2020 candidates rake in book royalties

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Most of the Democrats running for president first laid out their life stories and their visions for the country in books introducing them to voters — and in some cases, making them quite a bit of money.

The latest example is Kamala Harris, whose political memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” came with a significant paycheck: a $446,875 advance for the book and an additional $49,900 for a young reader’s edition, according to new financial information disclosed by Harris this week.

Harris also received $60,000 for her children’s book “Superheroes Are Everywhere.” The payments are higher than previously known — Harris had reported netting about $320,000 for the books in the latest tax return her presidential campaign released in April, but the new financial disclosures include money earned in 2019.

Bernie Sanders, the author of “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In,” a children’s version of the book, and “Where Do We Go From Here,” reported $391,000 in book royalties between 2018 and spring 2019 — a substantial haul for the independent Vermont senator whose written works have made him a millionaire.

On the lower side of the ledger, Amy Klobuchar’s political memoir, 2015’s “The Senator Next Door,” took in less than $200 in royalties since January 2018. But Klobuchar’s disclosure indicates that she will write another book, for which she received an advance of $27,000 from The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. The Klobuchar campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Indeed, not every candidate for president gets big paychecks for their memoirs and for-profit manifestos, which are often penned as they lay the groundwork for their bids for office, allowing them to do promotional book tours across the country that typically include interviews on shows like “The View” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Pete Buttegieg earned far less thus far for his 2019 memoir, “Shortest Way Home,” which he inked a deal for in 2017 —years before his political star rose and the South Bend, Ind., mayor became a serious contender for president. Buttegieg explains on his financial disclosure he received $75,000 in advance money for the book when he signed a deal to write it in 2017. Royalties and a narration fee for an audio version of the book have netted Buttegieg just $3,000 between the start of 2018 to the present.

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