UPDATE: This mail arrives from reader 'P'. Permission granted to add here:
It is actually much worse about how these book sellers can get their ratings. You can even manipulate the NY Times. I won't tell you the name of the book but my sister in law is a NY Times Best selling author.
This happened about 2 years ago but her publisher told her to buy 5000 copies of her book on a slow day picked out in advance. Presto, she had a best seller and top ten book. She sold the books later herself while on a lecture tour so in the long run, it didn't cost her a thing. It was a good book and may have gotten on the NY Times list anyway but her publisher told her it was quite a common thing to do to generate some sales and push you on to their list.
I have often wondered if this is how Marin Katusa or Doug Casey get their best seller status. All you need to do is get on the NY Times list for one day to get bragging rights forever.
Keep up the fight, P