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Sales of Political Books Are at an All-Time High

Book readers don’t seem to know enough about Trump

Photo illustration, source: CHUTTERSNAP / Unsplash

10.5 million: This is how many copies of political books (in print and e-book formats) were sold in the U.S. from 2020 to September, according to the Wall Street Journal, based on data from NPD Bookscan, which tracks book sales. That compares to just 6.1 million political books sold to date in 2019, rather than the 3 million hardcover copies of the first volume of President Obama’s memoirs that hit shelves next month.

It feels like a point in timee Since the release of Michael Wolff’s presidential blockbuster Fire and Fury in 2018 (which sold over 4 million copies in the first year), Americans on both sides of the political aisle still seem to have an insatiable appetite for books about President Donald Trump. Its critics and supporters go out of their way to serve them: The Journal reported that more than 1,000 titles were published on Trump in his first three years in office, while just over 450 titles on President Obama were published in his first three years in office were published presidency.

The pandemic and political turmoil of 2020 put an unexpected wind on the sails of the book publishing industry. Sales of printed books increased 6% year over year, and sales of e-books and audiobooks doubled. But while the publishing industry is thriving during this time of uncertainty, readers appear to be buying most of their books online from Amazon, leaving independent booksellers struggling.

A Biden administration may need to plan a bailout for the book industry.

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