A novel that reached the top spot on a New York Times best-seller list was removed from the list by the paper after suspicions surfaced over the book’s ranking.
The AP reports that the book, “Handbook for Mortals,” by Lani Sarem, had a brief run at the top of the Times’ young adult hardcover list. The paper reportedly pulled the book off the list because of “inconsistencies” in the reporting of sales.
“The announcement came after online complaints that ‘Handbook for Mortals’ had benefited from so-called ‘bulk sales,’ when hundreds or thousands of copies are ordered by a single buyer,” the AP reports. “On Twitter, young adult author Phil Stamper and others had questioned how a book they knew little about could reach No. 1 on the Times list.”
In a statement released through communications director Jordan Cohen, The Times said: “After investigating the inconsistencies in the most recent reporting cycle, we decided that the sales for ‘Handbook for Mortals’ did not meet our criteria for inclusion. We’ve issued an updated ‘Young Adult Hardcover’ list for September 3, 2017, which does not include that title.”
Cohen told the AP that it is a “very rare occurrence” for a book to be pulled from the paper’s best-seller listings.
“Sarem told the AP on Friday that she was unaware of any efforts to manipulate sales and that thousands of copies had sold through pre-orders at gatherings such as Wizard World Comic Con, in Chicago, where she is currently promoting ‘Handbook for Mortals,'” the report adds.