Obamas Make Book Deal With Penguin Random House

Alexandra Alter
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on stage after delivering his farewell address at the McCormick Place, on January 10, 2017 in Chicago, United States.
Bilgin Sasmaz | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Penguin Random House will publish forthcoming books by former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the former first lady, the publisher announced on Tuesday night, concluding a heated auction among multiple publishers.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but publishing industry executives with knowledge of the bidding process said that it probably stretched into the tens of millions. The Obamas were represented by Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell of Williams & Connolly.

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Penguin Random House acquired world rights to the books, and worldwide sales could be substantial. The publisher plans to donate one million books in the Obama family's name to First Book, a Penguin Random House nonprofit partner, and the Washington-based partner for the 2016 White House digital education initiative, Open eBooks. The Obamas also plan to donate a portion of their advances to charity, including the Obama Foundation.

"We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama. 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," the chief executive of Penguin Random House, Markus Dohle, said 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."

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