Joe Posnanski's Paterno sold 11,439 copies in its first week, good enough to place it #1 on the adult nonfiction frontlist bestseller list, edging the #2 book, Obama's America by Dinesh D'Souza, by just over 300 copies. On the overall adult bestseller list across all titles, Paterno landed at #15. The numbers are according to Nielsen BookScan.

Regionally, areas of Pennsylvania saw the highest sales, with five of the top six areas coming from the state. The top sales areas were: Philadelphia, Harrisburg-York-Lancaster-Lebanon, Johnstown-Altoona, New York, Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, and Pittsburgh.

In the days leading up to its publication on August 21, the book was ranked around #30 on Amazon's bestseller list, and it gradually slid throughout last week. As of August 29, the book is ranked #158 and #659 for Kindle.