Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s new novel The President Is Missing has sold 260,000 total copies since hitting bookshelves on June 4. The thriller, which had a first printing of 1.2 million copies, is being published jointly by Knopf and Little, Brown & Co.
According to NPD BookScan, the book was the No. 1 hardcover fiction title for the week ending June 9, selling more than 147,000 copies. Penguin Random House spokesman Paul Bogaards says it’s the best hardcover start for a fiction title since 2016.
The plot centers on a fictional president who must stop a rogue cyberattack by international terrorists on the United States.
The brisk sales bode well among others for Showtime, which in September beat out a slew of bidders to acquire rights to the book to develop it as a TV series. Word is Clinton and Patterson had 16 meetings with film and TV studios, cable and streaming networks as well as producers, directors and financiers before Showtime won out.
Clinton has been on tour with the book, running into questions about the Monica Lewinsky scandal along the way like during a promotional appearance on Today.