Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t yet announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, but he’s already leading the political field by one metric: political memoir sales.
According to CNBC, The Republican’s book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Survival,” sold 94,300 copies in its first week, according to BookScan, a U.S. print book data service. It was the top-selling book for the week it came out, BookScan found. The memoir was released on Feb. 28.
That figure trumps the first-week sales of other major politicians’ memoirs — including a 2015 effort by former President Donald Trump, who is clearly the leading candidate in the prospective 2024 Republican primary field.
That book, “Crippled America,” sold 27,687 copies in its first week, according to BookScan.
The data service, owned by market research giant NPD Group, told CNBC it covers approximately 85% of trade print books sold in the U.S. Its data is based on weekly reporting from major retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, and independent bookstores, among other sources.
DeSantis’ book sales also appeared to far outpace recently published memoirs by a handful of other Republicans who have either launched 2024 presidential campaigns or are considering it, according to BookScan.
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s “So Help Me God,” released last November, sold 37,600 print copies in the first week, while “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love” by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sold 34,600.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley sold just 7,900 copies of her book “If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons from Bold Women,” the first week after its publication last October. Haley became Trump’s first major primary challenger when she threw her hat in the ring last month.
Of course, book sales alone don’t guarantee a politician’s future success. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sold 86,200 print copies of her 2014 book “Hard Choices” in the first week, BookScan data showed. But Clinton would go on to lose to Trump in the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, BookScan said former President Barack Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope,” which preceded his history-making 2008 White House run, sold 67,500 print copies in its first week.
On Friday, DeSantis’ book was listed as No. 1 in the hardcover nonfiction category of the Times bestsellers’ list.