Books About President Trump—Especially Those Critical of Him—Sell Very Well

From a Wall Street Journal story by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg headlined “Trump Books Fuel Record Sales of Political Books”:

Extraordinary demand for Trump-related books ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election has put 2020 on pace to be a record sales year for political books.

President Trump’s niece boasts the top-selling book on Amazon.com so far this year, while a memoir from his former national security adviser ranked No. 5 and journalist Bob Woodward’s latest exposé stood at No. 13. All three were published less than four months ago. . . .

The interest in Trump-related books mirrors how the president’s tenure has buoyed other areas of media, from subscriptions to news websites to cable-TV ratings. All these sectors face the prospect of a return to the normal pace of business if political drama in Washington quiets down in the event of a Trump defeat.

During the first three years of the Trump administration, more than 1,000 titles were published about the president, more than twice the 450-plus titles about Mr. Obama during the first three years of his presidency, according to NPD, which tracks book sales. . . .

Books that are critical of Mr. Trump aren’t the only ones selling well. Fox News host Sean Hannity’s look at the 2020 election, “Live Free or Die,” hit No. 1 on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction list earlier this summer. . . .

No publisher benefited more from the surge in political-book sales than ViacomCBS Inc.’s Simon & Schuster, which published some of the category’s most popular titles including Mary L. Trump’s memoir“ Too Much and Never Enough,” former national security adviser John Bolton’s “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir” and Mr. Woodward’s “Rage.” It also published Mr. Hannity’s book via its imprint Threshold Editions. . . .

Books about the Trump administration have performed well in previous years. Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” published in January 2018, was an early indicator of the reading public’s fascination with Mr. Trump. . . .

Terry Finley, the chief executive of Books-A-Million Inc., one of the country’s largest bookstore chains, expects political-book sales to steeply decline after the election, no matter who wins. “People get exhausted with the election cycle, and their appetites eventually find other outlets,” he said.

Publishers, by contrast, expect political-book sales to remain strong.

“The challenges America is grappling with continue post election regardless of the election outcome,” said David Drake, publisher of the Crown imprint of Penguin Random House.

Crown next month will publish “A Promised Land,” the first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs. The publisher has ordered an initial print run of 3 million hardcover copies for the U.S., large by nonfiction standards. Mr. Obama’s two earlier books, “Dreams from My Father,” and “The Audacity of Hope,” together have sold more than 7.5 million units across formats in the U.S. and Canada, according to the publisher.

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