Barack Obama’s A Promised Land has sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S. and Canada during its first week of publication, the largest week-one sales total for any book ever published by Penguin Random House, according to the publishers.
The figure includes 887,000 in first-day sales, another record-breaking for Penguin Random House. The sales numbers represent all formats.
The memoir, published by Crown, a division of Penguin Random House, was released worldwide November 17. An unabridged audio edition of the book read by the author was published simultaneously by Penguin Random House Audio.
The sales figure compares favorably to two recent presidential memoirs, George W. Bush’s Decision Points (775,000 first-week copies) and Bill Clinton’s My Life (about 1 million in its first eight days).
As for his wife Michelle Obama’s 2018 memoir Becoming, Obama told Stephen Colbert on CBS’ Late Show last night that the contest was “hopeless,” and that he’s “already waved the white flag.” Even as Becoming has sold more than 10 million copies globally since its publication, the former president might have been overly humble in his estimates: A Promised Land sold about 165,000 copies more than Becoming in reported first-day sales.
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