Former President Barack Obama could get at least $20 million in advance for his post-presidential memoir.
“There’s no doubt Obama’s memoir will go for more than any presidents has ever gone,” says Esther Newberg, co-head of ICM Partners’ publishing unit.
"I didn’t run for President to be popular. I ran for President to do what needed to be done. And I placed my bet on you. And after visiting auto plants across the Midwest, and seeing what you have done firsthand, let me tell you, I’d make that same bet any day of the week. Because today, factories are humming, business is booming, the American auto industry is all the way back." —President Obama in Detroit
George W. Bush received $7 million for 2010’s Decision Points which sold more than 2.6 million copies, and Bill Clinton received $15 million, said to be a presidential record, for 2001’s My Life, which sold 2.2 million copies.
Princeton University presidential historian Julian Zelizer predicts Obama’s memoir sales will top both. “There is broader fascination with Obama, from conservatives who really hate him as well as liberals who deeply admire what he did,” he said.
According to David Axelrod, Obama’s former senior advisor, says Obama told him that a memoir is his top priority. Obama hired Cody Keenan, former White House director of speechwriting, to help.
He might have to rival Michelle Obama if she were to write her memoir. It is reported that she could easily “surpass” $8 million that Hillary Clinton received in 2000 for her memoir, Living History.
According to the New York Times, Obama could earn as much as $30 million with a two-to-three book post-presidency contract. “His is going to be easily the most valuable presidential memoir ever,” said Raphael Sagalyn of the ICM/Sagalyn Literary Agency. “And I think Michelle Obama has the opportunity to sell the most valuable first lady memoir in history.” It is predicted by literary agents and major publishers that combined book contracts could make them earn upwards of $45 million.
“It’ll make us feel a lot better in this moment of time to read Obama’s book than to read the newspapers about Trump. At least that’s how I feel,” Newberg went on to say. “I predict huge audio book sales with that mellifluous voice of his. Can you imagine driving along in your car and hearing that voice…”