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Another Olympian gets a super book deal

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Photo by Vince Caligiuri

King of the gold, swimmer Michael Phelps is cashing in on his Olympic success. In Beijing, Phelps made history by diving into the pool and racing to eight gold medals in a single Olympics. Phelps surpassed the record of seven gold medals set by swimmer Mark Spitz in 1972.

Phelps is only 23, but last week Free Press won an auction for his memoir called “Built to Succeed.” The narrative of the book will be built around his eight terrific wins in Beijing, along with anecdotes about his family, coach, and passion for swimming.

“Built to Succeed” is scheduled for release this December with a first printing of 500,000. They’re searching for a co-author to help Phelps make that deadline.  Also, the deal includes a children’s book for 2009.

Phelps plans to be doing more than writing. In a New York Times August 18 article by sportswriter Karen Crouse, Phelps says he wants to raise the profile of his sport. “My whole goal is to change the sport of swimming in a positive way.”

Phelps would like to see swimming be more than an every four-year event. Meanwhile, Phelps sees himself competing in the sport he loves through the 2012 Olympics in London.

More at Publishers Weekly and The New York Times websites.


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