While President Donald Trump bragged on Twitter that Donald Trump Jr.’s book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us, was sitting atop The New York Times Best-Sellers list in the Non-Fiction category, the newspaper also printed a dagger symbol next to book, an asterisk which was neither acknowledged nor explained by the President or his son.
This is not the first time The New York Times has placed a dagger symbol next to a book on their Best-Sellers list, and it’s used for a very important, specific reason.
The New York Times explained to Erin Barnett via Electric Literature, if they believe a book made its way onto the list in a way that seems “suspicious,” it places a small dagger symbol next to the title: “Institutional, special interest, group or bulk purchases, if and when they are included, are at the discretion of The New York Times Best-Seller List Desk editors based on standards for inclusion that encompass proprietary vetting and audit protocols, corroborative reporting and other statistical determinations. When included, such bulk purchases appear with a dagger (†).”
The paper further explained, “If we were to equate The New York Times best seller lists with covering baseball, we would include the major leagues, minor leagues and all the way down to the little leagues while doing what we can to exclude any attempts made by people to manipulate the lists.”
Numerous Conservative Authors Have Made Books Make It On To The Best-Sellers List Because of Bulk Sales
Don Jr. is far from the first person to manipulate their book sales to get on the esteemed Best-Sellers list. In 2010, Mitt Romney forced hosts of his book tour to sell between $25K and 50K worth of No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. A dagger was also placed next to Jerome R. Corsi’s book, Empire State, which was about a secret conspiracy looking to undermine Trump’s presidency.
If these books are being bought in bulk, it doesn’t mean people are actually reading them. But to reach a post on the top of The New York Times list, inherently boosts sales because it makes people think everyone is reading the book.
Not only is it a prestigious honor to be able to call oneself a “New York Times Best-Selling Author,” according to a 2004 study by economics professor Alan Sorensen, appearing on the New York Times’s Best-Seller list increased first-time authors’ sales by 57 percent, and on average, for a book’s first year on shelves, it increased sales by 13 or 14 percent.
Don Jr. Started Trending On Twitter as Mr. Bulk Sales
While Don Jr. went on numerous news shows, including a memorable, albeit contentious appearance on ABC’s The View, to promote his book, after learning what the dagger symbol means, people on Twitter dubbed the President’s son “Mr. Bulk Sales” and the hashtag “Bulk Sales” become of the top trends on November 14.
While one user online referred to Don Jr. as “the Milli Vanilli of books,” while others accused him of once again riding his father’s coattails in order to achieve success.