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Obama inks 3-book $1.9 million deal

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CHICAGO — U.S. Sen.-elect Barack Obama, whose 1995 book landed on best seller lists after his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, has landed a three-book deal worth $1.9 million.

Crown Publishing Group and Random House Children's Books announced Friday that Obama will write two books for adults and one for children.

He'll be paid an $850,000 advance for each adult book and $200,000 for the children's book, said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs. Proceeds from the children's book, which Obama will work on with his wife, Michelle, and their two young daughters, will go to charity, Gibbs said.

The contract is contingent on the approval of the Senate Ethics Committee, he said.

Obama, 43, becomes the sole black U.S. senator — and only the fifth in history — when he is sworn in next month.

The first book, due out in spring 2006, will focus on Obama's political convictions. The children's book, also scheduled for 2006 under the Random House imprint Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, will rely on his experiences as a self-described "skinny young kid with big ears and the funny name" who grew up to be a U.S. senator. Topic and publication date for the third book have not been determined.