Less than 48 hours after the announcement of President Obama’s forthcoming children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” the title is a bestseller – landing in the top 25 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com as of Wednesday morning based on advance sales, reports AP.
Due Nov. 16 from Random House Children’s Books, the book celebrates 13 American groundbreakers, including artist Georgia O’Keeffe, baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and George Washington.
A first printing of 500,000 copies is being planned by the publisher.
As previously reported, “Of Thee I Sing” is part of a three-volume deal Obama signed in December 2004, just after he was elected senator but before he took office.
When the deal was originally announced in 2004, the kids’ book was due in 2006, the profits were to go to charity and the original concept was for an illustrated volume about Obama’s childhood as a “skinny young kid with big ears and funny name,” according to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet.
While the concept changed, proceeds will still go to charity — a scholarship fund for military children with a parent who was killed or disabled.
Obama received a $1.9 million advance in 2004 for the package, though the children’s book was not part of the revenue stream. The advance enabled the Obamas to buy a mansion on the South Side of Chicago.
The original deal, negotiated by attorney Robert Barnett, came in the wake of the success of Obama’s best-selling memoir, “Dreams From My Father.” Obama finished “Audacity of Hope,” his policy book (also a best seller) in 2006; his children’s book in 2008 and the last book he owes his publisher will come out after Obama finishes his presidency.