, most of the copies will end up in landfills, unread. But the book is on the best-seller list, which earns the author a lot of publicity and interviews and television guest spots to promote right-wing nonsense.
... the Times specified that it believes HarperCollins engaged in “strategic bulk purchases.” In essence, The Times accused Cruz’s publisher of trying to buy its way onto the bestseller list by having a firm like Result Source hire thousands of people across America to individually purchase a copy of “A Time For Truth,” in the hope that some of those retailers are on the secret list of booksellers who report their sales to the Times, or that the aggregate purchasers will simply be too high for the Times to ignore.Right-wingers want to treat this as liberal media bias. But I just want to remind them that books by conservatives make the Times list on a regular basis.
Just this year, Ann Coulter's Adios, America! reached #2 on the June 21 list. Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash reached #2 on the May 24 list. Dana Perino's And the Good News Is... reached #2 on the May 10 list. Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies reached #1 on the April 26 list. Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Heretic reached #8 on the April 12 list. Mike Huckabee's God, Guns, Grits and Gravy reached #3 on the February 8 list. and Bill O'Reilly's Killing Patton was #1 on the first list of the year, dated January 4, while George W. Bush's 41 was #2 (the Bush book had hit #1 on November 30).
The Times obviously concluded that the sales of those books were legit. So stop whining on Ted Cruz's behalf.