Why Is Every Book A New York Times BestSeller

It’s almost every author’s dream to achieve a “Best-selling” book. The time and effort you put into your craft pay off once you get into the best-selling list. We cannot emphasize enough how it is relevant to get into this list. Best-selling books validate the credibility of an author to produce great content. It means that many people bought your book and are happy with it. Moreover, consumers usually go straight to the best-seller’s list to narrow down their search rather than going through all the books on the list.

The New York Times is an American daily newspaper that publishes the Best Seller list weekly. Most authors would want to be on that list to increase their popularity and sales. But why does it seem that every book in the New York Times, best-seller? That’s not really the case. For example, when you publish a book and hit specific sales in a week, you will make it to the best-selling books for that week. The title will stay with you forever, even if you don’t make any sales after. Many books don’t make it to the best-selling list, even if they sell thousands of copies in total.

The New York Times Bestseller seal

What does a New York Times Bestseller mean?

Being on a New York Bestselling list means a lot to every publisher and author. But it all boils down to sales. The bestselling list helps publishers and authors to gain more exposure and validation of their hard work. Once you top the best-selling list on a particular week, it will stay with you forever. Thus, helping publishers and authors sell more books in the future.

Not only that the New York Times Bestseller list helps the publishers and authors, but it also helps the consumers to sort books that have more sales and easily find books that are recommended by the public.

How do books become New York Times best sellers?

If you are wondering how to be on the New York Times Bestselling list, all you have to do is sell at least 5,000 to 10,000 copies in a week from a non-pre-existing list of followers. Sales should be in diverse places and not limited to one marketplace. It fluctuates based on the level of competition and the number of new releases each week. Here are some tips of how to get on that list: 

  1. Get a traditional publishing arrangement. Usually, those from a traditional publishing company have a higher chance of being on the list unless genres are romance and horror. The New York Times usually does not recognize any book that doesn’t come from one of the big New York publishing houses like Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and many more. 
  2. Get pre-orders and aim for at least 10,000 orders to bookstores that report to the New York Times. You can also resort to an online marketplace like Amazon or iBooks. 
  3. Take advantage of the social media platforms to promote your books, such as Tweeter, podcast, Tiktok, and many more. 
  4. Get some mainstream press in New York City like Newsday, NYC media, etc., to validate your book to get the attention of The New York Times editors and take you seriously. 
Getting in Best Seller Book List Banner

How many books are New York Times best sellers?

The weekly New York Times Bestselling list is subdivided into categories and sorted by genre and format. Each category has at least 15 to 20 book titles to choose from. These books have sold 5,000 to 10,000 more copies in the past week. In the New York Times dashboard, you can find categories such as: 

  1. Combined Print & E-Book Fiction
  2. Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction
  3. Hardcover Fiction
  4. Hardcover Nonfiction
  5. Paperback Trade Fiction
  6. Paperback Nonfiction
  7. Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous
  8. Children’s Middle-Grade Hardcover
  9. Children’s Picture Books
  10. Children’s Series
  11. Young Adult Hardcover
The New York Times Best Sellers dashboard

How often is the New York Times bestseller list updated?

The New York Times Bestselling list updates every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard time, regardless if it’s a holiday or not. No matter what happens, the New York Times will always publish its bestselling list. The list is compiled by their news survey department and then published by the New York Times Review department. It’s divided into a sub-category, including fiction and non-fiction, prints and e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Each category has at least 15 to 20 titles.

How many books need to be sold to be a New York Times bestseller?

You need to sell at least 5,000 to 10,000 copies in a week before you can get into the New York Times Bestselling list. That will fluctuate according to your competition in that week. It is best to have 10,000 more sales if you are new to the market. Being on the list with 5,000 copies is only applicable for known and established authors.