News from the world of books and publishing


Former Attorney General Eric Holder shared at an event for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee that former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, signed a reported $60 million book deal.

Penguin Random House acquired world rights to the books, and worldwide sales could be substantial.

Penguin Random House 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 terms of the deal were not disclosed, but bidding for the high-profile double book deal topped $60 million, a record sum for USA presidential memoirs, according to the Financial Times. It's a move that signals the publishing industry's faith in the enduring value of a book from the Obamas - and the belief that if Barack Obama's memoir is good enough, it might become a genuine American classic.

The publisher did not immediately say which imprint the books would be released through. Barack Obama is widely regarded as one of the finest prose stylists among modern presidents, and his million-selling "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope" are considered essential to his rise to the White House.

Penguin Random House will publish coming books by former President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama, the publishing company announced recently, concluding a heated auction among multiple publishers.

Among other publishers that bid on Obama deal were HarperCollins, a unit of News Corp, and Simon & Schuster, owned by CBS Corp, the Financial Times said. Former President Barack Obama has inked a $65 million deal for his memoir, a joint agreement that also will include a book written by former first lady Michelle Obama. George W. Bush received US$10mil for Decision Points in 2010. 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.

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