Barack and Michelle Obama's memoirs 'reach record $60m book deal'

It has been described as 'the most hotly anticipated publishing deal of the year'

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A record-breaking auction for Barack and Michelle Obama's memoirs has reportedly reached more than $60m.

While the Obamas are writing separate books, they are selling the rights jointly.

Multiple people with knowledge of the deal told The Financial Times bidding has already passed $60m in what has been described as "the most hotly anticipated publishing deal of the year".

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Several publishing houses are after the books, including Penguin Random House, which has published Mr Obama's previous three books and is reportedly leading the bidding.

HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has expressed an interest and has been joined by Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS.

The record offer would trump previous book deals given to departing presidents.

Bill Clinton was paid $15m for his memoir My Life, while George W Bush was given an estimated $10m for his book Decision Points.

Mr Obama previously published best-sellers Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope.

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The former president has kept a relatively low profile since leaving the White House.

He was pictured kite-boarding with Sir Richard Branson while on holiday in the British Virgin Islands and was spotted with his daughter Malia on Broadway, where they watched a revival of Arthur Miller's The Prince.

There is currently no release date for either of the memoirs.

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