Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal to publish their memoirs with New York-based Penguin Random House. The former president and his first lady will write separate memoirs under terms of the deal but the two shopped their projects jointly.
Markus Dohle, chief executive of Penguin Random House, said in a statement: “We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama. 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.”
He further added that “Now, we are very much looking forward to working together with the former president and his wife to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance.”
The terms of the deal were not disclosed but according to the Financial Times, the bidding for the book deal topped $60 million, which is a record sum for US presidential memoirs. Until now, the record for a US presidential memoir was $15 million paid for Bill Clinton’s “My Life,” released in 2004.
As part of the agreement, the company will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books to disadvantaged children. The Obamas also plan to donate a portion of their profits to charity, including to the Obama Foundation.
Mr. Obama previously published best-sellers Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. The deal was announced, probably coincidentally but somewhat awkwardly, on the night that President Trump gave his first address before Congress
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