“Becoming”, Michelle Obama’s Memoir, To Make History For The Best-Selling Memoir

With a total of 10 million copies sold, former first lady Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” is on the verge of becoming the best-selling memoir in publishing history according to Bertelsmann. It has sold 7 million copies worldwide in 2018 and another 3 million copies since New Years, pushing the sales figure to 10 million. Also, this figure only includes the company’s English, Spanish and German-language territories.

“I’m not aware, in my personal experience with Penguin Random House, that we ever sold 10 million units of a memoir,” CEO of Penguin Random House, Markus Dohle, told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Topping the bestseller lists, “Becoming” has sold more than 6.2 million units across print, digital, and audio formats in the U.S. and Canada alone since its publication in November, David Drake, executive vice president and publisher of Crown Publishing, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, explained to CBS News. The book “is on pace to become one of the best-selling memoirs of all time” he said.

Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “We believe that these memoirs could well become the most successful memoir ever”. The book was the best-selling adult nonfiction book published in the United States in 2018. Bertelsmann owns a 75% stake in Obama publisher Penguin Random House.

“Becoming” explores the journey from Obama’s childhood in the South Side of Chicago to life after the White House. Her work, motherhood and her time in The White House are all mentioned in the book. The 54-year-old also criticized President Trump in the book, saying she would “never forgive” him for the birther conspiracy claims against her husband, that her husband was not born in the US and thus was not a legitimate president of the US, which put her family’s safety at risk.


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