Barack Obama's memoir off to fast start, edging wife Michelle's sales

November 19, 2020 

Former President Obama's new memoir has a slight edge on former First Lady Michelle Obama when it comes to first-day book sales.

The 44th commander-in-chief's memoir "A Promised Land," released Tuesday, sold an astonishing 887,000 copies in its first 24 hours on the shelves.

The number tops the 725,000 copies sold of former First Lady Michelle Obama's 2018 memoir "Becoming" within the first day of release.

The sales accounted for pre-orders, e-books as well as audio in the US and Canada, publisher Penguin Random House said in a press release Wednesday.

"We are thrilled with the first day sales. They reflect the widespread excitement that readers have for President Obama's highly anticipated and extraordinarily written book," David Drake, publisher of Penguin Random House imprint Crown, said in a statement on the numbers.

"We're seeing a strong performance across all channels but independent bookstores, in particular, are reporting unprecedented first day sales. They have been worried about their financial survival during the pandemic. I hope this book will make a meaningful difference to their year," he continued.

The former president's memoir is being released in two volumes. "A Promised Land," the first volume, is 768 pages and covers his political life pre-presidency, his historic 2008 presidential campaign and his first term in office.

The second volume of the memoir has not been given a release date.

Former President Barack Obama's memoir is seen on display at the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn.Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The Obamas signed a lucrative book deal estimated to be worth over $60 million with Penguin Random House in 2017 for the rights to their memoirs.

The former first lady's book was the best-selling volume of 2018 and remained on the New York Times' best-seller list for over a year.

With Post wires

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