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Penguin Random House announced on Tuesday night that Barack and Michelle Obama have both signed book deals with the publisher. According to the statement, the former president and former first lady will each be authoring a book in the near future.
“Penguin Random House is pleased to announce that it will publish forthcoming books by former President of the United States Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Oenguin Random House CEO MArkus Dohle announced today that the company has acquired world publication rights for two books, to be written by President and Mrs. Obama respectively.”
The statement did not disclose an actual dollar amount for these deals, but according to a report in Financial Times, bids on their books had reached more than $60 million. If accurate, this would blow away the price tag attached to the memoirs of other recent presidents. Bill Clinton got $15 million for his book My Life and George W Bush made approximately $10 million from his book Decision Points.
The announcement did say that “in support of the mission of The Obama Foundation and Penguin Random House’s own commitment to social responsibility, the company will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book.”
The First Book program strives to “promote equal access to education by providing new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need.”
In addition, “the Obamas also plan to donate a significant portion of their author proceeds to charity.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama,” Dohle said. “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.”
This is not the first time the former president has worked with the publisher. CNN points out that Penguin Random House has published Obama’s past books, “so the new deal continues a two-decade-long relationship.”
The hefty figures quoted in the bids for their books clearly demonstrate the expectation that these books are going to be huge best sellers. Personally, I have only one question: Where can I place a pre-order?
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) February 28, 2017