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Why Donald Trump Jr.’s bestselling book has a dagger beside it. Yes, a dagger.

Jonny Diamond

November 14, 2019, 10:49am

Briefly, should you have to argue with a relative this Thanksgiving about the actual popularity of Donald Trump Jr.’s number one New York Times bestseller, Triggered, please note the dagger beside the listing. This dagger, you can tell cousin Jared, means that a significant number of the books sales are a result of “Institutional, special interest, group or bulk purchases,” which likely means (at least in the case of conservative titles) that a right-wing think tank of some variety has bought pallet-loads of the book; maybe they’ll stick them in gift bags, maybe they’ll sneak them into libraries, maybe they’ll just skip the middle man by having them pulped.

And this is how the publishing industry launders dark money. For more on the ways in which people goose bestseller lists, see this deep dive by Emily Temple.

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