Bidding for the Obamas' book deal crests $60 million

Don’t say the Obamas haven’t been busy since they left the White House.Bidding for the publishing rights to books from former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama has hit the $60-million mark, according to a report in the Financial Times.Obama...

Bidding for the Obamas' book deal crests $60 million

Don’t say the Obamas haven’t been busy since they left the White House.Bidding for the publishing rights to books from former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama has hit the $60-million mark, according to a report in the Financial Times.Obama...

28 February 2017 Tuesday 20:05
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Bidding for the Obamas' book deal crests $60 million

Don’t say the Obamas haven’t been busy since they left the White House.

Bidding for the publishing rights to books from former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama has hit the $60-million mark, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Obama confirmed he was planning to write a book after leaving office in a CNN interview last year. At the time, a literary agent guessed it could be worth up to $30 million.

"His is going to be easily the most valuable presidential memoir ever," Raphael Sagalyn told the Times.

The former president and first lady are writing separate books but are selling the rights jointly. According to The Hill, four major publishers are currently embroiled in a bidding war for them. Contenders include Macmillan, Simon & Schuster — which recently dropped a book deal reportedly worth $250,000 for Milo Yiannopoulos — HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and Penguin, which published Obama’s first three books. Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions imprint published Donald Trump’s most recent book, “Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.”

Obama’s first book, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” was published in 1995 and re-released in 2004 to critical acclaim. “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream” was published in 2006 and was on the New York Times bestseller list for 30 weeks. He also published a children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” in 2010.

As far as presidential book deals go, this one is by far the largest. Bill Clinton reportedly earned a $15-million advance for his post-White House memoir; George W. Bush’s garnered a reported $7 million.

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jessica.roy@latimes.com

Follow me on Twitter @jessica_roy.

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