Following Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, at least three publishers are rushing out books targeted to help readers who oppose Trump to cope over the next four years. Two of the books—What We Do Now: Standing Up for Your Values in Trump’s America from Melville House and The Trump Survival Guide from Dey Street—will be in stores before Inauguration Day, set for January 20. The third, Radical Hope, will be released early in Trump’s presidency by Vintage.
What We Do Now will feature 1,000 to 2,000–word essays from 27 well-known progressives, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Gloria Steinem, Paul Krugman, and Robert Reich. According to Melville publisher Dennis Johnson, each was asked to provide advice to people in their area of expertise on what they can do to voice their concerns over the next four years. Johnson came up with the idea after discussing Trump’s victory with a depressed Melville staff immediately after the election. He told them how Melville had published a book about on how to stand up to George W. Bush after his 2004 re-election, and the staff urged him to do a similar book now.
Johnson said the book came together quickly once he started reaching out for contributions. Although pieces from Sanders and Warren are taken from previously released materials, Johnson said he was “impressed with how seriously everyone took the request and wanted to write something original.”
What We Do Now is set to be released as a $15.95 trade paperback on January 17. Johnson said he was able to turn around the book rapidly with the help of Melville’s distributor, Penguin Random House, which was able to get the book printed quickly. According to Johnson, initial reaction to the book has been encouraging, and he is looking at a 15,000 copy first printing.
Harper’s The Trump Survival Guide is written by Gene Stone, and will be released January 10 as a $9.99 trade paperback. Although Stone had previously written The Bush Survival Bible, a humorous take on Bush’s re-election, Maureen Cole, associate director of publicity at Dey Street, an imprint of HarperCollins, said The Trump Survival Guide “is a serious call to action for all anti-Trump dissenters.”
Matthew Daddona, the book’s editor, said The Trump Survival Guide is aimed at people looking for answers and ways to mobilize following Trump’s victory. In the book, Stone gives a background on the different issues that are at stake over the next four years and provides lists of organizations and resources for promoting progressive action. The book has an announced first printing of 100,000 copies.
Vintage’s Radical Hope is an anthology of essays from various authors and activists compiled by Carolina De Robertis. De Robertis, a professor and writer, said the idea for the book came three days after the election, when she was looking for a way to respond to “the wave of pain, sorrow, and fear” that was taken place in her “diverse communities.” (De Robertis is a gay woman and immigrant with a black wife.)
De Robertis said she asked authors to write 800 to 2,500–word “socially conscious love letters in the tradition of ‘My Dungeon Shook,' the first essay in James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.” She has received 26 submissions, and is hoping for a few more before the manuscript is completed. Each writer can address the letter to whomever he or she chooses.
The book was acquired by Knopf/Vintage editor-at-large Carole Baron. Baron said she was eager to work with De Robertis to help her get the voices of people who are troubled by Trump’s election heard. “Publishing Radical Hope is the way I see myself being able to speak up and speak out for what I believe in," she said: "That all voices deserve to be heard; that hope is needed more than ever; and dissent is essential in a democracy.”
De Robertis said she hopes the book, which does not yet have a pub date, will serve as “an antidote to despair; a balm, a salve, a rallying cry, a lyrical manifesto, a power source, a torch to light the way.”