Jun 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ex-Trump aide books written after 2020 lag in sales

Former U.S. President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
Former President Trump gives keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Coalition at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Photo: Seth Herald/Getty Images

The barrage of books published by ex-President Trump aides and administration officials after he lost the 2020 election promised "receipts" and revelations into the Trump White House.

Why it matters: But the boon in books — written by high-profile administration officials, including Mark Meadows and Stephanie Grisham — have lagged in readership and largely struggled to stand out, Politico first reported.

By the numbers: Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, published "The Chief's Chief" a year after the 2020 election, promising a "frank, candid account" of the administration.

  • Meadows has so far sold 21,569 books, per NPD BookScan data, a market research firm that tracks book sales.
  • Trump's COVID response coordinator Deborah Birx has sold fewer than 6,000 copies of her book, which chronicles the administration's COVID-19 response.
  • Scott Atlas, a COVID-19 adviser under Trump, has sold some 27,000 copies of his book, "A Plague Upon Our House."
  • Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has sold 38,249 copies, which promised to reveal "surprising new scandals."
  • Kellyanne Conway's book, published in late May, has sold 42,273 copies.
  • Former attorney general Bill Barr sold 64,103 books.
  • Former defense secretary Mark Esper sold 20,900 books.
  • Former Trump aide Peter Navarro's book, which Politico called an "ode to Trump’s approach to governance," has sold 80,218 copies.

The big picture: Two books published while Trump was in the White House racked up significantly more sales, per Politico.

  • Former national security adviser John Bolton's book, "The Room Where it Happened," has sold 680,949 copies.
  • Former FBI director James Comey's book, "A Higher Loyalty," has sold 626,810 copies, according to Bookscan data.

Between the lines: While Bookscan data does not include the full extent of book sales — it reflects about 70% of hardcover sales and doesn't account for ebook and audio uploads — it still provides a glimpse into readers' appetite for the content.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details and data from NPD BookScan on the number of books sold.

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