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01 Mar 2017

Obamas sign book deal with Penguin worth $60m

Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have signed a two-book deal with Penguin Random House.

Titles of the books haven't been disclosed yet, but the deal is estimated to be worth over $60m.

"With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and we strive to do the same," Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said.

In context

The Obamas post retirement

The author couple

The Obamas have penned several books between them. Barack authored Dreams from My Father, The Audacity of Hope, and Change We Can Believe In, among others. Mrs. Obama has written American Grown, a book on food and gardening.

Obama's books

Obama earned roughly $15.6mn from his earlier books

The former president has earned roughly $15.6mn as an author since arriving in Washington.

Combined sales of his bestselling Audacity of Hope and children's book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters has earned the former president $8.8mn.

Sales of his memoir 'Dreams From My Father' (1995) took off when he became president, and raked in $6.8mn.

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Brand ambassador?

Barack Obama - the brand ambassador?

At his last White House Correspondents' Dinner in May 2016, Barack Obama released a 4-minute sketch called 'Couch Commander', featuring former Vice President Joe Biden and former House Speaker John Boehner.

The leaders, in varying degrees of subtlety, promote a range of products, including aviators, iPhone, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and McDonalds, in the video about what Obama will do after retirement.

First Lady authors

Apart from Michelle Obama, who at 53 is the youngest departing first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy, many others have penned books, especially their memoirs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, and Nancy Reagan were among the few who wrote books on other issues too.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama's life after the White House

Though there has been mass support for Michelle to run for president in 2020, the Obamas have dropped more than a few hints that she isn't up for it.

It's also unlikely she will go into fashion, but NYU professor David Yermack says companies have seen a "a 2.3% stock gain when she dons their products".

Michelle earns about $100,000 per speaking engagement.

Kitesurfing with Richard Branson

The Obamas took off on a post-presidency vacation to Palm Springs and beyond, and photos of him sporting a backward hat and kitesurfing with billionaire Richard Branson went viral. According to the former president, the last time he surfed was eight years ago in Hawaii.

Kalorama, Washington

New home, new life

When asked about his retirement plans, Barack Obama said, "I want to be quiet a little bit, spend precious time with my girls."

The family has, meanwhile, rented a nine-bedroom, 8,200-square-foot home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington D.C. they plan to stay in the city till younger daughter Sasha finishes high school.

14 Mar 2017

Obamas book to be published worldwide

Sources said that the upcoming books by Barack and Michelle Obama, would be launched globally. However, the book titles and dates have not been made public yet.

Penguin Random House stated that they have already lined up publishers for several countries and are on the look out for more.

The book will also be published in Spanish for Latin American countries.

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