Bill Clinton and James Patterson are a publishing dream team

Everything’s going so well.
Everything’s going so well.
Image: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
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James Patterson has finally met a collaborator worthy of his brand name. The President Is Missing, a political thriller by the bestselling author and former US president Bill Clinton, is a bonafide hit.

The novel came out June 4 to mixed critical reviews, but so far, it’s a commercial success. According to NPD Book, which tracks 85% of US print-trade sales, the novel sold 152,000 print copies in its first week. That’s big, even for Patterson, the second highest paid author in the world last year, according to Forbes.

Based on recent sales of Clinton and Patterson books, it’s unlikely either could have achieved these sales numbers alone. None of the last 10 books with James Patterson’s name on the cover (nearly all of them were co-written with other authors) came close to 152,000 in their first week:

Clinton, on the other hand, has seen huge first-week sales before: My Life, the first book he wrote after he left the presidency, sold 597,000 print copies. Still, the next two books he put out didn’t come anywhere close. His collaboration with Patterson is his first foray into fiction writing.