Major Publisher Exits New York Times Bestseller List: A Challenge to NYT Credibility


2017-09-05 By Ed Timperlake

Today, Marji Ross, Publisher of Regnery Publishing, a Salem Media Group Company has announced that the publishing house is no longer interested in working with the New York Times and its bestseller list.

She announced this decision based on the publisher’s perception of clear political bias.

The publishing house has had many books on the New York Times best seller list, so the decision was not an easy one.

Here is the letter which I received as an author who has published a best seller on the New York Times list.

September 2, 2017

Dear Regnery Author,

I am writing to inform you of an important decision we have made here at Regnery Publishing. After many years of using the New York Times’ bestseller list despite what we believe to be a clear bias against conservative books and authors and an underreporting of the bestseller rankings of those books and authors, we have concluded that we cannot in good conscience endorse this list any longer.

We will therefore immediately cease following, tracking, reporting on, promoting and publicizing the Times’ list and will henceforth use the Publishers Weekly bestseller list instead.

As many of you have experienced personally, it appears the Times has gathered book sale data in a manner which prioritizes liberal-themed books over conservative books and authors. The net result has been a bestseller list that has increasingly become less relevant to the Regnery audience, and less reflective of which books are actually selling best in the country, regardless of one’s political persuasion.

Books that have clearly outsold those at the top of the Times’ list based on Nielsen BookScan data are placed lower on the list, or eliminated from the list altogether. That’s not to say that conservative books and authors don’t appear on the Times’ list, even in the #1 spot, but too often we see what we saw yet again this week: a conservative book that sold more than 12,000 copies – more than any other book on the Times’ list—placed at #7, while Al Franken’s book, which sold 7,600, listed at #3.

I’m certainly not the first person to accuse the New York Times of allowing its liberal bias to influence the way it covers the news. But most people still expect the bestseller list to be driven simply by data. Opinions are one things, data should be immune to political views. Unfortunately, the Times’

list does not appear to accurately and fully report on sales; oftentimes it seems to reflect what the editors think Americans ought to be reading—or perhaps what the editors themselves are reading.

We realize it may be a bit unsettling to our authors that we will no longer use the “New York Times

Bestseller” moniker. Let me respond in two ways. First, if your book outsells other books in the country, it should appear on the list. If the Times treats you fairly, great! If the Times does not accurately report sales of ALL titles, whether liberal or conservative, the list has lost its value and their influence will continue to fade. Secondly, I ask you to consider this: we are often told it’s foolish to bite the hand that feeds you. I say it’s just as foolish to feed the hand that bites you.

As for the Grey Lady, the time has come to say: “this Emperor has no clothes.”

Thank you for your friendship, your partnership, and your support,

Marji Ross

President and Publisher

Editor: Also, see the following:

Calling into Question the New York Times: A Major Publisher Exits its Bestseller List

About Marji Ross, President and Publisher, Regnery

Ross has been president and publisher of conservative publisher Regnery since 2003.

She joined Regnery in 1999 as vice president and general manager, and previously worked as senior group publisher for newsletter publisher Phillips International, where she ran several business units, including investment, business and health newsletters.

She currently serves on the boards of the National Conservative Campaign Fund, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and the Beth Chai Congregation. In February 2005, she was named the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute’s Woman of the Year.

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