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Posted: March 01, 2017

Barack, Michelle Obama sign multimillion-dollar book deal with Penguin Random House

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 31: Barack Obama and Michelle Obama speak during a Halloween event in the East Room of the White House October 31, 2016 in Washington, DC. The former first couple hosted local children and children of military families for trick-or-treating at the White House. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 31: Barack Obama and Michelle Obama speak during a Halloween event in the East Room of the White House October 31, 2016 in Washington, DC. The former first couple hosted local children and children of military families for trick-or-treating at the White House. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

By Brianna Chambers

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are back from vacation and ready to get to work.

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After announcing that they would be taking a break from responsibilities and social media and vacationing in the Virgin Islands with billionaire businessman Richard Branson, the former first couple resumed activity stateside. 

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Michelle Obama visited a Washington, D.C., school on Tuesday, and the couple has detailed plans to develop the Obama Foundation, with plans to build the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago's South Side.

>> Barack, Michelle Obama discuss post-White House plans

In addition to that, the two will write books. They signed deals with publisher Penguin Random House this week.

>> Obama says he'll write a book and 'be quiet for a while' after White House exit

Penguin Random House announced Tuesday that it will publish and acquire world rights to the Obamas' forthcoming books.

"We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama," the publisher's CEO, Markus Dohle, said in a statement. "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. 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."

The financial terms of the agreement are unclear, but according to the New York Times, "publishing industry executives with knowledge of the bidding process said it probably stretched well into eight figures." The Financial Times, citing people briefed on the auction, reported that the publisher will pay more than $65 million for the rights to two books.

According to the New York Times, opening offers for the former president's newest book alone ranged from $18 million to $20 million.

The Obamas plan to donate a "significant portion" of the proceeds from the book sales to charity, including the Obama Foundation, the Associated Press reported.

According to the Times, "Penguin Random House also plans to donate 1 million books in the Obama family's name to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books to disadvantaged children, and Open eBooks, the Washington-based partner for the 2016 White House digital education initiative."

A publishing official told the AP that Barack Obama's book will be "a straightforward memoir about his presidency," while Michelle Obama's book will be an inspirational story that draws upon her life experiences.

Titles and release dates were not immediately available. 

In 2012, Crown published Michelle Obama's "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America." Barack Obama has had books published for over a decade, including "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" and "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream."

Read more at the New York Times and the Associated Press.


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