Former President Obama quipped that it is “hopeless” to think his memoir, “A Promised Land,” would outsell his wife Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaShould there be a 'Secretary of Thought'? Obamas to attend Biden inauguration Michelle Obama slams Trump, rioters at Capitol: 'They desecrated the center of American government' MORE’s 2018 book “Becoming,” even as his latest book is on track to become the all-time best-selling presidential memoir.

“I’ve already waved the white flag” in terms of the couple’s respective book sales, Obama told CBS’s Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertCan the GOP break its addiction to show biz? Colbert asks Republicans 'have you had enough?' in live show after Capitol violence Late-night hosts announce plans to discuss Capitol violence MORE late Tuesday. “Any illusion that I might catch up, it turns out that now that my book is selling, they all package it with her book so she keeps on selling more, so I can’t … it’s hopeless.”

The former president’s new book sold 1.7 million copies its first week following its Nov. 17 release. It beat “Becoming” for first-day sales, with 887,000 compared to 750,000 copies of Michelle Obama's book sold on the first day it was available.


But the former first lady’s memoir has sold 10 million copies to date and remains so consistently popular it has yet to print in paperback.  

The numbers for both books far exceed those of other presidential memoirs. George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” sold 775,000 copies in its first week of release in 2010, while Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe challenge of Biden's first days: staying focused and on message Why the Senate should not rush an impeachment trial Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE’s “My Life” sold more than 1 million in the first eight days it was on sale in 2004. Both have sold 3.5 million and 4 million, respectively, since.

Sales of political nonfiction have surged during the Trump administration, with executive director of business development at NPD BookScan Kristen McLean saying 2020 would almost certainly be the “biggest year for political books since we began tracking U.S. book sales in 2004.”