Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal to publish their memoirs with New York-based Penguin Random House, in a coveted contract reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars.
America’s first African American president is already the author of two memoirs and a children’s book.
He has frequently declared himself to have a “writer’s sensibility” and has said he does not want to write a conventional blow-by-blow account of his time in the White House.
Michelle Obama’s memoir is likely to be just as eagerly anticipated.
A descendant of slaves, she became the first African American first lady and garnered high approval ratings — to the point where she was arguably one of the country’s most respected and popular women.
Penguin Random House said in a statement it has “acquired world publication rights for two books, to be written by president and Mrs Obama respectively.”
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but bidding for the high-profile double book deal topped $60 million, a record sum for US presidential memoirs, according to the Financial Times.
Until now, the record for a US presidential memoir was $15 million paid for Bill Clinton’s “My Life,” released in 2004. George W. Bush received $10 million for “Decision Points” in 2010.
Hillary Clinton reportedly received a $14 million advance for “Hard Choices,” her account of her time as secretary of state under Obama.
The Obama deal was negotiated by Washington super-lawyer Robert Barnett, who represented both the Clintons and Bush.
As part of the agreement, the company will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a charity, Penguin said.
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