Ted Cruz is not a New York Times bestselling author – and he’s not happy about it.
The Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate is calling on “The Gray Lady” to apologize for leaving off his newly released memoir, “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America,” from the paper’s coveted bestsellers list, or release its evidence for doing so. The action comes one day after Politico reported that The Times decided to exclude Cruz’s book even though it had sold more copies in its first week – 11,854 – than all but two of the other bestsellers.
At first, The Times told Politico it had “uniform standards,” including “an analysis of book sales that goes beyond simply the number of books sold.” The Cruz campaign called this explanation “cryptic” in a press release Friday.
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The Times later offered more detail on its decision, saying “the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases.”
Why would that matter? As The Daily Beast reported, nearly every news outlet with a bestseller list uses a different methodology for which books make the cut. And for The Times, bulk purchases from one or a handful of places are not given the same weight as sales from other stores and online outlets. That’s to avoid elevating books to bestseller status when, in fact, their own authors are the ones buying up all the books, not actual readers.
This particular methodology could explain how Cruz’s book ended up on some bestseller lists – such as The Wall Street Journal’s, Bookscan’s, and USA Today’s – but not The New York Times’. Or it could be – as the Cruz camp believes – a partisan attack on a leading Republican presidential candidate.
“The Times is presumably embarrassed by having their obvious partisan bias called out,” said Cruz campaign spokesperson Rick Tyler in a statement. “But their response—alleging ‘strategic bulk purchases’—is a blatant falsehood.”
Cruz’s publisher, HarperCollins, announced on Friday that it had found “no evidence” of bulk purchases. And the press release from the Cruz camp included pictures of large crowds at book signings in various cities across the U.S.
Eileen Murphy, a spokesperson for The Times, said the paper did not have a comment on the Cruz’s campaign’s statement, adding, “We are confident in our conclusion about the sales patterns for the Cruz book this week.”