Former first lady Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” could become the best-selling memoir in history. According to Bertelsmann SE, the German media and services conglomerate that has a controlling stake in Penguin Random House, the book just surpassed 10 million copies sold. And those stats only include 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,” chief executive Markus Dohle told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
The book “is on pace to become one of the best-selling memoirs of all time,” David Drake, executive vice president and publisher of Crown Publishing, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, told CBS News.
“We believe this could be the most successful memoir in history,” said Thomas Rabe, a chief executive for the publisher’s co-owner, Bertelsmann.
“Becoming” topped bestseller lists and 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, Drake explained to CBS News. It was the best-selling adult nonfiction book published in the United States in 2018.
The memoir’s history-making release was also followed by a sold-out tour. Obama and her husband, former President Barack Obama, reached a joint agreement with Penguin Random House for their respective books in 2017. The deal was believed to be well in excess of $30 million.
“Becoming” follows the journey from Obama’s childhood in the South Side of Chicago to life after the White House. She also criticizes President Trump in the book, saying she would “never forgive” him for the birther conspiracy claims against her husband, and for putting her family’s safety at risk.