Or was the New York Times list gamed?:
According to some, its placement on the New York Times Best Seller list did not seem warranted by its showing in the marketplace. Finding My Voice appeared there when it was only 1,030 on Amazon and had only three reviews. And, despite 12,600 recorded sales, Publishers Weekly did not list it:
“Given the organic sales of that book and the fact that during the entire week of rollout it barely cracked the top 100 on Amazon, there’s no way the book should have a place on the NYT Best Seller list. Inconceivable,” one prominent book industry insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “There’s likely an effort to game the system, it’s the only explanation.” – Luke Roziak, “Obama Adviser’s Book Is Ranked 1,030 on Amazon. How Did it Make NYT’s Best Seller List?” at Daily Caller”
So what’s the game? It’s usually one or another version of pretending that a bulk order of 10,000 books came from 10,000 individuals, which counts for much more. More.
Reality check: The digital era is a golden age for such manipulations because digits on a screen are much easier to fake than feet on the street.
See also: Pro-life film Unplanned doing well at box office despite social media companies’ attempted takedown