In another move that seems more characteristic of an entertainment industry star than a former first lady, Mrs. Obama and Crown have struck a deal with Hearst Magazines to promote “Becoming,” with content sprinkled through its publications and websites, according to seven people familiar with the arrangement.
The people said the agreement with Hearst was helped along by Joanna Coles, the company’s recently departed chief content officer, and Gayle King, a co-anchor of “CBS This Morning” and editor at large at O, The Oprah Magazine, which is among the company’s more than 300 publications worldwide.
According to people with knowledge of the plan, Mrs. Obama will appear on the cover of the December issue of Elle magazine as part of the promotional push. She also met with a select group of Hearst editors at a cocktail reception this month, people at the company said. Mr. Drake, of Crown, would not disclose the specifics of other media appearances that Mrs. Obama has planned to promote the memoir.
The book’s contents have been kept under wraps, but in June Mrs. Obama gave “Becoming” a sneak preview during an interview with a friend, Dr. Carla Hayden, the librarian of congress, at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans.
They chatted about favorite authors (from Dr. Seuss to Zadie Smith), the role that Ms. Obama’s mother, Marian Shields Robinson, played in her life and the challenges of balancing career, motherhood and the role of presidential spouse.
Mrs. Obama noted during the interview that she put her legal career on hold “as my husband’s ascent got faster and higher and louder.” Through it all, she said, being a mother helped her maintain a sense of self-worth.
“It is not easy to tell somebody that you are worth a lot,” she said. “Especially for women. We have a hard time saying that about ourselves, that I know my worth and I can put a monetary number on it, too.”