Obama’s Book Options Could Net $60 Million

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Publishing rights to two books written by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama could go for $60 million in an ongoing global auction.

The former president and first lady wrote the books separately, but are auctioning off the publishing rights simultaneously, The Financial Times reports. If the books secure the projected $60 million price-tag, it would greatly surpass original expectations. Researchers originally estimated the two memoirs would net the couple $40 million, according to business analytics data from American University.

Publishing houses currently vying for the rights include: Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, to name a few. Penguin Random House is reportedly the current favorite to secure exclusive rights. A final decision is expected at any moment, FT reports.

Former President Bill Clinton’s memoir was published by Knopf Publishing Group. The former president sold the rights to the company for $10 million, an amount that set records for a non-fiction deal at that time.

The Obamas are no strangers to lucrative book deals. The couple reports living off the proceeds of “Dreams from My Father,” the memoir Obama wrote in 1995, which was re-released during his 2004 bid for the U.S. Senate. “Before this book started selling we were living in a condo and we had two cars, but one of them was beat up,” Obama told reporters in 2008.

The couple is projected to make as much as $242.5 million in their time after leaving the White House, American University reports. Obama is set to receive a cushy lifetime salary of $200,000 a year from the government, a salary that’s four times the average household income in America. On top of the hefty salary, Obama will also get health care coverage, subsidized private travel, and a private office of his choosing.

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