2018-04-13 17:09:53 UTC
The publisher of James Comey's book "A Higher Loyalty" is printing 850,000
copies to meet the expected demand from buyers.
To put that number in perspective: The initial print run of Michael Wolff's book
"Fire and Fury" was just 150,000 copies.
Comey's book is shaping up to be the second political publishing industry
sensation of the year. It is already guaranteed to be a best-seller based solely
on the number of pre-orders.
Both books come from the same publishing house, Macmillan, but from different
divisions. Macmillan has acknowledged that it did not fully anticipate the
interest in Wolff's book. Neither did booksellers. That's because the "Fury"
furor came out of nowhere in January, when excerpts from Wolff's explosive book
leaked out and the president's legal team tried to halt publication.
"Fury" sold out quickly and the publisher took what it called "unprecedented"
steps to print more copies. The publisher says more than 2 million copies have
been sold across all formats.
With Comey, the publisher had time to be better prepared. Interest in Comey's
account of his time serving as FBI director under President Trump has been
building for months.
"This is the largest first printing we've done so far this year," Macmillan
president Don Weisberg told CNNMoney.
Last month a tweet from President Trump helped lift Comey's book to #1 on
Amazon's constantly-updated best sellers list. The book has been near the top of
the list ever since. On Thursday, as the leaks of Comey's book began, it
returned to #1 on Amazon.
The surge of pre-orders helped the publisher determine how many copies to print.
With "Fire and Fury," "A Higher Loyalty" and other titles, Trump is rejuvenating
at least one corner of the publishing industry.
There's an expectation that he'll keep tweeting, blasting Comey, and that those
tweets will juice interest in the book even more.
At the Macmillan imprint that's behind the book, Flatiron Books, executives
weren't surprised when quotes from the book leaked on Thursday. In fact, they
were surprised there hadn't been a leak earlier.