The ‘Trump Bump’ for Books Has Been Significant. Can It Continue?

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Penguin also acquired a new book from the Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the co-authors of “A Very Stable Genius,” published early this year. Their sequel will explore the last year of Mr. Trump’s presidency, as he faced impeachment, played down the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, was hospitalized with Covid-19 and fought to overturn the results of the election. Doubleday, another Penguin Random House imprint, acquired a book that will be co-written by Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, and Susan Glasser, a writer for The New Yorker, which will analyze how Trump has changed the culture and politics of Washington.

“The books that will endure are those that shape historical perspectives about the period,” said Kristine Puopolo, editorial director of nonfiction at Doubleday. “We’re moving into a new phase where we are going to see Trump as history. We’ve seen that it is only after people leave an administration that they’re open to being completely candid.”

In some ways, the continued tsunami of titles is no surprise. Whenever a new president enters the White House, there’s often a surge of books that analyze the previous administration, the key moments of the election and the challenges that the new president will face.

Still, there’s no doubt that publishers are likely to soon face the end of a very lucrative era. Trump’s presidency has been an enormous boon for the publishing industry, with breakout hits by former administration officials (John Bolton, James Comey and “Anonymous,” who later revealed himself as Miles Taylor, a former official at the Department of Homeland Security), exposés by journalists (Woodward, Michael Wolff) and tell-alls from estranged confidantes and protégés (Michael Cohen, Omarosa Manigault Newman). One of the year’s top-selling nonfiction books, Mary Trump’s “Too Much and Never Enough,” sold more than 1.3 million copies in the first week after its release; she recently sold a second book to St. Martin’s about Trump’s impact on the nation.

In sheer volume, Trump books dwarf works released about the previous administration during its first term: There have been more than 1,200 unique titles about Mr. Trump published in the last four years, compared to around 500 books about former President Barack Obama and his administration during his first term, according to an analysis by NPD BookScan.

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