Barack Obama is well on his way to becoming the best selling author of the year.
It is a title previously bestowed on his wife, Michelle Obama, whose book “Becoming” rocketed to the top of the charts in 2018.
Now the former president’s new memoir, “A Promised Land,” is breaking records for the book’s publisher, Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Hundreds of thousands of people pre-ordered “A Promised Land” ahead of Tuesday’s release date.
Those pre-order sales, plus first-day sales, totaled 887,000 units “in all formats and editions in the U.S. and Canada,” Penguin Random House said on Wednesday.
The publisher said this result represented “the largest first-day sales total for any book ever published” by the company.
Penguin and the rest of the publishing industry anticipated this moment: Obama’s memoir, the first of two expected volumes, has been the talk of book world.
For the United States and Canada, Crown printed 3.4 million copies of the hardcover edition.
Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt told Publishers Weekly earlier in the year, “This will be a book of rare consequence. That it will sell as no other book has done since July 21, 2007” — when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” came out — “is immensely cheering to booksellers.”
One bookstore in Washington, D.C. even opened at midnight Tuesday morning to sell copies of “A Promised Land.”
Booksellers expect that the memoir will remain a top seller throughout the holiday season.