Most would-be authors don’t start writing for the money. If they did, they wouldn’t be writers. But it’s certainly a nice perk. Barack Obama, who’s penned two New York Times best-sellers, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and Michelle Obama, the author of American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, are reportedly in line for a massive payday for their first post-White House books.
According to the Financial Times, the auction for the “global rights to two books by Barack and Michelle Obama has reached more than $60 million… The Obamas are writing separate books but selling the rights jointly.” That’s $30 million per book, or $20 million more than George W. Bush earned for Decision Points. Well-known publishers Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins have all expressed interest, obviously, with the first two the rumored frontrunners. (Penguin Random House published Obama’s other books, while HarperCollins is owned by Rupert Murdoch, which adds an interesting wrinkle.)
One executive from a publisher interested in acquiring the rights, who asked not to be named, said that while Penguin Random House had made a “big move” to secure the books, other publishers were watching the situation closely before deciding their next steps.
“It’s live,” the executive added. (Via)
Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope were very well received — Time named the former one of the 100 best non-fiction books since 1923 — by everyone except Donald Trump, that is. In 2011, the current-president said that a member of the radical left-wing group Weather Underground actually wrote Dreams from My Father. “Bill Ayers wrote the book,” he claimed, before boasting, “And, you know, I wrote many best sellers, and also, number one bestsellers including The Art of the Deal. So I know something about writing.”
(Via the Financial Times)