I'll answer here instead than on the old thread. You are right when you say that it's easier nowadays to get on the NYT list than it used to be (people know from which sources to buy, etc). And yet, very few genre authors actually manage to get on it, easy or not. The Yeard always manage to end on it with each new books, which shows that he still has a substantial following.
Even though we're far from the days when Goodkind and Jordan debuted at number 1 with each new release, Goodkind is still showing better numbers than pretty much everyone else at Tor other than Sanderson's last two novels.
In 2013, The Third Kingdom debuted at number 5. The following year, Severed Souls debuted at number 4. In 2015, Warheart debuted at number 16, and last year Death's Mistress debuted at number 10. All in all, he's still putting asses in the seats, even if it's not the multitudes that he was used to earlier in his career.
If I'm not mistaken, his catalogue is comprised of 16 SoT installments, all of them still in print and stocked at every bookstore in North America that I've ever visited. Before the Holidays, I was browsing at my local bigbox bookstore and I was shocked that Goodkind had about a whole shelf devoted to him. Only GRRM had more. When I asked one of the clerks if Goodkind still sold well, she claimed that his backlist is one of the bestselling ones in the fantasy genre.
Which brings to mind a discussion I had with an editor at Del Rey circa 2010. Those were the days when Eddings had become a bit of a laughing stock and he was in the middle of writing the Younger Gods/Elder Gods books for another publisher. To my dismay, the editor revealed that Eddings backlist (keep in mind that he was considered a joke by the online community by then) still sold about 150,000 units every year. Which means that since the release of Polgara the Sorceress, though Eddings had sort of disappeared from the map and lots of readers were actively trying to forget ever liking his books, the mass market paperback editions of his books had sold about 1.5 million copies in the USA and Canada alone. This, in my opinion, is mind-blowing. Even more shocking, the new ebook editions that came out two years ago all remained on the Amazon top 100 for over a year!!!
Now Goodkind has about the same number of backlist titles and he has been translated into a panoply of languages around the world. Considering the number of ratings he's garnered and keeps garnering on Goodreads, it is well within the realm of possibilities that the Yeard's catalogue moves about 150,000 units per year. Factor in foreign rights and it's probably a lot more than that.
Everyone here hates Goodkind. I mean, we're the original Lemmings of Discord! But although the Yeard may not be as popular as he used to be, he's still more popular than 99% of genre writers and his backlist will likely keep him up there for years to come. We may not like it, but it is what it is.
Mark Lawrence sold more than a million books in his first 7 years (7 novels) as a pro author. He never came close to being on the NYT bestseller list. It's not an exact science, but conventional wisdom says that Goodkind sold much more than that in the same span of time. Our bias against him often clouds our judgement. Mine too, for the record. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that Terry Goodkind is still a force to be reckoned with in the genre publishing world. And that's why he can still say stupid things with impunity. . .
We must also remember that the SFF online community is only a small (but always growing) percentage of the overall readership. Old school members will probably remember that Scott Lynch's TLoLL, heralded as the best fantasy debuts in years and a book that had sold extremely well on both sides of the pond, had been outsold by a margin of about 3-to-1 by Gail Z. Martin's debut that same year. That created a lot of noise and caused quite a stir. But in the end, quality doesn't always means more sales.
One day, if we're lucky, we might witness the Yeard's fall from grace. Until then, as much as it stings, we have to accept that thousands of readers still enjoy his books and keep buying them. . . :/