When President Donald Trump posts on Twitter, some people see an unconventional leader telling it like it is. Others see an unhinged narcissist spouting offensive rhetoric.
Trisha Hope, a real estate agent who lives in Kemah, sees something else: fresh content.
Hope, 54, is the author of a book called “Just the Tweets,” a 387-page hardback tome that compiles everything Trump tweeted in the first year of his presidency between January 2017 and January 2018. The dark blue book, with its linen cover and “ornate gold foil lettering,” as Hope put it, is Volume 1 in a series that Hope and her husband Dave sell at Trump political rallies across the country.
“We follow him wherever he goes,” she said, adding that Volume 2 will be out next spring and Volume 3 the year after that. “It’s been exhausting, but it’s really been a lot of fun, too.”
She just got back to Texas this week from a two-month, 15,000-mile road trip during which the couple sold hundreds of the books for $35 a pop to Trump fans at seven rallies in West Virginia, Virginia, Indiana, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi and Iowa.
It all started when Hope began copying Trump’s tweets so her uncle, who doesn’t have Twitter, could read them. After publishing the tweets on a website, she realized she could just make a book. Hope, who supports Trump, already has sold thousands of the books in total, she said. She considers the collection an objective historical record that people will be able to look back on in the future and use as a reference.
“This is a way to capture history,” she said. “I’m pro-Trump, but the tweets speak for themselves, I didn’t comment on any of them. It’s a very high quality, very heavy book.”
Despite all her work compiling tweets and selling the books, Hope has competition. Twitter said in an email that tweets are public and there aren’t any legal issues with people compiling the president’s posts in book form, so Trump’s tweets have become a niche literary sub-genre of sorts online. An Amazon search reveals several people who have published similar books.
For example, Anthony Michalisko, a 27-year-old cable lineman in Indiana, is the author of “President Trump’s Tweets 2017: A Historical Archive,” which he sells on Amazon for $19.99. Michalisko said he got the idea for his book, a 426-page paperback of which he’s sold about a hundred copies, when he was trying to figure out how to make enough money to start his own social media app.
“There are a lot of buyers out there but the biggest thing is getting it in front of their eyes,” he said, noting that he sold five books on Thursday morning alone.
Like Hope, Michalisko intends for his book to be used as an official historical record one day, which is why every time Trump tweets he dutifully retypes the post word-for-word in a separate document. That’s in contrast to “The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library,” a Trump tweet compilation “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” on Comedy Central published in July, which compiles a smattering of Trump’s tweets, accompanied with political commentary.
“Mine is strictly his tweets the way they’re written — because I want people to use this as a reference,” Michalisko, not a big fan of “The Daily Show’s” book, said.
Hope, who has an alarm set on her iPad for whenever Trump tweets, has been known to wake up at 4 a.m. to see what the newest content for her books will be.
“Or, you know, also just in case it’s something serious,” she said.
She never thought her life would become so intertwined with the president’s social media activity. But now that she’s known as “The Tweet Lady” by neighbors and at the political rallies she attends, she’s decided to double down and enjoy it, she said.
“We’ve done extremely well,” she said. “We’re traveling together, camping for a couple days and selling the book at rallies. We’ve met so many just amazing people.”
There’s the stage-four lung cancer patient she met in West Virginia, who reads the book during chemotherapy sessions; the angry liberal protester who she chatted with for 45 minutes at the rally in Virginia and parted ways with civilly; and one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who she met in Indiana and sold several books to.
One person she hasn’t met, or heard from, however, is President Trump himself.
Hope shipped a box of her books to the White House earlier this year, but so far has gotten no reply. She’s always looking out for a tweet from the president though.
“If he tweeted about the book — now that would be very cool,” Hope said. “Then I could include it in the next volume.”