The 2017 Ivanka Trump book Women Who Work is said to be losing money for Portfolio, a division of publishing giant Penguin. The Trump book, which Ivanka Trump said she wrote to empower women was published in May of 2017 and has seen disappointing sales, despite the fact that it got a boost from the Donald Trump presidency. Penguin is said to be discouraged that the sales for the Trump book did not even cover the advance paid to Ivanka Trump.
Women Who Work is Ivanka Trump’s second book. Trump’s first book, Trump Card was published in 2009 and focused on young women entering the workforce for the first time.
Ivanka Trump’s Book Has Been a Money-Loser For Penguin Books
Per her contract with Penguin, Ivanka Trump gets to keep her advance for Women Who Work, but unless the book is profitable, she won’t make any more money for the project. But as an employee of the White House and as a senior advisor to the Trump administration, Ivanka Trump still has to disclose the project and the advance she got from Penguin while she was a federal employee (despite the fact that Ivanka Trump claims she is not a paid Trump employee). Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner ran into some difficulty after they started working in the White House when they failed to disclose all of their income. Kushner and Trump have an art collection said to be worth $50 million.
“Federal employees are required to disclose artwork if it is held for investment purposes and is worth more than $1,000.”
Ivanka Trump’s Book Only Sold 31,900 Copies To Date
Forbes says that Portfolio, a division of Penguin anticipated greater sales of the Ivanka Trump book, Women Who Work than the 31,900 copies sold since May 2017. Penguin paid Ivanka Trump $787,500 as an advance, but to date, the book has only made $566k in sales. Most book contracts only pay an author royalties after the sales exceed what was paid out in the advance, and Ivanka Trump’s book has not met this threshold. In working with publishing experts, Forbes discovered that the Ivanka Trump book Women Who Work actually has lost Penguin $220k.
The Ivanka Trump book would have to sell over 200k books for Trump to break even and get royalties according to a publishing executive.
“This is not a moneymaker for [Penguin Random House]. They’re so under water.”
Negative reviews contributed to the poor sales for the Ivanka Trump book. Over 41 percent of those confirmed Amazon buyers of Women Who Work gave the Trump book one star. Many argued that Ivanka Trump’s writing and her message was not stimulating enough.
One reviewer said that Ivanka’s book was not an easy read, though they applaud her successes.
“I’d like to stress here that I believe Ivanka is a smart, accomplished woman and a hard worker—someone who would have gone far in life no matter who her father was. But that doesn’t make reading her book any easier.”
Alia makes "clothes for brands including Ivanka Trump". When told about— Kris Pelletier (@KK_Pelletier) January 11, 2018
" ... Trump’s new book on women in the workplace, she burst out laughing. Her idea of work-life balance, she said, would be if she could see her children more than once a month." https://t.co/vTXvY4c3l5
In Women Who Work, Ivanka Trump wrote that her goal in writing her book and building her business was to uplift women, and not exclusively to make money, says Bustle.
“I designed a company around a larger mission, so whether you’re trying on a pair of my heels or perusing my Web site for interviewing tips, my ‘why’ is to provide you – a woman who works – with solutions and inspiration. It’s the ‘why’ behind the Women Who Work initiative and my brand that gets me out of bed at the crack of dawn every morning.”
Reviews For The Trump Book Women Who Work Was Less Than Stellar
But a large part of the criticism by the press and those who reviewed the Ivanka Trump book Women Who Work was that Ivanka Trump is out of touch, having been born with a proverbial silver spoon in her mouth. Trump was also criticized for “skimming” information from other sources without adequate source notes.
NPR‘s Annalisa Quinn said that the Trump book lacked depth.
“Ostensibly a business guide for women, Women Who Work is a long simper of a book, full of advice so anodyne…you could almost scramble the sentences and come out with something just as coherent.”
Quinn said that reading the Ivanka Trump book Women Who Work could be likened to “eating scented cotton balls.”