Books are back?

Most of 2020 was clouded with bad news, but maybe there’s a flicker of good news mixed in. Across the board all genres of books saw sales gains from the previous year. According to Nielsen Bookscan the total number of books sold was 751 million. This was the best year for book sales since 2010!

Just writing that is amazing. The top selling book of the year was former President Obama’s A Promised Land. Unsurprisingly. There are several factors at play here and who really knows what will happen in the coming years, but people are buying and reading books, and there’s not a single negative when that happens.

The bestselling books of 2020:

A Promised Land – Barack Obama

Midnight Sun – Stephenie Meyer

Dog Man: Grime and Punishment – Dav Pilkey

Too Much and Never Enough – Mary Trump

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

Untamed – Glennon Doyle

The Deep End – Jeff Kinney

White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy

Did you read any of these last year?

A Promised Land Breaks the Bookstore

I really thought that was a clever title. 😂

I wrote last week about President Obama’s first volume of his new memoir. Everyone knew it would sell well. But in reality, it sold 1.7 million copies its first week in North America. I haven’t seen the numbers in other regions.

I don’t know what the break even point for the publisher is, but the Obamas received a mammoth publishing deal a few years back of $50M+. How long until the two of them have their own imprint somewhere? It wouldn’t even matter if it focused on a specific genre or set of issues. It has to be in the works, right? What do you think? Did you get the book?

A Highly Anticipated New Release

Today former President Obama’s first volume of his presidential memoirs will be released. It’s likely on par with any new release of the last decade.

I didn’t pre-order and likely won’t be buying it soon, but just its release got me thinking about 2018’s Becoming by Michelle Obama. I read recently it has sold more than 10 million copies. Of you can recall, her book tour was a massive success in cities all over the country and crowds filling arenas to see her speak about her experiences and her book.

There will be no such tour for Barack. With Covid-19 cases surging in many parts of the country and restrictions being put in place again, any event would be virtual. No one here feels sorry for him. He’s living his best life. But I do think having a book tour would have given lots of people the chance to hear from him directly up close and personal. I’m sure he’s still going to sell millions of books.