James B. Comey’s upcoming book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” briefly jumped to no. 1 on Amazon’s best sellers list on Sunday, about a month before it’s publication date of April 17. The spike in pre-orders occurred a couple of days after former F.B.I. deputy director Andrew G. McGabe was fired, prompting a string of tweets by President Trump in which he said Mr. McGabe was a “choirboy” next to Mr. Comey, whom he called “sanctimonious.”
The early interest in “A Higher Loyalty” is comparable to the advance buzz for “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Michael Wolff’s exposé of the current administration, which was published earlier this year. Mr. Wolff’s book also hit the top of the Amazon best sellers list before its release, and the publishing house and book sellers were unprepared for the demand.
There appears to be an enormous appetite for books that give insight into the Trump White House. “Fire and Fury” has sold more than a million copies across all formats, and it remains at the top of The New York Times’s hardcover nonfiction best sellers list. It has been on the list for 10 weeks. Similarly, upon its release, “Russian roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump” by Michael Isikoff and David Corn sold so quickly that Amazon suspected bots might be behind the sales and temporarily shut down the buy button on the book’s page, according to Twelve, an imprint of Hachette Book Group and the book’s publisher. It has sold 47,000 copies in its first week and on Monday evening it was right behind “A Higher Loyalty” on Amazon’s politics and social sciences best sellers list.
Mr. Comey’s book dropped to number 2 overall on Amazon on Monday — it was replaced with “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” a parody book commissioned by John Oliver based on a picture book about the Pence family’s real-life rabbit, which was written by Mr. Pence’s daughter. Macmillan, which owns Flatiron Books, declined to comment on preorders, but they confirmed an initial printing of 450,000.
Mr. Comey stoked anticipation for “A Higher Loyalty” by responding to Mr. Trump’s tweets on Sunday. “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not,” he said. In a statement, Macmillan said the book would “explore what good, ethical leadership looks like.”