Barack Obama’s Memoir Sells Over 1.7 Million Copies in First Week

The numbers reflect U.S. and Canada sales but it’s doing well overseas, too

Barack Obama DNC

Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” sold 1,710,443 units in its first week, publisher Penguin Random House announced on Tuesday.

The book, published through Penguin Random House’s Crown imprint, sold 887,000 units in all formats on its publishing date last Tuesday. The total numbers reflect sales across the United States and Canada.

The only Penguin Random House book that comes close to those launch date numbers is also an Obama memoir. “Becoming,” the memoir former first lady Michelle Obama released back in 2018, moved 725,000 by launch day and has since gone on to sell 10 million copies.

The publisher also noted Tuesday that the hefty memoir from the former president is doing well overseas. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, “A Promised Land” sold almost 150,000 units across all formats in its first five days of publication. It’s currently the No. 1 bestselling title in the U.K. through all book categories and formats.

According to the Associated Press, Bill Clinton’s 2004 memoir “My Life” sold 400,000 copies by its first day, while George W. Bush’s 2010 memoir “Decision Points” sold close to 200,000. No word on whether Donald Trump will get around to writing (or “writing”) a post-presidential memoir of his own — presumably it would come after he finally accepts the outcome of the 2020 election, which he lost by more than 5 million votes.

The 768-page “A Promised Land” sells for $45 hardcover.


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