Penguin Random House, the world’s largest publisher, announced earlier this week that it will be publishing books by former President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama. Details of the agreement have not been disclosed but interest in their books reportedly sparked a record-setting $60 million bidding war.
“Titles and release dates were not immediately available. The books will reflect on the Obamas' White House years, although Penguin Random House declined to give further details. A publishing official with knowledge of the negotiations said that Barack Obama's book will be a straightforward memoir about his presidency, while Michelle Obama plans to write an inspirational work for young people that will draw upon her life story” (http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/obamas-book-deal-penguin-1.4004196).
It has been suggested that the competition for the Obamas’ was particularly fierce “because Barack can actually write, and already has best-selling books to his name, including Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance and The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Michelle Obama published a book about the White House garden in 2012 [American Grown], and has carved out a reputation as a strong, and eminently quotable, speechwriter in her own right” (http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/02/publishers-will-pay-a-lot-of-money-for-obamas-memoirs.html?mid=facebook_nymag). Barack Obama also released a children’s book in 2010 while he was in office: Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.
“The publisher plans to donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books to disadvantaged children, and Open eBooks, the Washington-based partner for the 2016 White House digital education initiative. The Obamas also plan to donate part of their advances to charity, including the Obama Foundation” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/business/media/obama-book-deal-penguin-random-house.html?_r=0).