Trump’s picture book sales lackluster despite his boasting

Photo: edition of the winning team

Donald Trump was criticized when his first post-presidential tome turned out to be a photo-filled coffee table book rather than an actual memoir, but now he’s laughing all the way to the bank because the book is so popular it sold nationwide and the signed copies are already a treasured collector’s item. Or at least that’s what the people behind the book want us to think.

CNN reported Monday that Our journey together has grossed $20 million since going on sale in late November, according to “two people familiar with publishing the book.” Sergio Gor, the GOP operative who founded Winning Team Publishing last fall with the son of ex-President Donald Trump Jr., says the book had an initial print run of 200,000 copies and is still selling like buns:

“We still can’t keep up with customers,” said Gor, who says they are out of books and have issued requests for 300,000 more copies to be printed at three locations in the United States. Those prints are in the works, but people who order “Our Journey Together” now likely won’t see copies arrive until late February or early March, Gor said. A current search for books available on the Internet turns up nothing except copies peddled by third parties. A signed copy on Amazon sold as a “collector’s item” is listed for $1,749. Other signed copies on the eBay auction site range between $950 and $1,300.

It’s hard to know what to make of these claims because they largely come from the Trump team. Gor is the only named source attesting to these numbers in CNN’s report (although the book is indeed out of print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble). In December, Donald Trump Jr. said, “I think it would easily qualify to be a New York Time No. 1 bestseller. And Trump himself boasted last week that the book had been “very successful”, selling 240,000 copies despite publication delays resulting from supply chain issues (which he said wouldn’t happen). not if he was still in office).

Those numbers are certainly plausible — and in fact, they’re quite low compared to sales of other presidential books. by Barack Obama A promised land sold nearly 890,000 copies in the United States and Canada in his first 24 hours, according to the AP; by Bill Clinton My life sold about 400,000 copies in the same market on the first day, and George W. Bush Decision Points sold 220,000 copies on its first day. Our journey together selling 200,000 copies in two months is modest, even compared to other books about Trump: Mary Trump’s account of her estranged uncle, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Mansold 950,000 copies on the first day, by Forbesand Bob Woodward Rage sold over 600,000 copies in its first week of publication.

It’s perhaps unfair to compare Trump’s picture book to these other works, as they were all promoted by major publishers, who apparently wouldn’t want to work with the former president. (Our journey together is the only book published by Winning Team Publishing so far.) And unlike his presidential predecessors, Trump was not looking to write the last word on his presidency, which may not be over; in all likelihood, his latest foray into publishing was to make a quick buck since the ex-president has more than $590 million in debt coming in the next few years.

Our journey together is actually quite impressive when viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme rather than a presidential memoir. It took nearly four years for Obama to write the 800 pages A promised land, and this is only the first volume. Trump’s book came out less than a year after he left office, and CNN reports that he “spent only several evenings at Mar-a-Lago going through the 8,000 to 9,000 photos that Gor and his assistants had cut back for him, and even more nights signing the book when he came out.

Donald Trump Jr. reportedly gave his father a multi-million dollar advance for his work on the book. Presumably, it didn’t come close to the record $65 million advance that Barack and Michelle Obama received for their memoirs, but Our journey together still makes a nice profit thanks to its exorbitant price. Obama’s latest book had a suggested retail price of $45, while Trump’s book costs $74.99 for an unsigned copy or $229.99 for a signed copy. If Trump sold 200,000 books at Obama’s price of $45, that would total a measly $9 million. But let’s say Trump sold the same number of books and a quarter were signed copies at $229.99 while the rest were at $74.99: that would bring in $22.7 million in total, which is to what Gor claims the Trump team has made of the book so far.

From Team Trump’s perspective, Obama is the real fool here. Why spend the next few years writing A Promised Land: Volume 2 when you can just scribble some nasty remarks under photos of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and call it a book?