Henry Holt's efforts to rush more copies of Fire and Fury to stores appears to have partly met demand for the book. According to NPD BookScan, which tracks 80% to 85% of print sales, Michael Wolff's tell-all book about the Trump White House sold 191,838 copies in the week ended January 14. The sales capture figures for what marks the title's first full week of sales.
Holt has been working to get more copies of the in-demand book into the pipeline since January 4, when explosive excerpts from Fire were leaked, pre-publication, in a handful of news outlets. Widespread media coverage of the book followed, as did action from President Trump, who sent a cease and desist letter to Holt demanding that the Macmillan imprint cease publication of the title.
The attention on the title spurred Holt to bump up the book's publication date, from January 9 to January 5. Despite a 150,000-copy first printing, Holt was unable to get enough titles into stores (and to Amazon) to meet the demand over the January 6-7 weekend. As a result, Holt sold under 30,000 copies on January 5 and 6, the two days Fire and Fury was available before weekly sales are measured by BookScan.
To meet the growing demand, John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, said last week that it had shipped an additional 700,000 copies of the book. Sargent stressed that Macmillan was working with its printer and other vendors to get copies into the market as quickly as possible.
The sale of 191,838 copies easily made Fire and Fury the biggest selling title last week. The vast majority of its sales came through BookScan's retail and club channel, which includes bookstores and Amazon. Less than 1,000 copies were sold via mass merchandisers and other outlets.
Despite this robust sales figure, Holt still has a long way to go to meet demand for the book. Last week, Sargent said the company had 1.4 million orders for Fire. This morning Amazon was still showing a wait of two to four weeks to ship Fire to its customers. Still, the book was listed as Amazon's top-selling title, followed by David Cay Johnston's It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump White House is Doing to America, which was released by Simon & Schuster on January 16.