Fans of the Obamas may soon get a more intimate glimpse into the lives of America's 44th first family.
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have both signed book deals with Penguin Random House, the publisher announced Tuesday, following a lively auction among multiple publishers.
The highly anticipated memoirs, which will reportedly reflect on the Obamas' eight years in the White House, mark the former president's fourth book – following "Dreams From My Father," "The Audacity of Hope" and "Of Thee I Sing" – and Mrs. Obama's second, following a 2012 book about the White House garden titled "American Grown."
"With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and every day, with the books we publish at Penguin Random House, we strive to do the same," said Penguin Random House chief executive officer Markus Dohle in a statement. "Now, we are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs. Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance."
Mr. Obama's book will be a straightforward memoir about his presidency, a publishing official with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press, while Mrs. Obama plans to write "an inspirational work for young people that will draw upon her life story."
Penguin Random House will pay more than $65 million for global rights to the two memoirs, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the auction. Other sources, including the Associated Press, similarly reported that the deal was likely worth tens of millions of dollars. Opening offers for Mr. Obama's book alone were in the $18 million to $20 million range, publishing executives following the auction told The New York Times.
The Obamas' advance, Times reported, will likely exceed the figures that other former presidents and first ladies have received for their memoirs. Former President Bill Clinton sold "My Life" for $15 million, while former first lady Hillary Clinton earned an advance of $8 million for her memoir "Living History."
A "significant portion" of the Obamas' book proceeds will go to charity, including to the Obama Foundation, the publisher said in a statement. Penguin Random House also plans to donate one million books in the Obamas' name to Washington-based nonprofit First Book, whose mission is to "provide disadvantaged children with new books."
Titles and release dates are not yet available.
This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.