President George W. Bush's book, Decision Points, came out pretty quickly by the standard of presidential memoirs. Mr. Bush's last full year in office was 2008, and the book came out less than two years later, in November 2010. By comparison, Bill Clinton's last full year in office was 2000, and his book did not come out until June 2004. Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974, and his book, RN, came out in 1978.
I haven't seen this noted anywhere else, and I don't know for sure whether this factored into the president's decision or the publisher's, but by bringing the book out in 2010, Mr. Bush made sure than all of his reported $7 million advance was earned under the tax rates for the "rich" that he got passed, and not at the higher tax rates that President Obama was threatening to impose. (Such book advances are typically divided up and paid a portion on signing a contract, a portion on delivery and acceptance of a manuscript, and a portion on publication.) It's not just capital gains income, in other words, that is subject to being shifted over time to take advantage of lower tax rates. Other kinds of income can also be shifted in response to the threat of tax rates increasing. And it tends to be higher-income and higher-asset people who have the most discretion over the timing of their income.