Former first lady Michelle Obama has a hit book on her hands. Her memoir, Becoming, has swiftly moved off the book shelves since its debut. One week after her book’s release, it sold more than 1.4 million copies in the U.S. and Canada across all formats, according to Crown Publishing, as reported by the Associated Press.
Becoming is the fastest-selling book of the year, according to Barnes & Noble, as reported by the Washington Post. It even surpassed the first week of sales of Bob Woodward’s Fear, and far surpassed the first week of sales of former first lady Hillary Clinton’s memoir, Living History.
The launch of the memoir was helped by Oprah Winfrey choosing the book for her 2018 book club. Winfrey also helped at a sold-out appearance for the book’s launch.
Obama’s memoir reflects on her personal experiences that helped shape her life, including her childhood in Chicago. The book looks into her years as an executive, as well as motherhood, and the challenge of balancing the two.
“We knew Becoming was going to be one of the biggest books of the year, but it has now officially had the best first week of sales of any book in 2018, and is among the fastest sellers in Barnes & Noble history,” Liz Harwell, senior director of merchandising at Barnes & Noble, told the Washington Post. “This is definitely the must-have book of the holiday season.”
Crown Publishing told the Associated Press that “Becoming” is also in the top spot for adult nonfiction in the United Kingdom, Holland, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and France. Given the demand for her book, the publisher printed 3 million hardcover copies in anticipation of sales. The figures for Becoming book sales include all formats in all retailers.
Obama is touring 10 cities to market her memoir. Her hometown of Chicago was her first stop on the tour. She also had a sold-out appearance in Washington as well. The next stop on her tour is Saturday in Boston, with Philadelphia, New York, Detroit, Denver, and San Jose on the list. Obama ends her tour in Dallas on December 17.
There have reportedly been complaints regarding the price of tickets for a seat on the book tour.
“Michelle Obama is speaking at a venue more common for rock stars and commanding rock-star-like prices,” Stephen Spiewak of Vivid Seats, an online ticket reseller, told the Washington Post.
But according to the Associated Press, 10 percent of ticket sales is being donated to local charities.