Copies of former President Barack Obama's memoir A Promised Land are displayed for sale at a Barnes & Noble store in New York City on November 17, 2020. JAMIE MCCARTHY-GETTY

Former US President Barack Obama’s new memoir, A Promised Land, is set to become the bestselling presidential memoir in modern history, recording a first-day sale of nearly 890,000 copies.

The first-day sales of the much-talked about memoir outstripped the first-day sales of his wife Michelle Obama bestselling memoir. Michelle Obama’s 2018 memoir, Becoming, sold 725,000 copies on its first day.

Obama’s ‘A Promised Land’ set a first-day sales record for Penguin Random Wednesday.

“We are thrilled with the first day sales,” David Drake, publisher of the Penguin Random House imprint Crown, said in a statement.

He added that, “They reflect the widespread excitement that readers have for President Obama’s highly anticipated and extraordinarily written book.”


Since its initial publication in 2018, Michelle Obama’s memoir has sold more than 10 million copies despite not yet being released in paperback.

Former President Clinton’s ‘My Life’ sold about 400,000 copies on its first day, while former President George W. Bush’s ‘Decision Points’ sold about 220,000 copies on its first day.

Obama’s ‘A Promised Land’ details the first 2½ years of his presidency.

In August, Obama wrote in an introduction that he had not planned for the memoir to be released so close to the presidential election, noting that the book risked a very different reception if Trump was reelected or if the results had still been unknown.

Get more stories like this on Twitter


More Stories