Michelle Obama’s candid recount of her time at the White House is projected to be the most popular memoir ever.
According to People, the former first lady’s memoir Becoming has sold nearly 10 million copies since its release in November 2018. The book was published through Penguin Random House, which claims the astonishing numbers are unexpected for a memoir.
“I’m not aware, in my personal experience with Penguin Random House, that we ever sold 10 million units of a memoir,” said Markus Dohle, who is the chief executive for Penguin.
The Washington Post reported that Becoming sold 725,000 copies on its first day and 2 million copies in its first 15 days in store. The 10 million copies the memoir is subjected to make includes hardcover, audiobooks, and e-books. It has also been a No. 1 seller in countries such as Greece, Germany, and the UK.
Becoming is the first of a two-book deal the Obamas made with Penguin shortly after former president Barack left office. The couple reportedly earned a $65 million advance to tell their stories. In addition to the White House, Mrs. Obama discusses growing up in Chicago, her time at Harvard, motherhood, and her marriage to the 44th POTUS. She discussed with People in an at-home interview the importance of her and her husband being open about their past marital problems, which resulted in the two going to marriage counseling at one point.
“Because we’re role models, it’s important for us to be honest and say, ‘If you’re in a marriage and there are times you want to leave, that’s normal,’ because I felt that way,” she said.
The former first lady, 55, has been on tour promoting her memoir to sold-out shows across the country. Her stops have been filled with her having conversations with prominent women in Hollywood and business. Some of the stars that shared the stage with her have been Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Oprah Winfrey, and Jimmy Kimmel. A ticket to attend the tour is reportedly priced in the thousands for a VIP entry. Like the book, Michelle speaks about the pressure of being the first African-American first lady, per The Washington Post.
“For eight years, I don’t think I took a full breath because everything mattered,” Obama said during her tour stop in Tacoma. “We couldn’t slip up.”
The author and advocate will reportedly be appearing in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Paris, among other cities, before returning to the U.S. to end her tour in Nashville on May 12 with a discussion moderated by Stephen Colbert. Barack Obama, 57, will reportedly release his memoir later this year.