For a book to be a New York Times Best Seller, it must be the most sold book in the United States of its genre within a certain week. The list of New York Times Best Sellers is published weekly in the Sunday edition of the New York Times.
The list of New York Times Best Sellers is divided into fiction and non-fiction sections, each containing about 10 to 20 titles. Expanded lists, which are available online, include other categories such as Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous, Childrens Literature, Trade Fiction and Mass-Market Fiction. These lists are compiled using selected samples of independent bookstores, chain bookstores and wholesalers across the United States.
It is important to consider that only certain vendors with a relationship with the New York Times report their sales to the list. Stores such as Target, Costco and Wal-mart, which account for over 10,000 department stores nationwide, are examples of stores which do not report sales to the New York Times. Additionally, some books are flagged with a dagger () to indicate that a large number of bulk orders for that book had been received by retailers. Readers of the list of New York Times Best Sellers should consider it a relative measure of books sold at a certain time, rather than a definitive, quality-based ranking.