There is a consensus among independent booksellers in red states as well as blue states that a Donald Trump presidential memoir would not be a big hit with their customers. One-third of approximately two dozen booksellers surveyed by PW responded that they would order copies, though most said they would order small quantities. About half would only fill special orders. Five booksellers said they would not carry the book under any circumstances.
Sarah Bagby, the owner of Watermark Books in Wichita, Kans., a state that Trump won in 2020, said, “If a publisher has decided to publish a book ‘by’ Donald Trump, I would carry a few copies to start. Half the country voted for Trump. Some of them are my neighbors. I am a businesswoman. I sell books, most of them very good.”
Meg Wasmer, co-owner of Copper Dog Books, in Beverly, Mass., said, “It’s not my place to decide what our customers read. While I don’t think it would do well in my community in the way [Michelle Obama’s] Becoming did, or the way I believe [Barack Obama’s] A Promised Land will do, I absolutely will let my readers make the choice to purchase it or not.”
And Jill Hendrix, co-owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C., noted that “about 40%–45% of the country voted for him, and higher than that in my area, so there’s definitely a market.”
Though Tennesseeans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Trump this year, Angela Redden, co-owner of Reading Rock Books in Dickson said that she would only fill special orders, explaining, “I’ve gotten stuck with too many conservative books in the past.”
North Carolina narrowly went to Trump this year, and in Raleigh, Amber Neva Brown, the inventory manager of Quail Ridge Books, said that the store would carry a Trump memoir but might not promote it on social media.
A few booksellers in Democratic strongholds didn’t mince words when asked whether they would carry a Trump memoir. Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, co-owner of Solid State Books in Washington, D.C., less than three miles from the White House, said, “There is absolutely no way we would sell a book by Donald J. Trump. That particular Rubicon was crossed long, long ago.”
And David Sandberg, co-owner of Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., said he would special order it. “We would expect that [a memoir] would be inflammatory, untruthful, uncivil, incendiary, and antidemocratic, and that few if any of our customers would have any interest in it,” he added.