Society

Obamas Secure $65 Million Book Deal

| by Jordan Smith

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have signed a book deal with Penguin Random House worth an estimated $65 million.

The agreement will give the publisher the worldwide rights to two books which the former president and first lady will write separately, Fox News reported.

Other sources reported different prices for the books, with Publishers Weekly saying the figure was $30 million.

The announcement was made Feb. 28 after a bidding process involving several interested parties.

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"We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama," said Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle in a statement, according to Fox.

The Obamas' book deal far surpasses the previous record high for a presidential memoir. Former President Bill Clinton received $15 million for his book "My Life" in 2004, and former President George W. Bush's 2010 memoir, "Decision Points," netted the former Commander-in-Chief an estimated $10 million.

"With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and every day, with the books we publish at Penguin Random House, we strive to do the same. Now, we are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs. Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance," Dohle added.

Barack Obama is already a published author, having written "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams from My Father" prior to taking office in 2008. Michelle Obama has also written a book entitled "American Grown" about the White House garden.

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Robert Barrett and Deneen Howell, the attorneys who represented the Obamas in the talks, did not provide details on when the books would be published or what the titles might be, NBC reported.

Michelle Obama's book will be "an inspirational work for young people that will draw upon her life story," according to the Associated Press. Barack Obama's work is expected to take a behind the scenes look at his presidency.

Penguin Random House noted that the Obamas will likely donate a "significant portion" of the financial proceeds from the books to charity, including the Obama Foundation.

Politico reported in February that the Obamas are also making plans for speaking engagements.

"President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama have selected the Harry Walker Agency to coordinate their respective speaking engagements," a statement from spokesman Kevin Lewis noted, according to Politico.

Josh Earnest, White House press secretary during Obama's presidency, and former President Clinton both used the same agency to manage their speaking tours.

It is not yet known when the Obamas will begin their speaking engagements.

Sources: Fox News, NBC, Politico / Photo credit: Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons

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