The Obamas are planning for some very lucrative post-White House careers.
The New York Times reports that major literary agents are predicting that President Obama and Michelle will be able to sign post-presidency book contracts leading up to $45 million.
“His is going to be easily the most valuable presidential memoir ever,” said Raphael Sagalyn of the ICM/Sagalyn Literary Agency to The Times. “And I think Michelle Obama has the opportunity to sell the most valuable first lady memoir in history.”
Sagalyn predicted that President Obama could earn as much as $30 million with a two- or three-book contract.
Other literary agents estimated he could earn similar figures.
New York literary agent Georges Borchardt said to The Times that President Obama’s popularity around the world could make the foreign rights to his books more profitable than any other former president. “And the same goes for Michelle Obama,” Borchardt said. “She can write whatever she wants.”
Publishers gave much lower figures, estimating that President Obama could make no more than $12 million and Mrs. Obama no more than $10 million.
President Obama’s three books—Dreams From My Father, The Audacity of Hope and Of Thee I Sing—earned him a total of $10 million, The Times reported.
However, his success can only go as far as his willingness to meet deadlines.
The Times reported that President Obama missed his deadline for Dreams From My Father and had his first contact for the book cancelled on him. He only finished the book after he traveled to a secluded island in Indonesia to finish it.
Literary agents and publishers have speculated that the books would either be memoirs or about race relations.