Publishing industry sees surge with ‘Fire and Fury’

January 11, 2018

The publishing industry hasn’t produced a must-read adult book in several years, but that drought came to an end during the first week of January, Publishers Weekly reports.

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, the explosive book about what’s going on inside the Trump White House, is flying off shelves in hardcover, and selling equally well in e-book and audio formats—with publisher Henry Holt rushing to print 1 million more copies, even before the full original press run of 150,000 books hits the stores.

Holt released the book for sale on January 5—about one week ahead of schedule—after the White House reacted to it as “literature non gratis” and filed a cease-and-desist order that only encouraged buyers nationwide. Indeed, the demand has been so high that the book “sold out” before it even went on sale—and buyers switched to the e-book format to get their fix.

According to figures from NPD BookScan, the hottest book of the year sold 28,567 print copies in the three days ending January 7. BookScan covers 80% to 85% of all print sales, excluding those through libraries. Even without the first print run fully available, Holt had the top-selling book nationwide.

According to Publishers Weekly, the demand for the book was apparent through its e-book sales. The digital edition of  outsold the hardcover at Barnes & Noble and was number-one in the iBooks store last week. The book is also #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store.

Looking at sales regionally,  the tome moved the highest number of copies in New York City, where 2,554 print titles were sold, according to BookScan. The second biggest market for the book was the San Francisco area, where 1,704 copies were sold. Washington, D.C (1,637), Los Angeles (1,441), and Chicago (1,005) rounded out the top five markets for the book.

Additional copies will be hitting stores this week.

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