- Donald Trump has yet to sign a deal with a major publisher for his presidential memoir.
- Trump might fear getting a smaller advance than Barack Obama, a publishing executive told Politico.
- As a consequence, Trump could choose to self-publish the memoir, the exec said.
Former President Donald Trump could circumvent major publishing houses in order to avoid the humiliation of getting a smaller advance for his memoirs than former President Barack Obama, an unnamed publishing executive told Politico.
Trump has yet to sign a publishing deal for a memoir about his term as president.
Some publishers told The Guardian in June that many major publishing companies have concerns about the likelihood of the former president pushing false and unproven claims — such as his continual assertion that the 2020 election was stolen from him — and the possible ramifications of that.
Instead, Trump has so far released a photo book of his time in the White House, for which he contributed the captions.
The book was published by Winning Team Publishing, which is run by a former campaign aide and Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., indicating that the former president could be more willing to do business with friendlier publishing ventures.
Another possibility is that he will publish the memoir himself, having recently launched his own media venture, the Trump Media and Technology Group, which he has claimed will rival traditional media outlets.
Speaking to Politico, the unnamed publishing executive speculated that the president could also be motivated by a desire not to be outdone by his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama.
“My suspicion is Trump is self-publishing because he doesn’t want the humiliation of getting a smaller advance than he has before or anyone finding out that it is smaller than Obama’s,” the executive said.
“I imagine that’s as big a part of it as anything.”
Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, got a $60 million advance
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
Obama and former first lady Michelle reportedly secured a $60 million advance from Penguin Random House for the rights to publish their memoirs.
President Obama’s book, “A Promised Land,” broke early sales records for a presidential memoir when it was published in 2020. Before publishing his post-presidency memoirs, Obama had written three other books: “Dreams from My Father,” in 1995, “The Audacity of Hope,” in 2007, and a children’s book titled “Of Thee I Sing,” in 2010.
“Becoming,” Michelle Obama’s memoir, was the best-selling book of 2018 in the US, despite being published that November.
Trump also has a long history of publishing books, having put his name to a series of 19 books on business and real estate, many of which were written by ghostwriters.