The Obamas Are Set To Make $40 Million In Book Deals With Half The Amount Going For First Lady Michelle Obama’s Memoir.
President Obama has made more than a tidy $15 million from his books since he published his first – Dreams from My Father – in 1995, and now he’s set to earn another $15 to $20 million – or even more – from his forthcoming presidential memoir, top publishing insiders tell DailyMail.com.
And high-ranking publishing insiders are talking at least another ‘$20 million’ in an advance paycheck for First Lady Michelle Obama‘s long-awaited – and highly anticipated – memoir about her eight White House years.
A source claims she’s been quietly working on her book already.
‘Michelle’s more popular and likable than Barack – and definitely more salable,’ one top acquisition editor tells DailyMail.com, ‘so she’s likely to garner an even bigger advance than the president.
‘If I jump into the bidding, I’d definitely offer more for her story than his.
‘He’s a known quantity, she’s the golden goose with the best dishy stories about her White House life. And I think she can be very catty.’
As The Wall Street Journal points out, ‘Michelle Obama’s talents as a memoirist are so far untested, but with a 59 percent approval rating…she is one of the most well-liked figures in American public life.
‘As publishers prepare to compete for a slew of political memoirs, all eyes are on the president and first lady.’
And there is some chatter in the highly competitive New York publishing world that the Obamas might collaborate and pen a dual memoir with a pay day of many millions of dollars more.
Since becoming the first couple eight years ago, book sales have made the Obamas – from middle-class Chicago roots – multimillionaires, with more big bucks on the way.
‘Not a bad nest egg for their golden years,’ observes former senior White House aide Tevi Troy, who wrote a book about White House pop culture.
For the biggest advance, sources interviewed for this story agree, the president is going to have to reveal long-held Oval Office secrets to make readers want to spend $30 or more per copy.
As one top editor from a major publishing house, who requested anonymity because he will be involved in the bidding, told DailyMail.com, ‘We want to know the Obamas true feelings about the Clintons.
‘We know there is no love lost, but we need to hear that in the president’s words, or directly from the first lady, and in her own candid words.
‘We want to hear what the president’s true reaction was when Benghazi happened, when he first learned about Mrs. Clinton’s secret email server, and how he felt about Mrs. Clinton’s failed candidacy, and his true feeling about Donald Trump – all of that needs to be told in no uncertain terms, because that’s what the public – the book buyers – are interested in hearing.
‘And all of that if honestly told will garner a publicity tsunami. We’ll sell hundreds of thousands of books, and make the Obamas even richer with the royalties.’
A high-ranking female publishing executive who also asked for anonymity reveals she’d ‘kill and offer millions to get the first lady’s book.’
But she asserts that Mrs. Obama needs to give gossipy White House dish – ‘the ups and downs of her marriage, horror stories about raising her two daughters in the public spotlight.’
For their $30, readers will expect to have Michelle’s take on some of the shenanigans of her oldest daughter Malia Obama, 18, who was pictured smoking a ‘marijuana cigarette’ at Lollapalooza – a music festival in Chicago in July 2016.
They will also want insights such as what went through Michelle’s mind when she first met and sat with Melania Trump, and her feelings about Ivanka Trump… and Hillary.
‘That and more and we’d have to do ten huge printings. But Michelle has to open up about all of that. The days of staid presidential and first lady memoirs are long over. We’re in a tabloid world,’ adds the publishing executive.
The one key component of President Obama’s presidential memoir to make it a critical success, the sources stress, is honesty.
And Obama has had issues in that area in one of his previous best-selling books, Dreams From My Father, written years before he became president. Questions were raised about his truthfulness when he ran for his second term in 2012.
Obama biographer David Maraniss, a reporter for The Washington Post, interviewed many people in Obama’s life and discovered a number of contradictions in his narrative.
As The New York Times headlined in reviewing Maraniss’s account, ‘New Book Raises Questions About Obama’s Memoir,’ and noted that some of Obama’s questionable claims were ‘very small, a few large…Now, Republicans are poised to try and portray Mr. Obama as having been less than truthful in his recollections about his life.’
According to The Times story, Maraniss’s book ‘suggests that the real story of Mr. Obama’s life was less dramatic – and more routine – than the president made it out to be in the memoir.’
Appearing for an interview on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ program to promote his book, Maraniss maintained that Obama did not write a factual life history, but was ‘trying to see everything through a racial lens.’
Maraniss claimed, for instance, that Obama wrote a ‘concocted myth’ about how his adopted step-grandfather had died.
Obama wrote that he was killed while fighting Dutch troops in Indonesia. In Maraniss’s book, he actually died while unsuccessfully trying to hang draperies.
As The Times pointed out, ‘Maraniss documents several of the efforts by Mr. Obama to invent or alter characters to help his narrative.’
Other reporters looking into Obama’s past and attempting to confirm anecdotes in his book found more contradictions.
Now, in his forthcoming important and historical presidential memoir, ‘We want him to be truthful and candid and honest. We don’t want typical White House memoir bullshit,’ a publishing executive told DailyMail.com.
‘If he’s evasive, it’ll seriously hurt the bottom line. Everyone’s a fact-checker these days.’
Some in publishing are predicting that Obama will beat Bill Clinton’s record-setting $10 million advance for his memoir – a 950-page doorstop entitled, ‘My Life,’ in which he dealt with such issues as the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but blamed others.
It sold a reported two million copies, and was described as ‘self-indulgent’
George Bush got a $7 million advance for his presidential memoir, Decision Points.
The publisher of PublicAffairs, an imprint that specializes in non-fiction and political books, suspects that the huge advance that will be offered to Obama ‘will be more than the initial sales will support,’ he told the New York Observer – owned by President-elect Donald J. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
‘Obama has been a very cautious president, has not made more friends in office than he had before he got there, and seems to swing unpredictably between rather wooden and emotionless affect and has much more personal delivery.’
So, publisher Clive Priddle wonders, ‘Which voice will show up in the memoir?’
In former senior White House aide Tevi Troy’s 2014 opinion page piece in The Washington Post, he noted that Obama faced hurdles in writing his memoir.
‘Expectations will be ludicrously high, not just because of the probably enormous advance but because his first memoir, Dreams From My Father, received so much praise.
‘He also faces such a polarized electorate that it is unlikely anything he writes will sway anyone on, for instance, the merits of the Affordable Care Act or his handling of the economy.’
If fans of first lady Michelle Obama were hoping to hear her reveal in her memoir that she plans to carve out her own political career, she shot down that dream in her final White House interview with Oprah.
‘If I were interested in it, I’d say it,’ she said.
But even before her sit-down with Oprah, the man of the White House told Rolling Stone: ‘Michelle will never run for office. She is as talented a person as I know. You can see the incredible resonance she has with the American people.
‘But I joke that she’s too sensible to want to be in politics…Michelle does not have the patience or the inclination to actually be a candidate herself. That’s one thing y’all can take to the bank.’
But with their forthcoming memoirs, the Obamas will be taking millions more in books sales and advances to the bank.
By JERRY OPPENHEIMER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM