Bidding War Escalates On New Obama Books


The written memoirs of former U.S. presidents always fetch a high price tag, but two books being written by former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have caused an historically expensive bidding war between the biggest book publishers in the country.

The Hill reported on Tuesday that the Obamas are writing separate books, but they are selling the rights to those books in a joint venture. This has caused a bidding war of more than $60 million between four heavy-hitting publishers: Penguin, HaperCollins, Macmillian, and Simon & Schuster. The Obama’s book deal will earn a “record sum for a U.S. president’s memoirs, according to the Financial Times.”

UPDATE: The Associated Press announced late Tuesday that the Obamas have sign the deal with Penguin Random House, but the final financial arrangements have not yet been disclosed.

Penguin was the publisher of the past three books written by Barack Obama, according to the report, which noted that if HarperCollins wins the rights, this would “bring the Obamas into the same publishing house as figures such as Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, one of the former president’s biggest media critics.

In comparison, George W. Bush received approximately $10 million for his 2010 book, “Decision Points,” which was a bestseller on the New York Times list.

Bill Clinton’s memoir, “My Life,” earned him $15 million in 2004.

When he was an Illinois senator, Obama published “Dreams from My Father,” in 1995, which subsequently “earned $6.8 million in royalties after its re-release in paperback in 2004, according to Forbes.”

Obama’s bestseller in 2006, “The Audacity of Hope” earned nearly $7 million.

H/T: The Hill

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