When Barack and Michelle Obama signed their joint $60 million book deal in 2017, two months after moving out of the White House, industry insiders were initially stunned and skeptical. Not only was it the highest advance in the history of book publishing, it was also more than twice what the Obamas had been expected to get. Publishers Weekly called the deal a “mystery” and a “gamble”; Vox doubtfully calculated that the couple would need to “sell at least several million copies all together” for it to be worth it. Others pointed out that Bill Clinton comparatively earned just $15 million for his 2004 presidential memoir, which had been record-breaking at its time.

But nearly four years — and one Becoming by Michelle Obama — later, there is no more “mystery.” Rather, Barack Obama’s post-presidential legacy looks very much like it might be his literary star power.

On Monday night, fans in Washington, D.C., braved a pandemic to queue for the midnight release of the first part of Obama’s two-volume memoir, A Promised Land, despite such an activity being more typical of a new Harry Potter installment. Other bookstores around the country urged customers to …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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