Ex-President Barack Obama's "A Promised Land" became the bestselling presidential memoir in modern history by selling nearly 890,000 copies in North America on the first day of its release. The memoir effectively surpassed the first day's sale of Michelle Obama's "Becoming."
"A Promised Land" trended at number one on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. According to Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt said it sold over 50,000 copies on the first day, the Associated Press (AP) reported. He added that the bookstore chain expected to sell half a million copies of the memoir within 10 days. The book was released on Tuesday and was priced at $45.
"We are thrilled with the first day sales," David Drake, the publisher of the Penguin Random House imprint Crown, said in a statement. "They reflect the widespread excitement that readers have for President Obama's highly anticipated and extraordinarily written book."
Michelle's 2018 memoir "Becoming," recorded a sale of 725,000 copies on its first day in North America. So far, the book sold more than 10 million copies even though it has not been released in paperback. Former President Bill Clinton's "My Life" witnessed sale of about 400,000 copies its first day in 2004, while ex-President George W. Bush's "Decision Points" sold about 220,000 copies on its first day.
The release of Obama's memoir would likely help bookstores with sales that they lost to Amazon during the Covid-19 pandemic. "It's not hard to be a bright spot this year, a year when we would have gone out of business without federal aid," Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan, told the AP. "But Obama does feel like a savior, as do our customers for buying this from us."
Social media users were excited about the memoir and shared their opinions and pictures of the book on Twitter. "I'm not much of a reader, but I just ordered @BarackObama memoir "A Promised Land" via amazon. Can't wait to read it," one Twitter user wrote.