New York Times Confirms James Patterson Suspicion Correct, Best-Seller List Is Bogus

Novelist James Patterson published concerns over the authenticity of the oft-touted New York Times Best Seller List.

Patterson cited how the list excluded a book from Mike Pompeo, despite Donald Trump's former secretary of state outselling six books that made the list. He also tweeted how the fiction section of the chart included four titles that sold fewer copies than J.D. Robb's recent novel, a work the list did not include.

Next, Patterson wrote The Times a letter in which he accused it of cooking the list. The outlet did not deny said accusation.

In fact, The Times informed Patterson's publisher it does not rely solely on “raw” sales when placing a title atop its "sales chart."

New York Times Best-Seller List Criteria Is Ever-Changing

One might wonder what methods the best-seller list uses to calculate its ranking if sales are not the bible.

Thereby, OutKick sent an inquiry to the New York Times Best Seller press department, asking for clarification.

We asked: "What metrics does the best seller list use if raw numbers are not the only metric?"

A spokesperson responded but hardly addressed our question. Here's what The Times said about its "confidential reporting process."

Hi Robert, 

Thank you for contacting us. The following answer can be attributed to me or a spokesperson for The New York Times:

We responded to Mr. Patterson to let him know that we take his concerns seriously and are always reviewing our methods in compiling the Best-Seller Lists to ensure that we are best serving our readers.

Our bestsellers lists are based on detailed analysis of book sales from a wide range of retailers, tens of thousands of brick-and-mortar stores of all sizes, and numerous online book-selling vendors to best represent what is selling across the United States. For more information about the confidential reporting process or how books make our lists, please see our methodology and this explainer on the best-seller lists.

We have and will continue to track Mr. Patterson’s latest books. In the last 15 years, Mr. Patterson’s books have ranked on our Best-Seller lists over 4,000 times.

Lack Of Answers From New York Times

Still no word on why Pompeo's top-selling book did not make a list of so-called top-selling books.

The New York Times Best Seller List is not dissimilar to the Apple Podcast chart, where downloads are a factor but anonymous employees have the ability to raise or lower a title no matter its success.

So, your skepticism will be warranted when you click on the Twitter bio of a progressive author touting their "New York Times Best Seller" status.

Ultimately, James Patterson has become a menace to the book industry. He has sold over 420 million books and has set his sights on exposing the political biases within the genre.

Last summer, he revealed that publishing companies were openly rejecting titles from white male authors, no matter their skill.


Patterson recently told SiriusXM that CNN and MSNBC banned him from promoting his newest book, “Walk the Blue Line," because it portrayed a fictitious police officer as heroic.

“I had no trouble getting on Fox,” Patterson told host Doug Brunt about promoting the book. “But I couldn’t get on CNN or MSNBC.”

Political correctness has infested sales charts, the hiring processes, and the ability to promote a book. And James Patterson's expose-all tour has become one of his most influential works to date.

Written by
Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.