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President Obama could sign a multi-million dollar book deal after leaving office

U.S. President Barack Obama walks out from the White House before his departure to view flood damage area in Baton Rouge, in Washington, U.S., Louisiana, August 23, 2016. 

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

President Obama may not have received an offer to coach the Washington Wizards after he leaves the Oval Office in January, but a reports suggests that he may have a more lucrative deal in the works.

Literary analysts told the New York Times that the 44th president and First Lady Michelle Obama could sign post-presidency book contracts amounting to $20 million to $45 million. That’s enough money to pay rent at his new nine-bedroom residence in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. (which boasts a monthly price tag of $22,000), and fulfill his goal of becoming part-owner of an NBA team​.

“His [book] is going to be easily the most valuable presidential memoir ever,” literary agent Raphael Sagalyn said. “And I think Michelle Obama has the opportunity to sell the most valuable first lady memoir in history.”

However, publishers--the ones who ultimately decide on how much an author is paid--have discredited these predictions, saying President Obama would likely earn less than $12 million, and Mrs. Obama $10 million.

If the commander-in-chief​ were to sign a book deal after his tenure ends, it would be his fourth. Mr. Obama’s “Dreams From My Father,” “The Audacity of Hope,” and “Of Thee I Sing,” sold more than four million copies, the New York Times noted, earning him more than $10 million.

It’s common practice for former presidents and first ladies to publish books once they return to private life. Former president George W. Bush raked in about $10 million, despite low approval ratings, with the publication of “Decision Points.” And books written by former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush bore profitable earnings as well.

The White House declined to comment on the president’s future book deals, but said the Obama’s focus “is on squeezing every last ounce of progress out of the next five months.”   

  • Julia Boccagno

    Julia Boccagno is a news associate for CBS News.