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Michelle Obama's memoir sells more than 725,000 copies

| Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, 2:42 p.m.
Former first lady Michelle Obama greets the audience as Tracee Ellis Ross watches at the 'Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama' event at the Forum on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Former first lady Michelle Obama greets the audience as Tracee Ellis Ross watches at the 'Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama' event at the Forum on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
This cover image released by Crown shows 'Becoming,' by Michelle Obama. Crown Publishing told The Associated Press on Friday that the former first lady’s memoir had sold more than 725,000 copies after its first day of publication. “Becoming” came out Tuesday, the same day Obama launched a national book tour. (Crown via AP)
This cover image released by Crown shows 'Becoming,' by Michelle Obama. Crown Publishing told The Associated Press on Friday that the former first lady’s memoir had sold more than 725,000 copies after its first day of publication. “Becoming” came out Tuesday, the same day Obama launched a national book tour. (Crown via AP)

NEW YORK — First day sales for Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” topped 725,000 copies, making it one of the year’s biggest debuts.

Crown Publishing told The Associated Press on Friday that the figures include sales and pre-orders for the former first lady’s memoir include hardcover, audio and e-books editions for the United States and Canada. “Becoming” was released on Tuesday, the same day Mrs. Obama launched a national book tour . Crown also announced that it had raised the book’s print run from 1.8 million copies to 2.6 million. Reviews of the book, which traces Obama’s journey from Chicago’s South Side to the White House, have been positive, with The Washington Post praising its “impressive balance in telling the truth of her challenges while repeatedly acknowledging her lucky life.”

“Becoming” had the biggest opening of any books in 2018 by Crown’s parent company, Penguin Random House. But at least one other book this year, from Simon & Schuster, did start higher: Bob Woodward’s “Fear: Trump in the White House” sold around 900,000 copies after one day.

“Becoming” is well exceeding the pace of previous memoirs by first ladies. In 2003, Hillary Clinton’s “Living History” had first week sales of around 600,000 copies, at a time when audio sales were tiny and e-book sales nonexistent.

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