Americans may be losing their jobs at the worst rate in decades, with banks failing and the Gross Domestic Product shrinking, but 2009 is not a time of poverty for everyone.
On Jan. 15, five days before his inauguration, then-President-elect Obama inked a $500,000 licensing deal for an abridged middle-school version of his best-selling book "Dreams From My Father."
Sources say the deal was in the works since last summer. The deal was first reported in the Washington Times, based on a Senate financial disclosure report filed Tuesday.
This isn’t a book deal, per se, but rather a license, allowing the Random House Children’s division to abridge "Dreams" for middle school and young adults.
President Obama will split the $500,000 licensing fee 50/50 with Crown, the original publisher of "Dreams." Both Random House Children’s and Crown are divisions of parent company Random House.
Since Obama long since made back for Random House his advance for the book, he will get a payment of $250,000.
The president will approve the abridgement, a White House aide said.
In other book news, former President George W. Bush spoke with the Associated Press about his new book, tentatively titled "Decision Points," also to be published by Crown and, as with Obama, negotiated by power attorney Bob Barnett.
"I want people to understand the environment in which I was making decisions. I want people to get a sense of how decisions were made and I want people to understand the options that were placed before me," the firner president said.
The book will detail approximately a dozen decisions Mr. Bush has made — from choosing sobriety to choosing Dick Cheney. Financial details were not disclosed.
"I want to recreate what it was like, for example, right after 9/11," Mr. Bush said, "and have people understand the emotions I felt and what others around me felt at the time."