Penguin Random House has netted separate, lucrative book deals with former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who plan to write about their time in the White House, the publisher announced Tuesday.
“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,” Penguin Random House’s chief executive, Markus Dohle said in a statement reported by the Associated Press. “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 Financial Times, citing unnamed sources familiar with the auction that produced the deal, reported that Penguin Random House will pay more than $65 million for global rights to the two memoirs. Other news outlets, including the Associated Press, also reported that the deals are likely in the tens of millions of dollars.
A “significant portion” of the book proceeds will be donated to charity, including the Obama Foundation, according to the news release. The publisher will also donate a million books in the Obamas’ name to First Book, a Washington-based nonprofit that provides education materials to children in need.
“THANK YOU,” First Book tweeted at the former first couple after the announcement Tuesday.
Books by the Obamas have been previously published by imprints of Penguin Random House, including Michelle Obama’s “American Grown,” about her White House kitchen garden, and the former president’s memoirs, “The Audacity of Hope” and “Dreams From My Father.”
The book deal was brokered by Robert Barnett, who has previously represented Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, the Associated Press reported.
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