Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, sold over 300,000 copies across all formats in its first week on sale, publisher Simon & Schuster said this morning.
The lion's share of those sales were of the hardcover edition, which moved 167,000 copies, according to NPD BookScan. (BookScan tracks 80-85% of all print unit sales.) The remaining sales were of e-books and audio. S&S noted that What Happened's first week of digital audio sales were the best in the publisher's history.
What Happened was easily the bestselling print title last week; Ken Follett’s new novel, A Column of Fire, clocked in at second place with 49,000 copies sold. The second highest-selling adult nonfiction title was Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown, which sold approximately 42,000 copies. S&S has gone back to press three times for the hardcover of What Happened and said there are now 800,000 copies in print.
Clinton has been on an all-out media blitz for the book, and is in the early stages of a tour that will feature traditional bookstore signings (albeit at large venues) with speaking engagements at major arenas.
Released on September 12, What Happened has drawn generally positive reviews. The New York Times called the book a "score-settling jubilee" that "is worth reading.” The PW review was more muted, noting that “Clinton's retelling of the race often reads like campaign literature, with glossy montages of policy proposals, [and] inspirational portraits of herself as an icon of women's empowerment."
Sales of What Happened were stronger than Clinton's last major book, but not as solid as her first significant title. Living History, released in June 2003 two years after the Clintons left the White House (and before the advent of e-books), sold 438,000 copies in week one, according to NPD BookScan. Hard Choices, which was published in June 2014 and focused on Clinton's time as Secretary of State, sold about 86,000 copies.