Read at Vice
Bulk orders are a common strategy for authors to manipulate book sales and secure a spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list, despite the Times' efforts to combat this practice.
That dagger icon indicates, Bulk orders are a time-worn path to juicing sales and becoming a bestseller, despite the Times being concerned enough about this form of system-gaming to have special typographical tools meant to combat it.
The New York Times Best Sellers list is not solely based on the number of copies a book sells in a given week, but is influenced by unknown factors. Bulk orders from publishers or other groups can contribute to a book's placement on the list.
The most basic version of the scheme is a publisher-or another group, typically associated with the author in some way-placing huge orders for the book with sellers that report their sales to the Times.