Over the past 29 years Donald Trump has authored 16 books. His books focus on how to make it big and dream big in the business world, and how to manipulate people into meeting your demands. They range from memoirs to his thoughts on politics – the titles of which could make any sensible human being cringe. His bestselling book originally published in 1987, reprinted and released for mass production in 2004, is called The Art of the Deal. The novel follows Donald Trump as told by Donald Trump through the rise of “America’s foremost dealmaker.” Upon announcing his presidential campaign Trump claimed: “We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’”. Testimonials from the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, and the New York Post all claim the book is a fascinating autobiography. The Times stated in 2004 that Donald Trump makes Americans believe in the American Dream again, it’s even been reprinted onto the hardcopy. Twelve years later as he sits as the Republican Party’s representative for potential President of the United States – running on the slogan of “Make America Great Again”, The Times surely wishes they could make that quote disappear.
Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post sat down last year and read through eight of Donald Trump’s book collection. It totaled over 2 000 pages of Trump’s memoirs, personal thoughts, business strategies and of course blistering insults towards persons such as Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones reporters, ex-wives, former Miss Universe contestants, lawyers, community activists or anyone that dare cross his path (Lozada, 2015). Lozada claims the books are repetitive and infuriating, alienating The Donald from anyone who didn’t grow up receiving small loans of one million dollars from their parents.
Though Donald Trump’s ability to be the diplomatic leader of the free world is questionable at best, no one can deny that he can sell a book. Mainly by employing the same themes he has taken in manipulating the American people this election season. He makes people believe they can be as ‘prosperous’ as he is – even though he fails to mention and actively denies being born into the very wealth he claims to have created.
Forbes reported in March that in the first three months of 2016, 36 000 hardcopies of his books had been sold (McCarthy, 2016). When including sales for 2015, 240 000 copies of Donald Trump’s books have been sold. Statista, a statistics company out of the US, has reported that when comparing Donald Trump to the other politicians in the presidential race, he’s outsold the next highest author, Ted Cruz, by approximately 170 000 books (Statista, 2016).
Trump’s The Art of the Deal, spent 51 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and since 2001 has sold 177 000 copies, The Donald claims sales are over 1 million copies. In it he lists 11 steps in guaranteeing business success. Trump claimed in his Presidential run that it was the #1 bestselling business book of all time. However, Jeffrey Pfeffer of Standford University’s Graduate School of business was quoted by Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize winning journal, that: “Trump is full of B.S., the bestselling and most important business books would have to be In Search of Excellence by Peters and Waterman that started the genre, Built to Last by Jim Collins, The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (Qiu, 2015).”
In 2015, when Trump released Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again he promised in his sales pitch to the American people that the proceeds would go to charity. Within three months of the hardcopy being released at $25.00 USD per unit, Trump sold 200 000 copies. In April, Trump reported he has personally accrued anywhere from $1 million to $5 million USD from the sales of Crippled America, and it is unclear how much has gone to charity from this sum, if any at all. Unfortunately, when talking about financial facts regarding The Donald they are usually hugely exaggerated by the man himself. His books have undoubtedly sold many copies but it may never be known how much Trump has profited from them and how many units he has truthfully sold. With numbers ranging from 100 000 to 1 million copies, only a man like Donald Trump could say with certainty he is the bestselling business author of all time.