Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” which officially published today, is the No. 1 best seller on Amazon under the category of Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Lawyers & Judges. Of course, it’s also the top-selling book on the site as a whole.
The publishing industry might have to think back to Harry Potter’s heyday for a book that has garnered as much attention as the former first lady’s has. Secondary sellers of tickets for Obama’s upcoming rock ’n’ roll-like arena tour have high hopes of their own. Floor seats for the event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Dec. 1 are currently being offered on StubHub for between $1,000 and nearly $4,000.
Also like a rock band, Obama is hitting the road with a significant merchandise table, offering hoodies, mugs, onesies and other items festooned with her own motivational sayings. (The label on a $35 candle reads: “Find your flame and keep it lit.”) Unlike most rockers, however, the net proceeds of Obama’s merch sales will go to charity: her own Global Girls Alliance, centered on the education of adolescent girls around the world.
Obama’s book has gotten a little-needed additional boost from Oprah Winfrey, who has made it her next book club selection. Winfrey also interviews Obama in the December issue of Elle magazine. Obama and her publisher, Crown, struck a deal with Hearst Magazines to promote the memoir across several of the company’s publications and websites.
“Becoming” includes criticisms of President Trump, but Obama maintains a mostly personal focus in the book, sharing details of her upbringing in Chicago as well as intimate scenes from her marriage, including couples counseling and the news that she and Barack Obama used fertility treatments to conceive their daughters, Malia and Sasha.
The book is being translated into dozens of languages, including Albanian, Hungarian and Lithuanian. So far, Obama’s only global arena dates are in London and Paris.