Journalist Michael Wolff's headline-making "insider's account" of Donald Trump's presidency has surged up the Amazon pre-order charts after the Guardian got hold of an early copy and revealed some of its controversial contents yesterday (3rd January).
The newspaper said it obtained an early copy of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Little, Brown) from a bookseller in New England, US, although it is not due to be published until next week (9th January).
The newspaper reported that a key claim in the book is that Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon described the Trump Tower meeting between the president’s son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”.
The title is based on more than 200 interviews and promises intimate portraits of all the key players in Trump's administration, extending to Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Sean Spicer, the former press secretary, as well as "a wealth of new detail [...] about the on-going chaos in the Oval Office", with Wolff saying he enjoyed extraordinary access to Trump and senior officials and advisers at critical moments of the fledgling presidency.
Following the article, which is garnering media coverage across the world, the book is now ranked as a bestseller on Amazon's pre-order charts in both the US and the UK.
A spokesperson for Waterstones also told The Bookseller pre-orders had picked up "noticeably", with Fire and Fury currently the most viewed title on its website. "With the on-going strong press coverage we expect this book to top our current pre-orders by the end of the day," the retailer said.
However, the coverage has prompted Trump's legal team to issue a "cease and desist" letter to Bannon, accusing him of violating a non-disclosure agreement by speaking about his time on Trump’s election campaign to Wolff.
Trump has further accused Bannon of making "disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements" to Wolff, against the president "knowing the [...] publicity surrounding the marketing and sale of his book".
According to Publishers Marketplace, the Guardian broke an embargo by publishing an article on the book, which prompted New York Magazine and Hollywood Reporter to publish their official excerpts online early in reaction. The latter was due to publish in print next week.
Fire and Fury is due to be published by Little, Brown in the UK on 9th January. However, the publisher has yet to confirm to The Bookseller whether this plan remains unchanged.
Wolff describes the writing of the book in the Hollywood Reporter here.