Since leaving the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama are proving they have the Midas touch.
The launch of the Forever First Lady’s cross-country book tour for her new memoir, Becoming, last week is already proven to be a hit, with sold-out stadiums across the country and books flying off the shelves at bookstores, according to the New York Post. Michelle Obama earned a $65 million book advance and on top of this, secured an estimated $50 million deal with Netflix, which she shares with husband Barack Obama.
When you throw in products associated with her autobiography, including T-shirts and mugs, speaker fees for both Michelle and Barack, and a 10-city U.S. tour promoting the book, it is easy to see how the former first lady and president are well on their way to becoming billionaires.
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According to the New York Post, Michelle Obama is currently commanding $225,000 per corporate and non-profit speaker appearance. Barack Obama currently earns $400,000 per speech, and made at least $1.2 million for three talks to Wall Street firms in 2017. The fees come on top of his $207,800 annual presidential pension, which he began receiving as soon as he left office.
According to Forbes, the Obamas made $20.5 million in salaries and book royalties between 2005 and 2016. They are now worth more than $135 million – which doesn’t include the public speaking earnings, according to the New York Post.
In October 2017, Michelle was a keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, a non-profit that promotes education and networking. She also did an on-stage interview with Hollywood producer and writer Shonda Rhimes in Philadelphia for an audience of 12,000.
The Harry Walker Agency Inc., the New York-based agency that books the Obamas for speaking gigs, billed the Pennsylvania Conference for Women $225,000 in 2017, according to the non-profit’s most recent tax filings.
Former President Barack Obama addressed a health care conference organized by financial services company Cantor Fitzgerald a couple of years ago. In addition to that $400,000, the former president earned $800,000 for two speeches he gave to Northern Trust Corp and the Carlyle Group.
Becoming is on pace to become an international hit. In addition to its US launch, the book was released in Australia, Ireland, South Africa, the UK, India and New Zealand. It will also be published in 25 languages around the world, according to a press release from Penguin Random House, the book’s New York-based publisher.
In the book, Michelle Obama reveals intimate details of her life, such as her struggles after a miscarriage, receiving couples counseling with Barack and the in vitro fertilization she underwent to conceive Malia and Sasha.
Tickets for “A Conversation with Michelle Obama” range from several hundred dollars to several thousand. The more expensive ticket can include a photo with Michelle and a signed copy of the book.