If you want to sell weighty nonfiction tomes, it helps if your name is Clinton. Knopf, publisher of Bill Clinton’s ”My Life,” announced that the former president’s memoir sold 400,000 copies on Tuesday, the day it was released to stores. That doubles the previous nonfiction first-day sales record, set last year by the author’s wife’s memoir, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ”Living History.”
Even the audiobook version set a first-day record, Knopf said, selling 35,000 copies. ”We are seeing exceedingly strong sales for ‘My Life’ not only across the country but around the world,” Knopf president Sonny Mehta said in a statement. Mehta’s firm said it would add an additional printing of 725,000 copies, bringing the total number of copies in print to 2.25 million, about the same as ”Living History”’s 2.3 million copies.
The former first lady shouldn’t complain, as her husband’s book is boosting sales of her year-old autobiography, sending it back into the top 10 at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. Of course, neither book came close to topping the first-day sales record for fiction set last year by ”Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which moved 5 million copies to Muggles the day it was published.