Publisher and writer Danielle LaPorte describes making The New York Times Bestseller List as a gold medal race to the top, where no writer wants to be second best. Making the list boosts writers' egos because it is a milestone recognized across the country.
Other words LaPorte uses to describe making The New York Times Bestseller List are powerful, magical, leading edge, elusive and coveted. She even describes it as the "Holy Grail" writers seek. Reaching this point of prestige is an affirmation that a writer is successful.
However, more and more writers are disregarding The New York Times Bestseller List as what defines their success. Reasons include the fact that it only measures how a book is doing in a certain category in a certain week. Also, many bestselling books do not make the list because of their release date. Author Jon Acuff tweeted about what a bad idea it is to release your book the same week Harper Lee releases her coveted sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird." Also, the NYT Bestseller List does not take into account books sold in major stores such as Walmart, Costco, and Target. They also do not take into account many Internet retailers other than Amazon. The NYT Bestseller List does not count multiple books bought at the same time. If someone bought 15 copies of a book, it would only be recorded as one. Also, some categories are much easier to gain recognition in than others, and there is not a consistent standard from category to category.