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Barack Obama memoir tops Michelle’s in first-day sales

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Former President Obama’s new memoir, “A Promised Land,” is on pace to become the bestselling presidential memoir in modern history, outstripping the first-day sales of wife Michelle Obama’s own bestselling memoir.

“A Promised Land” set a first-day sales record for Penguin Random House with nearly 890,000 copies sold, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

“We are thrilled with the first day sales,” David Drake, 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 Obama’s 2018 memoir, “Becoming,” sold 725,000 copies its first day, the only recent memoir by a president or first lady with comparable sales. Since its initial publication, it has sold more than 10 million copies despite not yet being released in paperback.

Former President Clinton’s “My Life” sold about 400,000 copies its first day, and former President George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” moved about 220,000 copies on its first day.

Barack Obama wrote, in an introduction penned in August, that he had not planned for the memoir to be released so close to the presidential election, conceding that the book risked a very different reception if President Trump had been reelected or if the results had still been unknown.

Demand for the book may prove a lifeline for storefront bookstores, which have lost the lion’s share of book sales to Amazon during the coronavirus 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.”

Tags A Promised Land Barack Obama Becoming Decision Points Donald Trump Michelle Obama

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