Customers that couldn't get a physical copy of Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury were in good company. According to figures from NPD BookScan, the hottest book of the year sold 28,567 print copies in the two days it was available for sale last week. BookScan covers 80- 85% of all print sales, excluding those through libraries.
Although the figure is surprisingly low for a book that has captured the attention of the media and the President in such striking fashion, that number was still enough to make the White House tell-all the top-selling title in the country last week.
John Sargent, CEO of Holt parent company Macmillan, told the Wall Street Journal that Fire and Fury had a 150,000-copy first printing. The discrepancy between the announced first printing and last week's sales is likely, in part, the result of Holt moving the book's publication date up, from January 9 to January 5. Shipments of the book that were timed to hit stores early this week may have been on the road over the weekend. An executive at Macmillan said he expects that there will be enough copies in the pipeline by Janaury 15 to meet the immediate needs of most accounts.
The demand for the book was expressed more fairly through its e-book sales. The digital edition of Fire and Fury outsold the hardcover at Barnes & Noble (B&N sold over 9,000 print copies) and was #1 in the iBooks store last week. The book is also #1 in Amazon's Kindle store. (Fire and Fury remains in the top spot on Amazon's hardcover bestseller list, despite the fact that the retailer is still reporting that the print book will take two to four weeks to ship.)
Looking at sales regionally, Fire and Fury moved the most number of copies in New York City, where 2,554 print titles were sold, according to BookScan. The second biggest market for the book was the San Francisco area, where 1,704 copies were sold. Washington, D.C (1,637), Los Angeles (1,441), and Chicago (1,005) rounded out the top five markets for the book.
Sargent has told the press that Holt has received 1 million orders for the book.
This story has been updated with new information.