The New York Times took a “dagger” to the “Number One” bestseller on its latest nonfiction hit list — “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us” — written by Donald Trump Jr.
The dagger symbol (†) next to the book’s title traditionally suggests bulk sales are driving a book’s high sales. In case of Don Jr.’s book, the Times said the dagger indicates “institutional, special interest, group or bulk purchases” of the book comprise a significant part of its sales. The book was released Nov. 5.
When Don Jr.’s 305 page book made the The New York Times’ bestseller list last week, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee (RNC) admitted they’d bought many copies of the book “to keep up with demand.” He, however, denied they purchased the book in a “large bulk purchase.”
RNC is giving away copies of the book signed by Don Jr. to people donating to president Donald Trump’s re-election campaign. This move helped boost the book’s sales.
The † symbol controversy has gone viral on social media. Some tweeters dubbed Don Jr. “Mr. Bulk Sales” while the hashtag “Bulk Sales” went trending on Thursday.
The New York Times said if it believes a book made its way onto its bestseller list in a way that seems “suspicious,” it places the dagger symbol next to the title.
“Institutional, special interest, group or bulk purchases, if and when they are included, are at the discretion of The New York Times Best-Seller List Desk editors based on standards for inclusion that encompass proprietary vetting and audit protocols, corroborative reporting and other statistical determinations. When included, such bulk purchases appear with a dagger (†),” explained the Times.
The newspaper said that if it “were to equate The New York Times best seller lists with covering baseball, we would include the major leagues, minor leagues and all the way down to the little leagues while doing what we can to exclude any attempts made by people to manipulate the lists.”
If books are being bought in bulk, this might mean people aren’t reading them, which defeats the entire purpose of a bestseller list. Making it to the top of The New York Times list, however, inherently boosts sales because it makes people think everyone is reading the book.
President Trump Thursday congratulated his son on the latter’s bestseller.
“Wow! Was just told that my son’s book, ‘Triggered,’ is Number One on The New York Times Bestseller List. Congratulations Don!”
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