President Barack Obama is said to be one of the poorest to retire as President of the USA. Yet, according to publishers and literary agents consulted by the New York Times, three months ago a book contract would be worth somewhere between $12 and $30 million for Obama. A Michele Obama memoir could be worth $10 to $15 million. Well, the reality is somewhat oversubscribed, though their publishers, Penguin Random House have neither revealed the titles nor the specific amounts and time frames for the two new books the Obamas have promised them.

Agencies in February reported a bidding war that topped $65 million. [The previous record was held by Bill Clinton, who received $15 million for writing My Life from Knopf, according to the Guardian. Clinton’s book wound up selling more than 1.2 million copies, CNN reported.] Obama’s book will be a ‘straightforward memoir about his presidency’, according to the Associated Press. Michelle Obama ‘plans to write an inspirational work for young people that will draw upon her life story’.

Penguin Random House has said that it has lined up publishers from Ireland to South Africa for the two books, to be released by the Crown imprint in the US and Canada. The publisher has Spanishlanguage editions planned for Spain, Mexico and several countries in South America. English editions will come out in the United Kingdom, Australia, India and elsewhere. ‘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’ Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement.

Obama was an acclaimed author before his presidency, having published a memoir, Dreams From My Father, in 1995 as well as a 2006 campaign book, The Audacity of Hope. Michelle Obama’s best-seller about the White House kitchen garden, American Grown was published in 2012.BLD

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