The only thing that may outsell Barack Obama's memoir this year is a new Drake album. In one day, the former President sold 890,000 copies of A Promised Land. If he continues at this pace, he will be well on his way to becoming the bestselling author of the year.
“We are thrilled with the first day sales,” publisher David Drake said.
“They reflect the widespread excitement that readers have for President Obama’s highly anticipated and extraordinarily written book.”
The only book to compare to his first-day sales is Becoming by his wife, Michelle Obama. In 2018, Becoming sold nearly 725,000 copies during its first day. By the end of the year, the former First Lady had sold nearly 10 million copies of her book and toured the world promoting it. In fact, Becoming is so in demand that it has yet to be published in paperback form.
“So far it has been neck and neck with Michelle Obama’s book,” Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt said.
A Promised Land has shown no signs of slowing down either. With the holiday season fast approaching, Obama's memoir will likely be a big hit through the end of the year. This is great news for independent bookstores who are relying on major releases such as this to get through a rough year.
"If you’re going to buy President Obama’s new book, please buy it from an independent bookstore. A book like that keeps the lights on for many stores. A Promised Land is the first volume of Obama's two-part project," Marc Lamont Hill added.
Stores like McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan have reported that they sold 600 copies of the book in one day. At a $27 price point, Obama's release could very well save a few stores.
“It’s not hard to be a bright spot this year, a year when we would have gone out of business without federal aid,” Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan, said.
“But Obama does feel like a savior, as do our customers for buying this from us.”
There is no word on when the second book will be released.