Authors and publishers in the industry of books by or about Trump.
Book publishing is a business. Book publishing must be a profitable business in order for the publisher to remain in business as a continuing concern.
Anyone who ever published a book understands that truth. It’s a hard truth.
Donald Trump is a gift that keeps on giving to the big publishing houses.
If you can write decent English without spelling errors, you can make money out of your writing. Even if you just write up the gossip of the town.
That’s the way Washington, New York and California journalists make a living. Some of those journalists, and politicians, augment their income by publishing books containing repackaged and repurposed juicy information they acquired from their “reliable sources”.
In recent memory one author-president stands out. Ronald Reagan is now a revered president whose intellectual skills were confirmed years after his election as the 40th president. He wrote his autobiography by the suggestion of a book publisher. It’s estimated that it was 75% his writing. So yes he was assisted by a ghostwriter-editor. In 2001 a big nice volume was released, bearing the title: “Reagan In his Own Hand”. Any serious book editor is a ghostwriter to some degree. The Reagan autobiography book was released in 1965 and it sold over 200,000 copies. Indeed, charismatic presidents generate best-selling books before they are elected to office.
Donald J Trump knows the monetary value of publishing books. He authored (with help of ghost writers), and published 17 books. Four out of these, books where published by a big publishing house – Random House.
Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. Random does not publish at random. Random House publishes books that are deemed to be a financial success.
It really does not matter what you or me think of Trump the book author. Trump does not have to sit (as Reagan did) and write, holding a gold plated Mont Blanc pen. A book can be dictated. It’s more efficient to dictate if you can afford it.
When Trump announced that he is running for president in 2015, a new literary genre was born – books about Trump. It is not clear how many books were published about Trump since 2015. The Guardian newspaper mentioned the number in the thousands of books. Wikipedia has a list of 105 serious and well publicized books about Trump.
Carlos Lozada, the Washington Post book critic, reviewed 150 volumes of books about Trump, in his book – “What Were We Thinking” that Simon & Schuster, released in 2020. Lozada even teaches a course in Notre Dame University on the subject.
Simon & Schuster is a respectable profitable American Publishing House that in 2016 published 2,000 titles.
Books about Trump are serious business and now an academic discipline.
In future coming blogs-papers-articles I intend to review or comment mostly on works published on Trump by three authors. Two of the authors published each 3 titles, on Trump and his presidency. The third author is a politician who wrote and published only two “Trump books” during his presidency.
The first one to jump into the fray was Newt Gingrich. He is the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and a historian by his own bona fides. Gingrich published his first Trump book in 2017. It was published by Center Street owned by Hachette Book Group, the largest publishing company in France. The second volume was released in 2021 by the same publisher.
The second author was Bob Woodward, who published a successive trilogy chronicling the Trump’s presidency. Those Trump-about books were thick 500+ pages hard cover books… (2018, 2020, 2021). Simon & Schuster is big profitable publisher (It had a revenue of $814 million in 2016).
Anything about trump is in the big business league.
The third author is Michael Wolff starting in 2018. The publisher was Henry Holt and Company. It’s a midsize American book-publishing company based in New York. Its revenue is around $30 million. Michael Wolff published with Henry Holt 3 volumes on Trump during his presidency. (2018, 2019, 2021).
I am convinced, and so should you, that writing about Trump is a promising business.
To witness, Donald Trump is quoted saying it best on July 17, 2020:
Many books have been written about me, some good, some bad. Both happily and sadly, there will be more to come.
Note: Donald hasn’t written yet a memoir from his WH years. Too early for that.
Donald Trump doesn’t need to build a Presidential Library… He’ll rename a existing Trump Tower into a Trump Presidential Library…
Lastly, Craig Fehrman published a title: “Author in Chief: The untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote”. Simon & Schuster 2020.