The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. Published weekly in The New York Times Book Review, the best-seller list has been published in the Times since October 12, 1931. In recent years it has evolved into multiple lists in different categories, broken down by fiction and non-fiction, hardcover, paperback, and electronic, and different genres.
The list is based on a proprietary method that use sales figures, other data and internal guidelines that are unpublished—how the Times compiles the list is a trade secret. In 1983 (as part of a legal argument) the Times stated that the list is not mathematically objective but rather editorial content. In 2017, a Times representative said that the goal is that the lists reflect authentic best sellers. The list has been the source of controversy over the years.