Remember that exhausting parade of Trump insiders and ex-staffers getting book deals for dishy tell-alls? Turns out no one’s really interested in reading them. Politico went digging around NPD Bookscan (which reflects about 70 percent of sales) to get the receipts:
The Chief’s Chief [by former chief of staff Mark Meadows] has sold only 21,569 books… The memoir of Deborah Birx, the Covid response coordinator under Trump, has sold fewer than 6,000 copies; Dr. Scott Atlas’ book sold 27,013 copies; Dr. Ben Carson’s book sold 21,786 copies; former White House press secretary turned Trump critic Stephanie Grisham sold 38,249 books; counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway has sold 42,273 books since it was published in late May; and former defense secretary Mark Esper sold 20,900 books. Former attorney general Bill Barr sold 64,103 books.
(For comparison, John Bolton’s Hamilton fanfic The Room Where It Happens has sold 680,949 copies, and James Comey’s weed memoir A Higher Loyalty has sold 626,810.)
Peter Navarro did the best of the bunch, selling 80,218 copies of In Trump Time, those as Politico notes, that book, “unlike the others, is less a revelation about life inside the former administration than an ode to Trump’s approach to governance.”
“It’s boring people cashing in by saying the same things they’ve been saying all along,” an anonymous “publishing world insider” told Politico. “If you don’t have big news nuggets, and you’re not telling MAGA what they most want to hear, you’re wasting your publisher’s money. The amazing thing is that Conway, Barr, Birx, and Esper got over 5 million [in advance money] between them.”
“Since he left office, the Trump memoirs have not done great,” another anonymous “top publishing executive” told Politico. “Each of the people who have written a book so far was telling stories that we pretty much already knew.”
Now perhaps, at last, publishing will stop giving these people book deals?