Michelle Obama's Becoming one of all-time best-selling memoirs

WASHINGTON • Sales of Mrs Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming continue to skyrocket.

According to publisher Penguin Random House, the book has sold more than 10 million copies - including hardcover, audiobooks and e-books - since its November release. That puts it near the top, if not the pinnacle, of all-time memoir sales.

Mr Markus Dohle, Penguin Random House's chief executive, told the Wall Street Journal: "I'm not aware, in my personal experience with Penguin Random House, that we ever sold 10 million units of a memoir."

The former United States first lady's book had already broken records. Becoming sold an astounding 725,000 copies on its first day and two million copies in North America within 15 days of its release, making it the fastest-selling book of last year, not to mention the best-selling hardcover book of the year.

Pre-sales ensured that Becoming was the No. 1 most-sold book on Amazon even before its release date. Shortly after publication, it also became a No. 1 seller outside the US, in Britain, Germany and Greece, among many other countries.

Becoming is the first in a two-book deal that the Obamas made with Penguin Random House in 2017.

The success of the book has been bolstered by a book tour to end all book tours, which has taken her to arenas around the US, including Washington's Tacoma Dome on Sunday, where she spoke to a crowd of more than 18,000 people, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

Fans have been drawn to the events to see a more candid side of Mrs Obama and she has rewarded her crowds by being honest about her challenges as the nation's first African-American first lady.

"For eight years, I don't think I took a full breath because everything mattered," Mrs Obama said during her stop in Tacoma. "We couldn't slip up."

Leaving the White House was a huge relief, she said. It has also been a hugely successful career move.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2019, with the headline 'Michelle Obama's Becoming one of all-time best-selling memoirs'. Subscribe