In the last four years, there have been more than 1,200 unique titles about Mr. Trump, compared to around 500 books about former President Barack Obama and his administration during Mr. Obama’s first term, according to an analysis by NPD BookScan. There have been so many high-profile books about the Trump era that there’s even a forthcoming book about all the Trump books: “What Were We Thinking,” by the Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada, who surveys some 150 titles that try to explain how Trump won and has governed, and what his presidency tells us about the country that elected him.
Also driving the unusually high volume and sales of Trump books is the churn of turnover in the West Wing, accelerating the normal timeline for insider accounts, which usually arrive after a president has left office. Mr. Trump has expressed his outrage over some of the books, responding with irate tweets and legal complaints that drive even more news coverage and further sales boosts.
Some in the industry credit the soaring sales of political books with lifting the industry overall in recent months, in spite of the pandemic and economic crisis. Print unit sales are up more than five percent this year so far compared to the same period in 2019, according to NPD BookScan.
With just two months before Election Day, a bumper crop of Trump books is landing. Next month, Skyhorse, an independent publisher, is rushing out “Disloyal,” a memoir from Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, who made explosive claims about Mr. Trump’s behavior in a foreword he released on his website. Skyhorse is anticipating a hit, with a first printing of 600,000.
Other significant Trump books coming next month include Mr. Woodward’s “Rage,” an investigative work that details Mr. Trump’s dealings with North Korea and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic; a memoir from Rick Gates, a high-level aide on the 2016 campaign and a witness in the Russia investigation; a book by Andrew Weissmann, the lead prosecutor in the special counsel’s office; a book about the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s election interference by Peter Strzok, a former F.B.I. deputy assistant director of counterintelligence, and “Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President,” by Michael S. Schmidt, an investigative reporter for The New York Times.
There is also “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,” by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and adviser to the first lady. She has said that she was forced out of the administration and “thrown under the bus” following reports about excessive spending on the inauguration, which she was closely involved in.
“There’s always some publisher or some agent saying the interest in Trump is exhausted, this book did really well, but no one wants to read anymore about this,” said Matt Latimer, a founder of Javelin, a Washington-based literary agency. “And then another book comes out that everyone wants to read. And it never ends.”