Conservative radio host Mark Levin's newest book, "Rediscovering Americanism," has killed its competition. But that didn't stop the New York Times from snubbing Levin and his book on the paper's coveted best-selling book chart.
Levin's book, released on June 27, has already sold more than 115,000 copies — a feat that is rarely attained in the publishing industry.
Levin's staggering sales put him number one on the Times' best seller's list for hardcover nonfiction for the book's first two weeks, but the newspaper dropped Levin one spot this week, despite the book's sales being through the roof.
Who did the Times' put above Levin? Progressive darling scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson and his latest book, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry." The book, which has been on the best selling list for 11 consecutive weeks, has been in the list's top five since its release, but was topped by Levin's book when it finally hit shelves.
However, according to Levin, his book is still the best-selling nonfiction book according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks book sales. In fact, Levin said on his radio show last week that Nielsen shows his book as the number one best-selling hardcover nonfiction book by more than 2,500 sales.
"That's not a minimal amount," Levin said Wednesday.
According to Levin, DeGrasse Tyson's book is actually the third best-selling hardcover nonfiction book, while "Hillbilly Elegy," a book that's been on the bestseller list for nearly a year straight, was actually number two in sales last week. The Times' placed "Hillbilly Elegy" in third.
Levin said the Times' "secretive process" is "not fair to any author," and suggested that someone write an expose about the process.
Being listed on the New York Times bestseller list is a very significant accomplishment for any author. But more than the accolades and ability to describe oneself as a "bestselling author," being put on the list means you get more press time, which leads to bigger sales and even bigger advances for an author's next book. In a way, being included on the Times' list or not being included can make or break a book.
"They're always cooking the numbers, cooking the evidence," Levin said of the Times' process.
The Wall Street Journal's list, on the other hand, correctly ranked the top three hardcover nonfiction books according to their sales. They have Levin's book first, followed by "Hillbilly Elegy" and third was DeGrasse Tyson's book.
The Times' process for selecting the books that go on their bestsellers list — and then choosing the rank of those books — is indeed secretive. They maintain their process is fair, objective and not politically biased, but Levin isn't the first author to be snubbed by the Times.
Just this year alone, two books that go against the Times' political leanings have been allegedly snubbed from their bestselling lists. First, a nonfiction book about abortionist Kermit Gosenell, who is now in prison, was left off the list in February despite being the fourth best-selling book at the time. Then a book mocking Democrats, which had completely blank pages, that sold more than 60,000 copies in a single week was also left off the Times' list.