Less than a week after it was announced that Penguin Random House acquired books by former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama in a deal worth a rumored $65 million, Crown Publishing Group has been named as the PRH division that will release the titles in the U.S. and Canada.
World rights to both books were acquired last week by PRH, at auction, from Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell at Williams & Connolly. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, and numerous details about the books—including their publication date and what they're about—have still not been announced.
It was thought that Crown would be the division to release the books, since it is the PRH unit that previously published both Barack Obama's books. (Dreams from My Father, which Crown currently publishes, was originally published by Times Books, then under publisher Peter Osnos and a division of Random House, with Henry Ferris as editor.) Calling the Obamas "transformative figures in today’s world," Crown publisher Maya Mavjee said the pair is going to deliver "deeply inspiring and illuminating books that draw upon their rich personal experience and dedicated public service."
Crown, in addition to publishing President Obama's Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, also released First Lady Obama's American Grown, her illustrated book about the White House kitchen garden.
Crown v-p and executive editor Rachel Klayman will edit President Obama's book, and Molly Stern, senior v-p and publisher of Crown, Hogarth, Crown Archetype, Broadway, and Three Rivers, will edit First Lady Obama's book. David Drake and Tina Constable will lead the publication strategy for both books.
PRH said it plans to donate 1 million books in the Obama family's name to nonprofit partner First Book in support of the Obama Foundation. The Obamas, Crown added, also plan to donate "a significant portion" of their proceeds to charity.
This story has been updated with further information.