Copies of Michael Wolff’s incendiary new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” have flown off the shelves of local bookstores at a shocking pace.
Within 15 minutes of independent bookstore Politics & Prose opening Friday, all 84 copies were gone. Kramerbooks sold about 75 copies of the book when sales began at midnight Friday. Every copy was gone before the store closed at 1 a.m.
“Everybody was caught unaware,” Politics & Prose co-owner Bradley Graham said. “I don’t know if anybody saw the surge in demand coming.”
Dozens of people came to buy a copy to find the shelf empty, and Politics & Prose accepted dozens of preorders for the next shipment.
“I don’t know if anyone has any in stock,” Graham said.
The title’s publisher, Henry Holt & Co., is working to get more copies to bookstores, Graham said.
Politics & Prose managed to get a second delivery of the books Friday afternoon and workers there were busy into the evening taking calls and selling copies.
“Fire and Fury” was marketed as the “first inside account of the most controversial presidency in U.S. history.” But the book itself became embroiled in controversy after President Donald Trump responded to statements in the book credited to Steve Bannon, a former top adviser.
“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said about Bannon’s alleged comments, which Bannon has neither confirmed nor denied.
It’s been widely reported that the book contains many allegations of disorganization and discord in the White House, which the administration has denied. NBC News has not confirmed much of what appears in the Michael Wolff book.
The officials’ denials failed to quell interest. The book, and Trump’s comments, made headlines and took the first spot on Amazon’s best seller list. Publishers moved up the Jan. 9 release date, instead allowing stores to sell copies beginning at midnight Friday.
“There have been a lot of popular books before,” Graham said. “‘Those were anticipated. People knew those would be best-sellers.”
In sleepy January, however, independent bookstore owners are welcoming the sales boon, Graham said.