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Obamas sign record-setting book deal for post-presidential memoirs

Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images

The bidding war for memoirs by former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama is over, and the winning publisher is forking over a record-breaking amount of money, according to a new report.

The Obamas have signed book deals with Penguin Random House, which has published three other books by the former president, and while the exact financial terms have not been disclosed, Financial Times is reporting the bidding exceeded $65 million.

"We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with the president and Mrs. Obama," Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement, according to the Guardian. "With their words and their leadership, they changed the world."

"Now," he continued, "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."

Other publishing houses in the running included Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Macmillan.

The pricey contract far outpaces the book deals struck by recent ex-presidents. According to FT, former President Bill Clinton was paid $15 million by Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, for the rights to his 2004 memoir, "My Life," and former President George W. Bush earned roughly $10 million for his book, "Decision Points," which was published by Crown.

The Obamas are writing their memoirs separately but decided to sell the rights jointly, which propelled the bidding war between publishing houses to record-setting heights, FT reported.

Barack Obama earned $8.8 million for his 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope," and the children's book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," according to Forbes. In addition, he earned $6.8 million for his 1995 memoir, "Dreams From My Father."

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