New data from NPD Bookscan show that in the first half of 2018, print sales rose 4% and total unit sales increased 2% compared to a similar period in 2017. Publishers largely have one man to thank for the success: Donald Trump.
Two of the top-selling books that have contributed to that growth are Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, which has sold nearly 1 million copies and James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, which has sold more than 577,000 copies, according to NPD Bookscan, which reports on 85% of US book sales in print.
Fire and Fury, by far the biggest hit, has seen an unprecedented rise, as Quartz’s Thu-Huong Ha notes. Wolff’s publisher claims that over 2 million copies have sold and Wolff has reportedly been signed to do a sequel.
Up until April, every New York Times bestseller had related to the Trump presidency in some way. And it’s not just that he serves as material, the chief salesman moves units, or at least increases awareness, with his tweets.
“Trump’s impact on book sales is multidimensional,” CNN’s media correspondent Brian Stelter points out. ”While he is drawing extra attention to certain books, agents and publishing executives worry that he is also hurting sales of non-political titles.”
This week, just one-third of the New York Times list of best-selling hardcover fiction books are Trump-related. Though the top book is humorist David Sedaris’s newly released collection of essays, Calypso; perhaps America is ready for a beach read.