Obama memoir 'Becoming' released as part of $60M book deal

Former first lady Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” rocketed to the top of best-sellers lists ahead of its release on Tuesday, marking the first entry of a joint book deal with former President Barack Obama said to be among the most lucrative in publishing history.

The memoir, which details the first lady’s journey from her childhood in Chicago to the White House, was Amazon.com’s top-selling book as of Tuesday, according to the company’s website. Book retailer Barnes & Noble said “Becoming” received more pre-orders than any other adult book since 2015, when legendary author Harper Lee released “Go Set a Watchman.”

While the exact terms of the book deal have not been publicly revealed, multiple reports said Penguin Random House paid more than $60 million to acquire rights to one book each written by Michelle and Barack Obama. The former president has yet to release his book, which is widely expected to detail his own experiences as the 44th U.S. president.

“Writing ‘Becoming’ has been a deeply personal experience. It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life,” Obama said in a statement.

The Obamas plan to donate a large portion of their proceeds from the book deal to charity, according to Penguin Random House.

Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have cultivated a growing presence in the media landscape. The couple reached a deal with Netflix last May to develop original content for the streaming platform, including scripted series and documentaries.

The Obamas’ production company acquired rights to author Michael Lewis’ book “The Fifth Risk,” which delves into the inner workings of President Trump’s White House, as part of the Netflix deal, though it’s unclear what form the project will ultimately take.