David Cameron publication day: Former PM hits campaign trail as HarperCollins hails pre-order success

David Cameron publication day: Former PM hits campaign trail as HarperCollins hails pre-order success

David Cameron marked publication day of his autobiography today (19th September) with a flurry of high profile interviews as HarperCollins hails the success of his memoir. 

The former prime minister's marked publication of For the Record (William Collins) by earlier today appearing on the final "Today" show hosted by John Humphrys, as well opening up on LBC over the controversial Guardian editorial about his son.

HarperCollins group sales director Anna Derkacz said the memoir has seen "fantastic pre-orders" as she hailed the publicity campaign which has seen Cameron dominate the news agenda. 

Cameron made his debut in the Amazon Charts this week, entering at number five in the Most-Sold: Non Fiction chart on pre-orders alone. 

Derkacz told The Bookseller: "We are incredibly pleased with the way the campaign is going, we have seen fantastic pre-orders and support from the trade and are looking forward to seeing For the Record go on sale across the market today." 

The publicity campaign will continue this morning with Cameron and his wife Samantha appearing on "This Morning" for their only joint interview. He will also be interviewed by Chris Evans on Virgin Radio later this week. 

Cameron has hit the campaign trail hard with For the Record dominating the news agenda over the past week. His interview with the Times and the serialisation of the book in the Sunday Times made headlines across print, broadcast and online media ahead of his prime time interview with Tom Bradby on ITV on Monday. The former prime minister has also signed copies for Hatchards (pictured) and Heywood Hill bookshops. 

This morning Cameron responded to the Guardian editorial which claimed he only felt privileged pain over the death of his disabled son Ivan after praising the NHS care Ivan received before he died in 2009, aged six in his memoir. 

In a now-deleted editorial the Guardian questioned if Cameron "might have understood the damage his policies have done" if he had sought care for a parent rather than a child. The editorial triggered fury with Chancellor Sajid Javid branding the editorial a "shameful thing to read" as the Guardian removed the comments and apologised. 

Cameron told LBC "death knows no privilege". Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said: “There is no privilege in holding your eldest born child in your arms as their life drains away. From the little I saw of [the editorial] I couldn’t understand what they were trying to say, but fortunately it’s been deleted and apologised for so I think we can leave it there.” 

David Cameron talking to Nick Ferrari on his LBC show

Speaking to Humphrys on the presenter's final "Today" programme on Radio 4, Cameron said Boris Johnson must try to get a deal from the EU and bring it back to Parliament.  Asked if will support the Tories in the event of Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit, Cameron said: "Well I’m a Conservative through and through. But I think a no deal outcome is a very bad one. As far as I can see Parliament has blocked that avenue and I think therefore Boris’ choice is really to get that deal, to bring it back and try to move forward from there."

Paying tribute to the veteran broadcaster, Cameron said:  "Thank you for 32 years of striking the fear into politicians like me every morning and asking us questions that we don’t always want to answer. Calling us to account is an amazing record. [Walter] Bagehot talked about the dignified and the efficient parts of the constitution. He didn’t tell us about the painful but necessary parts. I guess that’s where you come in."

Other headlines this morning include the revelation that the former prime minister asked the Queen to intervene in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, that he was "so embarrassed" and apologised to the Queen after saying she "purred down the line" of the phone after finding out the result of the referendum. Cameron also said he feels sorry that Boris Johnson was "empty podiumed" by the prime minister of Luxembourg and said he wants to try and rekindle his friendship with Michael Gove. 

As the publicity campaign continues, the first reviews of the 700-page book are coming in with the Telegraph giving For the Record four stars. Philip Johnston praised the "well-written and lucid memoirs" and Cameron's focus on the importance of family, "To Cameron’s great credit, the importance of family shines throughout this book (many political memoirs often fail even to mention spouses or children other than in passing)."

For the Record features Cameron's take on the Arab Spring; the rise of ISIS, the invasion of Ukraine, the conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria, the Olympic Games in 2012, the Scottish referendum and EU referendum. The memoir draws on over 50 hours-worth of audio tapes recorded with Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein.William Collins originally bought the autobiography in a deal reportedly worth £800,000, negotiated with the late literary agent Ed Victor in 2016.  

Cameron celebrated the book with a launch party in London last night surrounded by his family and friends.