The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. Since October 12, 1931, The New York Times Book Review has published the list weekly. In the 21st century, it has evolved into multiple lists, grouped by genre and format, including fiction and nonfiction, hardcover, paperback and electronic.
The list is based on a proprietary method that uses sales figures, other data and internal guidelines that are unpublished—how the Times compiles the list is a trade secret. In 1983, as part of a legal argument, the Times stated that the list is not mathematically objective but rather editorial content. In 2017, a Times representative said that the goal is that the lists reflect authentic best sellers. The list has been a source of controversy. When the Times believes a book has reached the list in a suspicious way—such as through bulk purchases—the book's entry on the list is marked with a dagger symbol (†).
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