Steinberg defined a bestseller as a book for which demand, within a short time of that book's initial publication, vastly exceeds what is then considered to be big sales.
The term "Best seller" is first known to have been recorded in print in 1889 in the , newspaper , but the phenomenon of immediate popularity goes back to the early days of mass production of printed books. For earlier books, when the maximum number of copies that would be printed was relatively small, a count of editions is the best way to assess sales. Since effective was slow to take hold, many editions were well into the period of the , and without effective in place, authors often saw little, if any, of the revenues for their popular works.
So what does it take to legitimately put a book on New York Times? It’s a question I often get asked by my students in my “How to Become a Bestselling Author” course.