Trump has not yet written a post-presidential memoir. And part of the reason, sources in the industry say, is that some of the major publishing houses have recoiled at the prospect of having to fact-check his work or the social backlash that would ensue.
With allies setting up their own publishing house, the president could potentially circumvent those hurdles. It allows Trump confidants to run everything from publishing to marketing in house, while keeping data on purchases. But it also has left the impression in the industry that the former president has given up on trying to score a deal with one of the “Big Five” houses.
“My suspicion is Trump is self-publishing because he doesn’t want the humiliation of getting a smaller advance than he has before or anyone finding out that it is smaller than Obama’s,” said one publishing executive. Former President Barack and former first lady Michelle Obama reportedly sold their book rights to Penguin Random House for over $60 million. “I imagine that’s as big a part of it as anything.”