Donald Trump turning into the (unwitting) savior of the book publishing world
As of Tuesday, Flatiron Books said it is sending 850,000 copies of James Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” to retailers.
Its parent company, Macmillan, clearly doesn’t want to be caught short as sister imprint Henry Holt was during the early days of the frenzy surrounding Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
The Comey book is the No. 1 best-seller on Amazon as it went on sale nationally yesterday.
Wolff’s book spent seven weeks at No. 1, even though Holt seriously underestimated the early demand for that book, resulting in a backlog of several weeks.
Still, a spokeswoman for Holt said the book has sold more than 2 million copies in all formats so far and remains on the extended list and is the breakout best-seller of the year. Industry sources estimate that Holt sold about 1.4 million hardcover books worldwide. The early dearth of print copies actually fueled a larger-than-expected burst of e-book sales.
The mid-March publication of Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s tome, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump” from the Twelve imprint of Grand Central Publishing, jumped to the No. 1 spot for one week in early April, bumping Wolff to No. 2.
Trump tweets railing against the Wolff and Comey books have actually helped sales. Isikoff and Corn did not seem to draw the same ire from the commander-in-chief and quickly tumbled from No. 1.
The early betting is that Wolff’s book will outsell the memoir by the former FBI director. “Comey’s book is about Comey — it’s not about Trump,” noted one source.
Neither may ultimately care about the boasting rights.
“Both authors have become newly minted millionaires,” said one industry observer. Comey is said to have snagged an advance of over $2 million. “Bashing Trump is a lucrative business,” the observer said.