Barack and Michelle Obama clinch book deal
Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have both signed book deals with Penguin Random House, the publisher announced Tuesday.
It was the battle of the “Big Five” trade publishers in New York as the couple considered proposals for the couples’ works, but it was Penguin Random House, which published the Obamas previous books, that acquired world publication rights for two books. The deal is reported to be around $60 million. (For perspective, Bill Clinton received $15 million for his post-presidency memoir.)
“We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama,” CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement. “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.”
The publishing company will donate one million books in the Obama family name to First Book, a Penguin Random House non-profit partner that provides new books and learning materials to children in need in the U.S. and Canada. As they have done previously, “the Obamas also plan to donate a significant portion of their author proceeds to charity,” according to the statement, including The Obama Foundation.
The upcoming book will be the first from the former president in more than a decade. In 2006 he published The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, which was a follow-up to his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. The first memoir, released during his political campaign for Illinois Senate, narrates his life up until his enrollment in Harvard Law School and details Obama’s personal experience with race relations in the U.S. His second book, The Audacity of Hope was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and fast became No. 1 on both the New York Times and Amazon.com bestsellers lists.
The 44th president is an also an avid reader, often sharing his top literary picks throughout his presidency, as well as reading to kids at the White House and picking up bundles of titles at local booksellers.
The former first lady published a book of her own in 2012 — American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America. Based on her experiences with the White House garden through the seasons, the publication promotes healthy eating as part of her initiative to reverse the 21st-century trend of childhood obesity.