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Do Pro-Trump or Anti-Trump Books Sell Better? Here's What the Data Shows

Ryan Teague Beckwith
If you were an author writing about Donald Trump, is it better to write a book praising him or one critical of him?

Donald Trump has made America read again. Since the beginning of the year, every New York Times bestseller has been about the 45th president, according to CNN. And that’s not to mention the classic dystopian novels that shot up the list in 2017.

But if you’re an author writing about President Trump, would you do better with a book praising him or one critical of him?

To answer that question, we gathered data from the Times nonfiction list of bestsellers on every book explicitly about Trump since his election in 2016.

That gave us a list of seven books supporting Trump, including books like “Understanding Trump” by Newt Gingrich and “Billionaire at the Barricades” by Laura Ingraham, and ten that were more critical, such as “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff and “Russian Roulette” by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

The results were clear: All of the books except Wolff’s had a quick decline in sales after their first week on the list, which is not uncommon. The pro-Trump books spent a median of three weeks on the bestseller list, while books critical of Trump have done slightly better, spending a median of three and a half weeks on the list. Both types of books had a median highest rank of third place.

The list does not include James Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” which is too new to be included in the data set. But Comey’s book, which is highly critical of Trump, is already selling well.

Each book is graphed above by its cumulative weeks appearing on the Times bestseller list, even if there were weeks in between where it did not make the cut.