Michelle Obama’s Book Tour Is a Hotter, Pricier Ticket Than Beyoncé

Front row meet-and-greet packages are selling for up to $3,000.
  • Former first lady Michelle Obama is setting out on a 10-city book tour.
  • She will be promoting her new memoir, “Becoming,” which could sell a million copies in its first week of release.
  • Ticket prices for the tour range from just under $30 to $3,000.

Michelle Obama is set to embark on a month-long, 10-city tour that is typically reserved for veteran musicians.

The former first lady is headed out on a speaking tour to promote her new memoir, “Becoming.” Moments after tickets were released to the public on the morning of Sept. 21, tickets for the first Chicago event nearly sold out. For all 12 engagements, the cheapest ticket was priced at $29.50. As of Sept. 26, tickets for a front row meet-and-greet package with Obama in Brooklyn, New York, reached as high as $3,000. The package also includes an autographed copy of “Becoming,” on-site concierge, preshow reception and preshow photograph with Obama.

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Michelle Obama Tour Dates

The “intimate conversation” kicks off on Nov. 13 — the same day as the book’s release — in Obama’s hometown of Chicago and will visit the following cities:

  • Nov. 13 – United Center, Chicago
  • Nov. 15 – The Forum, Los Angeles
  • Nov. 17 – Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
  • Nov. 24 – TD Garden, Boston
  • Nov. 25 – Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
  • Nov. 29 – Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
  • Dec. 1 – Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec. 11 – Little Caesars Areas, Detroit
  • Dec. 13 – Pepsi Center Arena, Denver
  • Dec. 14 – SAP Center, San Jose, California
  • Dec. 17 – American Airlines Center, Dallas
  • Dec. 19 – Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Obama took to her Instagram in February to share with her followers — of which there are now 22 million — her reflections on the “unexpected trajectory” of her life. She continued to share that her story will inspire readers as she was writing about her “roots and how a little girl from the South Side of Chicago found her voice and developed the strength to use it to empower others.”

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Barack and Michelle Obama’s Book Deal

In a joint book deal with her husband, former President Barack Obama, the Obamas made history with what appears to be the biggest book advance deal for any former president, as Vox reported in March 2017. The couple signed with Penguin Random House in early 2017, reportedly for more than $65 million for two separate titles.

For comparison, the Clintons reportedly received $26.5 million less than half of the deal the Obamas inked in book advances for their memoirs that were released in 2004 and 2014, after Bill Clinton was president and Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, respectively. When taking inflation into consideration, the Clintons’ advance would still be lower than the Obamas’.

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With such a huge investment in the Obamas, the literary world seems poised to collect its return, and Obama’s “Becoming” is almost guaranteed to be a million-seller. The book is still more than six weeks away from its release but is perched at No. 8 among the top 20 most sold nonfiction books on Amazon as of Sept. 26.

Compared with her fellow former first ladies, a million-seller would be record-breaking. Hillary Clinton’s 2003 memoir, “Living History,” which she received an $8 million advance for, sold 600,000 copies during its first week on sale. Laura Bush, the wife of former President George W. Bush, reportedly garnered a book advance of $3.5 million to $5 million in 2009, and “Spoken From the Heart” sold almost 150,000 copies in its first week.

Historically, memoirs penned by former presidents have higher sales potential. Bill Clinton’s 2004 memoir, “My Life,” sold over a million copies in its first eight days after its release. Following Clinton, Bush’s memoir, “Decision Points,” sold 775,000 copies in its debut week.

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