Conservative book publisher Regnery Publishing is cutting ties with the New York Times’ best-seller list, the company announced this week.
Regnery has published books by authors such as Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, and Dinesh D'Souza. The publisher has previously charged that some of its books have been demoted or even excluded from the Times list of best sellers, arguing that sales data show the books should have earned a place on those lists.
In a letter to authors and colleagues sent over Labor Day weekend, Marji Ross, president of Regnery Publishing, said the Times displays “clear bias against conservative books” in its rankings and announced that the company will cease using and promoting the list.
In an interview with TheBlaze, Ross said that since the Times’ list sometimes doesn’t match sales data, “we just felt that the list has become meaningless.”
“We are no longer going to be printing ‘New York Times best-seller’ on any of our best-selling books, we are not going to use it in our advertising, our marketing, our website,” she said.
Ross said that the Times keeps the way they calculate their book rankings “secret,” and therefore “it’s hard to have much of a discussion about that.”
She said Regnery will begin to use the Publishers Weekly best-seller lists instead because they are “more accurate” and include sales data from BookScan in the rankings.
“We just feel there’s no room for editorializing on a best-seller list,” Ross said. “And so certainly the more transparent a list is in its calculations and its data, the more we feel it can be trusted.”
Earlier this year, the publisher said “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer,” a book about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a convicted late-term abortionist, was excluded from the New York Times’ nonfiction “Print Hardcover Best Sellers” list. It was later included on the Times’ “Combined Print & E-Book Best Sellers” list, although Ross said it outsold many of the books on the nonfiction best-sellers list.
Ross said cases like the Gosnell book have “been a constant source of frustration,” with the Times, arguing that D'Souza’s latest book was also not accurately ranked.
She said that after announcing the decision, she has heard from “scores” of authors, and “every single response I have gotten has been positive. Every single one.”
Ross also disputed arguments that there is no bias against conservative books because they do appear on the best-seller list.
“Saying that the lists are accurate and fair because some books make it on the list is like a casino in Las Vegas saying a blackjack table isn’t rigged so the house wins more often because some people come in and win,” she said.
Jordan Cohen, a spokesman for the New York Times, told The Associated Press, “Our goal is that the lists reflect authentic best sellers.”
“The political views of authors have no bearing on our rankings, and the notion that we would manipulate the lists to exclude books for political reasons is simply ludicrous,” Cohen said.