Penguin Random House (PRH) announced yesterday that Barack and Michelle Obama have signed book deals with the publisher. The deal is rumored to have reached $60 million in bidding wars from several publishers, including Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins, according to the Financial Times.
Very little about the upcoming book is known at this time. Titles, release dates, and the imprint it will be published under have not yet been released. The books are said to "reflect on the Obamas' White House years", but no further details from PHR was given, except that they would be donating one million books in the Obamas' name to First Book and Open eBooks, NPOs that provide books to children in need. The Obamas will also be donating a portion of their book advances to charity.
The Obamas had previously published with PRH under the Crown imprint. Barack's books, Dreams From My Father, The Audacity of Hope, and Of Thee I Sing sold more than four million copies, estimating his earnings on these titles to more than $10 million. Michelle's book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, was also published by Crown.
Markus Dohle, the chief executive of Penguin Random House, said in a press release, “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. 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.”