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Wolff’s controversial book tops on NYT best sellers list

By Sheetal Sukhija, New Jersey State News
12 Jan 2018, 07:11 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Even as Washington and the rest of the country continues to try and emerge from the shock of the revelations made in Michael Wolff’s controversial book ‘Fire and Fury’ - copies of the book continued to fly off shelves in the blink of an eye.

With those that haven’t read the book continuing to order it, Fire and Fury set a record in its debut week, selling over 29,000 hardcover copies in its first week of publication.

NPD BookScan announced the numbers and said it was the highest numbers recorded overall for books last week and is likely to grow far higher in future reports.

Meanwhile, the publisher said it was struggling to keep up with demand for the hardcover book after it was revealed that the book had debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times’ best sellers list. 

The controversial book about U.S. President Donald Trump’s chaotic White House released four day earlier than planned as intensive global news coverage about excerpts from the book rose curiosity on what it contained. 

The book also faced a legal threat from one of Trump’s personal attorneys.

Last week, an attorney for the president sent a cease-and-desist letter to Holt, asking for publication to be withheld. 

However, Sargent has issued a company memo defending the decision to publish “Fire and Fury” and a Macmillan attorney has said the publisher planned no retraction or apology.

Some explosive quotes attributed to Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon sent the book to the No. 1 on Amazon’s best selling books chart. 

The book has stayed on top ever since and now, Amazon shows a two to four-week delay in hardcover deliveries for the book. 

On Thursday, the publisher, Henry Holt & Co., said the company has struggled to keep up with demand and said that it has received orders for more than one million copies.

Earlier this week, Macmillan, CEO of Henry Holt's parent company said, “We have never seen a book sell at this rate here at Macmillan."

The publisher is also facing harsh criticism for not printing more copies in advance of the release date.

In a statement to Wall Street Journal, Macmillan's CEO, John Sargent said that there "we would never have predicted" Trump's attacks against the book "and thus never have predicted the full scope of demand."

Meanwhile, according to reports, a shortage of hardcover copies has led to a spike in sales of the ebook. 

Sargent was quoted as saying that "hundreds of thousands of e-books" have been purchased since last Friday, when the book was released.

Kristen McLean, the NPD Group’s book industry analyst said, “The first couple of days of sales figures aren’t giving us the full picture. Because of potential distribution issues related to the early release coupled with high demand, it may take a few weeks to see exactly where this book will land in comparison to other political best-sellers of the last few years.”

McLean pointed out that Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened,” which came out last September, was on her stunning presidential election loss in 2016 to Trump and had one of the biggest first weeks in recent history for a non-fiction book. 

Simon & Schuster announced at the time that the book averaged sales of over 30,000 hardcover copies in the combined formats of hardcover, e-book and audio per day in its opening week. 

She said that that book “was hugely anticipated and very well stocked.”

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